How Do I Choose the Best Hospital Bed Tray?

Nicole Etolen

A hospital bed tray is useful both in the medical facility and at home, especially if you or your loved one is frequently confined to their bed. When choosing the tray, the most important factors to look at are price, size, sturdiness, and how easy the tray is to raise, lower, or move. Extra features to look for may include storage drawers, lights, and other accessories.

A hospital bed tray may be useful when a person is confined to a bed.
A hospital bed tray may be useful when a person is confined to a bed.

The price of a hospital bed tray varies, but some can be rather expensive. If you will only need the tray for a short period, consider renting one from a medical supply facility in your area, or purchasing a used one that is still in good shape. On the other hand, if you expect to need the tray for a longer period, it may be a better idea to purchase one outright. When you are finished with it, you can choose to resell it or donate it.

Bed trays can be used to store items such as reading glasses.
Bed trays can be used to store items such as reading glasses.

The hospital bed tray that you choose should be very sturdy to prevent spills or accidents. Choose one with wheels that allows you to easily move it away from the bed, especially in the event of an emergency. You should also be able to raise and lower the tray without difficulty, especially if it is intended for someone with weak muscles or a lack of coordination in their hands. Trays come in different sizes, so look for one that provides ample space for meals and other intended uses, but doesn’t overwhelm the bed or room with its size, as medical personnel should be able to navigate the room without obstacles in the event of an emergency.

While extra accessories are not as integral as the basic elements of a hospital bed tray, they can add a level of convenience to the tray. Storage compartments are the most important accessories, as they allow you to keep essentials, such as your reading glasses or medications, close to you. Many even have enough space to store a book or other larger objects. Trays with lights attached to them are good for rooms without much overhead lighting, or when other medical equipment is taking up the outlets that would be used for lamps.

If you cannot find the right hospital bed tray for your uses, other types of non-medical bed trays may suffice. Just be sure to avoid anything that can easily tip over or spill. The tray should meet the same safety standards as those designed by medical supply companies.

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