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Alternating Pressure Pad / Mattress Overlay for Bed Sores

If you’re a standard hospital bed mattress user or are looking for a solution to add even more comfort to your current bed, you can benefit by using one of our hospital bed mattress toppers. Also known as mattress overlays, these are the best hospital bed mattress pads from the most trusted manufacturers. Hospital bed overlays increase comfort for the patient, prevent pressure sores, provide support, and allow for a good, healthy night’s sleep. Shop hospital bed overlays now! Read More...

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  1. Medline Aeroflow Static Air Overlay
  2. Span America Convoluted Foam Overlay
    Span America Convoluted Foam Overlay
    Starting at $23.06
  3. SkiL-Care Decubitus Bed Pad Synthetic Sheepskin
  4. Heels-Off Heel Elevator Convoluted Foam
  5. sunmark Lambs Wool Padding
  6. McKesson Mattress Overlay Convoluted Foam 33 x 72 x 2 Inch
  7. Alternating Pressure Pad and Pump System
    Alternating Pressure Pad and Pump System
    Starting at $48.16
  8. Air Hose for Select Air Mattress
  9. Pressure Guard CFT Self-Adjusting Air Therapy
  10. Premium Guard Gel Foam Overlay
    Premium Guard Gel Foam Overlay
    Starting at $170.00
  11. Convoluted Eggcrate Bed Pad
    Convoluted Eggcrate Bed Pad
    Starting at $48.98
  12. Geo-Matt Mattress Overlay
    Geo-Matt Mattress Overlay
    Starting at $115.12

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Benefits of Hospital Bed Mattress Pads

Hospital bed mattress toppers are made to help individual users sleep better and recover comfortably. Depending on the type of hospital mattress pad being used, it can provide other perks as well, such as pressure relief to treat and prevent bedsores and to improve circulation. Hospital mattress toppers are made to go on the actual hospital bed mattress. In order to choose the correct mattress overlay for your needs, one needs to understand what they’re used for. They can be made from a variety of materials and have different features. 

Types of Hospital Mattress Overlays

With a wide variety of hospital mattress overlays for a hospital bed available for purchase, decisions can become a little confusing. Fortunately, we’ve broken down all of our products into individual categories on our site to make it easier to find the things you need and try to provide as much detail as possible to help you get the right hospital mattress pad for your specific situation. Our top medical manufacturers are right here in the United States and represent some of the most popular providers, offering widespread distribution and exceptional quality guarantees on all of their products. 

Mattress overlays for bed sores can be either static or dynamic, with a static overlay providing constant weight distribution and a dynamic overlay (or an alternating pressure pad) constantly alternating the pressure to provide excellent tension relief as well as superior air circulation. While static mattress overlays contour to the body to reduce pressure and spread the patient's weight over a larger area, the dynamic design uses a power source to change the level of support by inflation and deflation of air cells or constant movement of gel or water throughout the product. Common types of mattress overlays include: 

Alternating Pressure

An alternating pressure pad, or any mattress overlay for bed sores, can improve circulation and prevent and/or heal pressure sores. Alternating pressure overlays work in much the same way as hospital mattresses of the same type – an alternating air pressure system with numerous air pockets that inflate and deflate cyclically. These systems are highly effective in providing bedsore relief as well as helping to prevent more and are widely used by seniors. A specialized alternating pressure overlay can also provide Low Air Loss therapy which prevents moisture build-up between the skin and the mattress surface. Some users can’t afford to purchase the mattresses, so buying these overlays to go on top of their mattresses can do the trick nearly as effectively. 

Air Mattress Overlays

Air pads are made very similarly to their alternating pressure counterparts, but they are just meant to be inflated. Some come with an air pump that is meant to provide continuous pressure instead of alternating pressure to key points of the body. These overlays are designed to give mild to moderate pressure relief to patients for bed sores, to improve circulation, and can also improve joint and back pain. They often represent the less expensive of the air mattress pad types and they don’t provide quite as many benefits either. 

Gel Pads

Gel technology has been around for a very long time in medical applications, but the first gel-infused mattresses have only been around since about 2006. The mattresses that were originally designed weren’t intended for medical applications, but since then the industry has become more popular. A gel overlay for a mattress provides advanced pressure relief to help combat bedsores, but it also helps to keep users cool with advanced moisture control in order to preserve skin health. Gel pads are frequently used in conjunction with foam pads in order to make a hybrid-style mattress overlay and broker even more pressure relief. 


Among materials used in these products, foam has been around perhaps the longest and represents one of the most widely used components for mattress covers. Since the 1960s, eggshell foam has been frequently used to give a softer addition to the top of anyone’s mattress. Around the same time, memory foam was developed and used in government companies such as NASA but wasn’t available for the general market. Foam is often made from polyurethane or cellulose material and provides mild pressure relief. However it remains an excellent choice for use in improving basic comfort and sleep quality. 

Sheepskin Pads

Sheepskin pads have likewise been around for a long time. These pads are used to provide exceptional moisture control by allowing the skin to wick away moisture from the users. Indeed, they prove to be extremely absorbent. Many people can also wash sheepskins, but this isn’t necessary as often as other materials since they are natural and have many antimicrobial properties. Sheepskin overlays are very popular but can be costly in terms of initial investment. The good thing is that they are meant to last, and some sheepskin medical items can literally last for decades where other materials lose their shape or fail over time. 

Safety Concerns

Some people wonder just what specific items they need to watch for when choosing a mattress overlay. The first and foremost concern is whether or not an overlay is lightweight. The good thing is that most are much more lightweight than the typical medical mattress. The important thing to note, though, is that the weight capacity isn’t as high as a mattress itself can be (up to 1,000 lbs. for bariatric hospital mattresses. Most air mattress overlays are only designed to accommodate weights up to 300 lbs., while gel and foam mattresses may be able to handle more. Sheepskin doesn’t necessarily have a weight capacity since it’s a natural ingredient mattress overlay. As far as any other concerns that a patient may have, perhaps the most important is to make sure that the bed overlay is the same size (or close) in comparison to the size of the mattress it is on. This is to ensure not only the user’s safety but also the integrity and longevity of the hospital mattress topper’s material as well.


At AvaCare Medical, we have the right hospital bed mattress topper for all of your needs! If you are on a fixed budget, we provide certain overlays that can provide exceptional comfort for you while fitting within your cost needs. If you require anything at all, we’re here to answer your comments, questions, and concerns and to help you complete your order. If you're in the market for a medical overlay of any kind, check out our great selection of Drive gel overlay mattresses for hospital beds, Invacare gel mattress overlays, and other brand name solutions. As always, if you can't find what you're looking for, simply give us a call at 1-877-813-7799; we'll be glad to help you! You can also send us an email anytime!