If you have a loved one with special needs, you know the importance of creating a safe, calming environment at bedtime. After all, sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for individuals with special needs.
Unfortunately, traditional beds aren’t always conducive to creating the necessary bedtime environment. Their height above the floor can cause harmful falls, their sheets can quickly become messy and hard to clean, and the lack of barriers makes it easier for their users to elope throughout the evening, potentially leading to dangerous scenarios.
A special needs bed can resolve all of those hazards. With built-in safety features, like mesh netting to prevent falls and extra padding to prevent bumping body parts against the frame, a special needs bed can significantly improve the health and wellbeing of special needs individuals.
But purchasing a special needs bed isn’t like buying a traditional bed, where you can walk around the showroom and test out a few different mattresses in search of the perfect blend of comfort, size, and prize. Choosing the right special needs bed requires a deep understanding of the necessary features and the right financing options.
Strategies for Buying A Special Needs Bed
If you’re shopping for a new bed, follow these recommendations:
1. Narrow down your best options.
The market is filled with excellent special needs beds to support the people you love, but they’re not all created equally! Many of them are designed for a specific target audience, making them poor fits for other special needs individuals.
The Pedicraft bed and The Safety Sleeper®, for example, are two popular special needs beds, but the Pedicraft bed is better suited to long-term health care facilities, while The Safety Sleeper® is better for children with special needs. Because of this, they also come at different price points!
For help, talk to your doctor or primary health care provider for recommendations. Since they’re most familiar with your loved one’s individual needs, they may be able to suggest an ideal bed with the best assortment of features. In some cases, they can even write a prescription for certain beds.
You can also conduct your own research. A few questions to help guide your search:
- Do you require head and food articulation (elevation)?
- Should the bed be large enough for a service animal to co-sleep nearby?
- Do you need a bed that can accommodate a Hoyer lift?
- Do you need a bed that can prevent your loved one from sensory seeking and burrowing under the mattress?
- If the bed offers protective netting, will you require multiple access points to assist my loved one?
- What sort of safety features do you need?
- Will the bed be used by an adult or a child?
- Will the bed need to travel on long trips?
- Will the bed need to be rolled from room to room within a facility or home?
- Do you expect to regularly clean or machine wash the bed?
Carefully considering these and other questions can help you arrive at the best option possible!
2. Find the best payment option.
While you normally have only one or two payment options when it comes to purchasing a traditional bed, most special needs bed sellers offer a variety of payment strategies. That’s good news, as many special needs beds start around $2,000 (roughly the price of a traditional mattress and boxspring) and can quickly increase to $20,000 or more!
Because these prices can greatly exceed the price of a typical bed, it’s useful to explore all of the payment strategies. When it comes to paying for a special needs bed, you can often use one of the following options:
Pay completely out of pocket. This is rarely the ideal option. However, if you don’t qualify for financing, insurance, or Medicaid, paying out of pocket is an option. If this is your best strategy, consider using a crowdfunding option to request assistance from your community. We’ll explain crowdfunding in more detail in a moment!
Leverage a payment plan or credit card. Even if you do have to pay out of pocket, the manufacturer or seller may offer a payment plan that allows you to reduce the overall costs into affordable monthly payments. If those options are not available, you can also consider paying for your special needs bed with a credit card, which would then allow you to break up your payments a little further—though you may also have to pay interest on top of the price of the bed. Services like Affirm can offer even greater flexibility with six months interest-free!
Use insurance. Your insurance company may cover or offset the cost of your special needs bed, depending on your insurance plan. If you’d like to approach your insurance company for assistance, we highly recommend submitting a Letter of Medical Necessity, which can greatly increase your chances of qualifying for financial assistance.
- Rely on third-party funding. Because special needs beds can be expensive, some parents turn to crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe to receive financial assistance from the community. Unfortunately, these platforms regularly charge transactional fees, cutting into your donations. We recently partnered with Tadpole Adaptive, a wonderful crowdfunding platform and online store that does not charge transactional fees. Tadpole Adaptive also specializes in supporting the special needs community, and you can even purchase special needs beds on their website!
3. Order your bed.
With your finances in order, you’re ready to order your bed! Depending on the store, you should be able to order the bed online, without needing to visit a showroom.
Once your bed arrives, we recommend reading all of the paperwork. A special needs bed can be a complicated piece of engineering, and the better you understand its features, the better you can use it!
Explore Your Special Needs Beds Options
If you’re interested in learning more about special needs beds, check out The Safety Sleeper options. Our fully enclosed safety beds offer a variety of useful features while keeping your loved one safe and happy throughout the night. Contact us to learn more!