Professional Comment

Bed Styles & Mattress Types For People Living With Disabilities

By Abigail Cooper of Beds Divans (

It’s no secret the physical and psychological health benefits that come with a decent night’s sleep. Yet, despite this, research from Oregon Health & Science University found that adults with disabilities are not getting enough sleep. Figures from this report show that over 44% of adults with disabilities slept an average of less than 6 hours of sleep each night, compared to only 27% of adults without disabilities.

With sleep disturbance being such a prevalent issue among the elderly and those living with disabilities, the importance of choosing the right mattress cannot be understated. With an array of different bed and mattress types to choose from, finding the perfect solution for those liv- ing with a disability can prove to be a confusing and time-consuming process. With this in mind, UK bed manufacturer, Beds Divans, have listed the best bed and mattress solutions for people living with disabilities.


Variable Posture Bed:

A variable posture bed is designed to alleviate discomfort and pro- mote greater flexibility for users who experience difficulty turning in bed and for those suffering back pain or arthritis. Unlike various other bed models, the variable posture bed can be manually or electronically adjusted to modify its profile per the requirements of the user’s condition.

Low-Profile bed:

Low profile beds have a low bed frame height, which makes them suitable for users who may fall out of bed due to their disability. Equally, this type of bed is well suited to users who have difficulty moving in and out of bed. Low profile beds are positioned closer to the floor than other bed frames and are designed to maximise safety by limiting the risk and damage of the user if a fall does occur.

Adjustable Height Bed

Similar to low-profile beds, adjustable height beds are suitable for users facing difficulty getting in and out of bed. These beds utilise a hydraulic set-up, which allows the carer to manually or electronically adjust the height of their bed to suit the user’s requirements via the control of a foot pump. Certain electrically powered adjustable height beds are designed to give the user full independence to operate and adjust the bed frame’s height.


Choosing the right mattress for a user’s disability can be the difference between a restful night’s sleep and a sleepless night. Research published by Applied Ergonomics revealed that new mattresses can improve sleep quality by 61% and reduce back pain by 56%. With this in mind, here are some of the best mattress types for those living with disabilities.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses offer improved mobility and orthopaedic support to users with reduced mobility and for those suffering from back, spinal or joint pain. The mattresses’ medium firmness and internal spring system make it a suitable mattress solution for those who struggle to turn and move in bed. Latex mattresses also provide the user with plenty of con- touring pressure support, which helps improve spinal alignment, whilst offering comfort and support to the body’s joints.

Research by Bed Divans shows that on average, latex mattress users experience greater sleep quality and have the highest average customer satisfaction rating over any other mattress on the market, with an average rating of 4.62 out of 5.

Memor y Foam

Memory foam mattresses offer improved orthopaedic support to their users and are an ideal mattress solution for users living with arthritis. Research by Bed Divans found that memory foam mattresses are the most popular choice of mattress in the UK.

Unlike most other mattresses, memory foam mattresses do not have internal springs, meaning they’re designed to help reduce and soften the impact by reshaping the foam to emulate the contours of the user’s body. Memory foam mattresses have the added benefit of safety, as their soft sinking surface absorbs movements and reduces the likelihood of users falling out of bed.

Ultra-Firm Mattresses

For users with disabilities that are linked to obesity, ultra-firm mat- tresses are often the best mattress solution. Ultra-firm mattresses contain open coils which offer improved mattress breathability, ensuring that the mattress stays cool at night, as well as back and joint support for the user. Additionally, the mattresses’ firmness provides an increase in mobility and support, which is ideal for heavier users.