We spend about 30,000 hours in a bed in its 10 year lifespan, so make every effort to buy a bed which is ideal for you.
Buying a mattress
The Sleep Council publishes a series of leaflets on beds: The Bed Buyer’s Guide, The Good-Night Guide for Children, The Sleep Good, Feel Good Guide These can all be downloaded from its website: www.sleepcouncil.com which also includes tips for buying a new bed and a bed ‘MOT’.
An unsupportive mattress causes the spine to be put under stress, as does sleeping in an awkward or uncomfortable position. (Image: Sasha Waddell)
When buying a new bed, try before you buy. Lie on the bed and fit your hand in the small of your back. It should fit snugly.
Don’t be confused by jargon. The term ‘orthopaedic bed’ may simply be the manufacturer’s method of describing a firmer bed in its range.
When buying a double bed, consider zip and link beds, where single mattresses of different tensions can be fastened together. (Image: Beds are uzzz)
A single bed should be a minimum of 90cm wide x 190cm long and a double bed, 135cm wide x 190cm long.
King beds are 150cm wide and 200cm long and super king 180cm wide and 200cm long.
If you are a couple, buy the largest size bed you can fit in the room for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Never place a new mattress on an old sprung base, as this may have changed shape over time and will not support the new mattress evenly.
Most mattresses have spring interiors, of which there are three main types: open-springs (often the cheapest option) with rows of springs joined by helical wire; continuous springs, with one length of wire forming all the coils; and pocket springs (the most expensive) where each spring is wrapped in fabric, enabling it to function separately, giving the most support. As a rough guide, the more springs, the better the support.
Expensive mattresses normally contain more luxurious and natural fillings, including silk and pure wool. (Image: And So To Bed)
Tempur®, or memory foam, mattresses and pillows are not hard or soft, but yielding and above all pressure relieving. Your mattress conforms to your body rather than your body attempting to conform to the mattress.
Caring for your mattress
Most mattresses need regular turning to redistribute the fillings. Some need regular turning from side to side and end to end; others need to be turned only once or twice a year. (Image: Savoir Beds)
Protect mattresses and pillows with washable covers. Apart from hygiene, this can help with allergies.
Throw back bed covers every morning for at least 20 minutes to allow body moisture to evaporate.
Where to see a good selection
www.sleepmasters.co.uk Fully guaranteed for five years, there are open coil, pocket sprung and memory foam mattresses; plus divan beds, wooden, leather or metal beds and headboards, offered with a 7-21 day express delivery service.
www.featherandblack.com 33 stores nationwide with an outstanding selection of wooden, upholstered and metal beds (see image); plus divans, mattresses and headboards.
www.bedcentre.co.uk Huge range of fine mattresses: memory foam, open coil and pocket spring from major manufacturers including ViSpring, Rest Assured, SilentNight; plus the Holborn Miracoil® Divan with a second pull-out bed that tucks neatly under the main bed.
www.bedsruzz.com Six UK showrooms with top brands including Vi Spring, Jensen, Dunlopillo, Tempur, Rest Assured, Stuart Jones, Dreamworks, Sealy, Slumberland, Staples and delivery throughout the UK.
www.andsotobed.co.uk 24 branches nationwide with a selection of wooden and four-post, Victorian-style cast brass, contemporary leather, forged-iron and elaborate cast-iron beds and headboards inspired by a variety of historic designs. Beds can also be upholstered, hand painted or finished in silver or gold leaf.
www.ligne-roset.co.uk Contemporary beds including upholstered models and others with swiveling bedside tables and breakfast trays or integrated lighting; plus modern sofa beds.
www.bradburysltd.co.uk Bradbury’s offer the latest in German bedroom design and technology from Hülsta. Timeless, beautiful shapes and long-lasting beds and bedroom furniture.
www.poliformuk.com Cutting-edge range of beds and modern bedroom furniture in an 800 sq.m. inspirational showroom. ‘Comfortable minimalism’ best describes the Poliform style.
www.cheetahdesign.net Distributors of the Meridiani Home Collection and Italian designs by Rugiano, Busnelli and Moda. The collections include an extensive range of upholstered beds with removable covers plus contemporary bedside tables in timber, lacquer or metallic finishes.
www.gomodern.co.uk Huge range of modern beds, including king size, super king size and storage beds, as well as beds for children from European makers including Bonaldo, Jesse, Casabella, SMA and Battistella. Lacquer, leather, wood or upholstered finishes. (Image: Go Modern)
www.marshallandstewart.com This company’s three exclusive showrooms sell some of the world’s most luxurious beds. They offer their own handmade Diamond Collection beds alongside the finest natural beds from Hastens in Sweden. They also offer a bespoke design service and personal bed consultations.
www.savoirbeds.co.uk Savoir has made hand-crafted pocketed sprung luxury beds filled with curled horsetail, fleece, wool and cotton for the Savoy, Claridge’s and the Capital Hotel.
www.hastensamersham.com, www.hastenskingsroad.com These elite Swedish beds (including round and adjustable ones) have been made since 1852. They use the finest non-allergenic materials and are are guaranteed for 25 years.
www.obc-uk.net The Original Bedstead Company are manufacturers and retailers of hand-crafted iron and brass beds available in 18 finishes, with a choice of finials, and with matching bedside tables in over 30 traditional and contemporary styles.
www.bedbazaar.co.uk Over 2,000 antique brass/brass & iron/all iron bedsteads, from 2’6″ to 6′ wide, sympathetically restored. Sizes can be altered and they can supply metal sprung or pine slatted bases; also antique wooden beds dating from 1800-1940 and period reproductions in metal and wood. Their sister company, Sleeping Partners, makes traditional mattresses in any shape or size.
www.tomfaulkner.co.uk Tom Faulkner’s beds are designed and handmade to order in his UK workshop or in Italy to the highest standards of craftsmanship. He also offers a bespoke service.
www.heveningham.co.uk Designers and makers of stylish, elegant iron furniture (including beds) found in some of the finest hotels worldwide, such as the Sandy Lane in Barbados.
French painted beds/Upholstered headboards
www.sashawaddell.com Simple and understated range of hand-painted furniture, which includes headboards with wood, cane or upholstered centre panels.
www.rainesandwillow.com Raines & Willow’s fully upholstered beds eliminate the need for a bed valance. Headboards are available buttoned or finished with pewter studwork. Mattresses are made to order in Buckinghamshire.
www.leporello.co.uk Painted beds with headboards in scalloped, curved, straight or upholstered styles; the Johann range can be enhanced with hand-painted designs (see image). There are also contemporary beds, day beds, trundle beds and four-post beds.
www.juliettesinteriors.co.uk Many of their extensive standard range of beds can be made in different sizes or colours; from elaborate French silver to painted bunk beds.
www.chicshack.co.uk Pretty collection of beds inspired by 18th century French and Swedish designs; also headboards, daybeds, bunk beds, children’s beds and cots.
www.housecouturier.eu Bespoke upholstered beds and headboards to order in contemporary or deep-buttoned styles.
www.beaudesert.co.uk Hand-built, four-poster beds. There are eight sample hand-carved styles inspired by historic designs, available in wood, painted, or oil or water gilded, but any other style can be made to order. Custom-made pocket sprung mattresses and bed hangings, half testers and bed coronas.
www.simonhorn.co.uk French style beds, including the ‘lit bateau’ which Simon Horn introduced to the UK in 1982; also caned, four-poster and pull-out beds, as well as a nursery collection. Oak, beech, cherry, walnut, rosewood or painted finishes. (Image: Simon Horn)
www.mufti.co.uk Timber beds, in a selection of sizes, made from hand-polished reclaimed teak, including a colonial-style four-post bed. (Image: Mufti)
www.puji.com Beds in recycled teak and oak, mainly hand-crafted in Indonesia, conforming to ethical production and positive recycling principles.
www.encompassco.com Space-saving, simple, stylish and ergonomic wall beds designed by Altherr-Lievore-Molina (see image).
www.inhouseinteriors.com Inhouse Interiors designs and manufactures custom made furniture, including beds, headboards and fully fitted bedrooms.
P.S. And for even more suppliers, look at the listings in the main Beds & Bedding category of our website…