Sleep is so important. It’s something that you spend around a third of your life doing, and the quality of sleep that you experience can have a huge impact on other areas of your life. When it comes to choosing a bed or mattress, there are lots of considerations to take into account, including comfort levels, the type of bed or frame, the storage space that the bed offers, as well as the look and style of the bed and how it fits into your home. Our buying guide will hopefully help when it comes to choosing the right bed for you.
The Divan is one of the most popular bed bases in the UK. They are usually a timber-framed bed base, with fabric covering the frame, for a neat and smart finish. They are usually available with matching headboards.
Divan bed bases can be topped with a solid panel, known as a platform, or with springs; the latter giving added durability for the mattress and providing softer support.
Mattresses can usually be bought with a divan base, or can be purchased separately in some cases.
Divan beds are often available with different storage options, meaning that the base of the bed can be utilised with a drawer or several drawers, keeping everything tidily out of the way until needed. Ideal for homes with limited storage space, divan beds with drawers offer the perfect place to store spare bedding & towels or other items that are not used every day.
Ottoman beds offer a large amount of storage space inside the bed frame, and may have additional drawers too. Perfect for storing large items, such as suitcases, along with other household things that you are not planning to use on a daily basis.
There are various different types of bed frames, but they are usually made from wood or metal. The mattress is supported by slats of wood, which may be either solid or sprung, the latter usually providing a slightly springier level of support.
Bed frames usually have a gap underneath the mattress, which can be used for storage, but unlike divan beds with built-in storage, the items you store under a bed frame are not necessarily hidden from sight.
Sofa beds are usually not intended to be used as a bed more than occasionally. Their primary purpose is usually as a place to sit and relax in a living space or bedroom, then might be used from time to time as a guest bed. The types of mattress that you get with your sofa bed can differ, but the most common are fairly thin foam mattresses. If the sofa bed is likely to be used as a bed a bit more often, upgrading to a sprung mattress or a thicker foam one is likely to offer more comfort, but the mattress may then have to be stored separately when the bed is not in use.
Most beds come without a headboard, but usually a matching or complementary one can be purchased either at the same time, or at a later date. They can act as a great focal point for a bedroom, so the design, colour or fabric can have a big impact on the look of the whole space. Headboards range from simple rectangular designs to plush padded styles and you can use a headboard to transform the look of the sleeping area entirely. Headboards can be made from a range of materials but the most common types are wooden, upholstered and metal. Upholstered headboards usually offer the highest levels of comfort, and metal or wooden headboards offer sturdiness; all headboards can range from the purely practical to the highly decorative
There are several different types of mattress, and choosing the right one for your needs can transform your sleep quality, having a big impact on other areas of your life too. The most popular mattress types include:
Memory foam is a material that moulds to the body, absorbing and supporting the sleeper’s weight, which can relieve pressure on joints. This type of mattress helps to align the spine horizontally for those who sleep on their sides, and maintains posture, which can be especially helpful to those who suffer from some kinds of back pain.Memory foam mattresses are designed to return to its original shape after use.
Made with individual springs that sit within their own pockets of fabric, this type of mattress offers a good level of support, with each small spring able to move independently. Pocket spring mattresses come in soft, medium or firm versions, and are great for helping to maintain ideal body temperature through the night as well as offering the right level of support for your preference.
This type of mattress contains coils all made from the same long piece of metal wire, and generally offers a lower level of support than pocket spring mattresses. Open spring mattresses are ideal for occasional use rather than to be slept on regularly, so make perfect mattresses for guest beds, as they do not have the durability of some of the other kinds of mattress.
Beds and mattresses can come in a wider range of sizes than you might think. The bed frame or base will generally always be slightly larger than the mattress, in order to accommodate it comfortably, so you should always take this into account when measuring the space for the bed to go. Use our size guide to find the bed option that’s right for your needs.
Small single bed size
75cm (w) x 190cm (L) or 2'6" x 6'3"
Standard single bed size
90cm (w) x 190cm (L) or 3' x 6'3"
Small double bed size
120cm (w) x 190cm (L) or 4' x 6'3"
Standard double bed size
135cm (w) x 190cm (L) or 4'6" x 6'3"
150cm (w) x 200cm (L) or 5' x 6'6"
Super king-size bed
180cm (w) x 200cm (L) or 6' x 6'6"
The firmness of a mattress can play a big role in how well you sleep, depending on your usual sleeping position and a number of other factors. For couples, finding a mattress that suits both partners can be tricky, but the options below might help you find something that works well for all.
A softer mattress might suit those who sleep on their side best, along with those who change sleeping positions several times during the night. Side-sleepers already rest in a position that relieves pressure on the spine, and a softer mattress, such a memory foam one, will mould to the shape of the body, supporting the natural sleeping position.
Mattresses offering a medium soft level of support are ideally suited to those who move around in their sleep or change positions throughout the night. Providing a little more support than a soft mattress, but still offering a comfortable surface that can mould to the body position, this type of mattress is very popular.
Medium firm mattresses are often recommended for those who sleep on their back. This type of mattress offers increased support for the back-sleeper, which can be especially useful for their lower back.
Firm mattresses, which offer a high level of support, are the ideal choice for those who sleep on their front, suffer from back pain, or weigh over 15 stone. The extra support offered by this type of mattress means that the sleeper doesn’t sink deeply into the bed whilst they rest, which keeps the back in a fairly stable position.
The various types of mattress can have differing care instructions, so we always advise that the specific guidance provided with your purchase is followed.
Many mattresses can be turned regularly (usually whenever the bedding is changed) to extend the life of the product, but some mattresses come with instructions specifically NOT to turn them.
Memory foam mattresses are often delivered in a roll. The mattress needs to be unpackaged as per the directions provided, and usually requires a period of time to expand and find its permanent shape.
Mattress protectors are a great way to help prolong the life of your mattress, and you should expect a good quality mattress to last for at least 8 years. When a mattress is coming to the end of its useful life, you may notice the level of support changing, or permanent dips forming on the mattress. You may also notice your quality of sleep diminishing. These are all signs that your mattress may need replacing.
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