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  1. #1

    Question Hotel bed height

    I recently took a road trip which had me staying at a number of hotels and Motels. In the past I have noticed that the greatest barrier to staying in regular rooms is inaccessible bathrooms - door too narrow or barriers around the toilet. (I am a L1 complete para) I have recently noticed that a number - especially of the higher end hotels have been raising the heights of their beds to the point where transfers are difficult and for many people impossible - I have even seen high beds in ADA rooms. Have others seen this?

  2. #2
    Yes, we have discussed this at length on this forum in the past. Unfortunately bed height (nor platform vs. regular bed frame) was not addressed in the Access Board's standards for lodging under the ADA. This really needs to get corrected. Suggest you write a letter to the Access Board.

    When making reservations for a hotel/motel room, I recommend the following (from traveling with my mother):

    Call the hotel directly, not their 800 number reservation service.

    • Ask to speak directly to the manager.
    • Ask about specifics for their "wheelchair accessible" rooms to include the following:
      • Height of the bed
      • Is it a bed frame with space underneath (and if so, how much) or a platform bed (especially important if you use a lift).
      • Width of bathroom door (frame to frame)
      • Type of bathing facilities: stall shower, roll-in shower, tub
      • Width of door to the room.
      • Floor your room is on, and what arrangements there are for emergency evacuation if not on the ground floor.
      • Any steps leading into hotel entrance or hallway to your room.

    If the manager doesn't know some of this information, stay on hold while they go check, or ask them to call you back with the information within 1 hour. Then ask to book or "block" that specific room, and make it clear that you will not accept a substitution when you arrive.


  3. #3
    I just call down the the front desk and have them remove the frame and put the mattress on the floor. Never had any issue with this at any hotel chain.

  4. #4
    I stayed at a Best Western in Petaluma CA and they told me the bed in the accessible room was normal height--I should have had them measure it. The staff would not do anything to lower the 30" high bed. I stayed at a Microtel in Rochester MN and the bed in the accessible room was also 30" high--I was only staying one night for an appointment at Mayo Clinic and my wife was along so she helped me get in. Didn't check to see if they would do anything about it
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 07-16-2017 at 05:29 PM. Reason: removed excessive dead space

  5. #5
    Probably best to ask to have the box spring and mattress put on the floor. If only the mattress, it will be only 6"-10" off the ground!


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Probably best to ask to have the box spring and mattress put on the floor. If only the mattress, it will be only 6"-10" off the ground!

    Yeah I meant the box spring and the mattress. Its funny I would say about 1 in 5 of the people who do the whole remove that bed frame thing will accept a tip. It is kinda nice.

  7. #7
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yes I have found this to be a big problem. We don't travel that much but when we do it's an issue even in the ADA rooms. They use the high bed bases (European style) which make it impossible for me a Quad to go up hill 4 or more inches to transfer. Several times in older rooms with standard frames we have been able to take the mattress and box spring off the frame then knock the wheels off the frame to lower it a few inches and put the bed back together. As far as I know there is no regulation or standard for bed height written into the ADA and usually when we arrive on a Friday afternoon the engineer/maintenance guy for the hotel is gone so we are on our own.

    We did come up with a workaround solution for when we drive to a location. I purchased a small, lightweight ramp and had Lowe's cut me a piece of 4X4 wood post about 36" long that we take with us in the van. When we get to a room with a higher bed we clear the side I will be getting in and out on, lay the 4X4 along side the bed near the head and prop the ramp up on the wood. When I want to get in bed I roll up backwards on the ramp which raises my rear wheels and my seat pan up the 4" so I am higher by 4" and then I can transfer. It's not ideal and a bit tricky backing up the ramp so I don't back up off it. Then there is the transfer with me leaning down hill but if your careful it does work.

  8. #8
    And I more often have the exact opposite problem. My powerchair sits higher than a lot of the beds, so I have to ask them to put the box springs back in to raise it up. Of course this only works because my chair then elevates to that new level.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Hotel beds typically are too low for transferring using a hoist, they are too low for my support workers to turn me, dress me and clean me and I always have to request bed raisers to try and save my carers backs! I stayed in 1 last year where my carers worked kneeling down rather than bending over. It's about time people realised that you can't have accessibility requirements that work for everyone,we've all got our unique challenges and what I want presents a problem to others.

  10. #10


    I call the hotel and get their e-mail address and send them this with measurements needed.
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