What are Overbed Tables?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Commonly utilized in hospitals and nursing homes, overbed tables are sturdy portable tables that can be adjusted for use by persons who are confined to bed for a period of time. Generally, an overbed table is made of metal components, which make it possible to clean the device easily. Over bed tables are mounted on casters or rollers, allowing the table to be easily moved into place and then shifted to another position when the table is not in use.

Overbed hospital tables are the single most common application of this type of device. The tabletop is usually rectangular in shape, and is equipped with a long arm reaching to the floor. A mechanism on the arm makes it possible to raise and lower the tabletop to any height that is comfortable and convenient. The upper section is mounted on rollers, which makes the task of moving the table into position.

In nursing homes, overbed tables may include models that sport some features that are not associated with the basic overbed hospital table. One of the more popular models is the swivel overbed table. Since many nursing home patients are free to move from bed to a chair or leave the room for a walk, including a mechanism that makes it easy for the patient to move the tabletop out of the way in order to get out of bed is a big plus.


Depending on the application, other features may be included on overbed tables. One popular feature for home versions of overbed tables is the tilting top. Overbed tables with this feature are often handy for reading, writing letters, or working a crossword puzzle.

Just about all overbed tables are constructed out of stainless steel, and may include laminated tabletops that can be easily cleaned. Manufactured for daily use over a period of years, overbed tables can make life easier for anyone who has to spend a good bit of time in bed. In terms of supplying a flat surface for meals or a tilted surface for reading or writing, all overbed tables can be adjusted to the proper height and are easily put into place when needed.


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