As much as mattresses are built to provide comfort, sometimes it can be disastrous if you sleep on one side for far too long. This is especially so for patients confined to a bed for longer periods, thus leading to bed sores.
- What causes bed sores?
- What to look out for when buying pressure relief mattresses
What causes bed sores?
Before we look at some of the best mattresses that prevent bedsores, it is only logical that you understand just how these pressure ulcers come about. Some of the common causes include the following:
- Constriction and pinching of blood vessels at certain pressure spots leading to oxygen deficiency to tissues
- Skin and mattress friction
- Extended immobility leading to bending and stretching of blood vessels
Some of the common regions you would expect bed sores to develop include the following:
- Sides and back of the head
- Shoulders and shoulder blades
- Ear rims
- Lower back and tail bones
The best mattresses that you can go for to help reduce the chances of getting bed sores are pressure relief mattresses. The following are some of the top pressure relief mattresses that help reduce the chances of getting bed sores.
1. Premium Guard Water Mattress
The use of water mattresses to prevent bed sores has been practiced since the 1800s. Water’s unique ability to distribute pressure evenly across the body by conforming to the user’s body is what makes this kind of mattress the most ideal.
Featuring a capacity of 250 pounds and measuring 68 x 32 inches, this mattress is usually placed on top of a conventional mattress; this could be in hospital or at home.
This water mattress is made for durability and strength through its double sealed vinyl seams. They are easy to clean and only needs some soft wipes and mild detergent.
Internally, this mattress features three baffles. These can be in form of cylinders, hydraulic cells of fiber. They are placed into the mattress to help control the water’s wave action, and in the long run providing extra support.
2. Care Guard APP Alternating Pressure Pump and Pad
This is not a mattress per se but an overlay the can be placed on any conventional mattress to help prevent the development of bed sores.
With the mattress overlay, you can inflate or deflate individual air cells to help encourage movement, thus reducing long pressure periods on spots where sores are known to develop.
It features an alternating pressure pump with multiples pressure settings that aid in achieving more precise pain relief and comfort.
This mattress overlay also features durable flaps wrapped under the mattress forming a unique feature to the care Guard Pad. The pads help increase stability that helps reduce the chances of the pad shifting or sliding during a patient’s movement.
Considering that the flaps help hold the mattress in place, you do not need to worry about the patient slipping or struggling to make adjustment in their position. This is especially ideal for immobile patients who need help to move. Other features include:
- A 250-pound weight capacity
- Measuring 80”x34”x2.5”
- Therapeutic 5-Zone Support Mattress
This is a low tech pressure relief mattress made by Drive medical. It fuses two major features:
These two help to offer optimum comfort and support.
Zoning involves separating a mattress into several sections that give varying levels of support. Instead of using just one level of support and firmness all through, a zoned mattress has varying levels to help cater for the different contours of your body.
Specifically, the area under the hips is made firmer considering hips are the heavier areas when a patient is sleeping. On the other hand, the areas that fall under the shoulder are usually made soft since shoulders protrude during sleep.
A cross-cut mattress on the other hand has cells that help move the patient’s body around, unlike the conventional mattresses that usually resist such movement. This in essence reduces the pulling that usually happens on the outer layer of the skin when a patient moves against the mattress.
Other notable features of ten mattresses include:
- Crosscut resilient foam to prevent shear
- Waterproof, zippered and fire retardant nylon cover
- Weight capacity of 350 pounds
- Measures 35”x80”x5.5”
- Vapor permeable, thus breathable
3. Alternating pressure mattress by Vive
Vive’s alternating pressure mattress is designed to work as a stand-alone mattress, helping reduce chances of bed sores and ulcers. Apart from distributing weight all through the bed, it also offers a customized feel through adjustable pressure levels. The user can have a sound sleep, thanks to its ultra-quite pump. It also features a waterproof layer that makes it easier to clean up.
This mattress can hold up pressure for up to 24 hours and can support up to 400 pounds of weight.
4. The Sleep Innovations Gel Swirl Memory Foam
This 12-inch thick gel swirl mattress is manufactured by Sleep innovations as a memory foam mattress. The perfect combination of the cooling gel and the memory foam helps offer quality rest and sleep experience.
Featuring a three layer design, this mattress has the top comfort layer made from 2-inch memory foam with gel swirled. The second layer features an air channel foam measuring 2.5 inches thick while the third support foam helps in the general support and comfort of the foam and measures 8 inches thick.
This mattress is specially designed to offer pressure relief, thanks to its therapeutic properties that ensure the right spinal alignment while also preventing ulcerations. What’s more, this mattress fuses the properties of both the gel and the memory foam mattress to give you the best of both worlds.
While the conventional foam is known to retain heat, leading to turning and tossing around at night, the gel foam presents a cooler feel pleasant to touch and significantly comfortable due to the increased airflow.
For patients, muscle recovery is vital in the healing process. This mattress is specifically made to offer just that since it contours around your body and maintains its shape for much longer.
Other notable benefits include:
- Perfect for co-sleeping
- Comes with 20-year warranty
- The poly-cotton cover is easily hand or machine-washed
- Meets the requirements of flammability open flame standards
5. ROHO Prodigy Mattress Overlay System
This mattress overlay system is specifically preferable to those who love low-tech pressure relief system. It measures 81.75”x36”x2.5 and made from polyvinyl; a flame-resistant material.
This is most ideal not only in preventing bed sores but also for would protection to patients with stage one or two decubitus ulcers or those with risk of skin breakdown.
The mattress features a 3-inch surface made up of individual cells of air. It also provides adjustment for these cell to dual action hand pump, also included in the package.
Considering that it is made up of three interlocking sections, it is possible to adjust a patient to different positions with ease. Notably, the air cell in each of the three segments can be independently adjusted to offer maximum pain relief and comfort.
6. Med Aire Alternating Pressure Pump with Pad System
Med Aire‘s alternating Pressure Pump is a modern high-tech mattress made from comfortable and long-lasting heavy gauge vinyl. With an easy-to-change filter and a built-in bracket the pump easily mounts to the bed.
This alternating pressure pump with pad system features 130 cells that are individually inflatable and thus can be deflated or inflated at intervals of 5 minutes. This eventually ensures that at no point is pressure exerted on a single area of your body for long.
Other notable features for this mattress include:
- A 4 liter-per-minute variable pressure pump
- Measures 78x36x2.5 inches
- 3000 pounds of weight capacity
- Easy to change filter
What to look out for when buying pressure relief mattresses
Having looked at the list of mattresses that best work to prevent bed sores, it would be notable that not any of these would work best for all patients. It is therefore advisable that you consider several factors that will lead you to picking the best mattress for the patient. Some of the questions that may help include the following:
- How is the patient’s mobility?
- Is there any previous pressure sores history?
- What are the possible risk factors?
- How is the patient’s ability on balance?
With this in place, you will be in a better position to choose the best mattress. This would usually be accompanied by advice from a health professional.
Remember, size also matters when choosing the best pressure relief mattress. While some are made to stand alone, others are meant be used with the conventional mattresses. Getting the right size therefore means more comfort to the patient.
You may also see the need to take other safety measures like using a static perimeter, especially for patients prone to falling off the bed. Other safety measures, especially for air mattresses may include power outage protection to avoid automatic deflation in case power goes off.