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The spinal cord injury a person has will determine how much care they need and the types of products that can improve their quality of life. For example, certain mattresses may be more suitable than others for particular spinal cord injuries.

According to The Miami Project, there are approximately 17,810 new spinal cord injuries annually in the United States.

Sustaining damage to the spinal cord can affect a person’s ability to feel or move parts of their body. It can also cause chronic pain.

This article will look at the factors to consider when purchasing a mattress or bed for someone who has experienced a spinal cord injury. It will also provide some mattress and bed options to explore.

An important first step in finding a suitable mattress or bed for a person with a spinal cord injury is working with a physician or therapist, as well as the affected individual, to review the multiple factors affecting the choice.

For example, some factors to consider include:

  1. Will the individual be using a hospital bed?
  2. Are bed rails necessary?
  3. Can the individual move and sit up in bed independently?
  4. How much bedside care will a person need?
  5. How will the individual be transferred?
  6. Can the head and leg areas of the bed change position?
  7. Is the individual likely to experience bedsores or skin breakdown?

Here are the following factors to consider when shopping for a mattress for a spinal cord injury:

  • Cost: Mattresses and beds can be expensive, and a person with complex needs may require more expensive equipment. Individuals should consider the features they need and how each brand compares to find a mattress or bed that suits their budget.
  • Technology: Mattresses and beds for spinal cord injuries can include technology that adjusts the firmness and position of the bed surface. This can help prevent pressure buildup and bedsores.
  • Size: Mattresses and beds come in different sizes. A person should choose a product size that best suits their body size, their sleep environment, and the type of base they use.
  • Rentals and returns: Individuals should consider the rental and returns policy a company offers. Some brands offer a rental program so that individuals can rent the mattress or bed before purchasing them. However, there may be a minimum rental period to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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The following are some of the different kinds of mattresses available for people with spinal cord injuries.

Best noiseless mattress: Roho Prodigy Premium Mattress Overlay

  • Price: $297
  • Dimensions: 11.81 x 5.91 x 7.87 inches (in)
  • Size: 81.75 x 36 in
  • Firmness: Plush
  • Returns: Within 30 days

This mattress overlay reportedly uses exclusive dry flotation technology, providing 3.5 in of immersion depth. Users must put this on top of an existing mattress.

This helps prevent the mattress overlay from losing support, promotes wound healing, relieves pain, and helps prevent bedsores.

It also has zoned settings to provide different pressure levels for the head and upper body, the hips, and the legs and feet.

The manufacturer states this mattress overlay is noiseless, with no moving parts or filters to replace. It does not generate heat or use electricity.

The manufacturer also describes this mattress as easy to clean and low maintenance.

Additionally, the mattress overlay has other features:

Best for supporting different weights: Invacare MicroAIR Alternating Pressure Mattress

  • Price: $899–5,313
  • Dimensions: Will vary depending on size
  • Sizes: Includes:
    • Advanced Alt. Pressure 500 lb
    • Complete Therapy 600 lb
    • Pulsation Therapy 600 lb
    • Alt. Pressure 350 lb
  • Firmness: Plush
  • Returns: 30 days

The manufacturers designed this mattress to help prevent bedsores.

It can inflate and deflate 24 distinct air cells in a repeating cycle. This has the effect of ensuring that one specific part of the body, such as the hips, does not receive the full pressure of the body’s weight for too long.

The mattress can also rotate automatically from side to side, in intervals ranging from 4 minutes to 5 hours. Therefore, it can meet turning schedules that a doctor may prescribe to prevent lung complications.

It is available in four sizes that can support weights of up to 1,000 pounds (lb).

Best for providing stability: SpanAmerica In-Home Styles Mattresses

  • Price: Customers must contact the manufacturer
  • Size: Full, queen, and king
  • Trial: 30 days for clinicians

The manufacturer offers its PressureGuard mattresses in different sizes, including full, queen, and king.

A person can use the mattresses on top of standard box springs or on specialty beds.

Half the mattress will provide air therapy, while the other half maintains consistent pressure. Two-part bolsters for one side of the bed promote stability for sitting and will direct the person’s body to the center of the bed.

The mattresses feature a firm two-part foam bolster that the inner edge helps direct the individual to move to the mattress center. This helps ensures stability when they are lying down or sitting, so they do not fall.

A person can ask to talk with a representative about purchasing SpanAmerica’s In-Home Styles Mattresses.

Sometimes, the most suitable mattress for a person with a spinal cord injury is part of a complete bed setup.

Best adjustable height: ProBed: The Freedom Bed

  • Price: Customers must contact the manufacturer
  • Sizes: A3F Standard, A3FX Extended, and A3FXB Bariatric
  • Returns: The company offers a rental program. They can rent it out for a minimum of 2 months. After that, they can choose to buy the bed, continue renting it, or return it.

This bed rotates from side to side, slowly and automatically, to relieve pressure on different parts of the body. This movement can help prevent bedsores from developing.

The head and leg areas of the bed can rise automatically, though a person can override these programs to allow for changing preferences and needs.

It comes with powered height adjustment, and people can choose a height of up to 34 in.

The manufacturer also says that this bed can provide users with more restful sleep.

A person can contact the manufacturers to discuss how to purchase the Freedom Bed.

Best cooling bed: Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed

  • Price: People can contact the customer service team to learn more about the product.
  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Low position: 22 in
  • High position: 31.5 in
  • Width and length: 40 x 92.5 in

The manufacturer has designed this bed for those who need advanced wound care.

The manufacturer states that this mattress pushes air through many small beads to minimize pressure and control the skin’s microclimate.

The bed is cooling and helps prevent shear, which is a factor in the development of bedsores. A person can adjust the airflow and firmness to help maintain a comfortable position.

Locate a distributor for the Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed here.

The table below compares each of the mattresses and beds included in this article.

Roho Prodigy Premium Mattress OverlayInvacare MicroAIR Alternating Pressure MattressSpanAmerica In-Home Styles MattressesProBed: The Freedom BedEnvella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed
Best fornoiseless designsupporting different weightsproviding stabilitypowered height adjustmentcooling effect
Sizes81.75 x 36 in• Advanced Alt. Pressure 500 lb
• Complete Therapy 600 lb
• Pulsation Therapy 600 lb
• Alt. Pressure 350 lb
• full
• queen
• king
• A3F Standard
• A3FX Extended
• A3FXB Bariatric
40 x 92.5 in
Firmnessplushplushno information availableno information availableno information available
Returnswithin 30 dayswithin 30 days30-day trial for cliniciansrentable for a minimum of 2 monthsrentable for a minimum of 2 months
Price$297$899–5,313customers should contact the manufacturer for price• can purchase with insurance
• customers should contact the manufacturer for price
customers should contact the manufacturer for price

Below are answers to the most common questions about mattresses for spinal injuries.

What is the best mattress for a person with paralysis?

The most suitable mattress for a person with paralysis should reduce the risk of bedsores and pressure wounds, support the body, maintain spinal alignment, and be comfortable to use. Some mattresses can automatically alternate pressure and perform routine repositioning.

What type of mattress is best for a person with spinal stenosis?

Memory foam, hybrid, innerspring, and latex mattresses can be suitable for people with spinal stenosis. Individuals should opt for a mattress that keeps the spine supported and in neutral alignment while they sleep.

Do mattress companies offer a trial period?

Not all companies offer a trial period. However, some have a returns policy or a rental subscription that a person may benefit from. If someone is not satisfied with their purchase, they may return the product for a refund. They may also rent the product for a short period and then decide to buy it if they are happy with it.

Spinal cord injuries are serious. They can require a lengthy recovery period and put a person in bed for extended periods.

Finding the best mattress and bed for spinal cord injury recovery and long-term support depends on the injury.

People should review their needs with their healthcare team and use this information to choose what is best for them from the available options.