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The 5 Best Bed Rails for the Elderly Adult Aging in Place

best bed rails for the elderly

Many seniors begin to notice a decline getting in and out of bed before other symptoms of aging. It becomes difficult getting in and out bed due to tight but weakening muscles. Often, seniors do not want to ask for help. Fortunately, there are several aids that can help the elderly person improve safety in the bedroom. Bed rails for elderly patients can cut fall risks while getting in and out of bed. They give the senior a stable base of support that the senior can use to get out of bed safely. The best bed rails for the elderly also help the senior re-position their body and turn over. Some even cut the chance of falling out of bed at night.

Often, an elderly loved one goes home from a hospital or nursing home with a hospital bed. This can lead to a feeling of depression and even hopelessness. Hospital beds look like medical equipment. But if they leave the hospital with good bed mobility, a regular bed with a set of bed safety rails may work just as well. Ask your health care provider if this is an option for you or your loved one.

Bed Rails Comparison Chart and Review Summary

Photo
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...
Top Pick!
Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
Top Pick!
Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail  & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...
Product
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...
Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...
Mini-Review
Easiest to install on home beds
Smaller with a little more style
Flips down out of the way
Easiest to use, install, and travel with
Easiest to use, install, and travel with
Photo
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle
Product
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle
Mini-Review
Easiest to install on home beds
Photo
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...
Product
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...
Mini-Review
Smaller with a little more style
Top Pick!
Photo
Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch
Product
Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch
Mini-Review
Flips down out of the way
Photo
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
Product
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
Mini-Review
Easiest to use, install, and travel with
Top Pick!
Photo
Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail  & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...
Product
Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...
Mini-Review
Easiest to use, install, and travel with

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

So, which of these bed rails for elderly use is the best for you?

Each of these bed rails have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Some install easier than others. Others offer added benefits like storage. Some are smaller. Others are larger. So, how do you decide which is the best bed rails for the elderly person in your life.

Think about what your needs are. Will the user only need help standing in and out of bed? Are you concerned how the bed rails look in the room? Is ease of use the most important for you? This will help you decide which of these bed rails for elderly patients is the best for you! As you read through the reviews, keep the following questions in mind:

With what type of bed is the bed rail being used?

white hospital bed without rails.
Make sure the bed rail you choose works on the bed size you have. Most of the bed rails below work on standard beds in twin, full, and queen. Some though may not work on king beds. This is really important if you use an adjustable bed because not just any bed rail will work. By the way, if you do need rails for an adjustable bed, the Stander EZ Adjust and Pivot rails work with most adjustable beds.

How easy is the bed rail to put together and install?

Most of the bed rails for elderly patients below are easy to install. They usually snap together with metal snap buttons that pop out once they hit the proper hole. The Stander EZ Adjust bed rail requires the tightening of a few bolts but that adds to its stability.

The rails below install by sliding part of the rail underneath the mattress between it and the box spring. All of these except the Drive Medical product use a strap that connects to the bed rail. The strap is an extra step but it adds stability to the rail by anchoring it. The Drive Medical rail makes up for it by using gripper foam on the rails to reduce movement.

All of the rails reviewed here are easy to put together. None of them should take more than 15 minutes to assemble and install.

How thick is the mattress on the bed?

If you have a really plush mattress, you will need to make sure the rail you choose is high enough so that the handle is higher than your mattress. Don't forget to include any mattress pads or toppers you may use as well. If you have a thick mattress look for bed rails that are adjustable height. Measure from the bottom of the mattress (only - not the box spring) to the top of the mattress. Buy a bed rail that adjusts longer than that measure by 3" to 4". Also, using bed rails with bed steps can help make higher beds easier to use.

Will you need to move the rails or take them for travel?

Senior man and woman in hotel bed
This is important if the rails will have a temporary use. Maybe they need to mount on a guest bed where you do not want them to stay on all the time. Maybe the user will be visiting other family members and want to take the rails with them for safety. You might even want to use them in a hotel!

Look at bed rails for elderly use that are easy to take apart and put back together again. Most of the ones I recommend below snap apart quickly and break down into small pieces. They pack easily in luggage and fit in the trunk of the car. Then, just snap them back together at the destination.

Do you care about the visual appeal of the bed rail?

Some bed rails look like medical equipment. Some do not. The best bed rails for elderly use blend in and don't stick out. The darker colored rails seem to blend better with most decor. The glossy white rails, which usually cost less, will draw more attention because they are brighter. Some seniors may not want to draw attention to the fact they are using this equipment.

Here are My Picks for the 5 Best Bed Rails for the Elderly

Now that you have thought a bit about what your needs are, here are my 5 favorite bed rails. I've included details about each rail based on these questions.

Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle

Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle

The Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle for elderly patients is an easy to install and an even easier to use bedroom aid. These bed rails install on a regular bed enabling the senior to use their own bed. It offers stability and support for getting in and out of bed to help prevent falls and bedroom accidents. It also assists with preventing a senior from rolling out of the bed during the night.

Easy to Install

These assist rails install very easily by sliding between the mattress and the box springs. The base frame has no-slip foam preventing the frame from pulling out from the mattress keeping it safely in place. It requires no straps. The rail installs on either side of the bed too. You could even use 2 of them to cover both sides of the bed.

Easy to Assemble and Transport

The unit arrives in three pieces and quickly snaps together – no tools required! It comes apart just as quick. This allows you to take these rails with you anywhere you go. The easily fit under the bed or closet for storage also.

​Height adjustable. The frame adjusts up and down (from 13-1/2″ to 16-1/2″) to quickly and easily accommodate various bed heights and sizes.

I highly recommend this Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle. Mainly because it is a quick and easy solution to bed safety for elderly patients. These Drive Medical bed rails for elderly patients are an awesome blend of security, stability and low-cost. These are the best bed rails if you want to use a rail system that is simple to install. No straps are required with these making them the easiest to install.

  • Simplest bed rail to install on a bed at home
  • Assembles in about a minute
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Adjusts in height to acommodate a wide range of beds
  • ​Solid, strong construction of chrome-plated steel for long-tern durability and stability
  • Because there are no anchoring straps, I would not suggest these for larger seniors. They should not be used for weight bearing.
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle
  • Simple to use handle slides under mattress to provide a safe and secure grip for assistance getting...
  • Comes in three easy to assemble pieces; No tools necessary
  • No-Slip foam on base board for increased stability
  • Folds flat for easy storage and portability
  • Rail Dimensions: 32.75"(D) x 19.75"(W) x 13.5-16.5" (H); Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket

Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...

This Medline Bed Assist Bar is a little more stylish than some of the other bed rails on the market. I like them because they are darker in color and not so glaring as some of the glossy white models. It also has a neat little storage pocket for reading materials, medications, or personal care items. This item is a great choice for offering secure and stable help getting in and out of bed.

Key reasons I recommend these:

  • Easy to assemble. The unit assembles quickly and easily without any tools using snap buttons.
  • Easy to install. Simply slide the base rail under the mattress. This product also uses safety straps that wrap around the mattress for extra stability and security.
  • A convenient storage pouch is attached to the rail. This is a great place to store reading material, eye glasses, medications, or personal care items such as lotions or lip balm. This may reduce the number of times the senior gets out of bed for these types of items.
  • Height adjustable from 36″ to 44″ at the handle level to fit a wide variety of bed heights and patient height needs.
  • Overall product dimensions: 36″-44″ H x 14″ W x 28″ D. Weighs 6 lbs
  • Important notes: this manufacturer claims this item fits twin, full, and queen beds only (not king).

I recommend the Medline Bed Assist Bar because of its attention to style and detail. The storage pouch is also an additional safety measure because it may keep and elderly person from having to get out of the bed a few times by keeping close everything they need. This is the best bed rail for elderly who want a smaller, stylish bed rail that is easy to install.

  • Easy installation
  • Stylish design
  • Storage pouch
  • Height adjustable
  • Travel ready
  • Does not work with king size beds
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket, and Height Adjustable Bed Rail for assistance getting in...
  • Provides help getting in and out of bed ; Bed safety bar can be placed on either side of the bed
  • Quick and easy, too-free assembly ; Latex-free, sturdy construction
  • Height adjustable legs and grip bar
  • Overall product dimensions: 36"-44" H x 14" W x 28" DWeighs 6 lbs.
  • Bed assist rail fits most twin-, full- and queen-sized beds

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Stander EZ Adjust & Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail

Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch

This adult home bed rail system claims to be "The World's Most Versatile Bed Rail" and it does have some really cool features. It is one of the few bed rails for elderly people that installs on standard home beds, hospital beds, and even on adjustable beds! Another unique feature is that the length of the rail can extend while mounted to the bed. This makes it ideal to use as a bed safety rail and as a standing aid as well.

Important features:

  • ​ The side rail adjusts quickly from 26″ to 34″ to 42″ by using a simple push-pin. This is a great benefit because you can help the senior in the bed first. Then, extend the rail out for better protection. Many elderly patients can learn to do this independently as well.
  • Extremely versatile! Also, it even works on either side of the bed or both sides of the bed at the same time.
  • Only bed rail that folds down 180 degrees. That way, the rail is moved completely out-of-the-way when it is not in use.
  • Includes a safety strap that keeps the rail securely in place preventing it from slipping out.
  • Meets FDA bed entrapment guidelines. The FDA requires that home care beds provided by bed manufacturers and providers include safety features to prevent patients from trapping their heads between the rails. Often, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients do not know how to get themselves out of the rail if they become trapped in it. Bed entrapment leads to serious injuries and deaths every year.
  • Includes a storage pouch that is a great place to store eye glasses, TV remotes, books and magazines, or personal care items. Keeps these items within reach without having to get in and out of bed.

This is one of my absolute favorite bed rails for elderly patients. It is the best all-around elderly bed rail system offering security, functionality, and style. It is a little larger than other rails though. So, some may think it will not blend well with their room decor.

  • Height adjustable
  • Rail extends in length while mounted to bed
  • Storage pouch
  • Flips out of the way when not in use
  • Works with almost any bed
  • Meets FDA Entrapment guidelines
  • Bigger and bulkier than some other bed rails
Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail/Swing Down Assist Handle with Pouch
  • Adjustable in length to use as bed rail and assist handle
  • Bed rail adjusts from 26"-34"-42" after installation to prevent falls
  • Bedside rail pivots down 180° when not in use
  • Reversible safety rail to be placed on either side of bed
  • Attaches to most home and adjustable beds with included safety strap

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail

Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail

Portability is a great word to describe these bed rails. Because these are so easy to take apart and put together, they are some of the most portable bed rails for seniors you will find.

Simplicity is another great word. They are so easy to install and to use as an aid for helping the elderly get out of bed safely. The one piece design of the Essential Medical Supply height adjustable bed rail is less intrusive than some of the other bed rails I have reviewed.

Why I like these height adjustable bed rails:

  • Fits any size of standard mattress. This rail system fits twin, full, queen, and king size beds. The rail that goes between your mattress and boxspring extends up to 36″ for better leverage with larger mattresses. They also work well installed in pairs on both sides of the bed.
  • Easy to assemble and install. The unit goes together quickly using snap buttons. To install, simply extend the bottom rail and place between the mattress and the box spring. The included strap secures the rail to the bed frame to keep the rail from moving. Full assembly and installation takes 10 minutes or less.
  • Very portable. Easy to take apart, pack up for travel, and put back together. Great choice for travel or visits to family members.
  • Adjustable height. The top rail handle extends from 17″ to 21″ from the bottom rail. This is large enough to span a large range of mattress thicknesses.
  • Optional pouch available. If you like the idea of a storage pouch to use with the bed rails, Essential Medical offers a storage pouch that you can order separately.
  • Supports up to 300 lbs. Weighs 6.5 lbs.

These bed rails for elderly are best described with one word: simplicity. If you want a bed rail that is simple to install, simple to use, and simple to transport, these are the best bed rails for the elderly person in your life.

  • Fits all sizes of mattresses
  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Also easy to disassemble and travel with
  • Adjustable height
  • No storage pouch like the others
  • Feels more "medical"
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
  • Designed to prevent falls by helping the user to get out of the bed without using a nightstand or...
  • Adjustable height to meet the need of almost any home bed including one with a pillow top mattress
  • Will fit any size (twin, double, queen, king) bed with extendable bar that slips between the...
  • Securing strap attaches the rail to the frame giving it extra support
  • Features a fully padded hand grip that is comfortable and supportive

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Stander BedCane - Home Bed Assist & Support Handle

Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail  & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...

The Stander BedCane product is my favorite of the smaller bed rails. Because it is smaller, it will blend better into your bedroom decor and won’t stick out as much as some of the other bed rails for elderly patients that I have reviewed. This bed rail is also very versatile. It fits on most standard beds and works well with hospital beds and most adjustable beds also.

Why I recommend the Stander BedCane:

  •  Fits Most Standard Beds. This product works with every size of standard bed (twin, full, queen, and king). It even mounts to hospital beds and most adjustable beds also. It mounts to either side of the bed as well.
  • Double Duty Storage pocket. The storage pouch on the BedCane serves two very important functions. The first is convenience. The pouch is a great place to put loose items like remote controls, eyeglasses, and reading materials. The other important feature is safety related. It prevents bed entrapment in the rail by blocking the head from being able to get in between the rail.
  • Extremely durable construction. The BedCane supports up to 300 lb. It is built from heavy duty steel. The powder coated finish reduces scratches and paint flaking. This keeps the product looking good. The support piece under the mattress is a solid plywood board giving stability to the handle. There is also a securing strap that attaches to the bed frame.
  • Padded Ergonomic Handle. The handle provides a strong but soft grip to give assistance to the senior as the get in and out of the bed. Because of the smaller size handle though, this product will not provide much protection against falling out of bed though. It adjusts in height from 16″ to 21″ to fit many mattress thicknesses.

This product does require a little more work to set it up and adjust it. Bolts are loosened or tightened by an allen wrench to adjust the height. The bolts mounted to the plywood panel use an allen wrench also. The trade off thought is the extra stability this product has because of the plywood board. The BedCane is the best bed rail for those who want a small, stylish bed rail that also offers maximum stability.

  • Most durable and secure bed rail reviewed here
  • Height adjustable
  • Fits most any mattress or bed including hospital beds
  • Double storage pouch
  • A bit more difficult to install and set-up 
Stander BedCane - Adult Home Bed Safety Rail & Handle + Height Adjustable Elderly Standing Assist...
  • Attaches to most home and adjustable beds with included safety strap
  • Ergonomic padded assist handle provides assistance getting out of bed
  • 4-pocket organizer pouch to store small items
  • Reversible standing handle to be placed on either side of bed
  • Easy Installation with bamboo base board placed between mattress and box spring

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusions and Recommendations

Standing assist bed rails should be a key part of any bedroom fall prevention program for seniors at high risk for falls. These simple but helpful products keep seniors safe while they are getting in and out of bed. Combining the use of bed rails with bed steps really improves senior safety. You can read my recommendations for bed steps in this post.  For seniors who should not get out of bed on their own, consider a wireless bed alarm.

When looking for the best bed rail for elderly people in your life, there are a few key things to look for. First, find a rail that is stable, durable, and adjustable. Second, look for one that is easy to assemble and install. Finally, ​consider extra features like pouches and design of the rails.

Two of the bed rails reviewed above are my clear favorites. If you have someone to help install the rails, I highly recommend the Stander BedCane.  ​It is very durable and secure. My second best choice is the Stander EZ Adjust bed rail. Unique features like an extending rail and flip down capabilities are the primary reasons.

Please leave a comment below if you have a question or comment about the best bed rails for the elderly patients. Have you used a product that may help my other readers? Do you have a need that hasn't been addressed here? Let me know!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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