We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
For people with reduced strength or mobility, getting in and out of bed can be challenging or even dangerous. Bed rails are used to make transitioning to and from safe and easier. They’re also helpful for changing sleeping positions and providing standing support during the night.
Insurance companies don’t classify bed rails as durable medical equipment, unlike hospital beds used in the home. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy one, but health insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t typically pay for bed rails meant for use in the home.
Luckily, bed rails are fairly affordable. Let’s take a look.
- Easiest for long-term use: Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail
- Best for short-term recuperation: OasisSpace Bed Rail
- Best for visual safety: LumaRail Bed Assist Rail
- Best for travel: Stander Bed Rail Advantage Traveler
- Best for standing support: Health Craft Smart-Rail
- Best for fall prevention: Drive Adjustable Length Bed Rail
For people with limited mobility, bed rails are used to provide additional support and make the living environment safer. Safety was our primary focus when selecting products to feature.
We chose bed rails made from steel alloy and other strong materials that have higher weight capacities.
The products on this list come from transparent manufacturers that have solid reputations for producing high quality products. We didn’t include bed rails from manufacturers with poor ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
We read scores of reviews on multiple websites and didn’t include any bed rails that got more negative reviews than positive ones.
For the items on this list, we’ve indicated price as follows:
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$150
- $$$ = over $150
Before purchasing bed rails, speak with a doctor. They can help determine whether bed rails are an appropriate choice for you or someone close to you and provide recommendations.
Bed rails may not be suitable for everyone. People with memory loss, confusion, involuntary or uncontrollable movements, or with very limited strength may not be able to use the bed rails properly and could injure themselves when getting in and out of bed.
Bed rails can enhance the quality of life for older adults and people with certain health conditions, including:
- stroke recovery
- surgery recovery
- degenerative disc disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- muscle weakness
The bed rails you choose must be able to withstand the weight of the person using them. Only buy products made from solid and sturdy materials like steel.
Some caregivers who purchase bed rails also use monitoring systems with cameras to keep an eye on those close to them who are recovering from an illness or with certain health conditions. Talk with a doctor to see if that is a good option for your needs.
Easy to use longterm
- Price: $$
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
This bed rail adjusts from 26 to 34 to 42 inches. It can be used to prevent nighttime falls and to provide support for people getting in and out of bed. A safety strap that extends around the bed frame helps keep it in place.
Its adaptability and size make this bed rail a viable choice for long-term use. The support rail can be folded down when not in use, so it won’t get in the way when making the bed or changing sheets.
It has a storage pouch that can be used to hold eyeglasses, books, and other bedtime essentials.
It can be used on most standard and platform beds. It can also accommodate mattress widths from 12 to 16 inches.
If you have a very soft mattress or adjustable bed, this bed rail won’t fit safely. Assembly involves the use of an Allen wrench with bolts.
Best for short-term recuperation
- Price: $
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
This lightweight, adjustable bed rail is designed for people who need a grip bar to get in and out of bed. It can also be used to support changing positions while in bed. The grip bar is padded for comfort and is anti-slip.
Users mention that this bed rail is beneficial during recuperative periods, such as after surgery or during stroke recovery. It may also enhance mobility and ease of movement during late-stage pregnancy.
It’s supported by a stabilizing bar that sits sturdily under the mattress, and two legs that have extra-large suction cups. This bed rail is designed for use on wooden or bare floors. Some users recommend removing the cups if you have carpeting.
This bed rail can’t be used on low beds under 12 inches or with mattresses under 5 inches in height.
Best for visual safety
- Price: $
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
This bed rail is a similar design as the OasisSpace rail on our list, but the LumaRail includes some extra safety features and has a higher listed weight capacity.
This bed rail has an LED motion-sensor nightlight that activates when someone passes it, such as when getting out of bed. It also has glow-safe locating strips on the handlebar for easy access and added safety.
This bed rail can be adjusted to fit high or low beds and mattresses, but is intended for mattresses that are at least 12 inches high. An adjustable stabilizing bar and anchor strap hold it securely under any sized bed, from twin to king. The double legs come with nonslip foot grips.
Best for travel
- Price: $
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
This compact bed rail weighs less than 7 pounds and folds in half, so it’s a more compact option and can be taken away from the home.
Even though it’s small, it has a weight capacity of 400 pounds, and it’s designed to work with mattress heights ranging from 10 to 16 inches.
The ergonomic handle is padded and easy to grip.
It also comes with an organizer pouch.
Best for standing support
- Price: $$$
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
This bed rail has two support positions. It uses the company’s pivot-and-lock technology to open and close. When open, it swings out, making it easy to stand up and get out of bed. When closed, it can help people ease into bed comfortably. It also provides support for changing positions in bed.
It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. A wide gripping surface helps maximize leverage, for added support.
It’s height-adjustable to fit most beds and mattress heights.
Best for fall prevention
- Price: $
- Weight capacity: not designed to bear weight
These full-length bed rails are meant to prevent falls. They adjust from 37 to 57 inches in length.
A spring-loaded release mechanism allows for easy height adjustment. They feature a 1-inch bar made from a steel alloy and use a crossbar construction that provides multiple handholds.
For comfort and added protection, many users of this product recommend the manufacturer’s bumper pads.
At 27 pounds, they’re significantly heavier than the other bed rails on this list. Before purchasing, make sure you’re able to install or have help installing.
Bed rails can be attached to most traditional types of bed frames. There are several different types to choose from. Some extend for the length of the bed, so it’s difficult to roll out. Others are shorter and designed specifically to provide stability while getting in and out of bed.
Depending on your bedroom setup and individual needs and habits, bed rails can be installed on one side of the bed or both sides.
Bed rails can help older adults remain independent and live at home comfortably, but they don’t take the place of supervision.
Hospital beds are an alternative to bed rails that you might wish to consider. There are several types, including manual, semi-electric, and electric models.
Many hospital beds come with bed rails attached, but some do not. Some bed rails are specifically designed to fit onto hospital beds that don’t already have them.
Hospital beds can typically be adjusted for height, sitting, and reclining. Many can also be adjusted for leg and feet elevation.
If a doctor prescribes a hospital bed, insurance companies, including Medicare, may pay for it. Hospital beds are also available to rent and purchase through stores that sell durable medical equipment.
Bed rails can be used in the home to prevent nighttime falls. They can also provide additional stability when getting in and out of bed.
Bed rails are valuable for many people during recuperative periods, such as after surgery. They can also provide independence for older adults living at home.
Bed rails are not a good choice for everyone. Before purchasing, speak with a doctor about whether bed rails are right for you or someone close to you.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who specializes in health and wellness content. She has spent much of the last two decades educating people about infertility and family building options. Whelan is a science nerd, and her heroes span the gamut from Temple Grandin to her wonderful mom. She shares her life in Brooklyn, NY with her all-grown-up, fascinating children and their wacky shelter dogs. Follow her on Twitter.