Beds with adjustable side rails first appeared in Britain some time between 1815 and 1825.
In 1874 the mattress company Andrew Wuest and Son, Cincinnati, Ohio, registered a patent for a type of mattress frame with a hinged head that could be elevated, a predecessor of the modern day hospital bed.
The modern 3-segment adjustable hospital bed was invented by Willis Dew Gatch, chair of the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine, in the early 20th century. This type of bed is sometimes referred to as the Gatch Bed.
The modern push-button hospital bed was invented in 1945, and it originally included a built-in toilet in hopes of eliminating the bedpan.