Buying Guide: Opera® Profiling Beds

Profiling beds are electric care beds for elderly and disabled persons. They enable the operator to adjust the overall height of the bed as well as the backrest and legrest of the mattress platform. All electric adjustments are made through a handset control that can be used by the patient in the bed or by a carer/assistant.

In this guide, we explore the different profiling beds in the Opera® range and highlight all of the key considerations when buying a bed for use in a care home or for care at home.

Profiling bed functions

Mattress platform

Profiling Mattress PlatformThe backrest is the upper section of the mattress platform which consists of one adjustable section that can be raised and lowered. The backrest function is used to sit the user up in bed or to reach a comfortable sleeping position.

The legrest is the lower section of the mattress platform and consists of two adjustable sections. A lifting motor raises the joint where the two sections meet, elevating the knees of the user. The feet section can also be raised using a manually adjusted ratchet.

Bed height and tilt

Height adjustment
TrendelenburgOpera® profiling beds can be raised and lowered to assist mobility and facilitate caring for the user. The whole bed raises up and down within a certain range and can be stopped at any point during raising and lowering. There are three different height ranges, which are explained later on in this guide.

Most of the Opera® beds have a feature called Trendelenburg. This is where the whole bed can be tilted backwards (Trendelenburg) and forwards (Anti-Trendelenburg). These tilted positions are used primarily for medical conditions (e.g. where fluid needs to be drained from the feet) but are also used for comfort purposes. Find out more about Trendelenburg.

View Opera® profiling beds in our online store

Key purchasing/specifying considerations

When specifying an Opera® bed, you need to carefully consider the following elements of a care bed:


As standard, Opera® beds are a single 3ft (90cm) wide bed. However, the Opera® Signature bed is also available as a 4ft (120cm) wide bed for users requiring a little more room in the bed.

The mattress platform length of all Opera® beds is 6ft 6in (200cm). However, you need to bear in mind that when the backrest of the bed is raised, the user’s feet will be pushed towards the footboard of the bed. For taller users (6ft+), we recommend purchasing an Opera® bed extension kit which includes an extension section of mattress platform and extra long side rails. The extensinsion kit extends the foot-end of the bed by 8in (20cm).

For more information on sizing and dimensions, please view: Dimensions of an Opera® Profiling Bed 

Height range

All Opera® profiling beds are height adjustable, meaning the whole bed can be lowered and raised to assist with accessing the bed and nursing the user. There are three height ranges in the Opera® range of beds:

Standard height
Height AdjustmentThis is the most common height range found in profiling beds. In its lowest position, the bed is a similar height to a normal divan bed at around 35-45cm from the floor to the top of the mattress platform (bed base). When fully raised, the bed reaches a nursing height. This is around 70-80cm from the floor to the top of the mattress platform and provides perfect access to the user of the bed for a carer/nurse. A nursing height is the equivalent of a carer’s waist level which means they do not have to bend over to perform nursing tasks such as dressing or washing the patient.

Low height
A low height bed can be lowered much closer to the floor than a standard height bed. Typically, low beds in their lowest position are 20-25cm measured from the floor to the top of the mattress platform. This provides a safe sleeping height for users at risk of falling from bed and also eases access for users who struggle to swing their legs into bed. However, this low height means that the height a low bed can be raised to is sacrificed. A low bed in its highest position is around 60-65cm from the floor to the top of the mattress platform,which is not deemed to be a height suitable for in-bed nursing.

All-in-one height
Alpine HC have developed beds in the Opera® range that combine the height ranges of low and standard height beds into one extensive height range. This is called an all-in-one height range as the bed can be lowered to the equivalent height of of a low bed (15-25cm) and can be raised right up to a full nursing height (70-80cm). This means that users and carers get the benefits of two height ranges in one bed.

Side rails

Side RailsSide rails are 2-bar full-length wooden rails that run along either side of the mattress platform and can be raised or lowered. In their drop-down/lowest position, they are below the top of the mattress and act as sides to the bed base with no obstruction to accessing the bed. In their raised position, the rails become evenly spaced barriers above the mattress that prevent the user from falling out of bed. The side rails are operated by a carer/assistant.

All Opera® profiling beds are either supplied with side rails as standard or they are an additional option. Providing the beds are used with a mattress that is no deeper than the specified limit, Opera® bed side rails comply with all measurements and strength tests laid out in the BS EN 60601-2-52:2010 medical beds standard.

Mattress depth capacity

Mattress Depth CapacityWhen purchasing a bed with side rails, you need to be aware that the bed will only accommodate mattresses of up to a certain depth for the side rails to be effective. The BS EN 60601-2-52:2010 medical beds standard states that the distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the side rails must be at least 220mm. This means that if you purchase a mattress that is too deep for the bed, the distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the side rails will not be enough.

A typical community profiling bed would accommodate a 6″ deep mattress. This is acceptable for the majority of static/foam mattresses, however air-flow mattresses are 7″-10″ deep and would not be compatible. All Opera® beds accommodate mattresses of up to 8″ deep with some models accommodating mattresses up to 10″ deep.

Browse and buy Opera® beds

The Opera® range

There are four models in the Opera® range of profiling beds. In this buying guide, we briefly look at each one and for each model we detail the considerations we have highlighted above.

Opera® Classic (inc. Eco option)

Opera Classic

The Opera® Classic is a practical bed with all functions required for nursing care. The bed is available in an Eco option which has an unenclosed head and foot board.

  • Height range: Standard (40-80cm)
  • Side rails: Included
  • Size: 3ft wide
  • Mattress depth capacity: 8″

View the Opera® Classic Bed

Opera® Classic Low (inc. Eco Low option)

Opera Classic Low

The Opera® Classic Low is a low height version of the Opera® Classic. All functions and options are the same, it just has a low height range.

  • Height range: Low (22-62cm)
  • Side rails: Available with or without
  • Size: 3ft wide
  • Mattress depth capacity: 8″

View the Opera® Classic Low Bed

Opera® ProSafe

Opera ProSafe

The Opera® ProSafe is the flagship model in the range. An extensive height range and the ability to accomodate deep air mattresses mean it is suitable for a wide variety of care needs.

  • Height range: All-in-one (18-70cm)
  • Side rails: Available with or without
  • Size: 3ft wide
  • Mattress depth capacity: 10″

View the Opera® ProSafe Bed

Opera® Signature

Opera Signature

The Opera® Signature is an all-in-one bed that expertly balances nursing functionality with elegant design. The bed’s head and foot boards are more sleek than other beds in the range.

  • Height range: All-in-one (24-73cm)
  • Side rails: Available with or without
  • Size: 3ft or 4ft wide
  • Mattress depth capacity: 10″

View the Opera® Signature Bed

What sets Opera® apart

Opera® beds are well-known across both care homes and in care at home for offering something different from conventional nursing beds. Key benefits of choosing Opera® include:

  • Opera Wood SwatchesEncompassing functionality for a variety of care needs.
  • Complete peace-of-mind for care providers who care about regulation compliance.
  • Elegant design that contributes to a homely care environment.
  • Superior build quality backed by confident warranty terms.
  • A choice of wood colours from stock and 200+ wood colours for bespoke orders.
  • Developed and manufactured by Alpine HC, a respected supplier with a rapid and robust delivery and installation network.

View Opera® profiling beds in our online store