The Best Mattress Options For Disabled People
Let me say first that I’m no stranger to this topic. I have a son with significant intellectual disabilities who has had difficulty with sleep, and finding just the right mattress for him, along with some accessories like weighted blankets and just the right sheets, had made all of the difference for Jake.
What are the best mattress options for people with disabilities, challenged with comfort, transfer, mobility, or physical or intellectual limitations? As a mattress designer and engineer for over 25 years, I was often given the opportunity to design bedding configurations for individuals.
Often I had to create either an extraordinarily soft or firm mattress, provide a custom foundation (box spring) height to enable ease of transfer, and figure out how to integrate the products into the best possible lifestyle configuration for my customer.
Most mattresses available in public channels are designed to work for active individuals with healthy lifestyles, who can easily get in and out of bed, desire a medium firm yet plushy sleep surface, and need no assistance with mobility or transfer.
Because of the vast number of mattress options available online these days, there’s actually a virtually unlimited number of mattress types that will often work well for people with disabilities. I’m going to focus on the best mattress options for a few classes of individuals with a common set of circumstances.
Once I narrow down these mattress options, choosing between just a handful rather than hundreds, will make the experience far less miserable for patients. personal care managers, parents, and spouses of those who need just the right mattress to live well.
Mattress options in general, can be limited to a handful of mattress types, materials, and degrees of softness or firmness. Note that many of the options I’m going to offer will get you to a dealers web site, and there you can find variations of soft vs firm, and this allows you to narrow down your options even more to dial in the comfort level you want.
We’re only going to be talking about mattress options that can be ordered online, shipped in the typical “bed in a box” format (compressed and rolled, and easily installed at the consumer end) so keep in mind that typically, a disabled person will need assistance receiving, unpacking, and setting up a typical mattress, along with the accompanying foundation or even bed frame that you might purchase.
Also, another general consideration for disabled people with spine injuries, reduction of limb use, neck injuries, or people with fall risks, is to carefully assess the ideal height of the mattress you are using. A good rule of thumb is to pull out a tape measure and determine how tall the topmost surface of the mattress, including the foundation beneath it, needs to be.
Many companies will offer what is called a “low profile” foundation that can be as little as 4” tall to place under the mattress, allowing for a manageable overall height. We recommend a company called US Boxspring, as they build a high quality all natural wooden foundation piece available in two heights, 8” and 5.5”. The foundation is shipped ready to assemble (one person can set up in 30 minutes)
Most mattress companies will offer enhanced delivery options, too, like full setup services, old mattress removal, or other options, for a modest fee. My advice is to get on the phone or an online chat and find out what options are available with the mattress options I recommend.
You can review our mattress type page here to learn more about mattress options and the materials used to make most mattress components, each of which offers unique comfort and support qualities. To help narrow down the options, though, let’s start with disabled individuals who spend a lot of time in bed.
If you spend more that 10 hours a day on a mattress or need to lie down either intermittently or for the vast amount of a 24 hour period of time, I always recommend a hybrid mattress option. This is a mattress that will resist packing down over time, offers excellent spine support, and usually has a few layers near the top that add a sumptuous yet not excessively soft feel to the mattress.
A hybrid mattress delivers support that also makes it easy to turn from side to back, for example, and also makes transfer and sitting on the edge of the mattress much easier than an all foam mattress, too.
Most of these mattresses are 12-14 inches tall, which is fairly tall for a mattress, but by using what is called a low profile foundation option that is only 4” tall (or slightly higher), transfer to ground, wheel chair, or other mobility device is much easier than using a standard height foundation or box spring.
Best Mattress Options For People With Disabilities
Keep in mind that hybrid mattresses may run slightly firmer than average, but provide proper spine alignment, along with preventing bottoming out or the feeling of being trapped inside a mattress that is too soft. Mattresses that are not substantially firm enough often indent severely, making it very difficult to maneuver.
Described as a soft, breathable sanctuary, the Dreamcloud is one of my favorites options for people with disabilities in general. It provides optimal support, is easy to transfer in and out of and is nicely appointed. With a sumptuous cashmere quilted top, floating pocketed coils, and a quality 4lb density gel infused memory foam, this mattress gets you to sleep and keeps you there. My link will get you $200 off and a scientifically optimized sleep system with 365 day trial. It is a best in class hybrid mattress with a pocketed coil system that provides excellent edge support, memory foam and gel foam layers, motion transfer reducing layer, and quilted cashmere top. A queen on sale: $1199, free ship, 365 day trial.
This outstanding natural latex hybrid bed is loaded with clean, chemical free ingredients. You’ll nest upon a breathable organic quilted top, and beneath you, your body floats on 4” of botanical Dunlop latex. Individually pocketed coils suspend and hover you above the base layer of medium high density foam that won’t break down. Good edge support. Distributes pressure effectively, and is excellent for people who spend more than 10 hours per day in bed. Delivered with 365 day no questions asked trial and FOREVER warranty! Now, how cool is that? Our #1 Hybrid Latex/Coil Choice.
With three models to choose from this mattress lineup delivers best in class pressure relief, precision spinal alignment, with a sumptuous, nest-like feel. Uses top of the line luxury components and textiles, safer, low VOC and formaldehyde free Certi-Pur foam. A side and back sleeper’s fantasy mattress. Free shipping, a great trial period, with unbeatable warranty. It is my first choice for a performance mattress, and has excellent edge support. Gets a solid 4.9 rating out of 5, from a total of 6,572 Online Reviews. I recommended the Puffy Lux to my daughter and she says it’s the best mattress she’s ever owned!
The individual suspension system supports each bone (33) in the human spinal column separately. It cradles the body’s curves while providing enough firmness for the back’s muscular and bony structures. The SleepOvation Mattress uses individual blocks of foam along with a pocketed coil system to therapeutically suspend your spine to minimize pressure and promote painless sleep and restorative rest- the stuff you need at night. One of my favorite options for folks with disabilities.