For seniors especially, having a comfortable bed is something that is really important. There’s a lot that goes into having a comfortable bed- the mattress, the pillow, and how easy it is to get in and out of bed. Another thing that many seniors like to have in their bedroom setup is an overbed table (also known as a bedside table). Finding the right bedside table can be a daunting task- there’s so many things to look out for and decide on. Here, we’ll take the worry out of trying to choose and decide on a proper nightstand. We’ll talk about the different uses for a nightstand (specifically for seniors), features to look for when choosing a nightstand, how you can choose your perfect nightstand, and our top nightstand picks.

    What Is an Overbed Table?

    An overbed table is a table that is meant to fit over someone’s bed. For seniors, it not only offers the convenience of having a table with personal belongings right next to you, it offers confidence and individuality without having to have someone assist them multiple times a day. Also known as a lap desk or a floating shelf, they have really helpful tools that serve a variety of purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the many functions they serve.

    overbed table in a hospital

    What Are Bedside Tables Used For?

    Bedside tables are some of the best bed aids for seniors. Let’s take a look at some of their many uses.

    Using Electronics in Bed

    One of the many purposes a nightstand serves is allowing seniors to use electronics in bed in a simpler manner. This can be anything including a tablet, laptop, or even an eReader (electronic reading device). A laptop especially can be heavy, and it may hurt your legs and hurt your wrists to hold the laptop and move it, and many more things. Having a place to put the electronic device is very helpful, as it takes all the heavy lifting out of using it. When you want to go to sleep, you can simply slide the bed table away from you and sleep without hassle.

    Convenient Eating in Bed

    There’s nothing worse than having a delicious meal made for you, you want to eat it in bed, only to realize you have nowhere to put the food! You’re probably not going to try and balance everything on your bed, because mattresses are too bouncy to properly support your dishes. However, a bed table saves all the hassle of you trying not to spill your food- and you still get to enjoy the pleasure of eating in bed.

    Reading and Writing in Bed

    Many seniors enjoy reading books or writing before going to sleep for the night. However, without something to support the paper or book, it can be hard to focus on the reading or writing if you’re trying to hold everything upright the whole time! With the addition of a bed tray, the troubles of stabilizing your reading/writing materials is no more. Many models of bed trays can tilt to a certain degree too- making for your perfect reading/writing angle.

    Convenient Storage for Water or Other Drinks

    Having a bedside table is also helpful to hold any drinks you may want to keep by you. Without a place to put your tea, coffee, or water, how’re you supposed to enjoy its comfort? It would be pretty difficult to relax in bed and try not to constantly spill your beverage. For many seniors, placing the drink on the floor isn’t really helpful either, as bending over too far can be straining to the back and legs. This is another one of the many reasons why having a bedside table is important!

    senior man enjoying coffee and a croissant in bed

    Features To Keep in Mind When Looking for in a Bedside Table

    There are many different types and styles of bedside tables. Nearly each model of bedside table is unique, but there are some common qualities that are shared between all models of bedside tables that may help you make your decision. Now, we’ll take a look at some factors you can keep in mind before buying a table.

    Overall Style

    One important thing you’ll want to consider before purchasing an overbed table is the overall style of the table. Generally, bedside tables come in three different styles. These styles are an H-shaped, U-shaped, and C-shaped table. They may be hard to visualize, but they’re shaped exactly how they sound!

    An H-shaped nightstand has a base that looks like an “H”, with one main support beam going down the middle of the base, and wheels extended out from either side. A C-shaped nightstand is generally shaped like the letter “C”, with both the base and the bed tray portions extending out to the same size. A U-shaped nightstand has a base that has an open side, with the rest curved (resembling a “U” shape).

    As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to choose a nightstand that fits underneath your bed the best. If your mattress sits close to the floor or directly on the floor, you may want to choose the U-shaped table, so you can get it as close to you as possible without having the support legs get in the way. Additionally, there are many different color options and designs that bedside table manufacturers have to offer. Choose one that best fits you!

    Overall Quality

    This is another huge factor to consider when buying an overbed table. The quality of a table is largely important, because the last thing you would want to have happen is you placing something on the table and having the table break or tilt in a weird direction. Although you may have to invest more money into a higher quality end table, it is well worth the price in terms of overall quality and longevity you’ll get out of it.

    Portability

    You’re also going to want to look for how easily you can move an overbed table. If you’re looking at a model that doesn’t have wheels, doesn’t move around easily, or one that can’t even be folded up when you’re done with it, you may want to look for another one (or if you’ve got a foam mattress, . The portability of a bedside table is especially important when you have your belongings on it and you need to reposition the table- if it’s not easy to move, you’re going to have a hard time moving it! Many options can sit comfortably resting on your bed frame after they’re moved around.

    Dimensions

    How big the bed table is can be another deciding factor for you when you’re looking at different bedside table models to buy. If you like to do a lot of activities in bed, such as surfing the web on your laptop, reading books, and doing crossword puzzles, you’ll probably want to look for a larger bedside table. However, if you only use a nightstand in order to keep your drinks and food, you may not need a large one.

    It may also be important to keep in mind how much space you have underneath your bed for a table. If you’ve got plenty of room to put the wheels of a table underneath, you can likely get away with purchasing a larger table. However, if you don’t have a lot of room underneath your bed, it may be difficult to maneuver anything other than a smaller nightstand.

    Adjustability

    The adjustability of a nightstand can be another feature you wish to explore before making your final purchase. In general, it can be really helpful to have a bed table that has an adjustable height option, or a bed tray that can be tilted to differing degrees. Most modern bedside tables have features where you can adjust at least the height of the table. It may also be helpful to try and identify how easy it is to adjust the table. It’s extremely frustrating to use an overbed table that’s hard to adjust, so finding one that can be easily adjusted is a big deal for many seniors.

    Cup or Utensil Holders

    Another feature that many seniors deem as necessary is specific places to put cups or utensils. Usually, a nightstand that has cupholders or utensil holders are attached to the outside of the table, so you don’t even have to compromise the open space of the table. It’s also convenient to not have to worry about knocking over a cup if it’s in its own cupholder.

    Storage Space

    Many seniors also enjoy overbed tables that have storage options with them. Whether there be folder slots, baskets, mesh pockets, or attachable containers, being able to store more things in a convenient space that’s not the top of the table is important for many seniors. This makes it easy to put something away and have it within a good reaching distance when you next choose to grab it again. Many seniors also like having a table lamp or an alarm clock handy, so they can see what they’re doing. That also requires space, so be sure to look at all the storage options your potential table has.

    Weight Capacity

    There have been a lot of different factors to look at about nightstands that we’ve discussed so far, but this factor is by far one of the most important there is. Many tables come with a weight capacity of anywhere from 25-50 pounds, with heavy-duty options available if need be. The last thing you want to do is buy your perfect bedside table only to realize it can barely even hold your laptop and lamp! Be sure to keep in mind roughly how many things you’ll place at the top of the table at one time while you’re deciding on a bed table for you.

    How To Choose Your Perfect Bedside Table

    There are many different factors you should consider when you’re going to choose your perfect overbed table. Here’s some helpful tips that’ll help you make a decision:

    1. Make note of your needs. Whether you’re looking for a small or a large overbed table, one that has lots of storage or just enough for cups, it’s helpful to write down what kinds of features are a priority to you before making a purchase.
    2. Keep your budget in mind. Some bedside tables can be expensive depending on the included features, costing $100 or more. If you have the financial security to purchase a more expensive option, there are many great options out there for you. Conversely, if you’d like to only spend within a certain range, there are also plenty of budget-friendly options available.
    3. Make a list of your top three choices. Once you’ve nailed down your list of wants/needs in a table and you also have your budget finalized, it may be helpful to write down your top three bedside table choices before making a final decision. Make a list of pros and cons to each table, so you know what you’re working with.
    4. Read consumer reviews of your potential choices. One really important tip to keep in mind is how other likeminded people enjoy the bedside tables you’re interested in buying. If you’ve picked out one table you like but it doesn’t have many positive reviews, you may want to go with another one of your choices. People are usually honest with their reviews and leave good feedback about their choices, which is all extremely helpful to people like you who are wanting to invest in a new table!

    Top Nightstand Picks

    Now, you can find the right bed table for you with these top picks.

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    10/06/2022 12:07 am GMT

    WLIVE Snack Side Table

    The WLIVE Snack Side Table is a C-shaped end table that is perfect for seniors looking for some support, but who don’t need all the bells and whistles of really expensive tables. It comes with a sturdy wooden top that is both flat and smooth for your convenience. It is a smaller table, with dimensions of 11.8 x 18.9 x24.4 inches. The thin base allows for this table to fit underneath most beds and sofas. It can also rest against a mattress and still remain sturdy. Although this table doesn’t have wheels on it or adjustable features, it is relatively lightweight and easy to move around. You can find this model of bedside table for $39.99 on Amazon.

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    10/06/2022 12:07 am GMT

    Adjustable TV Tray Table

    Brand Huanuo’s Adjustable TV Tray Table is has some more features than the table we just looked at. This bed tray is perfect for people who want to be able to easily adjust a table for many different uses. It has 3 different angle adjustments for differing tilts, as well as 6 different height options. Its legs are small, so you can fit it underneath most sofas and beds. One other good feature it has is an external cupholder, so you have a place to store your beverages. Finally, it is also collapsible- so there’s no hassle required to find a large amount of space to store it. You can find this option for $46.79 on Amazon.

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Drive Medical 13067 Non Tilt Top Overbed Table

    The Drive Medical 13067 Non Tilt Top Overbed Table is another one of our top picks. Although this table can’t tilt to different angles, it can be adjusted height wise with the easy pull of a lever. It is an H-shaped table, with a large support leg parallel to the table top itself. This option comes with wheels, so it’s easy to move around and reposition. Additionally, the wheels also have a locking mechanism, so once you’re finished repositioning the table, you can lock it so it doesn’t roll away from you. This option is one of the larger picks we have here, with the table itself being 15 inches by 30 inches. It is also reasonably priced, coming in at $55.47 on Amazon.

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Vaunn Medical Adjustable Overbed Bedside Table

    The Vaunn Medical Adjustable Overbed Bedside Table is similar to the Drive Medical 13067, sharing many of the same features. It has an adjustable height that’s accessed by pushing a lever, with an H-shaped frame. It also has lockable wheels build into it for your convenience. The dimensions of this table are also the same for the table portion, coming in at 15 inches by 30 inches. This table can withstand a lot of force, as it’s reinforced with steel in the frame. You can find this option for $65.99 on Amazon.

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Invacare Hospital Style Overbed Table

    Last but not least, one of our top picks is the Invacare Hospital Style Overbed Table. The bed tray component of this table measures 15 inches by 30 inches, and is also in an H-shaped frame. The frame itself is easily adjustable, ranging from 28-40 inches tall. The wheels attached to the frame makes the table easy to maneuver and move around to wherever you need it to be. The wood-grain laminated top makes it easy for you to place heavier items on the table without worry of it breaking. The edge of the tray itself is also molded, so you have an added comfort layer. You can find this model for $74.51 on Amazon.

    Conclusion

    Overbed bedside tables are a feature that many seniors wish to add to their bedrooms, as they assist with many different things. There are many different options for bedside tables out on the market for a wide variety of purposes, so you’re sure to find your perfect overbed bedside table in no time.

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