The Right Foam Mattress for Nursing Homes

Young girl's hand touches and holds an old woman's wrinkled hands.; Shutterstock ID 115740043; PO: 47953; Other: Public AffairsMany studies have shown that utilizing full-foam mattresses in nursing homes is better than innerspring cores for the prevention of uncomfortable pressure points and bedsores. Bedsores are very uncomfortable and can lead to infection and hospitalization.

For over 60 years, traditional spring-coil mattresses have been the norm for nursing home use. They are less expensive, from a business perspective, because there is nothing to them.

Others have bought full-foam mattresses and thought they were doing the right thing because after all there were no springs inside. However, what they did not realize is that there are so many different qualities and grades of foam and that they are not all the same.

In some cases, they were paying double from a medical products distributor, for lighter weight foam that sagged pre-maturely. They could have paid less by going directly to the source – a foam and mattress manufacturer like FOAMITE.

Here is an example of what ‘Not to Buyand what you need to know if you are looking for new mattresses for a loved one.

A Competitor’s Cheap (But Expensive) Full-Foam Nursing Home Mattress

Would you put your elderly parent on this mattress? Many do night after night without realizing it. John, the 78 year-old resident, who was sleeping on this mattress complained about having a bad back, after only 6 months of sleeping on this brand new high-tech foam mattress.

I wonder if you slept on a mattress like this, how long it would be before you were hunched over and complaining about a sore back. Communication is a wonderful thing; especially, when it comes to solving problems but it’s extremely hard for those who can’t communicate at all and who have to suffer through this night after night.

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What’s wrong with this 6 month-old retirement home mattress?

  1. It is made with cheaper light-weight foam (1.3 lb density), but with an extra-firm compression to deceive those that think firmer foam is better foam. The weight or the density of the foam determines the longevity and not the firmness.
  2. The topper was made with strips of 3″ foam. This grade of foam is commonly known, in the industry as air foam; however, if that wasn’t enough even more air was added between the strips. Here we go again, just like spring mattresses, you are paying for mostly air.
  3. It has already started to sag after only six months of use. The firm edges, which help patients to get in and out of bed, have sagged from 6″ to 4.5″ thick.
  4. 2014-04-30 21.10.04This mattress cost way too much for the quality of foam that was used to make it.
  5. This is a one-sided mattress that cannot be reversed. When using low-density foam like this, you want to be able to reverse it so that you can prolong the life of the mattress. Yet, another fail!
  6. The cover was made with the cheapest Medstaff Vinyl. It gets hot and makes noise when you roll around in the mattress.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts! The purpose of this actual example is to educate you and to make you aware of what is going on in the Medical mattress industry. By going direct to a foam and mattress manufacturer, Like FOAMITE, you can get much better quality and pay less by avoiding the middleman.

What Every Good Mattress Should Have

A good full-foam mattress should be made with high-density foam that has a minimum denisty of a 1.8 lbs/cubic foot in every layer – not something better on top and something cheaper on the bottom.

You want lasting comfort on top, firmer support in the center core for better spine alignment, firm rails for better edge support (they need it for getting in and out of bed), softer head and foot zones for better pressure point relief.

Choose a mattress that is made with foam that is as natural as possible and that does not contain any harmful chemicals or substances. Some cheaper fire retardent grades will off-gas and have been linked to numerous health problems. Avoid these at all cost.

In the end, you want a clean mattress that will provide you with the best comfort, support and durability at the lowest possible price.

Final Word

If you have a parent in a nursing home you cannot assume that they are always doing the right thing and providing you with the best possible options.

Help your parents or Nursing Home residents Sleep Better…


R.C. (Bob) Dimas

R.C. (Bob) Dimas Profile

Bob has been in the comfort business, as the founder and CEO of Foamite, since 1988. Foamite is a foam and mattress manufacturer that is located in Toronto with its head office factory location in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Foam, sleep and comfort can be very technical, scientific and complicated but it does not have to be that way. Let us break it down for you and help you choose the right foam grades for your sitting or sleeping requirements. Thank you for reading. Now, let us make your bed.
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