What is a Transfer Board?
A transfer board is a sturdy and flat board made of either wood and plastic, which aids individuals with severe disabilities, spinal injuries, or major and minor leg injuries when transferring from one surface to another. It is especially useful for moving wheelchair-bound patients from their wheelchairs to the toilet or the car and gives you the ability to move your patients between surfaces without having them use their legs. It is highly beneficial as it will allow your patient to take several small movements rather than a single big one which can cause further distress to their body. It is possibly the most comfortable and easy to use transferral tool as it puts less strain on your patient’s upper body when compared to the transfer belt.
Transfer boards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so the transfer board of your choice would be the one that is most ideal for you and your patient’s overall strength and health. There are simple ones that are generally straight rectangular boards with no extra features that are suitable for strong individuals with minor damages to the body; such as a broken leg or a sprained ankle. The advanced ones come with all sorts of extra features to provide the patient a smooth transition from one platform to the other, additionally also helping the carer by partially taking away the strain of carrying the patient, as the transfer board does all the work for you. One such type is the S shaped transfer board that works in perfect unity with your wheelchair, as the hooked ends easily attach to the armrest of the wheelchair, providing a stable, supported platform. Another advanced type is one that includes a rotating seat that considerably reduces the risk of strain on the carer’s body during patient transfer, as the seat smoothly moves the patient along.
A few things to look out for when using a transfer board is to wear trousers to avoid your skin catching onto the extra features evident on the board, such as the sliding features. Also, ensure that you keep your hands flat on the board in order to prevent your fingers from getting trapped underneath.
Most importantly, regardless of the type of transfer board you choose to buy make sure that you follow the instructions that come with it to ensure that both you and your patient are safe at all times.
1. Beasy Board Transfer System
This particular transfer board has an advanced feature of a rotating seat that is especially useful if you have a severe disability or a weakness in your arms. It is shown to specifically aid patients with spinal cord injury, hip fracture or post-polio syndrome (although it can also be used if you have minor injuries and want to give yourself a smooth easy transition). Its’ rotating seat promises an easy transferal from one surface to another, as it reduces the distress and strain caused on the patient’s body during transfer since the seat does all the moving for you. The seat can turn a full 360 degrees and has a curvy shape which helps for a smooth transferal when obstacles are involved. For instance, the indented part of the curves can perfectly fit around chair legs. You’ll be enthusiastic to purchase this long board which its 40” length, making it a perfect tool for moving between the bed and the chair, as well as your wheelchair and the car. It is made of exceptionally strong plastic, making it an ideal choice for taller and heavier patients.
You will not regret purchasing this item as it will help you transfer your patients with dignity, eliminating the possibility of red puffy faces and any concerns you have prior to knowing that you will have to carry your patients around.
This transfer board is very easy to use and you’ll be able to transfer your patient all by yourself without any help from a second person (only if your patient is responsive and is able to help you during transferal). However, it’s slightly large and bulky, making it an ideal purchase for your heavier patients, meaning that if you have a smaller patient you may want to buy something a bit lighter. This is so that you’re not enduring extra weight needlessly. The heavy weight also suggests that it might be difficult to use it with patients who cannot support themselves and are unable to shift their weight. During such cases the presence of a second helper will not go amiss. While using this board you may want to ensure that your patient is engaging with you, as you guide them along, as like many other transfer boards it lacks a backrest, making your patient susceptible to falling backwards. If you are person who travels a lot this is the perfect transfer board for you, as its’ length will make it easier for you to transfer your patient from the wheelchair to the car.
- Also check out the "new" Microban Beasy Boards!!!
2. Reliance Transfer Board
With its two wide hand slots on either side, this transfer board is designed to provide you with the ultimate comfort when transferring your patients or loved ones from one platform to another. Additionally, the hand slots ensure that you have a good grip of the board during transferal, making getting in and out of the car, bed, bath or chair a safe and easy experience. The area around the hand slots are tapered, not only for a more comfortable grip but also to allow the board to effortlessly slide under the patient. The board has a slick and smooth finish with a shiny coating, preventing friction or damage to your skin when sliding across.
It’s 30” length makes it the ideal length to transfer your patient or loved one and will fit perfectly between the two platforms. It’s 2lb weight suggests that it is light in weight, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not strong, as its solid wood structure makes it an extremely durable transfer board and allows it to carry a maximum weight of 400lbs.
Overall, the excellent characteristics of the Reliance Transfer Board will reduce the strain and possible injury of the caregivers, providing them with more control during patient transfers.
This is the transfer board to go for if you regularly transfer your patient from the wheelchair to a car, as its 30” length provides the perfect bridge between the two platforms. However, before placing the patient onto the board, it is important to make sure that the wheelchair seat is approximately the same height as the car seat to prevent a slope from forming. The board is not too wide, so it is compact and easy to handle. In addition, the rounded edges, especially on the tapered side makes the board easy to slide under the patient, which means that the excessive strain from pushing the patient is eliminated. The solid wood structure of the transfer board makes it a sturdy and durable one. Although there are no tangible disadvantages of this board, one thing that might intimidate you is the smooth finish to the board, which may make it seem overly-slippery, giving you the impression that it is not safe. However, do not let this scare you, as the smoothness of the board is to ensure that you have an effortless transferal.
- 30'' x 7 1/2'' x 5/8'' Premium grade 11 ply Baltic Birch
- Made in (USA) Transfer capacity 450 lbs. Weighs only 2 lbs.12 oz.
- Two ergonomic hand holes set close to the ends for a more comfortable and firmer grip without compromising board strength
- Smooth tapered radius ends for easier transition on and off the board with a lot less effort
- Coated with an extremely durable Long-lasting (Poly-Crylic) provides superior protection against chipping, cracking and deterioration due to sunlight. Easy to clean and sterilize. Top finish polished smooth and glossy for easy sliding transfers. Special non slip texture finish added to bottom side of both ends for additional stability.
3. Mabis Wooden Transfer Slide Board
The Mabis Wooden Transfer Slide Board has two hand slots on either side to provide a better grip and control when transferring your patients from wheelchair to the bed and car. It is made of Southern Yellow Pine which gives it its sturdiness and durability and allows the board to carry a maximum weight of 440 pounds. The coated surface ensures that transferals are smoother and effortless, with no injuries inflicted on the skin while sliding across.
To use, just place the board on to the end of the area the patient is wanted to be moved from and the other end on the location wanted to be reached. So, if you’re aiming to move your patient from the wheelchair to the car, place one end on the wheelchair seat (the arms of the wheelchair are generally able to detach and open) and the other end on the car seat, however prior to this make sure that the wheels of the wheelchair are locked in order to stabilize the chair and prevent it from sliding, as this may cause unexpected injuries. Help your patient onto the board (the tapered ends of the board should make this an easy step) and then glide your patient across, in short cautious movements. Make sure that you don’t perform any abrupt actions as this may cause the board to dislocate from the surface. The patient must be dry in order to prevent friction on the skin during gliding. The transfer board is 29.5 inches in length and 7.25 inches in width, with a total weight of 4 pounds. It is currently one of the most purchased transfer boards, possibly because of its reasonable pricing.
The Mabis Wooden Transfer Board is a solid, durable board that you will be using for months on end. Its solid wooden structure enables it to carry heavier people as it can carry up to 440 lbs. Although its solidity puts it amongst the heaviest of transfer boards, this is essential for safety as a heavier board suggests a more secure board with added stability during transferals. It is 30” in length which makes it an excellent board to use when transferring from a wheelchair to a bed, couch or chair. The two wide hand slots give the caregiver added control during transferring, and as a result reduces the back pain on the caregiver, as the designated slots helps the even distribution of the weight when carrying the board. However, the Mabis Wooden Transfer Board besides its advantages has several disadvantages, majorly because of its heaviness which can make the transferral a difficult process if the patient has a severe disability and is using the board by themselves, as it needs a lot of back strength when carrying. So, the board is more suitable for someone with minor leg injuries, or an able-bodied person who just needs stability during recovery. Additionally, although the product description states that the board is coated for a smooth finish, this is not the actual case, as coating is minimal and not done to perfection. This suggests that there is a possibility of the emergence of splinters than can cause damage to clothes and skin. Also, the tapered ends of the board are not thinned enough, and therefore difficult to slide under the bottom of your patient, again a problem for people with limited mobility.
- TRANSFER SLIDE BOARD PROVIDES EASIER TRANSFERS TO AND FROM BED, WHEELCHAIR, CAR, OR COMMODE: Our transfer slide board is sealed and coated, making transfers significantly easier.
- VALUABLE MOBILITY AID for improving independent living. FSA eligible.
- GET EXTRA LEVERAGE AND GRIP with two convenient cut out handles, making it easier on your back as you move yourself, patients, or loved ones.
- WHEELCHAIR TRANSFER BOARD IS DURABLE AND STRONG made of Southern Yellow Pine, supporting up to 440 pounds.
- WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. Note: we can only guarantee the quality of this product when sold through Amazon.com or Brazos Walking Sticks.
4. BeasyGlyder Premium Patient Transfer Board
The BeasyGylder Premium Patient Transfer Board is 32” inches long, 10 inches wide and has a base thickness of 5/8 inch and a depth of 3/8 inches on the seat. It has a slight curve to it, which makes it ideal for those wheelchairs that have non-movable armrests, as the curved shape enable it to perfectly fit around obstacles. So, when transferring your patient from the chair to the wheelchair, one side of the BeasyGylder Premium can be placed on the chair, while the other side is placed on the wheelchair—the inwards curve fitting around the fixed wheelchair armrest. Its moveable seat allows a no-fuss transfer from one platform to the other, and reduces the soreness and backpain that comes with picking up a patient during the process of transferal, as the patient does not need to be lifted up but is just easily glided across onto the other platform. The sliding seat also eliminates any sign of skin friction, since there is no gliding motion directly on the skin of the patient, but the sturdy seat easily moves across from one side to the other. The seat has 360 degrees turning capability which makes it an ideal choice for patients who have severe disabilities and restricted motion, as the full rotation allows the patients to use their hands, feet and other body parts to help themselves move along easily. It is made of plastic polymer and weighs exactly 4.5 lbs. This particular transfer board has an advanced feature of a rotating seat that is especially useful if you have a severe disability or a weakness in your arms. It is shown to specifically aid patients with spinal cord injury, hip fracture or post-polio syndrome (although it can also be used if you have minor injuries and want to give yourself a smooth easy transferal). Its’ rotating seat promises an easy transferal from one surface to another, as it reduces the distress and strain caused on the patient’s body during transfer since the seat does all the moving for you. The seat can turn a full 360 degrees and has a curvy shape which helps for a smooth transferal when obstacles are involved. For instance, the indented part of the curves can perfectly fit around chair legs. You’ll be enthusiastic to purchase this long board which its 40” length, making it a perfect tool for moving between the bed and the chair, as well as your wheelchair and the car. It is made of exceptionally strong plastic, making it an ideal choice for taller and heavier patients.
You will not regret purchasing this item as it will help you transfer your patients with dignity, eliminating the possibility of red puffy faces and any concerns you have prior to knowing that you will have to carry your patients around.
With its super easy gliding seat the BeasyGlyder Premium Patient Transfer Board is perfect for patients with severe disabilities, as it will take you from one platform to the other effortlessly. It is also ideal for caregiver’s who have heavy patients and experience great difficulty when moving these patients around, as it has a ‘no-lift’ characteristic and enables the patients to be glided along without strain on your back and arms that comes with lifting. Another reason why it is ideal for heavier patients is that it’s polymer material is high impact and has been tested to hold a maximum weight of 1,100lbs. However, to ensure that it doesn’t snap, try and equally distribute the weight on the beginning, middle and end of the board. It is the most unusual amongst transfer boards, which are generally simple without any extra added mechanical features, so it might take time to learn how to get it to work and may require some fidgeting and playing with, but with a little patience you will find that it is easy to use.
- Length: 32"
- Width: 10"
- Thickness: 5/8" base, 3/8" seat
- Weight: 4.5 lbs.
5. SafeSure Transfer Ease
The Safety Transfer Ease Transfer Board is designed for carrying your patients from one platform to the other while they lay down. It has several cut-out hand slots all around the edge which will give you a great range of choice of holding the board however you feel comfortable. The slots can also be used to hang the board, for compact storage. It is made of polyethylene which has by itself has a tendency to cause static, however his board has an anti-static coating that prevents this from happening, stopping patients sticking on to the board. Its slight flexibility enables the caregiver to use the board on uneven surfaces and it can easily be slid on beds, as well as stretcher pads. It can carry a weight of up to 300lbs and is 22 inches in width and 72 inches in length.
The SafetySure Transfer Ease is the excellent choice for caregiver’s who transfer their patients onto bumpy surfaces, as it is flexible. However, the flexibility has a downside as you may not feel safe to use it to transfer your patient by yourself, but may prefer to get help from a second person to hold the board from all four sides. There are also no hand slots at the top and bottom of the board, so you can only push your patient safely into different platforms from the sides. Compared to wooden transfer boards which are around the same price as the SafetySure Transfer Ease, for a board made of polyethylene this may come across as being slightly overpriced.
- Bridges gap between transfer points
- Built-in handles
- Anti-static coating
How To Find The Right Transfer Board For You
As with any medical equipment, if you are still indecisive and unsure about which transfer board to buy seek advice from your doctor who will be able to recommend you with a specific one that suits your lifestyle. However, before this discussion this with them, read the guide below to get an idea of how to choose your transfer board.
Some Tips For An Effortless Transfer
- Ensure that you are cautious when moving across the transfer board and take small and short movements, being attentive and aware of where and how your body is located on the board.
- In order to give both yourself and your patient an easier smoother experience during transfer make sure that you choose to transfer between platforms that are of a similar height, or transfer from a higher platform to a lower one. This will ensure that you do not have to pick your patient up during transferral but the board will do all the work for you.
- When using a transfer board wear trousers or anything that is long and covers your whole lower body, to avoid your skin catching onto the extra features evident on the board, such as the sliding features.
- Become aware of where all your body parts are on the transfer board. For example, your feet should be flat on the floor, during most transfers. It’s also best to stop at several intervals on the board to reposition your legs and feet. You’ll be using your arms extensively when sliding across, so to reduce the stress on your arms and wrists, make your hands into a fist and move accordingly and distribute your weight on your knuckles. If you feel pain when using your knuckles, open your palms flatly onto the board and ensure that your hands are on the board to prevent your fingers from getting trapped underneath.
- Wear sturdy shoes with soles that have a high level of grip during transfers to ensure maximum stability and control because as a caregiver, you’ll be putting strain on your legs for extra control.
- If your upper body is lacking strength then we suggest you work with a caregiver, as the board needs extensive back strength so that you can support yourself and glide yourself across.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Transfer Board
The five transfer boards are only a few amongst the many, and there are several more to choose from depending on your circumstances, so by considering some of the following questions you’ll be able to find the right one for you.
- How much weight can the board carry?
Every transfer boards weight capacity changes entirely. The wooden ones are able to handle greater weights, approximately up to 440 pounds. On the other hand, the plastic ones are lighter and easier to handle, and will probably be the ideal choice for smaller lighter patients as you probably won’t want to carry a heavy bulk if not necessary. Plastic boards are able to carry up to 220 pounds (although there are exceptions).
- Can I unclasp my wheelchair’s armrest and open it widely?
Although most wheelchair armrest are able to be opened, some of them have fixed ones and this is when to consider buying a transfer board that is curved and can make itself around the armrest.
- Do I need any extra equipment to accompany me on the transfer board?
A thigh or leg lifter will be useful, especially if you do not have a caregiver and are using the board by yourself. It is an adjustable strap that you can attach across our thigh and leg to help you lift your leg onto the transfer board.
Some transfer boards, majorly wooden ones do not have a coating on them that enables a smooth glide across, in such cases a glide sheet can do this job for you. It is a piece of soft fabric, that’s durable and will help you glide across the board without the friction that would have been created if you had not owned one.
If you are a caregiver and want to eliminate the strain entirely from your back, then a handling belt is what you will be needing. It is an adjustable strap with allocated fabric handles that goes around the patient’s waist and aids you in lifting your patient up. This is especially essential if you’re trying to transfer your patient onto a higher platform than the one that they are already on.
- Which locations are my transferring onto the most?
The types of locations that you are transferring yourself or your patient’s to should be a determining factor when buying your transfer board. There are several transfer boards out there that are designed to suit a variety of locations. For instance, if you transfer to the bathroom a lot, there are ones specially designed to fit around a toilet seat perfectly and that do not need to be removed during individual’s toilet routine.
Other Transfer Boards
Below are two other brands of Transfer Boards that I thought were worth checking out. A transfer board is a necessity in the homes of those who have suffered severe or minor injuries to the lower half of their bodies as it provides them complete independence.
DMI Transfer Slide Board
The DMI Transfer Slide Board makes transferals between several platforms such as the bed, wheelchair, car or commode a smooth and easy experience by limiting back strain, as the whole transferal process can be done by sliding rather than lifting. Its plastic material gives it its lightness (weighing only 3.4 pounds) and makes it effortless to carry, unlike wooden transfer boards that are heavier and therefore difficult to handle. And despite its light weight it can carry a weight of up to 220 pounds. It is 28 inches long, which places it amongst the shorter transfer boards, so this might not be the ideal choice for you if you’re transferring between great distance platforms. It’s short length also puts it in the cheaper transfer boards, so if you’re looking for something much cheaper this is the ideal one for you. It has contours in three separate places in order to provide extra grip and stability, so when using ensure that you use the flat side up, so that you can slide across easier. Depending on the body shape of the user the contoured parts may cause some distress to the upper leg. The DMI Transfer Slide Board, although effective when transferring from one platform to another, does not allow sliding as well as a wooden board would.
- EASIER TRANSFERS TO AND FROM BED, WHEELCHAIR, CAR, OR COMMODE, your transfer slide board supports up to 220 pounds. FSA eligible.
- VALUABLE MOBILITY AID for improving independent living.
- LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELCHAIR TRANSFER BOARD that's easy to move and carry as it only weighs 3.4 pounds.
- DURABLE AND STRONG made of lightweight, smooth, molded, durable plastic with a contoured surface making transfers significantly easier.
- WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. NOTE: we can only guarantee the quality of this product when sold through Amazon.com or Brazos Walking Sticks.
Beasy Bariatric “Easy Grip” Wood Transfer Board
The Beasy Bariatic Transfer Board is amongst the longer boards with 35 inches in length. It is made of 100% solid wood core, which gives it its immense sturdiness and allows it to carry a maximum weight of 600lbs. It has a built-in microban anti-microbial protection layer which ensures that board is kept hygienic, reducing stain and the possible odour and growth of bacteria that may be caused by it. It has a remarkably slick surface which makes sliding across an effortless experience and it is, in fact, slicker than a conventional wooden transfer board, but the surface is prone to being indented and scratched. It has a cut-out hand grip area which allows the patient to hold onto the board when transferring across, ensuring stability. And the orange colour, makes it stand out from the majority of the transfer boards out there.