Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Support Surface Selection

The following should be taken into consideration when selecting a support surface:

  • Fit with the overall care plan and the person’s goals of treatment
  • The person’s functional mobility and level of activity
  • The need for microclimate control (i.e., the ability of the surface to control moisture from draining wounds, sweat, and incontinence)
  • The ability to control the temperature of the support surface
  • The linens and pads used on the support surface, and management of shear (the use of multiple layers should be avoided; fabric texture can affect pressure management during transfers and repositioning)
  • The lifespan, warranty, and maintenance required, and the need to reassess the support surface;
  • The person’s size and weight
  • The person’s preference, tolerance, and comfort
  • The risk for new pressure injuries, and the severity, number, and location of existing pressure injuries
  • The ease of use of the support surface by the person and the person’s primary caregiver(s)
  • The availability and compatibility of the support surface with the health-care or home setting
  • The financial cost and accessibility for the person
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team, Third Edition
Point of Care Resources