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Choosing the Right Transfer Device

by Juan Lopez May 11, 2022 0 Comments

stand assist handles on couch

Patient transfer devices offer a range of solutions for patients of all levels of mobility, allowing for independence. However, between our selection of transfer belts, boards, blankets, cushions, and handrails, knowing which option is right for you isn’t always obvious. Take a look at our in-depth guide where we cover all the options considering factors like type, material, purpose, and weight capacity for each different device.

Patient Transfer Devices We Offer

Types of Transfer Devices

Transfer Belts

Our standard Transfer Belt and Transfer Belts with Handles are used to help move a patient from sitting to standing, from one seat to another or help guide them while walking. They attach securely around the waist and allow caregivers to grip the patient firmly and guide them during transfers. While similar function, each belt we offer is a little different. See what features you should consider when choosing your belt below.

  • Material

    The cotton webbing used in our Transfer Belt and the nylon webbing used in our Transfer Belts with Handles are designed to prioritize durability while maintaining comfort. Their soft texture pairs perfectly with the metal clamps used to secure the belt, letting the teeth clamp securely when closed. This material is strong enough to support up to 300 lbs.

  • Handles

    We have two transfer belts with handles. Each include four vertical and two horizontal nylon handles, which allow caregivers to get a firm grip from any angle. Handles are a must when assisting with transfers, both to safely guide the patient, and prevent injury in the caregiver.

  • Leg Loops

    Adjustable leg loops can be found in our Transfer Belt with Leg Straps. These nylon loops fit around the patient’s leg to provide additional support and ensure the belt will not ride up during extended use.

  • Harness

    Similar to transfer belts, a Transfer Harness straps securely to a patient’s body and consists of multiple access points for a caregiver to safely grip while transferring.


Our Transfer Board is made of lightweight wood with a slick surface, to help with transfers from wheelchairs, beds, recliners, cars and other seats. At 30” long, it’s big enough for safe transfers, while staying portable. When choosing the right slideboard, take into consideration the factors below.

  • Material

    These transfer boards are typically available in two different materials, wood or plastic.

    Sealed Lightweight Wood

    Wood is the ideal choice for a Transfer Board, as it combines a low-weight design with durability. The sealed finish keeps the exterior smooth, reducing friction and making it easy to slide from a wheelchair, bed, or other surfaces.


    Wood is the ideal choice for plastic transfer boards that do offer a smooth finish and lightweight design, though they lack the durability of wooden boards. When making your choice, be sure to invest in a quality board that is made to last.

  • Tapered Edges

    Tapered ends make sliding on and off your slide board easier, without reducing the durability of the board. This design works hand-in-hand with a smooth finish, letting patients transfer easily from surface to surface.

  • Handles

    Handles on each end of the transfer board make it easy to handle without obstructing transfers. Caregivers should be able to get a firm grip when they need it, to prevent injury and maximize patient safety.

Transfer Blanket and Slings

These transfer aids are made to transfer patients who are laying down to another flat surface or seated position. Made with reinforced nylon and stitching, each design is water resistant and durable. Our Transfer Sling is a bit more versatile and can be used manually or with a hydraulic lift.

  • Handles

    Our transfer blankets include padded handles to allow a team of caregivers to support a single patient for horizontal transfers. Our large transfer sheet includes 14 handles while the small blanket and sling include four.

    The four handles on our transfer sling are designed with 3 hand grips each to reposition the grip at any angle or conveniently attach to a lift.

    The Transfer Sling is a very popular option for its ease of use and simple design. The durable polyester body has 5 padded handles on either side for adjustable grip, comfort, and desired positioning.

  • Size

    Our transfer blankets come in two sizes. The Large Transfer Blanket is 77” x 38.5” and the Small Transfer Blanket is 35” x 34”.

    The Transfer Sling measures 48” x 30”.

Pivot Discs

Our Swivel Seat Cushion is the ideal choice for more mobile patients who need help getting into and out of car seats, home chairs, and more. Its nonslip, 16” base rotates a full 360 degrees, letting patients stand up without having to twist, and is designed with resilient high-density foam that is plush for comfort and support.

Our plastic Pivot Disc functions very similarly but it is used for standing transfers rather than sitting. The non-slip base allows the patient to firmly place his or her feet on the disc and be rotated 360 degrees by the caretaker.

Assist Rails

Stand Assist Handrails are made to install directly into a sofa, offering foam grip handles and a stable base to help patients get on their feet. It is a good solution for those who need a little extra help with sitting or standing on their own. Constructed of durable but lightweight aluminum that won’t bend.

Assist Handles

Stand Assist Handles are rigid transfer aids designed to move a patient from sitting with the assistance of a caregiver. They are durable and sturdy, making them a good solution for those who need a little extra help with sitting to standing on their own. Lightweight construction makes them easy to install and take where needed.


Our Transport Stand Assist is the most robust transfer aid we offer. This full steel bodied frame is designed to help transfer patients with very limited mobility. It can be used for aiding in rising from a seated position on a couch, chair, toilet, bed, or wheelchair and safely transferring to another position.

Leg Positioners

Leg lifters are designed to aid in positioning limbs properly for comfort and safe transfers. These are used by the patient with ease. Those with very limited mobility in his or her legs will benefit from using the Leg Lifter or Thigh Lifter Strap. These tools give the patient the ability to lift and maneuver legs into a comfortable position once seated or before transferring into a chair or car. Leg lifter straps are commonly used post leg, hip, or knee surgery.

Level of Assistance

  • Self Transfer

    Self-transfer aids are perfect for patients with relatively high mobility, who only need a little extra boost when moving from sitting to standing. They require some arm and leg strength to use, but no outside help from caregivers is needed. Our swivel seat cushion and stand assist handles are perfect examples and can make a great addition to any couch, car seat, or chair.

  • Assisted Transfer

    For patients who need some caregiver help, assisted transfer devices are the best choice. They take cooperation between patients and caregivers during transfers but don’t require the same level of strength or coordination as self-transfer devices. Try our transfer belts or transfer boards to see how they can simplify transfers.

  • Dependent Transfer

    Patients who have little to no mobility need a transfer aid that allows a group of caregivers to handle them safely and effectively. In these cases, our transfer blanket is a good option. It includes 14 (large) or 4 (small) padded handles for a team of caregivers to grip securely during horizontal transfers.

Our Recommendations for...

While we typically recommend one product, keep in mind that oftentimes using one or more of these aids together will give both the patient and caretaker the safest means of transferring.

Bed to Wheelchair transfer device

Bed to Wheelchair

It’s important to start the day on the right foot, with a safe and simple transfer to your wheelchair. Our Transfer Board is a great way to manage assisted transfers, with a slick surface and beveled edges that will make it easy to slide to and from your bed. It can even be used for independent transfers, allowing patients to slide themselves between surfaces without any outside help. The Pivot Disc would also be a great tool to minimize unnecessary or unsafe movements. The disc will allow caretakers to easily rotate patients or loved ones into optimal positions for lowering into a seated position.

Wheelchair to Car transfer device

Wheelchair to Car

Getting into and out of the car can be a challenge for patients with mobility issues, which is why we offer our Transfer Belt with Handles. It simplifies assisted transfers with four vertical and two horizontal handles that allow caregivers to get a firm grip. Its quick-release buckle makes it easy to slip on and off when needed. You can also try our Swivel Seat Cushion to help maneuver patients without twisting.

VIEW Transfer BELT
Multi-Grip Leg Lifter

Proper Positioning

To make transfers a bit easier, having the right tools can allow either the patient to properly position lower limbs for a smooth transition. The Leg Loop Lifter is equipped with multiple hand loops and can be used from a variety of angles to achieve optimal positioning before or after lifting a patient into a chair, bed, or car.

Sit to Stand from Couch transfer device

Sit to Stand on Couch

If you need an extra boost to stand from a sitting position, our Stand Assist Handrail is a great option. It helps with self-assisted transfers, making it easy to stand up from the couch using dual foam-grip handles. A tool-free assembly makes it easy to adjust for anyone, making it the best choice to maintain independence. The Stand Assist Handle is a more lightweight and portable option that allows for smooth transfers with the help of a caregiver. If you’re looking for a more dependent type of transfer consider the Transport Stand Assist. This design is reliable and keeps both the patient and caretaker safe during the transferring process.

Lateral Sliding Transfer device

Lateral Sliding

For patients with low mobility, standing or sitting can be difficult. Our Transfer Blanket specializes in transferring patients in a horizontal position, letting a team of caregivers moves them safely and effectively. Lined with padded hand straps attached with reinforced stitching, it minimizes the risk of injury to patients and caregivers alike.

Standing or Walking with Patient Transfer Device

Standing or Walking with Patient

Our Transfer Belt with Leg Loops is the best option for patients who are strong enough to walk, but need a bit of extra help when standing and maintaining balance. All of the straps adjust, meaning it can offer a snug fit to most patients, while strong nylon leg loops keep the brace from riding up. The Transfer Belt with Handles is another simple option that is easy to take on and off when needed.

VIEW Transfer BELT

Frequently Asked Questions

Do gait belts prevent falls?

Yes—provided they are used correctly. A transfer belt allows caregivers to quickly stabilize their patient or loved one in the event of a loss of balance. Transfer belts with handles are particularly helpful for those who are unsteady on their feet.

If a patient starts to fall while wearing a gait belt, the caregiver can slow the fall by holding on to the belt and gently guiding them to the floor while protecting their head. They can then assist the patient in returning to a standing or seated position.

How tight should a transfer belt aid be?

A transfer belt should fit around a person’s waist, and there should be a two-finger gap between their body and the belt. Position the metal buckle to the front, as with a normal belt, and ensure it is securely closed. Tuck in any excess fabric to prevent tangling.

Never fit a gait belt around other areas of the body, including the chest or abdomen, and do not place it over stitches, wounds, or tubes.

How do you transfer a patient safely using a transfer board?

With practice, transfer boards are easy to use. Position the board so that it acts as a bridge between the surfaces you want to move the patient between. Ensure at least one-third of the board in on one surface, and at least one-third is on the second surface.

Have the patient sit on the end of the board and, slowly and carefully, help them to slide across it until they are securely seated on the other surface. Ask them to support their weight as they go, using their hands or fists. If the person in your care requires more support, you can fit them with a gait belt.

Need More Help?

Get more information on all Vive Health products by talking to our customer service and product specialists. Call between 8:30am and 9pm EST daily at 1-800-487-3808 or email us at

SHOP ALL Transfer Devices
Juan Lopez
Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez is part of the product development and improvement team at His understanding of products and vast knowledge of consumer needs makes it easy for him to provide helpful information on choosing the best products.

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