Bed grab rails, also known as side, safety, or assist rails, can significantly improve both safety and independence for people with decreased mobility.
But they’re not “one size fits all” products;
it’s important to shop carefully and choose the rails that are the best match for the user, the bed, and the situation.
An affordable, easy-to-install mobility aid that’s indispensable for millions
In addition, people with mobility issues often find it hard to change positions in bed without assistance, and some conditions may put people at risk of accidentally falling out of bed while sleeping or climbing out of bed during the night.
Bed rails can help with all these problems, making bedtime easier, more convenient, and safer.
Grab rails are relatively inexpensive, with prices for basic models starting well under £50.
Rails are easy to relocate if necessary, and some can even be folded to fit into a suitcase for use while travelling.
Bed grab rails are among the most widely used assisted living devices and are often one of the first mobility aid purchases people make.
It’s easy to see why so many people consider these simple and effective aids indispensable, but selecting the right ones can be confusing.
Jump to our Recommendations for the different categories of bed rail:
Why do you need the grab rails?
Bed rails generally fall into two categories;……….either they’re mobility devices meant to help the user get into or out of bed
or they’re primarily safety devices designed to prevent the user from rolling, falling, or climbing out of the bed overnight.
Lets look at the best type of rails for each situation…..
Assist rails are intended to help the user get into or out of bed or change position once they are in bed, and they work by providing a secure anchor the user can hold onto for stability and use for leverage.
Assist rails typically measure from 15″ to 30″ in length and are designed to be installed near the head of the bed.
This type of rail usually stays in place once installed and doesn’t need to be raised or lowered by a caregiver, which helps the user maintain independence.
Though assist rails may provide the user with some protection from accidentally falling or rolling out of bed, longer, higher rails are preferable if keeping the user safely in bed is the main concern.
Bed rails are usually sold as single units, and most users will find that an assist rail on one side of the bed is sufficient.
- NRS Healthcare M48192 Support 2-in-1 Bed Rail enables user to reposition from lying to sitting and from sitting to standing
- Reversible base allows use on slatted & divan beds (not suitable for sprung divan bases)
- Slim, 15 mm (0.5-inch), discreet base - no impact felt by sleeper
- Maximum user weight of 25 st (160 kg)
- Ergonomic handle
Safety bed rails
Safety bed rails, sometimes referred to as cot sides, are intended to keep the user from rolling, falling, or climbing out of the bed.
Safety rails are longer and often higher than assist rails; many models are length and height adjustable. This type of rail generally must be raised and lowered for getting into or out of the bed, in some cases by the user but usually by a caregiver.
Most safety rails feature either a mesh insert or several closely spaced horizontal bars to keep the user from falling or climbing out of bed and to prevent accidental entrapment.
Unless one side of the bed is against a wall, safety rails should be placed on both sides.
1 used from £39.48
- NRS Healthcare Nottingham Nightguard F19832
- Simply slide the night guard under the mattress, designed as economical alternative to bed rails
- The weight of the user secures the night guard and prevents the user rolling out of bed
- Length: 920mm (36"). Height: 370mm (14.5")
- Simple assembly required. Suits divan beds only
For special medical conditions
Choose the right rails for the user’s size, medical condition, and type of bed
After determining whether you need an assist rail or safety rails, it’s important to look for models that are both a good fit for the user and a match for the style of bed on which they’ll be installed. Not all rails work with all beds, so do some checking before you start shopping.
Measure the depth of the user’s mattress and note whether the bed is slatted or divan style; though many models are adjustable and can be used with most beds, others are designed for a specific bed style or mattress depth.
Many rails are not designed to work with hospital or electric powered adjustable beds, so if you’re fitting one of those look for rail models that specifically state that they’ll work with that bed type.
Most bed rails are held in place by extensions that fit under the mattress, but some styles like The Parnell Premier Bed Rail and the LumaRail Bed Assist Rail also feature legs that extend to the floor. This provides additional stability and security and is the best style for users who are large or heavy.
- Helps to prevent rolling out of bed-not to be used as restraint or for children under 12-years due to risk of entrapment
- Extra high rails are ideal when standard rails are not high enough
- Chrome rails ensure the user is more secure and safe in bed
- Adjustable by easy operable spring-loaded buttons
- Fits single, three quarter and double sized divan beds, not suitable for slatted or hospital beds
Users who have dementia may be best served with safety rails that are high enough to prevent climbing out, such as Patterson Medical’s Folding 3 Bar Extra High Bed Rail or NRS Healthcare Extra High Chrome Bed Rails.
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Traveller & Cushioned Rails
Bed rails are surprisingly versatile, with a wide variety of models available to meet the needs of just about any user.
For people on the go, a portable model like the Bed Rail Advantage Traveler could be the perfect companion, folding small enough to fit into a suitcase. People who need extra help with standing may appreciate a swivel-action rail like the Smart Rail, which features a support rail that unlocks and pivots outward for additional standing support.
Users who become restless, agitated, or overactive in bed may benefit from vinyl-covered foam padding over the rails, such as Cot Sides Bumpers or High Profiling Bed Cot Bumpers. These bumpers are designed to fit over safety bed rails and provide protective cushioning.