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Custom Mattresses in Healthcare Settings can Help People Heal

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

The quality of a mattress isn’t exactly the most important thing going on in a hospital. Neither is interior design or ambiance of patient rooms; they’re focused on treatment and triage, not color palettes and cotton bedding. However, these little details about a hospital room may have a direct effect on the timeline and efficacy of patient healing.



The Effects of Your Environment on Illness & Healing

Environment really does affect the clinical details as well as the human ones. At two different McGill University hospitals, the ICUs were retrofitted into private rooms instead of shared rooms. Simply giving patients a private space decreased the incidence of bacterial infection by half, and shortened hospital stays by 10%.


At UH Cleveland Medical Center, hospital administration took patient and family feedback to redesign their rooms, especially the inpatient rooms for long stays. Private rooms; purposeful, calm and natural design; soundproofed walls and floors; activity lounges for inpatient visitors; and consciously informing patients of their treatment regimens are some of the big changes they made.


As a result of changes like these at Cleveland Medical Center and other UH facilities, where bacterial infections broke out almost weekly beforehand, they might go 3 months between infections after the redesign. They had way more positive family feedback, and patient stress levels were decreased across the board. The improved, patient-focused care made patients more likely to keep up on their at-home treatment regimens and to follow up with their doctors about their ongoing health.


Other studies on how hospital environment affects patient experience included a view of the outdoors, a plant or two in the room, bedside tables, and a doctor-nurse com system that was digitally and privately-based instead of over the loudspeakers. All were successfully implemented and had similar effects – less infections, shorter stays and better long-term healing.


Why a Hospital Bed Mattress Might Matter

A huge part of healing is sleep. Whether you’re dealing with a broken leg or another round of chemo, poor sleep will put undue stress on your immune system. If your immune system is busy trying to counteract the effects of rising cortisol levels, its resources aren’t available for mending that bone or fighting that tumour.

A comfortable mattress can go a long way with regards to sleep. Hospital mattresses have to deal with a lot, whether it’s heavier, bedridden or otherwise complicated patients. But natural materials are healthy and hypoallergenic – and they’re by no means delicate. Natural latex mattresses offer extra support and pressure relief for up to 2 decades, and memory foam offers a relaxing cradling that will survive thousands of patients across the years.


And then, of course, you’ve got the bedding to consider. Custom high-thread-count cotton sheets can make a big difference in patient comfort. Hospital sheets are often made of low-thread count cotton or polyester blends, but soft, all-natural cotton bedding will offer way more comfort while still standing up to frequent washing and sanitization.


There is obviously a significant expense involved in switching out mattresses across your hospital, but making these changes for patients also benefits the facility and its employees. Better patient success and shorter stays help doctors and nurses stop from burning out, and mean that the hospital has the capacity to help more people because less people are staying for less time.



Other Benefits of Customized Beds in Healthcare Facilities

The patient comfort custom mattresses offer isn’t the only benefit for hospitals, mental health and other inpatient facilities trying to help people heal. As we saw, increase in patient comfort really does translate to better health statistics for a hospital. But custom mattresses can offer other tangible benefits for patients and families:

  • Memory foam and latex mattresses’ ability to contour reduces the risk of pressure (bed) sores. As well, increased comfort and cleanliness leads to less of a need for medications like antibiotics and painkillers.

  • Mattresses can be customized for different wards. For instance, spine centers can choose firmness and construction that’s made for sleeping on your back and relieving pressure. Or children’s wards, where mattresses can be made shorter and softer to save space and help the kids feel cozy during their stay.

  • Hospitals, which are notoriously overcrowded, can utilize space-saving mattresses like hinged or folding beds that can be stored until needed. This can make it easier to place extra patients in beds in actual rooms instead of gurneys in the hall.

  • For rooms that include space for family – like the maternity ward – custom sofa bed mattresses can increase visitor comfort and sleep quality, which helps everyone’s mood and state of mind.

  • Custom, extra-firm mattresses may offer bariatric and other overweight patients sleep more soundly because of the added support.

Why Latex Mattresses Fit Well With Healthcare Settings

Latex is the ideal mattress material for inpatient facilities for several reasons. First, contrary to popular belief, latex mattresses are just as comfy (if not more!) than memory foam mattresses. Second, latex mattresses are hypo-allergenic. Unless you have a latex allergy, natural latex mattresses fit a wider array of patients than those made of synthetic materials.


Third, latex mattresses are antibacterial and resistant to mold and dust mites. This can reduce risk of hospital-borne infections. Fourth, latex mattresses are economical because they last so long. And finally, latex mattresses are breathable, which is another advantage for patients who sleep hot, are overweight, etc. Less sweating also reduces risk of developing bed-ridden conditions like sores.


Patient-Centered Care Betters Sleep for Better Health

Isn’t it interesting how your environment can affect your attitude, and your attitude can affect your health? That mind-body connection is not a joke. When we think of hospitals and rehab facilities as they are, we tend to think more clinical and goal-oriented than anything.


But human comforts – the comfy memory foam mattress that reminds them of home, cozy blankets, calm wall colors, live plants, and big windows – these really do affect clinical processes and how people heal. As it turns out, effective healthcare involves a lot more than finding the right medicine.


CustomMattress.com: Handmade Mattresses for Homes, Hospitals & More

We are a one-stop shop for your custom mattress needs – including mattress protectors and bed linens! Whether it’s a hinged mattress, short mattresses, ones with cut corners, or any other shape/size, we create one-of-a-kind mattresses specified to your needs. And whether it’s one mattress for your RV or 300 mattresses for a cardio-thoracic ward, you get the same unmatched quality and unmatched comfort.


Browse our mattress selection and bedding options, and get started on your custom mattress journey.

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