A couple lying in bed. The person on the left is looking at a tablet, and the person on the left is sleeping.

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Getting in and out of bed can be dangerous for people with reduced strength. Bed rails make it easier to transition from bed to bed. They are helpful for changing sleeping positions and for providing standing support.

Insurance companies don’t classify bed rails as durable medical equipment, unlike hospital beds used in the home. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy one, but health insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t typically pay for bed rails meant for use in the home.

“Bed rails are fairly affordable. Let’s take a look”

Hospital bed rails and portable bed rails are the two categories for bed rails for adults.

Hospital bed rails are not sold as a stand-alone item. They are attached to a hospital bed that is used at home.

The portable bed rails are sold separately from the bed they will be used on. There are several styles of portable bed rails.

  • The bed rails have two legs.
  • The bed rails are shaped like legs.
  • Bed rails that are folded down.
  • The bed rails provide safety on both sides.
  • The bed rails have multiple hand holds.

Bed rails are used to provide additional support for people with limited mobility. When selecting products, safety was our primary focus.

Bed rails made from steel alloy and other strong materials have higher weight capacities.

The products on this list are from manufacturers that have good reputations for producing high-quality products. The Better Business Bureau gave poor ratings to some bed rails.

“We didn’t include bed rails that got more negative reviews than positive reviews because we read scores of reviews on multiple websites.”

Pricing guide

We have indicated the price for the items on the list.

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Easiest for long-term use

Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail

  • Price: $$
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Dimensions: 25″L x 26″W x 22″H
  • Sizes available: one size, compatible with twin- to California king-sized mattresses
  • Pros: no tools required for assembly, safety strap and storage pouch included
  • Cons: can be heavy to lift and install

The bed rail can be adjusted from 26 to 34 to 42 inches. It can be used to support people getting out of bed at night. A safety strap around the bed frame helps keep it in place.

“The bed rail is a good choice for long-term use. The support rail can be folded down when not in use, so it won’t get in the way when changing sheets.”

It has a pouch that can be used to hold things like eyeglasses and books.

It can be used on platform beds. It can fit mattress lengths from 12 to 16 inches.

“If you have a very soft mattress or a bed that is not easy to adjust, this bed rail won’t fit. The Allen wrench is used in the assembly.”

Best for short-term recuperation

OasisSpace Bed Rail

  • Price: $
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21″L x 45″W x 38″H
  • Sizes available: one size
  • Pros: padded grip bar, anti-slip construction, lightweight and easy to move
  • Cons: not appropriate for low beds or mattresses

The bed rail is lightweight and can be used by people who need a grip bar. It can be used to support changing positions in bed. The grip bar is made of foam and anti-slip.

Users say that the bed rail is beneficial during recuperative periods. It may make it easier to move during late-stage pregnancy.

It has a stabilizing bar under the mattress and two legs with large cups. The bed rail is designed for use on bare floors. Some users recommend removing cups if you have carpeting.

The bed rail can only be used on beds with less than 12 inches of height.

Best for visual safety

LumaRail Bed Assist Rail

  • Price: $
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21″L x 3.5″W x 17.5″H
  • Sizes available: one size
  • Pros: includes motion-sensor light, lightweight
  • Cons: may not be appropriate to use on carpeting and area rugs

The LumaRail is a bed rail that has extra safety features and is listed as having a higher weight capacity than the OasisSpace rail.

The bed rail has an light that will light up when someone passes it. It has glow-safe locating strips on the handlebars for added safety.

The bed rail can be adjusted to fit high or low beds, but only for mattresses that are at least 12 inches high. The stabilizing bar and anchor strap hold it securely under the bed. Nonslip foot grips are on the double legs.

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Best for travel

Stander Bed Rail Advantage Traveler

  • Price: $
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21″L x 17″W x 22″H
  • Sizes available: one size compatible with twin- to California king-sized mattresses
  • Pros: padded ergonomic handles, organizer pouch included
  • Cons: may not be durable enough for long-term at-home use

The bed rail is portable and less heavy than 7 pounds, so it is a more compact option.

It has a weight capacity of 400 pounds and is designed to work with mattress heights of 10 to 16 inches.

The handle is easy to hold.

It comes with an organizing pouch.

Best for standing support

Health Craft Smart-Rail

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Dimensions: not published
  • Sizes available: one size with adjustable length
  • Pros: swing gate supports rising, supports position changes in bed
  • Cons: some users report a gap between the mattress and the railing

The bed rail has two positions. The company has a pivot-and-lock technology. It is easy to get out of bed when it is open. It can help people get into bed. It provides support for changing positions.

It can hold 300 pounds. A wide gripping surface helps maximize leverage.

It can be adjusted to fit most beds and mattress heights.

Best for fall prevention

Drive Adjustable Length Bed Rail

  • Price: $
  • Weight capacity: not designed to bear weight
  • Dimensions: 35.5″L x 25″W x 2.5″H
  • Sizes available: one size with adjustable length
  • Pros: provides fall protection for both sides of the bed
  • Cons: heavy in weight, arms and legs may get stuck in the open loops

The bed rails are meant to prevent falls. They are 57 inches in length.

The spring-loaded release mechanism makes it easy to adjust height. They use a bar made from steel and have multiple handholds.

For comfort and added protection, many users of this product recommend the manufacturer’s bumper pads.

The bed rails on this list are lighter at 27 pounds. Make sure you have the ability to install before purchasing.

The bed rails are great for preventing falls, but may not be appropriate for people with limited dexterity or mental confusion. The looped ends can pose a threat to people if they get their arms or legs stuck inside.

Easiest to adjust

Able Life Bedside Extend-a-Rail

  • Price: $
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20″L x 20″W x 18″H
  • Sizes available: one size with adjustable length
  • Pros: one button length adjustment, includes standing support handle
  • Cons: only good for mattresses up to 15″ high; manufacturer does not accept returns or issue refunds

The bedrails are small and lessobtrusive than other bed rails. They can be adjusted for length from an inclined position with the touch of a button.

The bed rails are between the mattress and box spring. They are secured to the bed with a strap. Many users say they are easy to install.

Best budget option

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bed Assist Rail

  • Price: $0
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Dimensions: 42.91″L x 19.69″W x 33.86″H
  • Sizes available: one size
  • Pros: tool-free assembly, slip-resistant foam handles
  • Cons: won’t fit California king-sized beds

The bed rail has a turn- knob extension feature so it can be used on twin to king-sized beds. A grab bar with slip-resistant sides provides support during transitions.

“It is easy to assemble and very sturdy. It won’t move or slide even if you put your full weight on it.”

Before buying bed rails, speak with a doctor. They can help you determine if bed rails are an appropriate choice for you or someone close to you.

Bed rails may not be suitable for everyone. People with memory loss, confusion, uncontrollable movements, or limited strength may not be able to use the bed rails properly and could hurt themselves.

Quality of life can be improved for older adults and people with certain health conditions by using bed rails.

The bed rails you choose must be able to hold the weight of the person using them. Buy products made from sturdy materials.

Some caregivers who purchase bed rails also use monitoring systems with cameras to keep an eye on someone recovering from an illness or with certain health conditions. Talk with a doctor to see if that is a good option for your needs.

Keep these safety tips in mind

  • Bed rails should not be used to restrain an adult.
  • People with dementia, memory loss, or confusion, or those who night panic, may be at risk of being hurt by bed rails.

Other tips

Bed rails can be used to attach bed frames. There are many types to choose from. It is difficult to roll out of a bed that is extended. Others are designed to provide stability while getting out of bed.

Depending on your bedroom setup and individual needs, bed rails can be installed on one side of the bed or both sides.

“Bed rails can help older adults remain independent, but they don’t take the place of supervision”

Once you get your bed rails home

The best product must be installed correctly.

To avoid injury, check bed rails daily for slippage, gaps, and loosened rails.

Hospital beds are an alternative to bed rails. There are several types, including manual, semi-electric, and electric models.

  • manual hospital beds: utilize hand cranks to adjust the height, foot, and head of the bed
  • semi-electric hospital beds: utilize a button-operated electric motor to adjust the head and foot of the bed. Bed height is adjusted with a hand crank.
  • electric hospital beds: utilize a button-operated electric motor to adjust the head, foot, and height of the bed

“Some hospital beds do not have bed rails attached. Some bed rails are designed to fit onto hospital beds that don’t already have them.”

Hospital beds can be adjusted for sitting and reclining. Many can be adjusted for elevation.

Insurance companies may pay for a hospital bed if a doctor prescribes it. Hospitals can rent and purchase hospital beds through stores that sell medical equipment.

Who should use a bed rail?

People with dementia, as well as people with certain health conditions, are at risk of falling at night. Adding bed rails can make a person more safe. People with reduced mobility and upper body strength are more likely to benefit from bed rails that include hand grasps.

Are there dangers associated with bed rails?

Yes. According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, bed rails can pose a risk of strangulation, asphyxiation, and other injuries to elderly adults. It is important to weigh the risks versus the benefits before using bed rails. Talking to a healthcare professional can also help you make an appropriate decision for you or your loved one about using bed rails.

Are bed rails easy to remove?

“Installation and disassemblebility of bed rail models vary. Some are lightweight and can be slipped out of the mattress easily. Lifting the mattress may be heavy, so others need more effort. The bed rail’s weight and instructions for installation and disassemble are important to remember when purchasing.”

Are bed rails covered by insurance?

“Not usually. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, do not cover the bed rails that are used at home with a conventional bed. The bed rails are designed for use with a hospital bed. Medicare and other insurance plans may cover the purchase of a hospitable bed if it doesn’t have bed rails. Check with your insurer to be sure.”

How high should bed rails be?

The height of your mattress will determine the bed rail height. If the bed rail will be used for hoisting support, make sure the handles are easy to reach.

Bed rails can be used to prevent falls. They can provide additional stability when getting out of bed.

Many people use bed rails after surgery. They can also help older adults live at home.

Bed rails are not a good choice for everyone. Before buying bed rails, you should speak with a doctor about whether they are right for you.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who specializes in health and wellness content. She has spent much of the last two decades educating people about infertility and family building options. Whelan is a science nerd, and her heroes span the gamut from Temple Grandin to her wonderful mom. She shares her life in Brooklyn, NY with her all-grown-up, fascinating children and their wacky shelter dogs. Follow her on Twitter.