The CPSC and Mandatory Safety for Adult Portable Bed Rails

Bed Assist Rail Bars For Sale

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has published a rule requiring manufacturers of Adult Portable Bed Rails (APBRs) to comply with ASTM F3186–17 and recent modifications.

On July 21, 2023, CPSC published a final rule, 16 CFR 1270, establishing ASTM F3186-17 as a mandatory safety standard for Adult Portable Bed Rails.  Prior to this date, ASTM F3186-17 was voluntary.  

Rule 16 CFR 1270 was created to reduce the risk of injury and death associated with entrapment and other hazards from APBRs. The Standard Specification for Adult Portable Bed Rails and Related Products, ASTM F3186–17, was added to the Government Register on August 21, 2023, and is in effect for all adult portable bed rails manufactured after September 21, 2023.

The voluntary nature of the APBR safety standard that existed prior to 16 CFR 1270 was insufficient to address the risk of injury or death from entrapment, primarily due to manufacturers who did not choose to follow the guidelines.  This led to 332 adverse incident reports involving adult portable bed rails (APBRs) between January 2003 and December 2021. Of these, 310 were fatalities. Rail entrapment is the most prevalent hazard pattern among the incidents, accounting for more than 90 percent of all fatal incidents.

In addition to making the Standard mandatory for all manufacturers, other enhancements to ASTM F3186-17 are: 

  • Correction of grammatical errors and added definitions for use throughout the standard.
  • Added definition of structural integrity and safety, including hole and slot sizes.
  • Added requirements for retention system components to ensure that retention system integrity is maintained.
  • Changed positioning of bed rail distances to address previous inconsistencies.
  • Added requirement for manufacturers to specify bed type and the mattress thickness range tested.  
  • Clarification of the testing requirements for Zones 1 through 4, definition of pass and fail criteria, and other changes to ensure that all measurement references were consistent. 
  • Added requirements for labeling, installation instructions, and warnings. 


Adult Portable Bed Rails that are not classified as medical devices fall under the authority of the CPSC. This includes most of the bed rails that one would see in a private home. This article is related to changes to the status and requirements of ASTM F3186-17 only and is not relevant to Consumer Safety Specification F1821 for toddler beds, F2085 for portable bed rails for children, or IEC 60601-2-52 for medical beds.

Hartmobility Inc. has always designed its products with customer safety in mind. All Hartmobility bed rails comply with the Standard and its modifications. For more information on how to reduce the risk of entrapment for you or your loved ones, a document on Entrapment Prevention Information for APBRs’ is available below.

Download Entrapment Prevention Information for APBRs

Back Next