ifopa Ability Toolbox
Ability Toolbox Guidebook

Alternating Air Mattress Toppers

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Purpose

Mattress topper with alternating pockets of air to prevent pressure sores during extended bedrest.

Description

Alternating air mattress toppers use a pump to alternately inflate and deflate air cells to variable levels of pressure which helps eliminate pressure spots and prevent pressure sores.  The alternating pressure of the mattress also promotes increased circulation and helps manage skin breakdown.  These types of mattress toppers work well for individuals with FOP who cannot shift their weight frequently or change their position in bed easily.  There are many types of pressure-relieving mattress toppers on the internet, and it may take some searching to find one that might work for your specific needs.

Tips

When looking for alternating pressure mattress toppers, pay attention to the weight limits of the mattress topper – many are rated up to 300 lbs, but some go up to 350 lbs.  Determine if the mattress topper is waterproof or only water resistant, and make sure to research the noise level of the pump.  Many people say the pumps can be noisy so look specifically for quiet pumps.  The price range of air mattress toppers can vary greatly from many options under $100 USD and all the way up to $3000 USD, so make sure to shop around and always find out the return policy before purchasing.

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