There are a variety of bed rails available, from the ones that you can hold on to push yourself out of bed to the ones that prevent you from falling out of bed. Do you need a full or half rail? One that goes under the bed or one that fits between the box spring and the mattress? The different rails provide varying degrees of support. A rail for a 78-year-old might not work for an 8-year-old.

The first question you need to ask when looking for a bed rail is, why do you need it? Do you need it for standing up when getting out of bed? Or do you need it to prevent falling out of bed? Perhaps you require both. You also have to keep the user in mind. Small rails will do the job for a child; however, they will not be strong enough for an adult.

Security or safety bed rails usually extend the entire length of the bed. They usually go under the mattress and have rails on both sides of the bed which are adjustable. This makes getting into and out of bed easier. L-shaped security rails slide under one side of the mattress.

This is a good choice if one side of the bed is against a wall or if there is another person on the other side of the bed. Some bed rails are difficult to adjust while in bed and these are made to keep the person safe while they are in bed. These should only be used when a caretaker is around, who can help with getting the user into and out of bed.

Another kind of bed rail is the “transfer” or “grip” rail. These are usually the L-shaped one-sided rail that goes under the mattress. There are some models that stand on the floor. They have a handle to grip when you are getting into or out of bed. They are usually stationary, but some do swing to one side away from the bed, giving a better grip when standing.

These transfer rails can also serve as security rails. Although they don’t run along the entire length of the bed, they can still stop someone from falling out.

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