Many elderly adults struggle to get in and out of a standard-height bed.
Why? Well, pushing up off of a bed requires a certain level of body strength and stability that many seniors lose as they age. This makes it more difficult to get out of bed and even dangerous, with the potential to lose balance and fall while trying to upright themselves with a swinging motion.
With a tall bed, a senior can simply scoot to the end of the mattress and drop their feet onto the ground, allowing them to stand up easily and requiring less effort to push up to stand up from the bed and squat to sit down on the bed.
The need for a tall bed is especially vital for taller seniors, as the difficulty of getting in and out of bed compounds extensively for those of a higher height.
On top of that, most standard bed frames today are fairly low, with many appreciating the minimalist look of a lower bed. Seniors will likely want to opt for some extra lift!
Ways to Make a Bed Taller (So That It’s Easier for Seniors)
Let’s go ahead and explore several options for how to make a bed taller for an elderly senior who could benefit from an elevated setup.
1. Add a Set of Bed Risers
When it comes to methods for making a bed taller, bed risers are often the most popular (and probably the easiest) option.
Bed risers are stackable, often cone-shaped structures that attach easily underneath your bed at the corners of the frame and give you about 2-4 inches of height.
Many bed risers can be stacked, allowing you to add more height as needed until you reach a comfortable level.
Bed risers also come in a few different styles, with plastic being the most popular and budget-friendly option. Metal and wood bed risers are also an option.
Some don’t love the look of bed risers, do consider choosing risers that will match your existing bed frame or purchase a bed skirt or longer sheets to hide unsightly risers – especially plastic ones, which tend to be the least attractive.
2. Upgrade to an Adjustable Bed Frame
Adjustable bed frames are a more expensive option, but allow the bed base and mattress to be adjusted to the height that you need. Best of all, you can alter the bed’s positioning on the fly, using a remote to control the upper and lower half of the bed independently.
Adjustable beds can vary in terms of cost, but many offer unique bonus features like USB charging, multiple zones (so a partner can adjust their positioning separate from your own). Some even have a built-in massage function!
3. Switch to a Box Spring
Box springs have largely gone out of style due to how cumbersome they are, and what a pain they are to move with! However, box springs are a solid and relatively simple option to help raise a bed up – especially if you’re currently using bed slats.
4. Add on a Foam Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers are another option to make the bed taller, with various bed toppers providing different levels of thickness and comfort. A 3-5 inch memory foam topper can not only elevate a bed’s total height, it can also provide a great degree of added comfort!
5. Slip a Mattress Wedge Under Your Bed
Mattress wedges slide underneath a standard mattress and raise it up, usually to one size. The idea is to lift up the top half of the sleeper’s trunk to reduce snoring, sleep apnea, and acid reflux.
Mattress wedges provide all those benefits, while also raising and angling the bed so that it’s easier for an older person to get in and out of.
Mattress wedges come in various sizes, thicknesses, and materials.
6. Add a Foundation Underneath Your Bed
Some people choose to raise up a bed’s height by adding some kind of support foundation underneath the mattress. Bookshelves that have been turned over on their sides are one popular DIY method of raising up a bed, while cinderblocks are another super cost-effective option.
7. Add Wheels
Wheels raise up a bed anywhere from 2-4 inches depending on the wheels. Similar to using a set of bed risers, wheels can be installed at the four corners of a standard bed frame, lifting up the bed while providing the added benefit of easier movement.
If you have a bed that needs to be relocated or moved from time to time, wheels are a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Just make sure to lock the wheels when you’re not moving the bed around!
8. Buy a Taller Mattress
While it’s definitely the most expensive option, you could always consider buying a taller mattress, especially if your older one is overdue for being replaced anyway.
How to Install Bed Risers to Make a Bed Higher
Installing bed risers is very easy and straightforward. Just make sure you have a friend help you, as lifting a bed and moving a mattress can be tricky to do on your own.
Step 1: Remove the Mattress From the Frame
First off, you’ll want to remove the mattress from the bed’s frame. While technically you could attempt to add bed risers without removing the mattress, taking off the mattress will make things much easier, as the frame will be lighter to lift and adjust as needed.
Step 2: Lift up the Bed Frame and Slip Risers Under
Next, you’ll lift up the bed’s legs one at a time and slip a bed riser under each bedpost. There will be a frame or recessed section where your bed frame’s foot should be able to snap into the bed riser piece.
Step 3: Check the Security of
Once all the bed risers are in place, give the bed a firm but gentle tug to make sure they’re secure. If one or more bed risers slip out of place, adjust the riser and ensure each riser can be secured within its recessed area.
Step 4: Add the Mattress Back Ont
Finally, it’s time to slide your mattress back onto the bed frame. Now you have a raised bed!
Other Things to Consider When Raising a Bed’s Height
- Can Your Pet Still Get on the Bed? If you have a small dog or elderly pet, they may struggle to hop up on your bed once it’s more elevated. Of course, plenty of folks don’t sleep with their pets, and you can always set up your pet with a cozy bed of their own right at the end of your bedroom. But, if you want your pets to still be able to access your bed without injuring their joints, consider installing a set of pet stairs or a pet ramp!
- Nightstands and side tables. Raising your bed’s height might also require you to get taller nightstands or raise the level of any side tables you use beside your bed so that you can comfortably access your book, reading glasses, etc.
- You’ll Get Extra Storage. Raising a bed often means that you’ll get more space under the bed. A lot of this extra space can be used for storing things like winter clothes, books, or other items you’d normally store in a closet.
- Consider Compatability With Other Sleep Gear. If a senior employs the use of bed steps or an over the bed table, be sure that you can adjust the height of these other items so that they still appropriatly fit the new bed height.
Raising up your bed and making a bed taller doesn’t have to be complicated. While there are plenty of high-tech options, there are also countless ways to make a bed taller with much cheaper materials, like simple bed risers.
Have you ever made your bed taller? What methods did you use? Did you find a taller bed difficult to adjust to, or did you find it much easier to get in and out of? Let us know in the comments!