Bed rails help seniors stay in bed while sleeping and provide extra support while getting in and out of bed. Bed rails are ideal for seniors and other adults with impaired mobility. This includes those who are bound to a wheelchair, recently had surgery, or are recovering from an illness. For many seniors and disabled adults, bed rails prove to be an essential aid in day-to-day living.
This article takes an in depth look at two different types of bed rails for seniors – full length bed rails and their shorter counterpart, a bed cane. Full length bed rails helps a person stay in bed at night or while taking a nap. Shorter bed rails, commonly known as a bed cane or hand rail, helps a person stabilize themselves while getting in and out of bed.
If you or a loved one would benefit from assistance staying in bed while sleeping or could use extra support getting in and out of bed, consider a bed rail as a solution. Our top pick, the Stander EZ adjust, offers the best of both worlds. It serves as a full length bed rail and adjusts in length to also serve as a bed cane. It is high quality, reasonably priced, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The peace of mind that you or your loved one is safe is well worth the money spent.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in Safety Bed Rails for Seniors
- Bed Rails for Seniors Side by Side Comparison
- Best Bed Rails for Seniors
- Best Cheap Bed Cane
- Best Bariatric Bed Rails
- How to Get in and Out of Bed with a Bed Rail or Bed Cane
- Bed Rails for Temporarily Disabled Adults
What to Look for in Safety Bed Rails for Seniors
There are several factors you want to consider when choosing bed rails. Below are a few topics to research as you are choosing the bed rails that are right for you.
- Ease of use. Especially with elderly adults, the operation of the bed rails should be performed with minimal strength. This means if they are adjustable or fold down, the mechanics of the product must be easy to operate.
- Stability. You want the bed rails to be sturdy enough to hold your loved one in the event of a potential fall.
- Length. If you need bed rails to help prevent falls, buy full length bed rails. If you need a bed rail to help get in and out of bed, you need a shorter version called a bed cane.
- Weight limit. Average bed rails have a weight limit of 250 lbs – 300 lbs. If you need more than that, there are bariatric versions for that purpose. In any case, you want the bed rails to be sturdy with strong construction.
- Entrapment risk. Entrapment is when a person gets caught between bed rails. The FDA provides guidance regarding entrapment with bed rails.
- Design. The product aesthetics is certainly not important from a safety perspective. However, most people do not want their bedroom to look or feel like a hospital room. Make sure your loved one is comfortable in their environment!
Bed Rails for Seniors Side by Side Comparison
|Best For||Full Length Bed Rails||Bed Cane||Cheap Bed Cane||Bariatric Use|
|Height||23”||Adjustable from 17” - 21”||20.75”||22”|
|Width||Adjustable from 26”, 34”, 42”||20”||11.5”||17”|
|Gap Between Rails||3” (organizer pouch wrapped around a portion of the rails which prevents gaps)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs||300 lbs||250 lbs||400 lbs|
|Product Weight||14 lbs||6 lbs||6 lbs||8 lbs|
Best Bed Rails for Seniors
The Stander EZ Adjust bed rail is one of the bestselling bed rails on the market. It is our pick for the best bed rails for seniors. It fits home, hospital, and adjustable beds. As the name suggests, it is an adjustable bed rail. In fact, it is the only bed rail sold that adjusts in length after it is installed. It is essentially a two in one piece of equipment. It serves as a full size safety bed rail to help prevent falls while sleeping. It also converts into a bed handle, or bed cane, to help stabilize yourself as you get in and out of bed. This increases bed mobility and makes bed transfers easier.
It extends to three different lengths, 26”, 34”, and 42”. The 26” setting is ideal when using the product as a bed cane. It offers support as you get in and out of bed by holding on to it. During the night or while taking a nap, the rails can be extended horizontally to two different settings – 34” (about 2 ¾ feet) and 42” (3 ½ feet). When you are ready to get out of bed, it folds down easily.
The bed rails are installed by sliding the base tubes between the mattress and box spring. It is secured by strapping the unit down to the opposite side of the bed with the provided safety strap.
Below is a visual of what the bed rails look like once installed.
We encourage you to read the customer reviews on Amazon. There are hundreds of them where you can see what others think about the product. There is also a question and answer section which you may find helpful as you research which bed rails to buy.
Below is a video showing a demo of the bed rails in use.
Bed Rails Setup
The Stander EZ Adjust bed rail is easy to set up. It fits home, hospital, and adjustable beds. It can be placed on either side of the bed. Just make sure the extending side of the bed rail is facing the foot of the bed.
The only assembly required is putting together a series of tubes and securing the bed rail with a strap. The bolts used to assemble the tubes can be tightened with the allen wrench that is included. The bolts and all other materials required to assemble are included as well.
When you receive the box, the following items will be included.
- The bed rail with an organizing pouch to store items.
- The tubes to assemble the rails.
- A safety strap to secure the bed rail.
- 4 bolts, nuts, and washers.
- A wrench and allen wrench.
Below is a helpful video that shows how to set the bed rails up. A copy of the assembly instructions is located here.
Best Cheap Bed Cane
The Endurance hand bed rail is best suited for those who need a basic bed cane. It is economically priced and does not have all the bells and whistles that are included in other models. However, do not confuse the low price point with quality. It is very sturdy. In a word, this bed cane (also known as a handrail) can be best described as “simple.”
This bed rail is helpful for a variety of applications where assisted bed mobility is necessary. A few examples include senior care, those who have recently had surgery, a major illness, or even women in late term pregnancy.
It is important to note that the Endurance hand bed rail is not intended to prevent falls by confining someone in bed. It was designed to be used as a bed cane. Used as a bed cane, it does a great job providing support to adults getting in and out of bed.
The hand rail is 20” wide. The tubes are wrapped in a material intended to allow for a better grip. It is very sturdy and will handle those weighing up to 250 lbs – 300 lbs.
It is adjustable in height from 17” – 21”. This will allow a person to set it at the height they are most comfortable with. It is also helpful for those who have a thicker mattress since the hand rail may need to be adjusted higher to accommodate.
It is secured by a set of base tubes that extend 3 feet between the mattress and box spring. It is also tied down with a safety strap for additional safety.
Best Bariatric Bed Rails
The best bed rails for seniors that require bariatric use is the Bed Rail Advantage by Stander. The weight capacity for this bed rail is 400 lbs. It fits home, hospital, and adjustable beds. This bed rail acts as a support handle to assist with getting in and out of bed. It is a quality bed rail and is reasonably priced through Amazon.
An added advantage for this bed rail is it’s portable and suitable for traveling. It is lightweight weighing only 8 lbs and collapses flat. It will fit in most larger suitcases.
The most convenient features of this bariatric bed rail are the no-slip cushioned grip around the handle and the storage pouch. The grip allows for a more secure hold on the rail as you get in and out of bed. The pouch has four pockets which are great for holding items such as pens, books, a remote control, phone, and even a water bottle. The pouch also helps prevent entrapment since the material is wrapped around the rail.
The following video is an animation showing an overview of the Bed Rail Advantage.
Setting up the Bed Rail Advantage is very easy. No assembly or tools are required. It is made of two pieces of metal that are attached by a locking pin. It opens up into a “L” shape. You just remove the locking pins, fold it out, and reinstall the locking pins to lock it back in place. Then, slide the base between the mattress and box spring. There is a safety strap included to tie the bed rail down. This offers an extra layer of security to ensure the bed rails stay in place.
Below is in an installation video that gives detailed instructions for installation. You can also see exactly what the bariatric bed rail looks like by watching this video.
How to Get in and Out of Bed with a Bed Rail or Bed Cane
Bed rails are helpful when getting in and out of bed. The type of bed rails used for this purpose are referred to as a “bed cane” or “hand rail”. When getting out of bed, a person can use the bed cane’s bar for support. A bed cane allows a person additional strength while pulling themselves up and swinging their hips and legs over the side of the bed. This makes it easier to sit up. They can then push down on the bar as they are standing up.
Getting back into bed works the opposite. You hold the rail to steady yourself. You can then sit yourself back down onto the bed. From there, you can swing your legs back on to the bed, lay down and adjust yourself as necessary.
When laying in bed, bed canes are helpful when you need to adjust your position. Imagine laying down in bed and needing to adjust. With a bed cane, you have something to grab on to. This will help you slide over, roll over to one side the other, or otherwise adjust your position.
Bed Rails for Temporarily Disabled Adults
Bed rails are typically used by seniors to prevent falls while sleeping or to help stabilize themselves as they get in and out of bed. However, bed rails are also helpful for other adults who are temporarily disabled. Full length bed rails may be appropriate after a sudden illness where there is an increased risk of falling out of bed while sleeping.
A bed cane (shorter bed rail) is useful for those with a temporary mobility issue including recovering from surgery, a broken bone, or even during late term pregnancy. After the bed cane is no longer needed, it folds and stores easily.
We hope you have found this article helpful and informative. Several different bed rails for seniors were covered in this article and we trust it helped as you research which is best for you or your loved one. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, bed rails provide a peace of mind knowing you are help protected from falls. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will respond as soon as possible.