A standard hospital bed mattress may be uncomfortable for the person, especially if he or she spends a lot of time in bed. For example, he or she may find the mattress too firm and uncomfortable. Or the vinyl mattress cover may make the individual hot and sweaty. Both pressure and moisture contribute to the development of pressure sores, especially with high risk individuals.
Many caregivers place a special pressure relieving mattress topper or overlay on top of the existing mattress as pictured here. Or the person's health care provider may prescribe one to treat a pressure sore. Although many types of mattress overlay materials are available, no single type is effective in all situations. See our Consumer Guide for more information, including the pros and cons of the 4 main types of pressure relief toppers.