Transfer Boards - What You Need to Know

Transfer Boards - What You Need to Know

People who are wheelchair bound or have been prescribed bed rest have a difficult time moving in to the wheel chair from bed or vice versa. The difficulties that arose from such situations led to the advent of Transfer Boards. Transfer boards are also helpful for people using commodes or other bathroom seats. The can be used to transfer people into and out of the car easily.

What are Transfer Boards?

A simple board, designed in a specific way, transfer boards or sliding boards are used to transfer a person from the wheelchair to the bed, the toilet seat or into the car. They can be used to transfer a person from one place to another easily. They are better option over other transfer tools as they offer the least amount of pressure on the upper body. Simple injuries such as sprains or strains can be easily handled with a simple rectangular or simple shaped transfer board. But people with ailments such as arthritis, or paralysis have to use transfer boards that include advanced features such as rails and locks. Some even include seats that move along the transfer board like an escalator. They reduce the amount of pressure on the upper body.

Why does one need a Transfer Board?

These boards are necessary for people who have to shift places from the wheelchair to the bed and to other places many times in a day. They are recommended for people with:

There are a number of other reasons that may result in a person losing the ability to move around freely and might require the help of a transfer board.

Benefits of Using a Transfer Board

  • Most of the boards are anti-slip thus reducing the risk of falling
  • They are simple to use as they involve no complex mechanisms
  • They are available in all price ranges
  • Easy to store, they can be placed easily in thin empty spaces
  • They are available in anti-bacterial and sterile version thus reducing infections
  • They can be cleaned easily and thus require little after care

Types of Transfer Boards

There are no specific types of transfer boards as such. But on a very broad basis they can be classified into the following types:

Wooden transfer boards

Specifically made from hardwood, they are hygienic and are polished so that easy sliding or transfer is possible. The perfect example for this types is the Therafin Commode Transfer Board that is striate-sanded for wet skin transfers and buff-sanded on the other side for clothed transfers.

Therafin Bariatric Transfer Board
Therafin Bariatric Transfer Board

PVC transfer boards

Made of plastic, these boards are easy to clean and also have surface that enable the user to transfer from one place to the other easily. A good PVC specimen that can be useful is the Therafin Econoglide Plastic Transfer Board. It is hand-held and is completely moisture proof.

Therafin Econoglide Plastic Transfer Board
Therafin Econoglide Plastic Transfer Board

Transfer sheets

They are shaped like a transfer board but are used to carry the person. Usually recommended for people who cannot sit up straight easily. One of the best sheets is the Bestcare Patient Transfer sheet that is continuous loop nylon fabric and is friction free.

Bestcare Patient Transfer sheet
Bestcare Patient Transfer sheet

Bariatric transfer boards

They are specifically designed with sturdy and quality wood that can support heavy weights without cracking or giving in. The right kind of bariatric board is the Drive Bariatric Transfer Board With Cut Out Handles that is made of sturdy Baltic birch that can support weights of up to 600 lbs.

Drive Bariatric Transfer Board With Cut Out Handles
Drive Bariatric Transfer Board

Precautions While Using Transfer Boards

  • Always make sure that the board is sturdy and doesn’t have any defects before use
  • Wear pants that do not cause friction with the board and ensure proper movement
  • Make sure that the hands lay flat on the surface of the board so that the finger do not get caught underneath the board
  • Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer that come along with the board to ensure maximum safety.


A simple design and high usefulness has made the transfer boards a go to option for hundreds of people around the world. The easy to clean and use technique ensures that after care is less. Choosing the right option for you is important, as the wrong transfer board might result in injuries due to falling or slipping.


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