Bed rails, side rails, cotsides, guardrails, or safety rails are rigid plastic or adjustable metal bars that attach to the bed and come in a group of sizes: full length, three-quarter length, half length, quarter length, split rail configuration, and alternate split rail configuration.

A bed rail serves as a barrier or a guard along the side of the bed. They can be raised or lowered, and they lock in place with latches, levers, or buttons. Apart from the length, they are available in different types, such as bed rails with legs and legless side rails.

What You Should Consider Before Buying Bed Rails

Size of Bed Rails

Bed rails are usually available in different sizes, which include: full length, three-quarter length, half-length, quarter length, and split configuration.

  • Full Length

This is a one-piece bedside that extends along the side of the bed from the head to the foot section. Full-length designs can be helpful in preventing people under sedation from unexpectedly rolling out of bed.

However, these rails should not be used for people who are able to get out of bed. They may encourage you to climb over the footboard or side rail, undoubtedly constituting a hazardous alternative.

  • Three Quarter Length

This is a one piece rail that extends along the side of the bed three quarters of the way down from the head of the mattress. This kind of guard will not interfere with exiting, but will also help prevent you from inadvertently rolling over.

  • Half Length

This is a one piece guard that extends along the side of the bed one half the length of the mattress from the head of the bed. Approximately placed half rails can function as assistive devices.

They are sometimes referred to as enablers, supporting people with a poor transfer and sitting balance, such as seniors with stroke.

  • Quarter Length

This is a one-piece guard that extends along the side of the bed about a quarter the length of the mattress from the head of the bed. These types of guardrails are suitable for seniors or adults. They can be used as support when exiting the bed.

  • Split Configuration

This consist of a pair of half rails. One set extends along the side of the mattress from the head of the bed to the mid-section of the bed. The other set extends from the mid-section of the bed to the foot. Generally, there is a space between the two sets of rails.

Types

Bed guardrails differ in design depending on where they are attached. A great number of side bars do not need any formal installation, and they can easily be held in place by tension that is exerted between the frame and the mattress.

  • Bed Rails with Legs

These safety bars have two vertical supports that stand on the floor. Normally, the weight is conveyed down the supports to the floor when you stand up and apply pressure on the guardrail.

The barriers are also fitted with boards that go under your mattress. The weight of the pad helps to stabilize the guardrails and hold them in place. This is the ideal choice if you need a little bit of support getting out of bed.

  • Legless Bedrails

As the name suggests, these rails have no legs, and they have an L-shaped configuration. Usually, the shorter part of the bars stands vertically to offer a supportive handhold, while the longer side goes under the mattress.

The fact that the stability of these rails depends on the weight of the mattress, means you need a heavier and bigger mattress, such as a King, a Queen, or a Cal King size. Smaller sizes, such as a Twin and a Full size can easily be lifted by the side rails.

  • Bed Rail Handles

These side bars take less space and they normally come with a smoother, and a low profile look. There are some designs that are meant for hospital beds and others for standard beds.

Side handles are usually narrow, and they are supported with a single fixed point. These models are not very effective at providing steady standing support.

  • Side Rails with Cross Bars

These rails are fitted with more than one horizontal cross bars that provide three benefits, including: prevent suffocation or entrapment; different heights for ease of standing; and provide additional handholds for support when rolling around.

  • Fold Down Bed Rails

These side bars do easily fold down to allow you easy entrance into the bed. These guardrails do usually swing down and outwards. Therefore, they require enough free space on either sides of the bed for effective swinging.

With these fold down bars, you can comfortably sit down near the top of the bedstead. This way, you do not have to twist yourself when you lie down. You can also place a wheel tray close to you when you want to take meals in bed.

  • Adjustable Height Rails

These are among the most versatile safety bars. They are fitted with handles that have adjustable height. This kind of configuration allows you to test different heights, allowing you to establish which height grip will work best for you.

  • Telescoping Rails

Telescoping guardrails are made of steel tubing for extra strength. They are constructed to telescope with drifting of the bedstead. They can easily adjust down or up with a spring release. The cross bars used are simple to install; not to mention that no tools are required.

This is a good choice, especially if you have a tall bed. This type of rails prevent you from rolling all of a sudden out of bed. However, these bars may not be very effective for heavier people, since they do not provide superior support.

  • Bed Rail with Pivoting Handle

These guardrails are highly versatile, since they offer two-in-one functionality. They make transitioning in and out of bedstead remarkably easy. They provide a swing out mobility rest that locks effectively in a perpendicular position with the mattress.

The mobility arm operates like a cane, providing adequate support to help in transitioning from a bedstead to a wheelchair. This is an amazing feature for adults and seniors alike.

  • Floor-to-Ceiling Pole

Install a floor-to-ceiling pole by the bed to use as a steadying or balancing aid or to help you get to a standing position. The attractive, durable, heavy gauge steel poles are held in place by controlled tension, which needs no special tools or structural changes for installation.

The super pole system is a modular support system that provides assistance with standing, transferring, or moving in bed. The floor to ceiling pole is installed by simple jackscrew expansion.

  • Advantage Safety Rail

This is a floor mounted support bar that promotes safe as well as independent standing and transfers. The key to its effectiveness is the unique operation of the horizontal rail, which pivots to move with you in safe, small steps.

This type of rail is available in a portable model that quickly secures as well as releases from a low outline floor attached plate, so that you can take it with you when travelling or simply move out of the way when not needed.

Weight Capacity

This is an important feature to consider when shopping for guardrails. A specified weight capacity ensures that you buy the correct size and type of bed side bar. Heavier people should consider side bars with a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds.

Type of Bed

Not all bed side rails will be compatible with your bed. While there are some models that will work on hospital styled frames, others may not be compatible with residential or motorized bed frames. Therefore, there is every need for you to choose a compatible design.

Size of the Mattress

Most side rails are designed to be held in place by the weight of the mattress. Therefore, the type of mattress in your possession matters a lot. The most recommended choice is usually a heavier, thicker mattress, such as a King or a Cal King size (Check for more details on mattress size and dimensions).

However, there are lightweight side rails that can be used with small mattress sizes, such as a Twin, a Full, or a Queen.

Top 4 Bed Rails Reviews

Short Reviews Materials Used Fold Down for Convenience Adjustable Height
Stander 30-Inch Powder coated steel Yes No
Regalo Swing down Extra Long All-steel construction Yes No
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Chrome plated steel No Yes
Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Guard Hardened steel Yes No

Stander 30-Inch – Best Bed Rail for Adults

Stander 30-Inch – Best Bed Rail for Adults

The Stander 30-Inch Safety Bed Rail is a high performing adult side bar that offers ultimate fall protection. It is a two in one safety device that functions as an assist handle and bed rail. It is the gear you need for full nighttime protection.

Its thirty inch long horizontal frame is specifically designed to offer superior barrier that will keep you or your loved one in bed without the risk of falling. The bar’s length leaves you adequate space by the foot of the bed for exiting.

Unlike conventional models that are made of inferior plastic materials, this particular design is made of heavy-duty powder coated steel. This material is highly durable, since it can withstand damages better as well as lasts longer.

The powder coated steel has a protective barrier that is very effective at preventing corrosion, especially when exposed to humidity and moisture. The metal’s hard finish is tougher and resistant to abrasion.

The Stander bar is remarkably easy to install. The vertical and horizontal parts, including the strapping system, fit effortlessly. There are only a few screws to deal with before you can complete the setup.

With a mattress height range of 10 to 19 inches, the Stander is ideal for both small and large sizes. You can use it with a standard Twin XL, Full, Cal King, Queen, and King. However, it is not the ideal choice for use with a box spring without a frame.

You can use it as a regular rail and it can support up to 300 pounds. The bar is also adjustable and pivots down to 180 degrees, allowing easy entrance and exit. All you have to do is remove the top screw.

  • It is capable of supporting up to 300 pounds.
  • A good choice for most adjustable and home beds.
  • Functions as an assist handle and guardrail.
  • You can remove the top screw and pivot it 180 degrees down when exiting.
  • Can support mattress heights of 10 to 19 inches.

  • It is not a suitable option for use with a box spring without a frame.

Regalo Swing down Extra Long – Best Bed Rail for Kids

Regalo Swing down Extra Long – Best Bed Rail for Kids

The Regalo Extra Long Swing down Bedrail is the best guardrail for kids. It is made of all steel construction, which is remarkably strong. This material is scratch and rust resistant. So, it comes with reliable durability.

If you are in search for higher level of security for your kid, then the Regalo is exactly what you need. It measures fifty four inches long and twenty inches high. These measurements will keep you child safe in his or her cradle throughout the night.

No need to struggle when making the bed. The Regalo swings down 180 degrees and out of the way for easy bed wrinkling. This feature also allows your kid easy entrance and exit when he or she wakes up in the morning.

It comes with an amazing patented gap guard technology, which prevents entrapment between the mattress and rail, assuring that your kid sleeps safe and soundly.

You will love the no hassle no tool setup. You start by assembling the side bar frame, then attach the mesh. Once you are done connecting the mesh, go ahead and connect the legs and the ankle straps. Finally, place the rail between the mattress and the box spring and tighten the straps.

It comes with convenient locking tabs that make it easy for you to change the position of the bar. You can lock it in place by pushing the tabs down. This will ensure that the rail stays in an upright position.

  • All-steel construction and mesh nylon fabric are highly durable.
  • Its remarkable length and height can fit up to a queen size mattress.
  • Gap guard protection prevents gapping for improved security.
  • Easy to unlock tabs allow you to swing the bar downwards.
  • No special tools are required during installation.

  • May not be the ideal choice for higher mattresses.

Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable – Best Bed Rail for seniors

Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable – Best Bed Rail for seniors

The Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Side Bar is the best choice for seniors. It is specifically designed to help you enter or exit your cot safely.

Unlike conventional models that come with a fixed height, this model features adjustable height, which meets most user needs. You have four height options for superior safety and security.

Comes with adjustable steel tubing that extend underneath the mattress to offer maximum support and stability. The bar also features a strapping system that attaches to the other side and can support up to three hundred pounds.

The bar is 20 inches wide, providing you with more than enough gripping surface whenever you are getting in or out of bed. You can comfortably grab the bar from any position of your choosing.

You have the option of installing a removable pouch. The pouch has a few compartments for placing your newspaper, TV or home theater system remote, mobile phone, and any other small accessories that you want within your reach.

  • Easy to install between box spring and mattress.
  • It has an adjustable height from 17 to 21 inches to fit different mattress sizes.
  • Long horizontal bars and strap improve support and stability.
  • Removable pouch offers storage space for TV remote, newspaper, and mobile phone.

  • May be unsafe and unreliable for very old people.

Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Guard – Best Bed Rail for Cribs

Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Guard – Best Bed Rail for Cribs

The Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Guard is made of steel material, making it one of the most supportive and sturdy crib side bar in the market for safeguarding restless babies.

It features a groundbreaking anchor system that is resistant to shifting, buckling, and bending. Most importantly, the Hiccapop can be used with all crib sizes: be it a king or a twin.

Moreover, this side guard is adjustable. Therefore, you can drop it 180 degrees, allowing your child to sit comfortably when he or she wakes up. It also allows you to tuck in sheets easily.

This convertible side crib bar is designed for stress-free, intuitive, simple setup. No tools are required during the installation, and it is compatible with most baby cribs.

It comes with a nylon mesh covering that is highly durable, removable, and washable. The fabric is strong, and it is acts as a locking anchor system that keeps the rail in place.

  • Made of strong and durable steel.
  • Comes with a reliable anchor system that is shifting, buckling, and bending resistant.
  • Folds down to 180 degrees, allowing your child to sit or stand at ease.
  • Stress-free, intuitive, and simple installation, no tools required.

  • Mesh fabric is tight and susceptible to ripping.

Why You Should Use Bed Rails

Safety rails may serve a number of purposes, including security in transit, enabling turning as well as repositioning within the bed or transferring in or out of a bed, providing a feeling of security and comfort.

Safety sidebars facilitate access to controls and provide a physical barrier to remind the sleeper of the bed’s perimeters. Sidebars also provide extra storage space for bed controls.

Are Bed Rails Safe?

To prevent falling out of bed, some individuals choose sidebars, but these bars produce mixed results, and they can develop risks. A bed rail is an extra object into which a sleeper can fall while walking around in the bedroom.

According to research, they are not always effective. Some users actually fall out of bed over the top of the installed bed rail. In some cases, sleepers become entrapped in the spaces of the rails. Therefore, make sure you are buying the most appropriate model.

Final Words

Traditionally, bed rails or safety sides have been used on hospital beds to protect patients from accidental falls. However, over time, these amazing support bars have been integrated into our daily lives.

There are more than five types of safety sides on the market for baby cribs, kid’s bed, adults and seniors beds. They also come in different length configuration. Some are short while others are long, depending on your preference.

Choosing the appropriate model requires you to consider a number of things, including: the type of bed and mattress, the weight of the sleeper, and of course the length and type of bed rail. We hope this guide has been helpful and you have found what you were looking for.

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