The Different Types of Patient Slings

March 26th, 2018 By Lisa Bainbridge
Universal sling


Patient slings are necessary equipment to be used in combination with patient hoists. They enable the transferring of users between positions or places, such as from standing to sitting or from chair to bed. We’ve previously written a blog post on hoists, so we’d really recommend reading that too for some more information.

There are many different varieties of patient sling that are to be used for different care purposes. Depending on the current situation, a certain type of sling may be much more appropriate than another. This blog will take a close look at the different patient slings available, what they are used for, and the particular benefits of each sling.


Universal Sling

Universal patient sling

The Universal Sling is designed to fulfil a variety of roles and offers a more general solution to patient lifting needs. This type of sling comes with added support to the back and pelvis areas for users who have muscle or bone issues. There is also padded leg support, which goes underneath the legs to make sure that they are fully supported. The slight elevation means that the supported legs will not drop when in use.

It’s worth saying at this point there is no such thing as a truly ‘one size fits all’ patient sling. While the Universal Sling is designed to be multi-purpose, it cannot do every job at once. Perhaps most importantly, it cannot necessarily fit every hoist frame – there are different sizes of Universal Sling to fit different types of hoist.



Hammock Sling

Hammock patient sling

A hammock sling is designed specifically for comfort. Beaucare’s own hammock patient sling is made from Spacer Fabric, which stretches to mould into the shape of the user’s body. It is also fully breathable, which helps to prevent perspiration and sores.

Due to of these qualities of Spacer Fabric, a hammock sling is ideal for patients who need to spend a little more time in their sling than usual. This includes bathing, because the water will drain easily from the fabric - which protects the skin.


Patient Handling Sling

Patient handling sling

A handling sling is often used for transferring users between standing and sitting positions. It can also be used to help with re-positioning in bed – such as moving a leg or the head to a more comfortable position – due to its comparatively small size of the sling. This is a sling to be thought of for users who are somewhat mobile in everyday life, and just need a little bit of extra help.

The design of a handling sling helps to ensure that care staff are also properly supported when using it, allowing them to retain a good posture in patient transition. It can also be used for independent use. For instance, if someone with limited mobility needs to move in bed themselves, then a handling sling is the perfect product.


Patient slings are an invaluable piece of care equipment for care homes and assisted living. They allow for safe and simple access which would otherwise cause complications in care settings. Making sure that you have the right sling is imperative, as well as the right size – be sure to consult our size guide before purchasing your sling.