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We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so why not dedicate time and effort to choosing a perfectly comfortable and stylish bed? Sleeping in the wrong bed can lead to achy muscles and sleepless nights, while not matching it to your space may result in something ugly and out of place.
Below, our experts have lined out some of the key things that are sometimes overlooked when choosing a bed, in order to guide you towards purchasing your ideal bed!
What size bed should I choose?
The size of your bed will mainly depend on how many people will be sleeping in it and how much space you have available. Knowing what size of bed you will need beforehand makes deciding on the style and the placement so much easier. Keep in mind the heights of the people that will be sleeping in these beds - the last thing you want is someone’s feet to be hanging off the edge at night!
Single sleeper? Twin Size
- Twin size beds are the smallest standard size, measuring at 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length.
- These beds are intended for single sleepers and work best in kids’ rooms, small bedrooms, or guestrooms.
Need some extra room? Full Size
- Also known as a small double in some places, full size beds are 54 inches in width and 75 inches in length.
- They’re great for single sleepers wanting some extra room, or a couple looking for an inexpensive (and cozy!) sharing option.
Want the best value for money? Queen Size
- Queen size, which is 60 inches in width and 80 inches in length, is the most commonly purchased bed size and the ideal choice for couples.
- Due to their popularity, queen size beds often have the added benefit of a wide variety of bedding sets and accessories that other sizes may lack.
Love luxury? King Size
- This is the largest standard size available, measuring at an impressive 75 inches in width and 80 inches in length.
- King size beds are ideal for couples wanting a more luxury-feeling bed, as well as those needing the extra space to share with a child or pet.
- These beds are often the most expensive to purchase, so make sure yours will actually fit in your bedroom - it’d be awful to discover the bed is too big for your room after you’ve spent a significant chunk of your savings on it!
What bed frame options are there?
It’s important to pick out a bed frame that is not only practical but also fits in with the décor of your bedroom. Thankfully, most types of bed frames are available in various styles, ranging from traditional to modern, and can be easily accentuated using bedding.
When buying beds, you will usually have to purchase the bed frame and mattress separately, but keep a lookout for combined models as they may save you a lot of money!
Need something simple and cheap? Divan Beds
- This is the most popular and simple style available, usually with a relatively low price point.
- Pocket sprung divan beds have springs in the base, which offer a softer top and therefore added comfort.
- Platform top divan beds are usually cheaper than pocket sprung beds, and have a hard top, which gives the bed a much firmer feel.
- However, these beds tend to be less stylish than other models due to their very simple design and neutral color scheme.
- Also, only some types of divan beds offer extra storage, and they are usually much more expensive than regular divan beds.
Want something highly customizable? Bedsteads
- These beds have slatted frames rather than solid bases like divan beds and are made out of metal, wood, or both.
- They are comprised of a base, legs, and a headboard, which usually need to be self-assembled at home; this does make these beds highly customizable though, as you can purchase different colors for each separate part of the frame.
- They come in a variety of styles, from traditional pine, to modern and sleek metal, to extravagant four-poster beds.
- Bedsteads can also be customized with different colors, particularly if they’re for children.
- One major downside to bedsteads is the lack of tidy storage space - you can store items underneath the frame, but that may end up looking messy, especially if the items aren’t stored in boxes.
- Also, these beds are usually much more expensive than divan beds and so may be inaccessible to those on a smaller budget.
Need that little bit of extra storage space? Storage Beds
- As the name suggests, these beds offer ample storage space, making them a great option for smaller bedrooms and individuals with lots of belongings.
- You can choose between the base having simple storage drawers or being Ottoman-style (i.e. able to be lifted to reveal storage space inside the base itself).
- If choosing an Ottoman-style base, be wary of the fact that these bases can be incredibly difficult and awkward to lift due to their weight and size.
- Storage beds can also become incredibly expensive the more you try to customize them, so they may not be a great option for those on a smaller budget.
Have a guest room? Sofa Beds/Folding Beds
- These beds are flexible and compact, making them a great option for guest rooms or very small bedrooms.
- They are also very cheap and can be a life-saver for those in a difficult situation.
- However, they’re not great for long-term sleeping as the mattresses are usually quite thin and without much support.
What is the best mattress for my bed?
The mattress is usually what makes or breaks a bed - a good, supportive mattress will let you have a comfortable nights’ sleep, while an uncomfortably thin or uneven mattress will leave you feeling exhausted and achy. This is why choosing a mattress that will suit your specific needs is incredibly important!
Suffer from aches and pains? Memory Foam
- Memory foam mattresses mold to your body, evenly spreading out your weight and alleviating any pressure points.
- Their dense structure means that they are hypoallergenic, as it reduces the chances of allergens building up.
- However, their density does make them quite heavy and difficult to move; lifting the mattress to put on a fitted sheet may prove difficult.
- These mattresses also tend to retain body heat, which can be a good thing during colder months and more of an annoyance during warmer months.
- Memory foam is created using a synthetic blend of chemicals which aren’t necessarily harmful, but this is something you should be aware of.
Trying to save money? Innerspring/Coil
- This is the oldest type of mattress that is still currently in use and is quite inexpensive.
- Innerspring mattresses are very breathable and don’t trap heat, creating a cooling effect.
- The push-back of the steel coils creates a firm and supportive mattress for those sleeping on their backs.
- For other sleeping positions, innerspring mattresses may create pressure points and aches as the coils don’t conform very well to the body.
- Innerspring mattresses also have a shorter lifespan than their more expensive alternatives.
Want something that will last you years? Latex
- Latex mattresses have been around for almost a century yet have only recently begun gaining popularity due to their decreasing prices.
- The two main types of latex mattresses are Dunlop and Talalay, with Talalay being favored for its breathability.
- Just like memory foam, latex molds to your body shape to provide great support and alleviate any pressure points and aches.
- This is one of the only types of all-natural mattresses, as there is a plant-based model available.
- Latex mattresses are the most durable out of every type of mattress, lasting upwards of 20 years.
Side sleeper? Pillow Top
- As the name suggests, pillow top mattresses have an additional layer of upholstery on top of an innerspring mattress.
- This upholstery is usually about 2 inches thick to provide maximum comfort.
- These mattresses provide more support than memory foam and latex, at a much lower price point.
- They are especially helpful to side sleepers who have hip and shoulder aches, as they mold easily to the shape of their body and alleviate the pressure points.
- However, a huge disadvantage is their short lifespan - pillow top mattresses compress easily and lose their effectiveness in a short amount of time.
Get too hot at night? Gel
- Gel mattresses are relatively recent and can be used as either a standalone layer or as an infusion into foam.
- They provide a much cooler sleeping surface than memory foam mattresses as they aren’t as dense.
- They are also more responsive when not combined with foam, making it easier for the mattresses to mold to the body.
- However, like memory foam, gel mattresses are made from a synthetic blend of chemicals and are quite expensive.
Where should I place my bed?
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer to some people, but deciding on a good placement for your bed can sometimes prove to be quite tricky. It’s important to consider any other furniture and features found in your bedroom, and try to plan the placement around them to avoid making the space too cluttered. We’ve outlined some of the most popular bed placements and what makes each one unique.
Want a balanced look? Centered
- Placing your bed right at the center of the longest wall in the room seems to be the most popular placement.
- This makes the bed the focal point of the room by placing it in a central location, and so is ideal for bedrooms that are sparsely furnished.
- Also, this placement leaves ample space on either side of the bed for bedside tables, making it both practical and spatially balanced.
- You can utilize the wall space above the bed for a decorative headboard or a unique art piece to really bring people’s attention to the bed.
- This placement is not very suitable for smaller bedrooms, as placing it in a central area of the room may waste valuable space.
Not sharing with anyone else? In the corner
- Although less popular in standard-sized rooms, this is the perfect option if wall or floor space in the room is limited.
- You can either position the bed at an angle so that it sits across the corner, or ‘tuck’ the bed into the corner so that two sides are aligned with walls.
- This placement focuses the attention on other areas of the room, such as a fireplace or a vanity.
- There may be some wasted space behind the bed if it is positioned at an angle, but that can be easily fixed with a small shelf or a curtain.
- This placement may also make sharing the bed difficult as one person will be dependent on the other to be able to get out of the bed, which is why this placement is mainly recommended for single sleepers.
Short on space? Under the window
- While there is some debate over whether having your bed under the window is good or bad, the general advice is to avoid doing so.
- This is because natural light may disturb light sleepers, while a cold draft might seep through the window and make sleeping uncomfortable.
- If this placement is unavoidable due to limited space, make sure to use a low headboard and hang your curtains high to avoid obscuring the window.
Like making a bold statement? Bed island
- Placing your bed in the very middle of the room will create a very unique and bold bedroom layout, that is only really possible in very large bedrooms.
- Being nowhere near a wall will make getting in and out of bed, as well as navigating around it, a much easier task.
- This placement makes your bed the only focal point in the room, which can be further emphasized with a round, patterned rug placed directly underneath it.
- While having your bed in the middle of the room may look impressive, you will probably be forced to compromise on having bedside tables as they would look incredibly out of place.