Choosing Sheets for a Hospital Bed



doctors are asking and explaining about the illness to a female patient lying in bed at a hospital

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Having the proper sheets on a hospital bed is critical for maintaining a patient’s health, hygiene, and comfort. Hospital beds require fitted sheets and top sheets designed to fit the mattress and withstand frequent laundering. With some guidance, you can find quality bedding that promotes skin health, reduces risk, and enables restful sleep.

Step 1: Precisely Measure Your Hospital Bed Mattress

The first step in finding well-fitting hospital bed sheets is taking accurate measurements of your mattress length, width, and depth. Standard hospital bed mattress dimensions are 36 inches wide x 80-84 inches long. However, always measure your specific mattress to be sure.

Also account for any gel foam, egg crate, or other mattress topper added that increases the overall depth. While standard hospital mattress depth ranges from 7-15 inches, toppers can add several more inches that sheets must accommodate.

Measuring the precise length, width, and full depth of the actual mattress and topper that sheets will fit over is essential for finding optimal hospital bed sheets.

Step 2: Shop for Hospital-Grade Fitted Sheets

Hospital beds require fitted sheets longer and deeper than typical twin bed sheets. Twin XL (also called extra long twin) fitted sheets about 39 inches x 80 inches long are usually needed to span the length and width of a hospital mattress.

When shopping for fitted sheets, pay close attention to:

Fabric: Breathable, soft fabrics like cotton, bamboo, or cotton/microfiber blends prevent overheating and irritation. Percale weaves and stretchy jersey knits work well for sensitive skin.

Elasticity: Fitted sheets with elastic all the way around the edges, reinforced at least twice, provide a snug, secure fit. This prevents slipping that leads to patient falls.

Pocket Depth: Look for pocket depths at least 2 inches deeper than your mattress height. For mattresses over 12 inches deep, choose extra deep pockets of 18-22 inches.

Matching mattress depth to ideal pocket depth ensures a smooth, wrinkle-free fit:

  • 7-12 inch mattress = 12-16 inch pocket
  • 13-17 inch mattress = 18-22 inch pocket
  • 18+ inch mattress = 22-24 inch pocket

Well-fitting hospital bed sheets stay securely covering the mattress and reduce safety risks.

Step 3: Choose Softer Top Sheets for Comfort

For covering up patients, standard twin or full-size flat sheets work well lengthwise on hospital beds. Seek out top sheets made of light, breathable woven cotton, cotton blends, or microfiber.

Be sure the top sheet is large enough to tuck snugly under the mattress on all sides. This prevents slippage or bunching up during patient movement and care.

Step 4: Properly Wash and Replace Hospital Bed Sheets

To eliminate infectious germs, hospital sheets require frequent washing on the highest heat settings possible. Always follow laundry instructions to prevent damage and shrinkage.

Having at least 2-3 sets of sheets allows using one while others are in the wash. For best infection control and comfort, replace hospital bed sheets every 6 months to 1 year.

Top-Rated Hospital Bed Sheets to Consider

To make the search easier, here are some highly recommended hospital bed sheets to consider:

By accurately measuring your mattress, shopping with care, and properly caring for sheets, you can find the best hospital bed sheets to meet your patient’s unique needs. The right bedding goes a long way in providing comfort and avoiding health complications.


What size sheets fit a hospital bed?

Twin XL fitted sheets are usually required, as they are longer to fit mattresses 36” x 80-84” inches. Measure your exact mattress first.

How often should you change hospital bed sheets?

To reduce infection risk, hospital bed sheets should be changed 2-3 times per week or whenever soiled. Have at least 2-3 sets to allow frequent laundering.

What fabrics are best for hospital bed sheets?

Choose soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, bamboo, microfiber, or their blends. Percale or jersey knits work well for sensitive skin.

How do you keep sheets from slipping off hospital beds?

Fitted sheets with elastic all around, reinforced corners, and adequate pocket depth fit securely. Top sheets should tuck under the mattress.

Can you put a mattress topper on a hospital bed?

Yes, but the total mattress and topper height must be measured to get fitted sheets deep enough to accommodate.

How hot do you wash hospital bed sheets?

Use the hottest water safe for the fabric. Dry on high heat to sanitize. Avoid fabric softener that diminishes disinfecting.