What Is a Hospital Table?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2019
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A hospital table is any type of table that is typically used to provide bedside assistance for meals or other needs. A hospital table is not limited to hospital use, however. Some individuals who are confined to bed for an extended period of time, or those confined to a wheelchair, often use these types of tables at home as well. Sometimes referred to as over-the-bed tables, they are commonly made with wheels for portability. Hospital bedside tables may be purchased online or at some medical supply stores.

Though they are generally constructed of steel, other materials may be used for creating hospital tables. A hospital table may be made with a plastic or laminate table top, or constructed of solid wood. Many hospital bedside tables have pivoting castors that allow them be moved about in a stable manner. Adjustable height makes the hospital table compatible with most beds. It is common to find hospital tables with multi positioning adjustments for tilting and angling.

In a patient room at home or at a medical facility, the hospital table may have several purposes. Although most commonly used to hold a tray of food, a patient may prefer to use the table for holding personal items, such as books, eyeglasses, or games, from the convenience of his bedside.


Not every hospital table features castor wheels. Some styles of hospital tables are made with a solid and sturdy base. This type of table can be used at a bedside or fit under certain designs of reclining chairs. A hospital bed may also include a small storage compartment or cup holder. Some are also made with a non-adjustable, low profile and split-top design, which allows for maximum table top space.

Most hospital bedside tables are made to adjust with minimal effort. Heights may be adjusted into several positions, generally by exerting a light amount of pressure. This is a convenient feature for patients with limited mobility in their wrists or hands, or those who are not strong enough to maneuver heavy objects.

Individuals who use a lift chair may prefer to use a hospital table designed specifically to be compatible with these chairs. This table may also be used alongside of a couch. In addition to using this type of table for eating, it may be used for writing, hobbies, and games, or laptop computer use. Many of these tables feature a pivoting control lever that allows angling. Some hospital chair tables also feature an optional magazine rack.


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