How to Choose the Right Mattress for Individuals with Disabilities

Updated on March 28th, 2023
Cedric Jackson
Written by Cedric Jackson

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, there was an estimated 61 million people with disabilities in the United States. This represents around 19% of the total population, and that was five years ago.  The numbers have surely only increased since then. For many of these individuals,  finding the right mattress can be a challenge, on top of other additional daily struggles. Not only do they need a mattress that is comfortable, but it also needs to provide the necessary support and accessibility. In this article, we will take a closer look at what should be considered when searching for a mattress for disabled or handicapped individuals, including the challenges that may arise, what to look for in a mattress, and the cost of these specialized mattresses.

Individuals with disabilities: What to look for in a mattress?

There are few key things to consider when searching for a mattress for an individual with disabilities. One of the most important is the level of support provided by the mattress, since many disabled individuals need additional support in areas such as the shoulders, hips and back, among others. For those in wheelchairs or with any kind of limited mobility, this can be especially important to pay attention to. A mattress with sufficient support can assist in alleviating pressure points and reduce both discomfort and pain. For those that spend a lot of time in bed this is significant. A mattress with good support can also help improve blood circulation, which is also key for bedridden people or those with limited mobility.

A disabled young woman with her mother in her supportive mattress
Choosing the right mattress can be a challenge, especially for disabled individuals

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a mattress for those with disabilities or certain limitations is accessibility. Many people with disabilities will need a mattress that they can easily get both in and out of. This includes specific features, with some examples being low profile foundations or adjustable beds. Adjustable beds tends to be especially useful since they can allow you to adjust the position of the mattress to your comfort and specific requirements, such as elevating the feet or head which is helpful for blood circulation and breathing. Another factor is a mattress that is easy to maintain and clean, such as waterproof materials or removable covers.

How much do these specialized mattresses cost?

When it comes to the cost of these specialized mattresses, it’s important to note that they can be quite expensive, especially compared to other mattresses. A high-quality, supportive mattress for a disabled or handicapped individual can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. This can unfortunately make it difficult for some individuals to afford, together with many other additional expenses to get the support they need. However, it’s important to remember that a good mattress can be a valuable investment in terms of both comfort and can even be considered a basic pillar of health.

Additionally, there are some financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid, that may provide coverage for specialized mattresses for disabled individuals.  Certain mattresses brands also offer specials and deals to disabled veterans, which is also useful to look out for.

What else is important to consider?

The firmness of the mattress is also very important to keep in mind, and it can change the feeling of support and comfort in the mattress. A medium-firm mattress in general tends to be the best option for all types of people since it provides a nice balance of both of these things. But it really depends on the specific preferences and needs of the person. For someone suffering from chronic pain, a more firm mattress is likely to be a better option to help alleviate specific pressure points. However, for someone who has a different condition where they struggle to change positions, a more soft mattress is likely to be a better, more comfortable option for them.

The size of the mattress should also be considered when choosing a mattress for a disabled individual. A twin-size mattress may be too small for a person who uses a wheelchair, and a king-size mattress may be too large for a person who has limited mobility. It’s important to choose a mattress that is the right size for the individual’s specific needs, as well as for the size of their room and bed. Finally, it’s important to consider the materials used in the mattress. Memory foam, latex and innerspring mattresses are popular options for disabled individuals. Memory foam mattresses are known for their ability to conform to the body and provide excellent support for all sleepers.

A handicapped woman on her comfortable and supportive mattress
Get the support and comfort you need with the right mattress

How can I choose a specific brand?

On top of the firmness, size, materials, and adjustability of the mattress an individual with disabilities may be considering, it can also be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional or even a physical therapist to best understand what their specific needs are – and what’s needed exactly to meet them while sleeping.  It also never hurts to read a variety of reviews on mattresses and specific brands to understand their offerings and get the best, most supportive and comfortable mattress for what those needs are.

Cedric Jackson avatar

Cedric Jackson

Edgar Miller is passionate about equal rights for minority groups and is specifically interested in helping the disabled and handicapped. He's also a freelance writer for Top 5 Networks about all related topics.

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