How We Found the Best Bed Rails for Seniors
45+ Hours of Research
20 Bed Rails Reviewed
10+ Companies Considered
7 Companies Selected

What You Should Know:

  • Seniors with mobility limitations or certain medical conditions may need support getting into and out of bed.
  • Seniors can sustain injuries from falling out of beds without protective side railings.
  • Bed rails provide support for bed access and ensure user safety.
  • Medicare and Medicaid may cover bed rails if they are medically necessary.

Muscle loss is a natural part of aging that can make ordinary activities challenging and even painful. Since adults typically lose as much as 3-5% of muscle per decade after the age of 30, it’s important to consider the everyday impact of reduced strength and mobility. Simple tasks such as maneuvering in and out of bed might be more difficult than they used to be, and other health factors such as arthritis or surgery recovery can make it that much more problematic. Additionally, falls within the home are much more likely to occur as a result of decreased muscle and flexibility. In fact, 37.3 million falls are severe enough to require medical attention each year.

Thankfully, safety and mobility aids such as bed rails provide support where it’s needed most: in the often unstable moments when getting in and out of bed at home. Today’s wide variety of bed rails offers much more than just a secure hand grip. Adjustable models also present the option to extend along the length of the bed to reduce the risk of falls while sleeping. With countless styles and easy at-home installation, there is a bed rail for everyone. Regardless of your life stage or mobility level, bed rails are a great way to ensure peace of mind and confidence in your everyday safety.

We’ve written this guide to help you understand the basics of bed rails and how to select the best one for your specific needs. You’ll also find details about pricing, warranties, customer service, safety features, styles, and more. As you shop, this guide will help you narrow down your options and navigate the bed rail buying process.

Types of Bed Rails Explained

Types of Bed Rails Explained

Although bed rails are primarily used as a means to safely maneuver in and out of bed, many models are also designed to prevent users from falling out of bed. Similar to the large variety of mattresses on the market, there are several distinct types of bed rails to consider when making a selection. Differences in size, material, design, functionality and features play an important role in the decision-making process. Below, we’ve broken down the five main bed rail types that are most commonly used inside the home.

Bed Rails with Legs

A common bed rail for those who need a little extra support, this type is reinforced by two vertical legs that stand on the floor next to the bed. A horizontal bar typically slides between the mattress and box spring to keep the bed rail in place, while a handle extends upward for easy gripping. Safety straps that wrap around the mattress for extra stability are also frequently included with these bed rails. While this style’s leg-to-floor design adds more stability while bearing down on the rail, it might not be the best option for wheelchair users. Depending on how much space you have in the bedroom, the rail’s legs could create an obstacle for the wheelchair’s footrests.

Legless Bed Rails

Legless bed rails have an L-shaped design to ensure stability, with the longer side resting between the mattress and box spring, and the shorter side extending up to provide a handgrip for users. This rail is primarily stabilized by the mattress’ weight, as opposed to weight-bearing legs. Anchor or safety straps are also used to reduce the risk of gaping between the rail and mattress. Generally, legless bed rails have a smaller, adjustable profile that is preferred for those who would like to lower it out of sight when not in use.

Fold-Down Bed Rails

A sub-type of legless bed rails, fold-down rails have the same basic design. However, their unique folding capability puts them in a class of their own. These rails are ideal for those who work closely with a caregiver that needs easy, unobstructed access to the bed. By swinging outwards and down, the rail folds to lay flat against the mattress when needed. A sturdy grab bar makes it easy to move in and out of bed, but the main function of this style is to prevent users from falling out of the bed. If considering the fold-down rail without the presence of a helper or caregiver, keep in mind that you must be able to reach down and swing the rail back up after you are in the bed.

Crossbar Bed Rails

Crossbar bed rails boast an extra layer of safety with multiple horizontal bars that serve as handholds when maneuvering in and out of bed. Since each bar is at a slightly different height, this is an advantage for those who need extra time and support when lowering or lifting their body. Additionally, many people opt for this style because they can use the horizontal bars to assist with rolling over in bed. Due to the open design, crossbar bed rails also present a lower risk for user suffocation and entrapment.

Dual Bed Rails

Dual bed rails are a great option for couples or someone who prefers support on both sides of the bed. With this type, crossbars sit underneath the mattress to connect and support the bed rails on each side. Many dual bed rails are adjustable in height, allowing the user to either lower it for hand-grab support or raise it for fall protection while sleeping. This rail style may be limited in its compatibility with different bed sizes. For example, many dual bed rails can only be used with twin or full-sized beds.

How We Chose the Best Bed Rails

We focused our search for the best bed rails on because this online marketplace is considered to be an authorized dealer by all the companies on our list. Additionally, Amazon’s robust rating and review section for each product was instrumental in helping us to narrow down the extensive list of bed rails on the market. Since no two customers’ needs are exactly alike, we chose to include each bed rail style on our list to provide a variety of options. Below, we break down our four main criteria for selecting the best bed rails.

Customer Ratings and Reviews

  • We only selected products with an Amazon rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • When comparing products side-by-side, we selected those with the most Amazon customer reviews.
  • We read several customer reviews for each product and only selected bed rails with overall positive recommendations.

Product Assembly

  • Most of the bed rails we chose for this list do not require any tools for assembly, making the installation process simple and quick.
  • We selected companies that provide detailed user manuals and step-by-step assembly videos for customers’ convenience.
  • We paid special attention to the customer reviews relating to assembly, ensuring that the majority of customers were satisfied with the set-up process.

Warranty and Returns

  • Each bed rail on our list comes with some sort of product guarantee or warranty. Each company confidently stands by its products and is willing to go the extra mile if customers are unsatisfied for any reason.
  • We selected companies with generous and simple return policies.
  • Since all the companies on our list consider to be an authorized dealer, customers benefit from the same great warranty and return policies offered when purchasing directly through the bed rail company.


  • In addition to quality, we chose affordable bed rails. Six out of the seven featured products on our list are under $100.
  • Through our research, we found that prices at were often cheaper than buying directly through bed rail companies.

The 7 Best Bed Rails for Seniors

For a quick overview of our findings on the top 7 bed rails in the U.S., view the table below.


Safety Features

Bed Compatibility



Adjustable Bed Assist Rail from Vaunn Medical

With legs

Slip-resistant foam handle, Stabilizer bars

All sizes


1 Year Warranty

Bed Assist Bar from Medline

With legs

Safety straps

Twin, Full, Queen


90 Day Warranty

LumaRail Bed Assist Rail from Platinum Health

Without legs

Motion-sensing LED light, Anchor strap

All sizes


100% Manufacturer's Warranty

Compact Bed Rail from Vive Health

Without legs

Anchor strap, Adjustable handle height

All sizes


Lifetime Guarantee

EZ Adjust Bed Rail from Stander

Fold down

Safety strap, Adjustable rail

All sizes


Lifetime Guarantee

Bedside Extend-A-Rail from Able Life


Adjustable rail length, Safety strap

All sizes


1 Year Limited Guarantee

RMS Dual Bed Rail from Royal Medical Solutions


Non-slip foam padding

Twin and Full


Limited Lifetime Guarantee

*Pricing and product availability may vary.

Vaunn Medical

Most Adjustable Bed Rail

Vaunn Medical is one of the fastest-growing global distributors of durable medical equipment. Its diverse product line includes wheelchairs, sleep surfaces, pressure prevention products, respiratory equipment, self-assist and rehabilitation products, patient room equipment, personal care products, and more. What began as a small production out of a Houston, TX studio apartment has now grown into a worldwide customer base with warehouses located across the country.

Vaunn Medical was created out of frustration with the lack of quality in-home medical equipment on the market. The company’s founders focus on using premium materials, excellent design and five-star workmanship that consistently meet patients’ needs and stand the test of time. Each product undergoes thorough testing to ensure that safety standards are always met. Vaunn Medical’s Adjustable Bed Assist Rail is no exception to the company’s high standard of excellence. Its universally compatible design easily adjusts to fit all different bed sizes and heights, making this a stand-out bed rail for those seeking a flexible product that adjusts to ever-changing needs.

Overview of Adjustable Bed Assist Rail from Vaunn Medical


With legs

Safety Features

Slip-resistant foam handle, Stabilizer bars

Bed Compatibility

All sizes




1 Year Warranty

Key Specifications

  • 42.91 x 19.69 x 33.86 inches
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Supports up to 250 lbs
  • Product weight: 11.6 lbs

Pros and Cons of Adjustable Bed Assist Rail from Vaunn Medical


  • Handle height adjusts 13-15 inches
  • Compatible with low/platform beds (must be at least 12 inches from floor to frame)
  • Wide, slip-resistant grab bar with foam padding
  • Width adjusts 35-42 inches to fit all standard bed sizes


  • Incompatible with mattresses less than 5 inches in height
  • Does not work well with adjustable beds


Best Quality at an Affordable Price

Medline is a household name in the healthcare world, and the company does so much more than manufacturing and distributing top-of-the-line products. Medline partners with more than 60 of the top 150 healthcare systems nationwide to create solutions that improve operating performance. In 2021, the company ranked #16 on Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

With over 300,000 products offered, Medline focuses on creating equipment that meets its customers’ unique needs. Its dynamic team, made up of clinicians, product specialists, and supply chain experts, works together to provide a variety of options at affordable prices. With 20 million square feet of warehousing, 45 distribution centers, and 20 manufacturing sites across North America, Medline’s large scale allows it to consistently deliver on quality and price. Its Bed Assist Bar is one of the most affordable bed rails on the market, providing customers with top-grade safety and comfort features at a fraction of the cost.

Overview of Bed Assist Bar from Medline


With legs

Safety Features

Safety straps

Bed Compatibility

Twin, Full, Queen




90 Day Warranty

Key Specifications

  • 15.5 x 4 x 19 inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Supports up to 250 lbs
  • Product Weight: 6 lbs

Pros and Cons of Bed Assist Bar


  • Disassembles for easy storage and portability
  • Nylon storage pocket
  • Adjustable height on handle and legs
  • Curved and padded handle for firm grip


  • Reviews report that storage pocket is flimsy and difficult to attach

Platinum Health

Most Safety Features

Platinum Health creates in-home healthcare, rehabilitation and fitness products that empower customers to pursue independence within their homes. The company builds its wide array of products around three main priorities: safety, comfort and reliability. Each item goes through rigorous testing to make sure it meets safety standards, and there is a 100% manufacturer’s warranty on all products. Platinum Health takes customer satisfaction seriously with one question that motivates all employees: “Would we give this product to a loved one or dear friend to use?”

Platinum Health’s premium line of bed rails was created with its customers’ unique needs in mind. Packed with state-of-the-art safety features, the LumaRail comes equipped with motion-sensing LED lights to help users safely maneuver in and out of bed at night. Stand-out safety features like this and many others solidify Platinum Health’s reputation as an innovator and customer advocate in the market.

Overview of LumaRail Bed Assist Rail from Platinum Health


Without legs

Safety Features

Motion-sensing LED light, Anchor strap

Bed Compatibility

All sizes




100% Manufacturer's Warranty

Key Specifications

  • 21.1 x 13.5 x 2.9 inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Supports up to 400 lbs
  • Product weight: 6.9 lbs

Pros and Cons of LumaRail-FS Triple Safe Bed Assist Rail


  • Adjustable height works well with thick mattresses and toppers
  • Motion-sensing LED lights prevent nighttime falls
  • GlowSafe Indicator Strips help user locate handle
  • Accommodates extra-low beds down to 12 inches


  • Reviews report that the handle moves slightly when bearing down on it

Vive Health

Best Travel-Friendly Bed Rail

With headquarters based in Naples, FL, Vive Health has 3 warehouses across the country and over 100 employees. The company offers a large variety of products for mobility, physical therapy, home care, daily aids, and much more. Whether you are recovering from an injury, aging in place at home, or caring for a loved one, Vive Health’s mission is to provide items that help you feel confident and in control. Its helpful online buying guides explain how to choose the right home care items for you, including side-by-side product comparisons.

In its bedroom safety category, Vive Health’s Compact Bed Rail stands out as a must-have for anyone that needs extra support while traveling or enjoying extended stays with loved ones. Our smallest and most lightweight option on the list, this bed rail is very simple to disassemble and store when not in use. Since it is compatible with all bed sizes, customers can rest assured that Vive Health’s Compact Bed Rail is a great choice – no matter where their travels take them.

Overview of Compact Bed Rail from Vive Health


Without legs

Safety Features

Anchor strap, Adjustable handle height

Bed Compatibility

All sizes




Lifetime Guarantee

Key Specifications

  • 21 x 11 x 18 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Supports up to 300 lbs
  • Product weight: 2.6 lbs

Pros and Cons of Compact Bed Rail


  • Compatible with adjustable beds
  • Handrail lowers when not in use
  • Non-slip, foam handle
  • Easy to disassemble for travel and storage


  • Aluminum frame is not as sturdy as steel


Best Fold-Down Bed Rail

Founded in 1998, Stander was inspired by founder Jan Miller’s 90-year-old grandmother, who wanted to age comfortably in her own home for as long as possible. Since then, the company has expanded by offering over 40 mobility aids that help people safely maintain their freedom and independence. The Stander team is committed to listening to its customers’ needs and inventing products that ultimately make life easier.

Stander offers a variety of bed rails, but its fold-down models stand out from the competition. The EZ Adjust Bed Rail provides the option of effortlessly folding down the rail to lay flat against the bed when needed. Although a simple maneuver, this design creates much-needed space for bedside caregiver assistance and changing the linens when the rail is not in use.

Overview of EZ Adjust Bed Rail from Stander


Without legs

Safety Features

Safety strap, Adjustable rail

Bed Compatibility

All sizes




Lifetime Guarantee

Key Specifications

  • 25 x 26 x 22 inches
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Supports up to 300 lbs
  • Product Weight: 14 lbs

Pros and Cons of EZ Adjust Bed Rail


  • Folds down and out of the way when not in use
  • Rail extends up to 42 inches (offers fall protection) and retracts down to 26 inches (offers support getting in and out of bed)
  • Padded organizer pouch for bedside items
  • 100% satisfaction lifetime guarantee


  • Must use with mattress between 12-16 inches thick

Able Life

Best Extendable Bed Rail

As a branch of Stander company, Able Life shares the same mission of providing customers with freedom, independence and safety. The company focuses on creating products that help seniors enjoy the process of “aging in place” within their homes. Using Able Life’s free online Home Safety Assessment, customers can create a customized plan to fall-proof their home with easy-to-install items that make everyday life easier and safer.

Able Life’s Bedside Extend-A-Rail is one of the only bed rails on the market that can extend in length after being installed, which is why it earns a spot on our list. Users don’t even have to leave the comfort of their bed to adjust the rail with the simple push of a button. The 30-inch extension offers full fall protection while sleeping, and the 20-inch retraction provides a sturdy handle for maneuvering in and out of bed.

Overview of Bedside Extend-A-Rail from Able Life


Without legs

Safety Features

Adjustable rail length, Safety strap

Bed Compatibility

All sizes




1 Year Limited Guarantee

Key Specifications

  • 18 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Material: Metal
  • Supports up to 300 lbs
  • Product Weight: 8 lbs

Pros and Cons of Extend-A-Rail


  • Extendable rail adds extra fall protection while laying in bed
  • Convenient button for retracting and extending rail
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Sturdy metal frame


  • Not compatible with adjustable beds or extra soft mattresses

Royal Medical Solutions

Best Customer Service

Royal Medical Solutions is a Texas-based online store, with warehouses and fulfillment centers located across the country to ensure timely deliveries on all orders. The company offers many different types of products, including mobility, bedroom and bathroom aids, incontinence care, daily living aids, and more. A “customer first” motto drives everything Royal Medical Solutions does, from creating products based off of direct customer feedback, to offering free shipping on all orders.

Royal Medical Solutions further proves its dedication to customers with its 100% satisfaction guarantee on all items. If you are unhappy with your order for whatever reason, the company is more than happy to refund your money. Additionally, those who purchase the Dual Bed Rail enjoy a fast replacement or exchange at any point during the purchaser’s lifetime. Customers can shop with peace of mind, knowing that they will be covered under this generous policy.

Overview of RMS Dual Bed Rail from Royal Medical Solutions


Without legs

Safety Features

Non-slip foam padding

Bed Compatibility

Full, Twin




Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Key Specifications

  • 33 x 26 x 3 inches
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Supports up to 250 lbs
  • Product Weight: 11.6 lbs

Pros and Cons of RMS Dual Bed Rail


  • Non-slip foam padding prevents rail from shifting under mattress
  • Dual rails provide protection on both bed sides
  • Adjustable rail height accommodates pillow tops and large comforters
  • No tools required for set up


  • Fits full and twin bed sizes only

Financial Assistance for Seniors Buying Bed Rails

You may be concerned about using a bed without side rails if you have mobility limitations or certain health conditions. Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of in-home bed rails unless you also need a hospital bed. But, there are options for seniors who need low-cost or free bed rails and who do not have the means to pay for them entirely out-of-pocket.  

For those who don’t need a hospital bed in addition to bed rails, Nationwide AT Programs or Easterseals organizations can be a way to get more affordable bed rails. Both of these organizations provide free or reduced-cost medical equipment and accessories as well as equipment loans for those who qualify. Seniors with a military affiliation can also enroll in CHAMPVA and TRICARE programs to receive coverage for durable medical equipment. However, they must show that the equipment is medically necessary. All of these options are explained in more detail below.  

Medicare Coverage of Bed Rails

Individuals enrolled in Original Medicare must pay for bed rails out-of-pocket unless the rails are a part of an approved hospital bed. If medically necessary, hospital beds with bed rails are covered under Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and are considered durable medical equipment (DME). However, there are certain requirements that must be met before Medicare will approve a claim for a hospital bed and make a payment. 

For hospital bed coverage, patients must have a medical need that requires the use of a fixed-height bed and a doctor’s prescription for its in-home use. Beyond this, there are further requirements for coverage depending on the type of bed. These are outlined in the table below.

Bed Type

Requirements for Coverage

Variable-height (manual height, head, and leg adjustment)

Individual requires bed adjustments to move from a chair, wheelchair, or standing position

Semi-electric (manual height adjustment and electric head and leg adjustment)

Individual requires many or very quick bed adjustments

Heavy-duty, Extra-wide 

Individual weighs between 350 and 600 pounds


Individual weighs more than 600 pounds

Bed rails for approved hospital beds must also be medically necessary to be covered by Medicare. Further, they must be a part of the approved bed. If they are purchased or billed separately, Medicare will not cover the bed rails and the purchaser will be responsible for paying for them out-of-pocket.

Steps To Get a Bed Rail Through Original Medicare

Beyond knowing the basic requirements for coverage, those enrolled in Medicare Part B will need to know what steps to take to get a hospital bed with railings approved by Medicare. These steps are as follows:

  1. Make an appointment with a doctor or treating provider (ie. nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or clinical nurse specialist) enrolled and actively participating in Medicare. At the appointment, you will need to:
    • Discuss the need for a hospital bed with railings. 
    • Ensure the doctor has documentation showing that you were evaluated and that the bed and railings are medically necessary. 
  1. Locate a supplier. To assist in this process, Medicare has a medical equipment and suppliers search engine on its website. Exercise caution with this step, as the supplier must meet the following requirements:
    • Be enrolled and actively participating in Medicare.
    • Have a supplier number. Without a supplier number, Medicare will not pay a claim under any circumstance.
    • Agree to accept Medicare assignment. If the supplier will not agree to accept the assignment, that means they may charge more than Medicare will allow and this will not be covered.
  2. Assist the doctor and the supplier so they can work together. The supplier will ensure the doctor provides Medicare with all necessary information to get coverage approved.  

Once approved and after the annual Part B deductible has been met, 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the bed and railings will need to be paid out-of-pocket (unless you have Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap).   

Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage of Bed Rails

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, can help with some of the out-of-pocket costs that remain after Medicare pays its share of bed rail costs. 

Before Medicare will begin paying for DME, such as a hospital bed with bed rails, an individual enrolled in Medicare Part B must have met the Part B deductible. After this is paid, they will then need to pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the equipment, with Medicare covering the remainder. Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, can help with some of these out-of-pocket costs.

Both Medigap Plan C and Plan F cover the Part B deductible. However, these plans are no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries as of January 1, 2020. Those already enrolled may keep this coverage, and those eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but who have not yet enrolled, may still sign up for Medigap Plan C and Plan F coverage. Others will no longer be eligible for Medigap coverage of the Part B deductible.

Medigap plans also cover some of the coinsurance that patients are otherwise responsible for. In other words, patients would have help covering the 20% of the Medicare-approved amount required when purchasing a hospital bed with rails.  

Medicare Advantage Coverage of Bed Rails

Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover the same medically necessary items and services as Medicare Parts A and B. Because Medicare Part B covers medically necessary hospital beds and accessories, Medicare Advantage plans should as well. However, there may be exceptions and specific costs will vary. The point of contact to get DME and accessories such as hospital beds and rails covered when enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan is the plan’s primary care provider. If they do deny coverage, an individual has a right to appeal and receive an independent review of the coverage request.  

Medicaid Coverage of Bed Rails

Although Medicaid programs vary from state to state, they will usually cover durable medical equipment and accessories that are medically necessary if they are approved before they are purchased. The process to get such equipment approved for coverage is typically as follows:

  1. A health care provider creates a document explaining the necessity of equipment for an individual based on medical reasons. In some states, the doctor must write a prescription. 
  2. A Medicaid-approved supplier chosen by the individual needing equipment is given the doctor’s document and/or prescription.
  3. The supplier fills out and submits a prior approval application and sends it to Medicaid.
  4. Medicaid determines whether to approve or deny the application based on medical necessity and/or regulations.
  5. If the application is approved, the supplier will send the individual the equipment. Medicaid will be sent a bill and will pay the supplier. Those with full Medicaid benefits will typically have all costs covered.
  6. If denied, a letter will be sent providing an explanation. It is possible to appeal this decision.

These are general steps and coverage is never guaranteed. For specific details about whether or not Medicaid will cover bed rails, contact the Medicaid program in your state. Contact information is provided in the following table:

State Name

Medicaid Contact Information 

State Medicaid Website










800-843-6154 or 800-226-0768


















1-800-642-3195 or 1-855-789-5610


651-201-5178 or 800-657-3793


800-421-2408 or 601-359-6050 or contact a Regional Medicaid Office 







New Hampshire

1-844-275-3447 or contact a Department of Health & Human Service Office

New Jersey


New Mexico


New York

1-800-541-2831 or contact a Local Department of Social Services

North Carolina

888-245-0179 or 877-201-3750

North Dakota

800-755-2604 or 701-328-7068






800-273-0557 or contact a Coordinated Care Organization


1-866-550-3455 or contact a County Assistance Office

Rhode Island

1-800-964-6211 or 401-784-8100

South Carolina


South Dakota

800-597-1603 or 605-773-3495






1-800-662-9651 or 801-538-6155




1-804-786-7933 or 1-833-522-5582 


1-877-501-2233 or 1-800-562-3022

Washington, DC


West Virginia



800-362-3002 or contact a local agency



Resources for Bed Rails for Veterans and their Families

There are resources available to help veterans and their families with the costs of DME accessories such as bed rails. These include CMAMPVA and specific TRICARE programs. Program descriptions, coverage details, eligibility criteria, and more are provided for these programs in the following two sections.

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

This program is intended for spouses, surviving spouses, or children of veterans with disabilities or who have died. CHAMPVA is another way for these individuals to get health insurance if they do not qualify for TRICARE (health care for active-duty and retired service members and their families). The CHAMPVA program covers health care services and supplies, including durable medical equipment (DME) and DME customization and accessories. If accessories such as bed rails are approved for coverage and CHAMPVA is the primary payer, the patient will pay a $50 individual or $100 family deductible and a 25% cost share. If CHAMVA is a secondary or tertiary payer, accessories will usually be fully covered.  

Those interested in the CHAMPVA program should check their eligibility and, if confirmed, apply for benefits. You are eligible for CHAMPVA if at least one of these is true:

  • Your spouse or parent is a Veteran rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by the VA
  • You’re the spouse or child of a Veteran who died because of a VA-rated and service-connected disability
  • You’re the spouse or child of a Veteran who died and was rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability at the time of death
  • You’re the spouse or child of a service member who died in the line of the duty and not because of any misconduct

To apply to the CHAMPVA program, individuals must mail the following to the VHA Office of Community Care in Denver, CO or fax the paperwork to 303-331-7809. 

  1. An application and other health insurance certification form
  2. A copy of their Medicare card (if enrolled) or documentation that they don’t qualify for Medicare benefits from the Social Security Administration if 65 years old or older. 
  3. A copy of the legal document that ended the marriage for surviving spouses who remarried but are again single. 
  4. Birth certificate or adoption paper copies for dependent children and school certification of full-time enrollment for children who are 18 to 23 years of age. 

Explore answers to frequently asked questions about CHAMPVA or contact a program representative at 800-698-2411.


Tricare provides heath care coverage for active-duty and retired service members as well as their families. It covers DME prescribed by a physician as well as medically necessary DME customization, attachments, or accessories that are needed due to a medical disability. This may include bed rails for a bed that meets TRICARE DME criteria (can withstand repeated use, serves a primarily medical purpose, and is not useful to those without injuries or illnesses).  

There are many Tricare health plans, and five of these are available to veterans and their dependents. However, individuals must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to be eligible for any TRICARE benefits. Additional program eligibility criteria and more is available in the following table.

Tricare Plan Information for Veterans

Tricare Plan


Contact Information

Who is Eligible for Benefits

Enrollment Information

Managed care in areas close to military hospitals and clinics. Eligibility is determined by travel time and distance to a Primary Care Manager, with some exceptions. 

Find and contact your Regional TRICARE Contractor

Retired service members and their families qualify if they live in a Prime Services Area or waive drive time standards.* 

Steps to enrollment are provided on the TRICARE Prime page of the TRICARE website. 

This is a self-managed, preferred provider organization plan that is only available in the United States. 

Find and contact your Regional TRICARE Contractor

Retired service members and their families and retired Guard/Reserve members at age 60 and their families 

Steps to enrollment are provided on the TRICARE Select page of the TRICARE website

A plan in six areas of the United States with care given through community-based networks. Patients choose their own primary care physician who gives referrals to specialists and hospitals. 

1-800-748-7347 or contact a health care customer representative

Retired service members and their families who are 64 years old or younger.**

Retired National Guard and Reserve members age 60 (with retired pay) and their families.**

Steps to enrollment are provided on the US Family Health Plan page of the TRICARE website

Coverage is automatic for eligible beneficiaries with both Medicare Part A and B. 

In the US: Wisconsin Physicians Service 

International callers:

International SOS

Coverage is guaranteed if retirees and their families have both parts of Original Medicare. 

No enrollment required.

A self-managed, preferred provider plan that provides coverage overseas.

Retired service members and their families and Guard/Reserve members at age 60 and their families.

Steps to enrollment are provided on the TRICARE Select Overseas page of the TRICARE website

*Note: If they qualify for Medicare based on age, these individuals can no longer enroll in TRICARE Prime.

**Note: Retirees enrolled on or before September 30, 2012 can stay enrolled in a US Family Health Plan beyond the age of 64. Those who enrolled after this date must transition to Tricare For Life after turning 65. 

National Financial Assistance Resources for Bed Rails

There are programs available to seniors and others who need financial assistance with bed rails and who have a disability. The following organizations provide equipment loans or equipment at no or low cost to individuals around the United States who qualify for their services.


Funded by public contributions, Easterseals organizations offer a wide variety of services, including assistive technology and refurbished medical equipment loans for people of all ages with all kinds of disabilities. Available equipment may include hospital beds with or without railings and loans of equipment may last for as long as they are needed. Some small fees may apply. Easterseals is a national nonprofit, and the services offered as well as the service requirements can vary by location. Contact a local Easterseals for specific information about its equipment availability and loan policies. 

AT Programs

Federal funds as well as a combination of state, public, and/or private funds are used in all 50 states, four US territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for AT programs. These programs help those with disabilities learn about, try, and obtain assistive technology (AT) for substantial discounts or at no cost. Available AT includes devices or equipment that help individuals with disabilities with the activities of daily living, such as hospital beds and bed railings. AT programs serve all individuals with any type of disability, chronic health condition, or functional limitation. For more information, contact the AT program representatives in your state listed in this online directory.   

Additional Financial Assistance Resources for Bed Rails

In addition to large financial assistance programs with services across the country, there are also many organizations that offer local help with accessing durable medical equipment and accessories. Included in the table below are resources available to seniors and others who meet certain eligibility criteria in the states of Georgia, Colorado, Texas, New Hampshire, California, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Missouri, and more. 



How They Help

Contact FODAC in the state of Georgia or one of its partner organizations for out-of-state service.

FODAC is a program with both a regional and national network. It and its partner organizations provide those with disabilities with new or refurbished home medical equipment. This includes hospital beds, which may or may not have rails.


Collects donations of gently used equipment including hospital beds, bed rails, bed rail pads, and more. It then sells them at affordable prices to individuals and families residing in New Jersey or Philadelphia.

970-624-6002 or 970-515-6935

Good Health Will collects donated medical equipment and health care supplies and sells them at amounts between 10% to 50% of their retail value. Although storefronts are located in Colorado, Good Health Will can ship smaller items across the US. Unfortunately, bed rails can only be delivered locally. 


Refurbished medical equipment is provided to people with a disability or mobility issue in South Texas who cannot afford it or who don’t have insurance benefits that will cover it.


Services cover seven towns in New Hampshire with an office in Derry. Community Caregivers has a Loaner’s Closet for DME that allows users to keep equipment as long as needed for free.


Located in Lacey, Washington, this equipment bank allows individuals to borrow equipment and return it when no longer needed. 


Receives donations of gently used in-home durable medical equipment, including bed rails. It gives this equipment away to low-income residents in Los Angeles County and Ventura County and/or individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. 


Provides those who are ill or who have a disability with health equipment at no charge in the St. Louis and Jefferson Country regions of Missouri. 

How to Choose a Bed Rail

How to Choose a Bed Rail

Since there are a variety of different styles and features for today’s at-home bed rails, there are many important factors to consider before selecting one. Below, we’ve outlined five steps to help you make an educated and confident decision about the best bed rail for you.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget

Bed rails range in price from around $30 to $150, depending on the style and extra features. With the average price landing at about $50, that leaves some gray area for deciding just how much money you would like to spend. Before purchasing the first bed rail that looks acceptable, we challenge you to determine your budget first. By taking the time to research and answer the questions below, you will be able to set an appropriate budget that meets your needs and moves you one step close to finding your perfect bed rail.

  • Longevity: Do you plan to use this bed rail for a short period of time for injury or surgery recovery, or will you use it over a span of years as you age within your home?
  • Features: Are you interested in a basic bed rail, or one with special features such as adjustable length and height?
  • Size: Do you need a larger bed rail that extends the length of your bed, or are you looking for something smaller and more compact?
  • Warranty: Does the company offer a product warranty with your purchase, or do they charge extra for it?
  • Price Research: Can you find the bed rail for a lower price at another authorized retailer?

Step 2: Consider Your Needs to Identify Your Preferred Bed Rail Type

If you approach the bed rail shopping experience with the assumption that there is not much variety, you will quickly realize that the opposite is true. Whether you have specific physical needs or design preferences, there is a bed rail type for everyone.

Physical Needs

When selecting the best bed rail for you, it’s important to consider your primary physical needs. If the risk of falling off the bed while sleeping is a concern, then you might consider opting for an adjustable rail that extends to prevent falls. On the other hand, if your main need is a padded support handle, then a smaller bed rail with a prominent and comfortable hand-grab is a good choice.

For wheelchair users that need to move the rail completely out of the way while transferring to and from the bed, legless or fold-down models are most helpful. Those that need assistance turning to one side while lying in bed often opt for a crossbar bed rail for extra handholds and support. If your mobility range is limited and you do not have regular caretaker assistance, you might consider a bed rail that is easy to adjust on your own.

Design Preferences

When it comes to bed rails, thoughtful design does not have to be an afterthought. Many rails come in different colors to match the design of your room and even camouflage into the bedspread. Various shapes and sizes provide options for each preference. For example, fold-down and compact styles are a great choice for those who prefer a low profile bed rail. This type allows users to hide the rail out of the way when it’s not in use and easily change linens without rail interference.

Step 3: Check Your Mattress and Bed Frame Compatibility

To avoid buying a bed rail that is not compatible with your mattress and bed frame, it’s important to do your research ahead of time.

Size Requirements

Online product descriptions note which mattress sizes work best with the rail (Twin, Full, Queen or King), so we suggest paying close attention to this detail. They might also note other specific requirements, such as a mattress between 12-16 inches thick or floor clearance of at least 14 inches for folding bed rails. Some adjustable bed rails are able to accommodate several different mattress sizes by expanding and retracting as needed.

Mattress Style

If you have a lightweight mattress, such as a twin size, bed rails with legs are typically a better solution than legless models because they prevent the mattress from lifting up when pressure is exerted. Since legless bed rails receive stability from the weight of a mattress, this type is best paired with heavier styles, like queen or king mattresses. Keep in mind that some bed rails can be used with adjustable beds, while others cannot.

Step 4: Decide Which Features Are Most Important to You

With so many impressive features built into today’s bed rails, it can be difficult to decide what you really need. Before making your selection, it is helpful to identify the features that are most important to you. Below, we’ve outlined the top bed rail feature categories to help you narrow down your preferences.

Safety Features

  • Safety straps and anchors
  • Non-slip foam hand grips
  • Built-in night lights

Adjustable Length and Height

  • Rail length extends to prevent falls while sleeping
  • Rail length retracts to maneuver in and out of bed
  • Hand grip height adjusts to match user’s height
  • Rail lowers out of sight when not in use

Handle Padding

  • Slip-resistant foam material on handle prevents falls
  • Comfort padding is preferred for those with arthritis

Built-in Storage

  • Convenient bed rail pouch holds favorite bedside items like reading glasses, medications, books, and more.

Step 5: Evaluate the Company’s Customer Service

Before committing to a bed rail, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the company’s customer service standards. Return and warranty policies, phone and email support, and the presence of discounts and promotions are all indicators of whether or not a company is invested in its customers. Review the questions below to aid in your evaluation:

Returns and Warranties

  • If you are dissatisfied with your bed rail for any reason, can you return it for a prompt refund or exchange within 30 days of the purchase date?
  • Is there a product warranty policy in place? Do you need to register your bed rail for a warranty, or are all purchased products automatically registered?
  • How long is the bed rail protected under the warranty policy? For example: 90 days, 2 years, 5 years, or lifetime.
  • If the company offers a lifetime warranty, does it cover the bed rail for the lifetime of the purchaser, or for the length of time that they continue to manufacture the product?
  • Is the bed rail under a limited warranty? Keep in mind that limited warranties typically put limits on what the manufacturer is responsible to replace. For example, the company may provide a replacement for a faulty product, but not if the purchaser damages the item through their own actions.

Phone and Email Support

  • Does the company offer any support for its customers?
  • What are the support phone line hours, and how easy is it to speak to an agent in a timely manner?
  • How knowledgeable are the customer agents about their products?
  • What is the company’s email support response time?

Discounts and Promotions

  • Does the company offer any discounts or special promotions? For example: free shipping and returns, veteran’s discount, bundle offers and holiday promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be avoided when using bed rails?

Gaps over 2.36 inches between the end of the bed rail and the headboard should be avoided due to risk of neck entrapment. Additionally, gaps over 4.72 inches from any accessible opening between the bed rail and the mattress platform may entrap the user’s body. Extra high mattresses can also lessen the effectiveness of bed rails, causing the user to roll over the rail. Lastly, lightweight mattresses with edges that easily compress are more likely to cause a vertical gap between the mattress and bed rail.

Are bed rails safe for seniors?

Yes, bed rails are safe for seniors when used in alignment with the manufacturer’s safety requirements. For example, many companies urge customers to test their mattress by taking their fist and applying about 12 lbs of weight on the edge of the mattress. If the mattress compresses by about 2 inches, it is recommended that they do not use the bed rail. Unfortunately, death and injury related to entrapment and falls caused by bed rails have been reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For this reason, it is important to closely monitor older adults and those with physical and mental limitations while using bed rails.

What are bed rail alternatives?

While bed rails are helpful, there are several alternatives to reduce the risk of injury from falls in the bedroom. For some, lowering the bed as close to the floor as possible is a great solution. Many adjustable beds allow users to lower and lift the bed as needed, which gives users flexibility. Another option is to place non-slip mattress pads or cushions by the sides of the bed to soften any falls. For those that still like to hold onto something while getting in and out of bed, a vertical pole secured to the ground next to the bed is helpful. Lastly, a bed trapeze can lower and lift users out of bed safely and securely.

Do side rails prevent falls?

Yes, side or bed rails generally aid in preventing falls for those at risk of falling out of bed. Extendable bed rails allow users to adjust the rail to fit the length of their bed, which provides extra protection and peace of mind. When not sleeping, users can shorten the rail to serve as a supportive handle when maneuvering in and out of bed. It’s important to remember that for those with significant physical or mental limitations, bed rails should not be used as a substitute for vigilant nursing care.

Can you add rails to a regular bed?

Yes, you can add bed rails to regular beds, including twin, full, queen and king sizes. Before purchasing a rail, it’s important to make note of the manufacturer’s bed size requirements. For example, some bed rails are only compatible with twin or queen size mattresses. If you plan to use the bed rail on different size beds, you might consider purchasing an adjustable rail that lengthens or shortens based on the bed size. Keep in mind that some bed rails work with adjustable bed models, while others are better suited for standard beds.