Oesophageal Patients Association
3,729 members2,251 posts

REFLUX - SLEEPING POSITION - ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE BED

REFLUX - SLEEPING POSITION - ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE BED

Several members have raised this subject in the past, particularly when having despaired of blocks, wedges, pillows and other contrivances.

Here is one I found which appears to be a well made, multi-position W-function metal construction.

£549 on Amazon or from the Swiss supplier (mattress extra) seems to be a reasonable investment in getting sound rest and avoiding the danger of inhalation pneumonia.

There is a cheaper non-electric version.

beliani.co.uk/electric-bed-...

[ I should stress that I don't own one or have any other experience of the product]

13 Replies
oldestnewest

Thanks Gutless. Both posts very informative and helpful.

Re the electric bed though - it's my understanding that you need a special mattress and can't just use any type. This makes these beds rather expensive. Having done some research locally, I have found complete beds (VAT free) for between £700 and £800. These are also ones which elevate top, centre and tail. The ones I found come from local, independent suppliers - not the big chains - and are not purely medical providers.

Having said that, we haven't bought one as my husband refuses to - he's adamant he doesn't need one and says he gets on perfectly well with extra pillows. He refused to use the wedge I got him either. I am worried about aspiration pneumonia but I can't force him to do anything!

Hopefully, he's one of the fortunate ones.

Best wishes, Kate

1 like
Reply

Morning Kate

Spring mattresses don't take kindly to the flexing on this type of base so Beliani do a memory foam for £289; that's in the same ballpark as the one's you have located. It is not possible to manufacture bed mechanisms locally, hence it is a re-branding game. There may be some small, local operations able to fabricate wooden elements and upholster because the transport element on divans allows room to manoevre - I speak as one who used to own a joint venture with Silentnight and introduced Sealy from America!

Sorry to hear your other half is a gambling man........time to re-introduce Sister's Little Rule Book?

Reply

Thanks. I think it's just that some of the bed shops in our area are independent and perhaps don't work on the same profit margins - or it could be that Norfolk has a large retirement population. I'm sure they don't make the beds themselves - just that they sell cheaper perhaps because they are independent and their overheads are smaller. Before my husband came out of hospital, I did a fair amount of shopping around and there was a massive difference in price! I'm sure it's the same all over the country.

As said though, it was a wasted effort and I've just given up advising/trying to persuade about anything now. It just causes friction. He's a grown man - so I shall just leave him to do his own thing. He will anyway - so there is no point in arguing!

Reply

I do not have personal experience of these beds, other than remembering that IKEA did one at one time, and may still do so. So it might be worth a price check.

I agree that the mattresses have to be compatible.

The other post that stated that the head of the normal bed would have to be raised by 15-20cms in height to have any effect against reflux was interesting; also that enough of the chest area needs to be raised so that reflux does not stay in the lower end of the oesophagus. It looks like this one fits that criterion. The medical studies, as you say, do not take into account whether one has had an oesophagectomy.

There is a fair amount of trial and error. I must say that I could not get on with a wedge, but I have only very slight issues with night time reflux so my personal experience does not really count here. But you do need to be comfortable in order to sleep properly and it is getting both aspects right that counts. It can be very expensive going in for a new adjustable bed, but having maximum flexibility on the adjustment, and a W-shape that can raise the knees, does seem to be worth consideration.

1 like
Reply

Hi Alan!

I did check on the IKEA site too - but it doesn't look as though they do adjustable beds any more. As you rightly say, the ability to sleep comfortably is paramount - so, as my husband appears to manage Ok with 2 pillows, he must be! He says he doesn't suffer with reflux, but I guess that what worries me is the insidious seeping of stomach contents into the lung whilst he's asleep - and thus causing aspiration pneumonia. Perhaps I'm worrying needlessly as I guess he would wake up coughing if that happened?

Having read many posts on this subject, it would appear that everyone has different views on the subject - some swear by the wedge, others by an adjustable bed and some (like my husband) just use an extra pillow. I have heard of the bed raisers (and seen them on Amazon) but not heard of anyone's experience of them. 15-20 cm is quite a lift and I wonder how stable the bed would be and surely one would just slowly slide down in the night? I wish some research would be done on post oesophagectomy patients in this respect.

Best wishes,

Kate

Reply

Kate ,I can only speak of my own experience which is that a handful of times I've woken with what I assume is aspiration because it's a very different feeling from acid reflux .

I have felt as though I'm choking and it's hard to draw breath .Also much more painful ,more burning .

I could be completely wrong and maybe this is bile reflux and not aspiration ,so would love to hear others experience .

But I don't think that you could have reflux into the lungs and not be aware .

1 like
Reply

Thanks for the update re IKEA

1 like
Reply

We got an adjustable bed from hsl who have a local store where you can try the beds and mattresses. This was more satisfactory than peple coming out with demo beds and 1 type of matress. Cheaper too. I am very happy with it and think it is worth the expense

Reply

Something else to remember, check the height of the beds. if you are otherwise healthy it may not be a problem. I spent several years trying to get one, and when I finally did, my hubby was too ill and the bed did not move up and down. We then had to get a proper hospital bed that raised and lowered. If you can afford the 'works' I would go for it, just in case.

Reply

My experience is that an electric bed is a waste of money, I had two at considerable expense but disposed of them after six months. Best thing I ever did was buying the foam wedge from Puttnams.

Reply

Can you be more specific ---what didn't you like about them?

[Please remember that the purpose of this site is to try to provide some guidance to members.....strangely in the case of this subject opinions could not be more contradictory!]

Reply

Had my adjustable bed for about three years now, absolutely love it. My biggest struggle now is when I stay away from home and need loads of pillows to compensate, I also have an inflatable wedge I take. The mattress is none sprung and overall I see it as money well spent. We got two joined as a double from our local independent bed center.

Reply

We bought my hubby an adjustable bed before his op last August and it's been really good-I'm glad we did. However, it is very high (the mattress is very deep) and he needs a little footstool to get in and out!!

He now uses a triangular pillow with it to stop him sliding sideways. This was also brilliant in the car just after the operation. We live over an hour from the hospital and it made the drive home so much easier for him. It was worth the money just for that!

Lou

Reply

You may also like...