Unsure about if this product suits your needs?
Let AskSARA guide you

Three simple steps to your personalised advice report

1 Choose a topic

2 Answer some questions

3 Get advice

Start here

Bed safety rails

This section includes bed rails and accessories are designed to prevent a person from falling out of bed, but should never be used to restrain the user. They are suitable for adults, children or both. A user who attempts to climb over the rails may fall from an even greater height.

Bed rails may be suitable for hospital or domestic beds. Most hospital rails attach to the frame of a hospital bed and retract for access. Domestic rails usually have bars which run across and between the bed and the mattress for greater security. Rails may be rigid, inflatable or made of netting.

Padding designed for bed safety rails provides additional comfort and reduces the risk of injury from the rails. Padding is also available for head and foot boards.

Adjustable Cot Sides
Drop down side rail for divan base. Adjustable in width, length and height using a pin clip system. Able to be installed on a single, double or king s...
All Round Protection Bumpers
Bumpers designed to prevent adult cotside rail entrapment. Comprises: full length side bumpers; head and foot board padding.
Bead-filled Pos-pod Tri-bars Supports
Triangular side supports attached to a base sheet designed to help prevent users from rolling off the bed. Comprises: bead filling; anti-bacteria, ant...
Bed Bumpers
Pair of foam bumpers to fit to bedside rails. Supplied with covers and available in choice of size.
Bed Padding
Bed padding. Comprises: padding with back board. Options: can be fitted the wall with brackets or Velcro; bespoke sizes; range of colours.
Bed Rail Cotside For Adjustable Beds
Adjustable cot side. Comprises: can be used on an electrical or adjustable bed; attaches to the base of the bed; can be lowered or removed entirely ...
Pair of metal bed rails with three intermediate rails. Fits between mattress and bed base. Cross braces are adjustable to fit single to double bed siz...
Bradshaw Full Length Side Rail Pads
Side rail pads designed to attach to wooden rails of any Bradshaw bed. Comprises: strips of Velcro are located at the bottom edges for attachment; ful...
Bradshaw Side Rail Mesh Pads
Mesh side rail pads designed for manufacturer's compatible beds. Comprises: designed to provide side rail padding whilst allowing the occupant to see ...
Buffer Pads For Home Bed Rails
Polycore side rail pads for beds. Choice of height available from some suppliers.
Castle Adjustable Cot Sides
Adjustable length tubular side rails designed for domestic beds, available singly or in pairs. Adjustable width crossbars beneath the mattress secure ...
Chrome Bed Rails
Chrome plated steel, drop down, bed side rails, the length of which can be adjusted. Daventry sides are linked by two metal crossbars which run across...
Clear Safety Sides Bed Rail
Bed rail. Comprises: bed rail with clear vinyl covering; end fastenings; designed so that the gaps between the rails are covered; rails can be lowered...
Connected Cot Side Bumpers Set
One-piece padded side rail panels connected widthways across bed via base sheet.
Cot Side Bumpers
Foam padding for safety rails with vapour permeable, wipe-clean cover. Velcro fastening. Full length model available from some suppliers.
Cotside Bumpers
Padding for bedside rails. Comprises: foam panels with Velcro along full length of bed.
Dream Tube Bed Guards
Padded bedside barrier designed to prevent children falling out of bed. Comprises: inflatable tubes are placed in the pockets of a specially designed ...
Extra High Chrome Bed Rails
Side rails designed for a divan style bed. Comprises: chrome plated steel; adjustable length; adjustable width from single to double; clamps enable dr...
Buying equipment

There are several factors to consider when purchasing equipment.

Making complaints and reporting unsafe products

In most instances a complaint should initially be made to the supplier who provided you with the item. CAB has a range of guidelines on their website on making a complaint about poor service or faulty goods. These include complaining by phone, complaining in writing and template letters. CAB advice about making a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the supplier's response then you may choose to complain to:

  • an ombudsman scheme
  • a regulator
  • an independent mediator
  • a trade association (if the supplier is a member of one)


Safety incidents involving medical devices can be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the GOV UK website www.mhra.gov.uk or their Adverse incident centre hotline 020 3080 7080. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices and medicines work and are acceptably safe. Their definition of 'Medical devices' includes devices used for assisting patients and users, thus many daily living aids such as bath lifts, commodes and walking sticks are medical devices. Any incident involving the safety of a medical device (including safety issues with its instructions for use) should be reported to the MHRA, especially if the incident contributed to, or could have caused injury, life-threatening illness or death.

Buying from a private person

Buying from a private person gives you fewer rights. You will only be able to claim against the seller if the product doesn't match its description or if the seller did not own it. Consequently, some firms occasionally pretend to be private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities towards customers. If you suspect this has happened to you find out about your rights and what action to take on the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or call 0345 404 0506 to speak to the Citizen Advice consumer helpline.


The length of the manufacturer's guarantee does not limit any claim you may make to the seller as if a product develops a fault outside the guarantee period you can still claim against the seller if you can show that the fault was unreasonable at that period in the products life.


You may be asked whether you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Remember that your statutory rights exist, under the Sale of Goods Act, whether or not you choose to buy their warranty and whether or not the goods came with any guarantee. Manufacturers' guarantees are separate from the automatic rights you have against the seller, and may be more limited. For more information read the Citizens Advice Bureau guide to guarantees and warranties.

Maintenance and insurance

For large complex items, such as a stairlift, check what kind of maintenance contract the supplier offers.

Membership of trade associations

Some suppliers are members of a trade association. Many of these trade associations have a code of practice that governs their members' customer service, and thus may help to project you from unscrupulous selling practices. For example, some trade associations prohibit their members from contacting people uninvited to try and sell their products. They may also prohibit their members from using high pressure selling tactics such as offering a discount if you order that day, or phoning their manager while demonstrating the equipment to you to agree a 'special discount/deal'. Thus if you have a choice of suppliers for the product you wish to purchase we recommend you consider the suppliers who are members of trade association.

We record suppliers' membership of several trade associations (see a list of these trade associations) and our ratings give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

We also record whether suppliers meet the ISO 9000 series of standards. These standards define a Quality System which certifies that formalised business processes are being applied, and thus may be another indicator to look for if you have a choice of suppliers.


You may be able to purchase equipment designed for use by disabled people without paying the VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying the item/s for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • Have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (e.g. diabetes).
  • Are terminally ill.


So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg).

Examples of products which are likely to qualify for VAT relief (if intended for the personal or domestic use of a chronically sick or disabled person) include:


  • wheelchairs
  • stairlifts
  • computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled individuals
  • kettle tippers, tap turners, button hooks and similar gadgets or devices that are designed solely to make everyday tasks easier for disabled individuals
  • artificial limbs
  • vehicles that have been adapted for use by a wheelchair or stretcher user


Price is important but, if we list more than one supplier, it is important to look for more than just the cheapest price. Check when the prices were last updated (this should be stated under each price). Consider whether:

  • Postage/delivery is included (if shopping by mail order or online)
  • Is the supplier a member of a trade association? (see below)
  • Is one supplier listing the price with VAT and another without VAT?
  • Check the suppliers' returns policies and any guarantees / warranties (see below).
  • For complex equipment that requires maintenance and/or servicing check what's included in the price and what the ongoing costs will be.

Get advice and an assessment

Experienced therapists or trusted assessors know a lot about products and will help you make sure the product is right for you now and will continue to be suitable in the future. 


You may be able to get an assessment and advice from social services. GOV.UK website
Alternatively you may choose to pay for a private occupational therapist. If you wish to request a private appointment with an occupational therapist then you can obtain details of local private occupational therapists from the 'College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Independent Practice' (COTSS-IP) website. www.cotss-ip.org.uk or phone their enquiry Line: 0845 129 7699.
You can check whether a therapist is state registered with the Health Care professions Council (HCPC) at www.hcpc-uk.org/audiences/

Try before you buy

You can find out about products and try them out, with independent advice at an Independent Living Centre (ILC). There are about 30 ILCs in the UK. Most do not sell products but they will be able to tell you where to buy them. We recommend you make an appointment before you visit

You could view equipment at an exhibition. They are a good opportunity to see what's available and meet the competing suppliers. The main exhibition of equipment is NAIDEX, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Glasgow. www.naidex.co.uk

Support us by donating

Need to speak to us?
back to top