6 Best Fall Mats for the Elderly

young female caregiver helping senior woman getting up

Hospitals, care facilities, and independent living communities depend on fall mats for the elderly to prevent major injuries from minor falls. Given their quality, they can also make a perfect addition to a home. If you’re worried about falling from bed, get the protection you need with these full-coverage fall mats. The following are the best mats I’ve found, based on ease of use, durability, and bedside coverage.

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Bedside Floor Safety Mat by Secure
Bedside Floor Safety Mat by Secure

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Secure

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Tri-Fold Bedside Mat from Drive Medical
Tri-Fold Bedside Mat from Drive Medical

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Drive Medical

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1. Bedside Floor Safety Mat by Secure

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This bedside fall safety mat tops our list because of the proven effectiveness of its two-inch thick cushioning. At a mere seven pounds this fall mat is easy to position when needed and simple to remove when not. The material is slip resistant, easy to clean, and visually attractive compared to other leading brands. The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.

Pros:
  • Folds up for easy storage
  • Thick cushioning for maximum fall protection
  • Lightweight, quality material
Cons:
  • Difficult to walk on

2. Tri-Fold Bedside Mat from Drive Medical

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This bedside mat from Drive Medical is lightweight and easy to use. Thicker than most tumbling mats you might find at a gym, this product is a great option for preventing injury from bedside falls. It can be used on both sides of the bed and folds up for easy storage. Made from high-density foam padding, this mat provides safety and convenience for those at risk of falling or rolling out of bed.

Pros:
  • Simple three-fold setup
  • 72” length covers entire bedside
  • Durable, easy-to-clean cover
Cons:
  • May not be ideal for wood floors

3. Bedside Fall Protection Mat by Vive

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The bedside fall protection mat from Vive is a top choice for preventing injuries that result from falling our of bed. This product is made of high-absorption foam padding that is soft enough to drop an egg on from six feet without breaking! The mat also includes a textured, slip-resistant backing, making it perfect for hard floors. The low-profile edges help reduce tripping hazards, while allowing access for wheelchairs and other assistive devices.

Pros:
  • High-density foam for protection and secure footing
  • Beveled edges allow easy access for wheelchairs and walkers
  • Complete bedside coverage
Cons:
  • Surface may require bare feet or slip-resistant socks

4. Flatpad Bedside Fall Safety Mat from Secure

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This bedside fall safety mat from Secure boasts a thinner one-inch profile compared to the two-inch thickness of most other mats. It will assist in preventing serious injuries that result from falling out of bed, and allows for wheelchairs to roll on and off the mat without a problem. With beveled edges, users will find it easy to step on and off without tripping.

Pros:
  • Firm enough for secure footing
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Thin edge is perfect for those who shuffle
Cons:
  • May slip and slide along the floor

5. FALLSHIELD Bedside Safety Mat by NYOrtho

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Often used in nursing homes and other care facilities, the FallShield bedside mat by NYOrtho is a fantastic option for those with restricted movement. The low profile and large width allows users to move across the mat easily while still protecting from falls. The top of the mat is textured and waterproof to avoid slipping while the non-skid bottom keeps it in place on hard surfaces.

Pros:
  • Wide bedside coverage
  • Overall low profile
  • Beveled edges
Cons:
  • Not as soft as other mats

6. Bedside Foam Fall Pad by Roscoe

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This bedside foam pad by Roscoe is unique because of its bifold design and high-compression foam, versus the typical high-density foam. The material gives it a softer feel than similar mats, and a two-inch profile makes it easy to clean, and simple to fold up and stow away when not in use.

Pros:
  • Softer feel than most mats
  • Can be used for exercise
  • No zippers
Cons:
  • Tends to slip on hardwood floors

Features of the Best Bedside Fall Safety Mats

The best fall safety mats are simple to use, durable, and easy to clean. Make sure the mat you choose has these three features, and any other perks that are important to you.

Ease of Use

A quality fall mat for the elderly should be easy to store, will not slide around, and offers a low profile with beveled edges. Easy storage is necessary since most manufacturers recommend stowing the mat when not in use.

Durability

Some fall mats for a bed come with a one-year warranty, which suggests they will deliver a lot of use and are constructed of a durable material. When shopping, look for high-density or high-compression foam.

Easy to Clean

In addition to offering increased durability, the six bedside mats reviewed here are easy to clean and are moisture resistant. Made with high-quality coverings, they wipe down easily and resist mold and mildew.

Part of your Integrative Fall-Prevention Strategy

Fall mats are an excellent way to prevent injuries from bedside falls or roll-offs. However, preventing falls in the first place is the preferred strategy. Many doctors will recommend creating a fall-prevention strategy.

Balance, Strength, and Movement

There are many great programs and exercises available to improve balance and prevent falls for the elderly. These include home-based exercises, tai chi, yoga and other fall-prevention programs.

Use Assistive Devices

An assistive device, even if only temporary, can be an invaluable piece of your overall fall prevention strategy. A cane or walker isn’t the only way to prevent falls–other assistive devices include:

  • Handrails for stairways or steps
  • Nonslip treads for hard surface stairs
  • Raised toilet seat or a toilet seat with armrests
  • Grab-bars for the shower, tub, and other wet areas
  • A sturdy ramp for wheelchairs

Create a Slip-Free Environment

A clutter-free environment not only helps prevents falls, but can also improve overall health by reducing stress. Be sure to inspect the areas where you typically walk and remove anything that could potentially cause a fall. Look for items like newspapers, pet toys, cords and wires, furniture, spills, and loose flooring.

Review Medications

One final tip that should be part of an integrative fall prevention plan is reviewing medications with your doctor. Be conscious of any that cause drowsiness or dizziness and make appropriate plans when taking them. Ask your pharmacist about any over-the-counter medications, and ask the right questions when picking up prescriptions.

Finding the Best Fall Mats for the Elderly

Bedside fall mats are a critical component to preventing injury due to minor falls. While accidents happen, there are always ways to prepare. Get the right mat for your environment and current medical needs by considering the six mats listed above. By cushioning falls, preventing injuries, and staying out of the way when not in use, they are an indispensable part of any fall prevention plan.

Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358?pg=2

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