Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your holistic well-being. Buying a mattress is part and parcel of getting a good night’s sleep and managing health conditions – as sleeping on a non-supportive base is no fun at all and can be detrimental for some. 

If you’re managing a health condition at home, you should definitely purchase a medical-grade mattress. Medical-grade mattresses are manufactured specifically to support individuals with back problems and those who require pressure relief. Since the individual may feel lethargic or may require more time in bed, sleeping on a lower-grade mattress may lead to more comorbidities. 

Thankfully, there’s a great selection of medical-grade mattresses to choose from. We’ve made things easier by putting together a summary of what you need to know before spending your hard-earned cash on a medical-grade mattress. 

First things first – what is a medical-grade mattress?

Medical-grade mattresses (also known as hospital bed mattresses or therapeutic mattresses) prevent pressure ulcers due to the materials that are used to manufacture them – namely, medical foam, innerspring, gel and air. They’re also antimicrobial, waterproof and super easy to clean, and are built to support the whole body at all times. 

A traditional mattress is not ideal for people with certain medical conditions as it may aggravate or even cause pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers can be caused or exacerbated due to lack of blood flow to a specific area and impaired drainage from the lymphatic system. 

Best medical-grade mattress types

  • Memory foam mattress: Memory foam mattresses are made from a mouldable, high-density material that’s known as “memory foam”. Memory foam responds and moulds according to the person’s weight, body shape and temperature. It’s ideal for those who suffer from back problems, sores or need extra support as it evenly distributes body weight and reduces pressure on the heaviest parts of the body. Invacare Softform Premier is an excellent choice as it has been carefully designed to reduce the risk of cross-infection and distribute weight evenly. 
  • Air mattress: An air mattress is inflated using an air pump that’s typically attached to it from the get-go. High-quality air mattresses such as ASX Basic Mattress System use high-quality nylon/TPU cells, an external emergency CPR valve and an automatic compressor system that adjusts the mattress’ pressure according to the individual’s need, preventing pressure ulcers. 

Can I use a medical-grade mattress on any bed?

Like any other type of mattress, medical-grade mattresses come in different sizes and are generally suited to all bed frame types

If you suffer from back pain or have experienced back-related injuries, you may want to look into purchasing an adjustable electric bed so that you can ease out of your bed without any extra – and potentially damaging – effort. 

If you sleep with a partner, you should definitely consider a bigger sized bed. Otherwise, you may end up suffering from bouts of disturbed sleep. Before choosing a specific size, make sure that you and your partner are able to lie side by side with your arms behind your head and elbows out. Your elbows shouldn’t touch. If they do, you should consider a king or a queen size as opposed to a double. 

These are the typical sizes of the mattresses in Maltese households:

  • Single – 90 x 190/200cm
  • Double – 135 x 190cm 
  • King – 150 x 190/200cm 
  • Super King – 160 x 190/200cm 
  • Queen – 180 x 190/200cm

Final notes

You need to carefully consider the following questions before purchasing a medical-grade mattress for yourself or someone that you’re caring for:

  • How much time does the individual spend in bed?
  • Can they shift positions independently?
  • For how long does the individual need this bed? Is it going to be their temporary or long-term bed?
  • What’s the individual weight and muscle mass?

Having a concrete answer to each of these questions will help guide your mattress consultant when they’re showing you different mattress options. After all, discussing your needs with your GP and a mattress consultant that specialises in medical-grade mattresses and giving them a good amount of information about the patient is crucial before deciding on a mattress.