Which bed alarm is best?
Bed alarms are an excellent method for maintaining your peace of mind during the times you can’t physically watch over someone in your care. They come in many forms and have a range of possible features that help you rest assured your patient is safe.
The best bed alarm is the Smart Caregiver Wireless Bed Alarm System. The monitor is wireless with a range of up to 300 feet so your patient isn’t bothered by loud alarms.
What to know before you buy a bed alarm
Bed alarm types
There are three main bed alarm types:
- Clip alarms attach to your patient’s clothing and the alarm triggers if the end attached to the alarm gets pulled out. These tend to be the cheapest and the simplest. However, the patient must be agreeable to using them because there’s nothing to stop them from unclipping themselves.
- Motion alarms detect motion in chosen areas, such as the edges of the bed or the threshold of another room. Some motion alarms can be strung together to detect multiple areas for more informed surveillance. They tend to be more expensive, and if anything crosses the alarm’s sensor it goes off.
- Pad alarms are the most common as they’re easy to use and reasonably priced. A sensor pad is placed underneath the patient and the alarm is triggered if the pad no longer detects pressure. However, they might be uncomfortable for the patient.
Most bed alarms are battery-operated. This means there are no cords for the patient to risk tripping over, and the alarm will still work in the event of power loss.
What to look for in a quality bed alarm
The best bed alarm has a sensitivity appropriate to the patient. For example, pad alarms should have low sensitivity if the patient is prone to tossing and turning at night.
Another factor key to patients who move around regularly is an alarm delay. These make the alarm go off a few seconds after a signal is received but won’t trigger if the patient returns.
The best bed alarms are as wireless as possible. This means no cords to trip over, but it also often means the alarm can be brought out of the room and kept at your side. Just triple-check the range of the alarm before you take it too far.
Volume and tone
The best bed alarms let you adjust the volume of the alarm or pick from a handful of tones. Controlling volume is especially important for wired alarms. Otherwise, you won’t be able to find the balance of not hurting the patient’s ears but still being able to be heard by you.
Some bed alarms have call buttons. These might only send a signal to alert you that they need attention or they may let you talk back and forth like an intercom.
For pad alarms, waterproofing is essential for incontinent patients or those who tend to spill their food and drinks.
The best bed alarms have status lights that relate varying pieces of information. The most common are low-battery and triggered-alarm lights.
How much you can expect to spend on a bed alarm
They can cost as little as $20 or as much as $200-plus. Low-cost alarms rarely exceed $50 while the average alarm costs roughly $50-$100. The most feature-packed alarms typically start around $150.
Bed alarm FAQ
How long does a bed alarm last?
A. That depends on the bed alarm. Pad alarms tend to be the least durable with most being rated to last no longer than a year. With other alarms, it mostly comes down to battery life and general wear and tear.
Is it safe to use bed alarms that use magnets with patients that have a pacemaker?
A. No. If your patient has a pacemaker, triple-check that your prospective alarm does not use magnets in any form.
What’s the best bed alarm to buy?
Top bed alarm
What you need to know: This keeps the alarm out of the room so you don’t miss it and your patient isn’t disturbed.
What you’ll love: The pad is weight sensitive and 10 inches by 30 inches in size. It’s also made with a soft vinyl exterior and a foam interior with a sealed battery to protect it from incontinence and spills. It has a one-year estimated lifespan.
What you should consider: A few consumers struggled to get it set up. Others reported receiving pads that were turned on, making the life span shorter than it should be.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bed alarm for the money
What you need to know: This basic clip-based alarm is perfect for those on a budget.
What you’ll love: The alarm is small enough to be inconspicuous and the clip has an adjustable cord length of up to 30 inches. It has a red light indicator to show if the alarm has been triggered or the battery is low.
What you should consider: Customers reported the alarm to be too quiet to be heard from far away. Others found it difficult to change the battery.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an excellent midrange alarm with some useful features.
What you’ll love: The alarm is on a short delay to lower the chance of false alarms, plus it switches off automatically once the patient returns to the bed. The pad is 12 inches by 30 inches and has a latex-free cover that’s fluid-proof for incontinence.
What you should consider: A few purchasers reported the alarm to be uncomfortably loud, especially for the patient in the room. It can’t be switched off unless the battery is removed.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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