How to Choose Bed Rails for Seniors: Types, Safety & More

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Elderly people need to have more support and safety when they go to bed. Let’s look at the best elderly bed rails on the market and see why they’re useful!

Age is unkind to most people. Simple actions we take for granted in our youth, like getting in and out of bed safely, can become risky if we aren’t careful.

That’s where the bed assist rail comes in — to provide added safety, comfort, and even built-in storage.

While most commonly seen on hospital beds, these bed rails are a great bedside companion at home. I should know.

Here are the BEST safety bed rails for seniors on the market. I’ll go over the types of bed rails, their compatibility, and what to look for when buying bed rails for home beds.

6 Best Bed Rails for Seniors and Adults (Bedside, Soft, Stable)

Here are the best bed rails for seniors available commercially on Amazon. These safety bed rails are useful allies in our fight against falling and injuries.

These adjustable bed rails work similarly to those on hospital beds. However, these safety rails are more portable and fit on different bed frames. Let me tell you what makes them special.

1. Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail

The Stander easy-adjust rail is the gold standard for bed rails. It gives you everything you need and wants in a bed rail.

Some of its features include its horizontal and vertical extension. This gives you maximum side coverage and is high enough to ensure you don’t go slipping and sliding off the rails.

Its other distinguishing feature is that it makes getting out of bed easy while flipping out of the way when you need to keep it low profile.

Its features are great for those looking for ergonomic features, like me!

Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail
Features:
  • Folding bed rail made of alloy steel
  • Canvas and net organizer storage pouch
  • Modern, sleek design
  • High quality, easy to install

2. Able Life Bedside Extend-A-Rail

The Able Life Extend-A-Rail is a reliable, well-built bed rail with a straightforward design that knows its purpose and does it well. I found myself in safe hands when testing out these bed rails.

Its steel alloy construction makes it durable and capable of handling around 250 lbs of weight, helping you lift off to a new day. It extends and retracts to match your size.

The Extend-A-Rail slides easily under your mattress and clamps itself well. It’s a bed rail that won’t slide out when in use, and it fits all the usual beds, giving you a wide range of options to use it on.

Able Life Bedside Extend-A-Rail
Features:
  • Adjustable height from 20-30 inches
  • Bed Compatibility: Fit Twin, King, and California King-Size, Double Beds
  • Sleek, metallic, height-adjustable design
  • Easy to assemble and place; no tools required (slide between the mattress and box spring)

3. Stander 30″ Safety Bed Rail

The second Stander bed rail on this list, the 30″, is, in my personal experience, tall enough to help you get up from a sitting position while providing you enough grip space even when you’re flat on your back.

This sturdy design is simple, no-nonsense, and to the point. The bed rails easily handled my weight and grip and should have no trouble matching yours. It offers stability, ease of use, and no-frills save for one.

The great thing about the 30″ bed rails is that they fold down, giving them a low profile during the day. You can climb into bed at night and lift it easily to secure a good night’s rest.

Stander 30 Safety Bed Rail
Features:
  • The 30-inch guard rail prevents all falls and gives multiple grip positions
  • It folds out of the way for convenience in the morning
  • Works with all beds between 10-19 inches thick
  • Low-profile, no-nonsense design
  • Easy to Install: slide between the mattress and the box spring

4. OasisSpace Bed Rail for Seniors

The OasisSpace bed rails with legs are designed for maximum comfort and integration into your bedroom. It’s designed to lean against the bed, with legs reaching the floor for maximum support.

This ergonomic bed rail is entirely foam-padded on top. It gave me multiple grip angles and provided a soft, stable area to hold on to. Its construction is heavy-duty, and its legs are beefy.

The unique selling point of this bed rail is its huge storage pouches which give you more space for your things than any other bed rail on the market. You can effortlessly fit all your nightly essentials in it.

OasisSpace Bed Rail for Seniors
Features:
  • Secure, stable design: comes with two support legs that go down to the floor
  • Non-slip foam grips and padding with alloy steel assembly (similar to Lumarail Bed Rail)
  • Works with most bed frame and mattress combinations, height adjustable from 12-16 inches
  • Ground suction cups for additional support and higher weight capacity

5. RMS Dual Bed Rail

Most bed rails only cover one side with the expectation that you would want to be as close to the wall as possible for support.

But what if you want to keep your bed in the middle of your bedroom?

That’s where the dual bed rail, made by RMS, comes in. It extends far enough to cover both ends of most beds. Its bed rails are stable, if stationary, and provide comfort for users on both ends of the bed.

The RMS bed rails work with as many bed types as possible. They relied on the bed mattress’s pressure to stay in place and took on my weight with no problem.

RMS Dual Bed Rail
Features:
  • Dual bed rails for both sides of the bed
  • Easy attachment and assembly; slides on top of bed frame
  • Slip-free foam grip, powder-coated premium steel construction
  • Has an excellent weight capacity

6. Mybow Nursing Bed Rails

Older adults have more needs, whether assistance walking, moving, or even getting into bed. Still, the thought of independence and having choices gives me strength, and so does this rail.

This makes the Mybow bed rail a one-bed rail that could meet your needs. It’s a hospital-style rail that works on normal and basic hospital beds. Its bed rails fold out of the way for a minimized profile.

Aside from that unique folding feature, the Mybow bed rails also come with a wood and metal design that allows them to tie into the room even more than other, more clinical-looking rails.

Mybow Nursing Bed Rails
Features:
  • The bed assist rail goes on either side of the bed and fits twin and king-size beds
  • The unique wooden finish makes it aesthetically pleasing and a better fit in the bedroom
  • Fold-down bed rails make it low-profile and out of sight when not in use
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Fits mattresses between 2-10 inches high

What Is a Bed Rail?

As we grow older, our senses dull, and our grip and joints give way. These can lead to falls that can lead to permanent or life-threatening injuries if not prevented. Bed rails are there for our protection!

A bed rail is a metal (or wooden) rail placed on the sides of a bed.

The main purpose of a bed rail is to prevent users from falling out of bed at night and to give them something stable to grip on when they wake up in the morning.

The best bed rail has sufficient weight capacity (can handle 250-400 lbs) and can slide into the space between the mattress and bed frame without moving out of place.

There are many kinds of bed rails. Some have legs to secure them to the floor, while some cover both sides of the bed. Some fold down while some collapse to make them “disappear” in the morning.

As we grow older, our senses dull, and our grip and joints give way. Bed rails are there to keep us safe. Having foam grips or additional storage space is simply a bonus.

Why Should You Use a Bed Rail?

In my experience, I’ve seen elders struggling to carry their weight. They need assistance getting out of bed, moving to a sitting position, and staying in place at night.

Older adults and those with chronic fatigue syndrome benefit from having assist rails. They work for fall prevention and help us get up to a standing position.

Bed rails are vital for the elderly because they offer a comfortable, sturdy place to grip and lift ourselves.

All-in-all, bed rails are vital for seniors who want to stay safe and independent. Bed rails allow multiple points of contact to allow us to sit or stand while keeping us safe from accidents.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bed Rails

Bed rails and safety straps should never be restraints for older people. They will cause injury, as the bed will not be able to support the weight or may cause the rails to bend and break if restraints are tied to them.

Bed rails should also not be used on reclining or adjustable beds, as mattresses that go up and down could break the support bars or cause them to slip out of place.

Bed rails should only be used on traditional home-style beds. They keep users safe and stable by applying weight and pressure on the rails.

How to Choose the Best Bed Rails for Elderly Adults

Bed rails come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials. Here are some important criteria I’d look out for when choosing a bed rail:

#1 Type of Bed Rail

Three main types of bed rails prevent falling at night yet make it easy to get up in the morning. These include hospital bed rails, portable bed rails for seniors (which I’ve been focusing on), and rails for children.

Hospital Rail

Hospital bed rails are the kind most people think of when they think of the words “bed rails.”

They provide nurses and doctors areas to hold the bed by during transport and provide storage space for controls and personal effects.

Hospital bed rails are useful because they fold down or move out of the way when not needed or when a patient needs to be transferred. They are reliable and have many different uses.

Portable bed rails for Seniors

Portable bed rails can be transported, installed, and quickly removed from beds found in hotels, cruise ships, and other places senior citizens go to for accommodations.

Depending on the particular model, they offer stability, accident prevention, and storage space. They are useful for adults who want extra safety reassurance and something reliable to lean on.

Portable Bed Rails for Children

Children also have bed rails to aid them as they shift from crib to bed. It gives the parents peace of mind knowing they won’t be able to climb or roll over and bump their noggins.

#2 Support and Weight Capacity

Perhaps the most important consideration is how much weight your railing can support. Legless rails require a heavier mattress to stay in place and keep from wiggling or shaking.

Mattresses with legs offer extra support by anchoring your force into the floor. Steel alloy construction allows rails to manage hundreds of pounds every time they’re used.

Some models also have a safety strap if the rails or legs aren’t enough to keep them in place. I recommend models that can support around 300 lbs.

#3 Convenience

If you have a metal rail guard beside you in bed, you might as well make it more useful. I’ve found models that offer built-in storage in the form of a storage pouch most helpful.

These pouches are good for personal items like glasses, medication, or a book for bedside reading. They’ll save you a trip to your side drawer and make the hunk of metal more user-friendly.

#4 Comfort

Your support rail should not just be safe; it should also be comfortable for long-term use.

It should blend in with the room and your lifestyle, which is why some models now offer a brown vein finish instead of metallic gray.

Your rail length should be adjustable in case you want to make sitting on the edge of your bed easier. Your safety straps should be out of your hair, and your rails should be able to move out of sight.

#5 Price

When asked if Medicare cover bed rails in the expenses they’ll pay for, they will pay for a hospital bed with rails, but they won’t buy bed rails for you.

Fortunately, rails come in many different price ranges. I recommend the ones that go for $50-$100. The higher the price, the more features they add, but they can get expensive.

Kinds of Bed Rails for Seniors

Here are the different bedside rails you can choose when picking a bed rail:

Bed Rail Handles

Bed rail handles should offer multiple gripping positions. These side rails can be collapsible or pivot out of the way when you no longer need them. They should adjust and retract with ease.

Bed Rails with Support Legs

Bed rails with legs provide added stability and security by leveraging the ground to distribute your weight. They will not budge no matter how hard you push or pull into them.

Legless Bed Rails

Legless bed rails for adults are the most common type for older people. They fit under the mattress and stay in place due to the corresponding weight.

Crossbar Bed Rails

Crossbar bed rails for adults are the basic design for rails as they are simple horizontal bars. The average bed rail has 3-4 bars that form it.

I recommend these for most situations.

Dual Bed Rails

Dual rails are made to slide under the mattress like regular rails, but they accommodate both sides of the bed. There’s no chance of falling even if your bed is right in the middle of the room.

Fold Down Bed Rails

Bedside rails can fold into themselves like an old-style elevator or straight down. A fold-down bedside rail opens down like a military truck door.

Many options let you free up the bed when climbing into it.

What Are the Alternatives to Bed Rails?

While bed assist rails are sturdy, effective, and adjustable, bed rails cost a pretty penny. Wood or metal finishes can harm older adults sensitive to cold or hard surfaces.

You’ll need softer, more affordable options.

Here are some useful alternatives to prevent rolling and give users something to grab onto when starting their day:

1. Bed Rolls

Bed rolls provide similar fall prevention to bed rails, but are softer, pillow-like barriers that act as margins at the side of your bed, giving you 6-12 inches of space away from the edge of the bed.

2. Foam Bumper Guard

Bumper guards appear on roller coaster rails and ceilings to keep people from bumping into cold steel. They have the same effects on the materials that surround the bed.

You can also use bumper guards to complement side rails to make them softer.

3. Concave Safety Mattress

A safety mattress is designed with built-in barriers on either side to prevent you from falling out.

They’re angled inward to roll you back in and prevent you from falling if you’re a fussy sleeper.

FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions article section!

Are Bed Rails Safe for the Elderly?

Legless bed rails are considered safe for the elderly, thanks to materials and engineering. These rails rely on the weight of the mattress and friction between that and the box spring to ensure security.

They are designed to safely carry a moderate to a high weight capacity of 250-400 pounds. They will not bend or slip or crack under your weight. If you need it, some models also include a safety strap.

Can You Add Bed Rails to a Regular Bed?

Detachable bed rails and side rails work best on regular beds. Their support beams slide under the bed and remain in place as long as a mattress is on top.

I’d recommend getting a bar with a safety strap if you need additional support or want to be extra safe.

Conclusion

The best bed rails for adults are those that match your needs.

They can be secured to your bed frame or have support legs resting on the floor. They fit your budget and handle your body weight.

It’s also important to have adjustable height and adjustable lengths. Features like a motion-sensing LED light are nice but unnecessary.