It's the one piece of furniture we all take for granted, but choosing a bed that's good for your health is as important as choosing one for comfort. Use our essential guide in association with Real Homes Magazine as your first step to a perfect night's sleep - click here to subscribe and have expert advice delivered to your door every month!
Most modern mattresses fall into four varieties. The first is open sprung, where the coil springs are wired together to form a single unit. These mattresses are ideal if there isn't a big weight difference between you and your partner. Pocket sprung mattresses on the other hand are where every spring has its own pocket, making the mattress better for restless sleepers or a couple where the weight difference is significant. Both Visco-elastic and Talalay latex mattresses respond to your body's temperature to get more comfort and are better for people with allergies as they do not harbour dust mites. If you and your partner have great differences in what you need from a mattress, a zip mattress (in which two different single mattresses can be attached to form a superking) may be the answer.
Your bed should be the biggest your room can allow. Having a large bed means you are less likely to disturb your partner. The common size of a British double bed isn't really big enough for two people to sleep in comfortably, which explains why people have more restless nights when with someone then when alone. Did you know that a standard 4ft 6" bed allows each adult the same equivalent of space a baby has in a bed? Ideally you should opt for a kingsize bed which measures 5ft x 6ft 6". That way you can rest assured you will get a good night's sleep.
While bedsteads have an aesthetic purpose and help to give your room a definite style, a divan bed base is usually stronger and more supportive but plainer, style-wise. Divans also have the added option of storage drawers, which can be incorporated into the base. The main benefit of divan beds is that they take up less room. If you're worried about size, it's worth remembering that a kingsize divan will often fit into the space of a double bedstead. Divans are also more versatile, if you're likely to change the style of your bedroom regularly, as many don't have the striking appearance of bedsteads.
Bedsteads are available in almost limitless styles and colours -metal and leather are particularly popular at the moment. Many are supplied flat-packed, and so can help with any of the problems associated with getting divans up stairs or through tricky doorways. Remember, if you're buying a bedstead, it's even more important to get the mattress right. The slatted base can reduce the life expectancy of a sprung mattress, so foam mattresses are ideal with this kind of bed. A sprung-slatted base will have a softer feel, and will prolong the life of your mattress.
When it comes to cost you should spend as much as you can afford on a bed, including the base and mattress. When you consider that the average bed lasts 10 years, the cost (however much you spend) won't seem at all bad when you work it our per sleep. £500 bed used for over 10 years will cost you just 14p a night.
Please see below for our Furniture123 guides to How to choose a bed or mattress: