Before we look into the mattress types used in hospitals beds, it is worth noting that hospital beds do not come with mattresses unless the mattress is part of the package.

For this reason, the management takes a considerable amount of time in selecting the correct mattress for different patients.

A good mattress will reduce the risk level of patient developing bedsores. Bedsore has been flagged as the most serious concern with patients at hospital beds.

Because of these variations, hospital beds will have four types of mattresses. The best mattress for a patient depends on their risk level for bedsores.

The four main mattress types used in hospital beds

  • Innerspring mattresses

The innerspring mattress is a close relative of the traditional mattresses in terms of performance. They are made of a high-grade cotton and high-density urethane foam. These mattresses are the least expensive but with the minimalistic regard to patient comfort.

However, this mattress type is no longer a popular choice for hospital beds because they can increase the pressure that causes bedsores.

Besides, they tend to retain excess heat and become overly hot. This makes it a bad option for patients who spends the majority of the day in bed.

  • Therapeutic foam mattress

A therapeutic mattress is specifically designed to alleviate pressure on areas likely to develop bedsores. Structurally, this mattress contains softer foams in the pressure point areas such as head, heels, and elbow but are very firm around the edges of the mattress. They, therefore, provide comfort and allow for better sleep. Of course, only best memory foam mattress are used in the hospitals.

  • Alternating pressure mattresses

Alternating pressure mattresses come with individualized air cells that help manage body pressure and skin moisture through inflation and deflation.

The good thing about this mattress is that they relieve pressure points and improve blood flow. This intern prevents the development of fresh bedsores and promotes the healing of existing sores.

  • Low air-loss mattress

In terms of structure, these mattresses are similar to the alternating pressure mattresses. They also contain an alternating feature that allows them to work the same way as the alternating pressure mattresses.

The alternating mechanism prevents the development of pressure sores in the sensitive areas of the patient body by constantly changing the pressure points. Nonetheless, the air cells in this mattress have tiny holes that release a small amount of air at a time.

This air helps in cooling hot spots and controls the skin moisture levels keeping the patient comfortable. The low air-loss mattresses are the popular types because they provide ideal pressure and moisture condition for patients prone to bed sores.

Other mattress types;

  • Turning low air mattresses

These mattresses are very similar to the low air-loss mattresses. The only difference is that as if their name suggests they are capable of turning the patient constantly back and forth. This is advantageous because they stimulate movement and alternate pressure points to prevent pressure sores.

  • Memory foam mattress

These mattresses are available in all sizes you can find at home. They also come with the same properties as the standard memory foam but they are a little thicker. This allows them to be used directly on a box spring or into the solid base bed.


Despite the fact that hospital beds are adjustable to keep the patient comfortable. Having the right mattress is very important particularly if the patient has a history of bedsores.