Semi Electric vs Electric Hospital Beds- What’s the Difference?

Gone are the days of struggling with bulky cranks or stacking pillows in order to help a patient change position in bed. These days, modern hospital and long term care beds include motorized systems for easy adjustment. 

Need to sit up in bed? Raise your knees? Changing positions can be as simple as pressing a button on a handheld remote control. 

If you’re looking for a home hospital bed, you may find yourself wondering– what’s the difference between a fully electric and semi-electric hospital bed? 

Fully Electric vs Semi-Electric Hospital Beds

Both electric and semi-electric hospital beds use motors to adjust the positioning of the bed without manual strain. Patients or caregivers can adjust the bed through a handheld remote or control panel attached to the bed. 

Hi-low Bed vs Hospital Bed

Hi-low beds and hospital beds are designed to assist patients with mobility and care, but they serve slightly different purposes. Hi-low beds are primarily used in home care settings and feature a height-adjustable base, which helps in safely transferring patients in and out of bed. These beds may include basic side rails but often have a more home-like appearance.

Hospital beds, on the other hand, are more robust in features, designed for acute medical care. They include adjustable height, head, and foot sections, and come with full-length side rails and electronic controls. Hospital beds are built to accommodate various medical attachments and are typically used in clinical settings.

Both types of beds offer enhanced safety and comfort for patients with mobility issues, but the choice between a hi-low bed and a hospital bed depends on the level of medical necessity and the environment in which the bed will be used.

Fully Electric Beds

With fully electric beds, you can use the integrated motorized system to: 

  • Raise and lower the head of the bed
  • Raise and lower the knee area of the bed
  • Raise and lower the full platform of the bed (also known as a “hi-low” bed)

EasyCare Hi-Low Homecare Bed

Price: $1,945

Built with incredible attention to detail, this fully electric hi-low bed is versatile enough to comfortably accommodate any aspect of day-to-day life. Automatically adjust the width and length of the bed without tools, and choose from a variety of mattress and handrail options to fit your needs. The 4-section mattress support platform allows individual control over the head, legs, and deck elevation, allowing you to adjust to any position quickly with the press of a button. 


Semi-Electric beds also utilize a motorized system, but have more limited adjustment options. Typically, they include the ability to: 

  • Raise and lower the head of the bed
  • Raise and lower the knee area of the bed

For vertical platform height adjustments, caregivers may need to use a manual crank system to adjust the bed. 

Semi-electric beds are more affordable than fully-electric models, and can be an excellent option for those on a budget. 

Semi-Electric Hospital Bed Set

Price: $724.95

A lightweight design that doesn’t compromise on strength, all for an affordable price. This MedPlus semi-electric bed set allows caregivers and loved ones to adjust the bed to perfect comfort. Raise and lower the head and foot sections with an attached remote, or adjust the bed’s height with the hand crank. 

The ultra-quiet motor comes with a battery pack to keep the bed operational even during a power outage. With bed rails and even the mattress included, this bed set is everything you need for a perfect night’s sleep– all wrapped in a single, convenient package. 

What are the Benefits of Hi-Low Beds?

One of the main differences between a semi-electric and fully electric hospital bed is the ability to raise or lower the height of the bed with a motor. This function is called a hi-low bed. 

Hi-low beds are fully electric beds that allow you to raise and lower the platform of the bed with the touch of a button. While each model is different, generally beds can lower to 7 inches off the ground, or raise up to 30 inches high. 

These beds provide a wide range of patient benefits, without the need for manual adjustment. 

Easier Transfers

Transfers can be one of the most challenging, injury-prone daily tasks for hospital bed users. By lowering the bedframe, patients can get in and out of bed safely and with greater independence. This can dramatically reduce the risk of falls and injuries. 

Strain-Free Caregiving

Hi-low beds don’t just benefit patients– caregivers can perform everyday care tasks without risk of strain. Some tasks like changing dressings or changing bedsheets can be physically demanding– by raising the bed platform, caregivers can save their backs and joints from injury. 

Improved Independence

With a hi-low bed, patients can gently raise and lower themselves with a remote control. They can maintain greater control over their movements and reduce the need for assistance from caregivers. Patients can move more freely and independently in everyday life. 

If you or your loved one would experience significant benefits from a hi-low bed, you may want to consider a fully electric hospital bed. 

Not sure if a semi-electric or full electric bed is right for you? Browse our catalog of the top Hospital beds on the market, or contact our team of experts for assistance. We’ll help you find the perfect at-home bed for your needs and budget.