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How Materials Impact Wellness In Healthcare Settings

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How Materials Impact Wellness In Healthcare Settings

When you think of visits to a healthcare facility, you are likely to conjure up an image of a clinical setting with its hard surfaces, dull colours, and an overall sterile atmosphere. It is also one of those places, where you can easily catch an infection despite it being a place of healing and recovery. 

One of the most dynamic work environments, the pandemic revealed several cracks and ways that the healthcare space can be improved to better cater to patient needs while improving comfort and reducing stress. Patient well-being goes beyond physical well-being and includes both emotional and mental well-being. In this article, we will delve into how healthcare furniture materials can impact patient wellness and healing in the hospital setting.

The Importance Of Material Selection For Healthcare Furniture

One of the common complaints from healthcare facility users is that the materials do not last long. Because of the rigorous cleaning and disinfecting methods employed on hospital furniture, as well as the rough use of the furniture, the textiles often show deterioration in the form of cracking, staining, or fading. In addition to being unsightly, damaged textiles can also increase the risk of HAIs (Hospital Associated Infections). Therefore, it is imperative to choose the right materials when it comes to healthcare furniture.

Features Of Hospital-Friendly Materials 

Minimizes Infection

To prioritize the health and safety of everyone in a healthcare facility, it is crucial to select materials and fabrics that can resist harmful substances. One of the essential qualities to look for in medical fabrics is their antibacterial properties. Vinyl fabrics are an excellent option for hospital rooms due to their durability and ease of cleaning, whereas non-woven fabrics are a preferred choice due to their high level of protection against contamination. 

For surfaces, quartz countertops in nurse stations or kitchen areas can be used because of their ease of cleanliness, as well as scratch and stain-resistant properties. Glasses are also a suitable choice for hospital settings, except they should be avoided in places where they can harm the patients. 

Ease Of Cleaning

When it comes to choosing textiles for busy hospitals or medical facilities, it’s important to opt for fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. After all, the focus should be on providing the best possible care to patients and not spending time cleaning upholstery. Medical fabrics should be able to withstand moisture and mildew while also being odour-resistant. Vinyl or polyurethane are both excellent choices for these reasons. Additionally, it’s recommended to avoid upholstery fabrics that feature ridges, fancy piping, or trim since these can be difficult to clean and may even harbour harmful micro-organisms.


Since healthcare furniture needs to undergo strict cleaning and disinfecting procedures, durability is a huge factor when choosing the material. It is important to look for materials or textiles that are of high quality and can withstand the harsh cleaning methods in hospital environments. Hospital-grade fabrics are durable, resistant to staining and discoloration, anti-microbial as well as fire-resistant. 

Role Of Hospital Materials In Promoting Wellness

Patient Recovery

Apart from antimicrobial resistance and durability, hospital furniture materials also need to be comfortable as they play an important role in patient recovery. When patients have access to appropriate and ergonomic furniture with the right materials, it can significantly enhance the healing process. Investing in high-quality furniture with hospital-grade materials for patient rooms and waiting areas is an essential aspect of creating a conducive environment for healing.

Reducing Stress

Selecting the right type of materials can assist in reducing stress levels within healthcare environments. Comfortable seating options not only provide physical relief but also contribute to minimizing stress among patients while they wait for appointments or treatment sessions. 

Mental Wellness

In healthcare settings, the choice of furniture materials has a substantial impact on mental wellness. Thoughtfully designed pieces that incorporate natural elements or calming colours can contribute to promoting a positive mindset among patients, visitors, and staff members alike. Aesthetically pleasing, yet functional furniture fosters an environment that supports mental well-being by creating a soothing atmosphere within medical facilities.

Staff Well-Being

The selection of comfortable and sustainable materials also impacts staff well-being. Providing comfortable chairs and workstations shows care for the physical well-being of healthcare professionals, leading to improved productivity and job satisfaction. By investing in thoughtfully selected furniture materials that are long-lasting and comfortable, healthcare facilities demonstrate their commitment to prioritizing staff comfort and overall wellness.


Incorporating privacy-enhancing healthcare materials, such as sound-absorbing fabrics or adjustable partitions, contributes to patient satisfaction and well-being by providing them with a sense of seclusion when needed. This ensures that patients feel respected, valued, and cared for during their time in healthcare facilities.

The integration of the right materials and ergonomic design in healthcare settings can significantly impact the wellness of both patients and healthcare workers. By recognizing the importance of materials in hospital furniture and incorporating strategies to enhance emotional and physical well-being, healthcare facilities can create environments that promote holistic wellness. Prioritizing these design aspects not only improves the experience within healthcare spaces, but also contributes to better health outcomes for all involved.

Connect with Harkel Office – a leading healthcare furniture dealer in Ontario and find durable, comfortable, and aesthetic furniture that promotes patient healing and wellness. 

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