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The ultimate guide to...

Buying beds

Nobody wants to have an uncomfortable nights sleep, so buying the right bed and mattress is a real investment. We have put together a useful buying guide to help you find the bed of your dreams.

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A bedstead is a contemporary style of bed that is made up of a rectangular wooden frame supported by four legs of wood. Wooden slates support bed mattress, which are placed in rectangular wooden frame. Bedsteads are also available in iron and metal.

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This bed perfectly combines a box base for storage and a mattress for superior comfort while sleeping. This advanced form of household item is known as divan bed. Divan beds come with a two, three or four drawer option. However some manufacturers do provide a divan bed without any storage.

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Storage beds

Ideal for the kids room or for the guest room, this style of bed offers maximum storage space. Key features are built-in drawers or a easy-to-operate mechanism that unfolds the bed out from the top to reveal extra storage facility.

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Sprung base beds

A sprung base bed means the base of the bed has a layer of springs on top to give the mattress a more comfortable and softer feel whilst sleeping. Sprung base are available with or without storage.

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Mattress ratings

Mattresses are rated in term of firmness. Look out for the ratings when buying a mattress as this will give you a guide to how soft or firm the mattress is.

3 Medium - Medium firm for comfort

4 Firm - Firm for comfort and support

5 Extra Firm - Extra firm for support and orthopaedic


Type of bed Imperial (ft & in) Metric (cm)
Small single 2ft 6in x 6ft 3in 75cm x 190cm
Single 3ft x 6ft 3in 90cm x 190cm
Small double 4ft x 6ft 3in 120cm x 190cm
Double 4ft 6in x 6ft 3in 135cm x 190cm
King size 5ft x 6ft 6in 150cm x 200cm
Super king size 6ft x 6ft 6in 180cm x 200cm

Useful Tips

  • Every 10 years a mattress deteriorates by up to 70% so make sure you change it after this time so that your back remains supported
  • If you have back problems then opt for an orthopaedic mattress or a firm rated mattress. If you suffer from asthma make sure you check the fabric compositions of mattress fillings for any allergies
  • A harder mattress isn't always the best mattress choose one with correct support and comfort. The bed should mould itself to your natural contour
  • Consider the size of a mattress before you order. Will it fit around narrow staircases and entrances.
  • Buy a good quality bed. Quality beds usually last up to 10 years or more.


  • When you test your new bed mattress, wear comfortable clothing and remove your outdoor gear
  • Lie on a mattress for at least 10 minutes, in positions that you normally sleep in
  • If the bed is for two people test it together, plus it's more fun.


When sitting on a mattress for the first time it should feel firm and not "give".

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Memory foam mattress

A memory foam mattress should "remember" in which positions you like to rest. Test it several times and don't be afraid to test it in different conditions either eg. in a cold room or a warm room.

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Slatted base

If you put it on a slatted base, the slats are no more than 6cm wide or more than 4cm apart. This ensures sufficient ventilation while preventing the mattress sagging through between the slats.

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Different types

For more different types of mattress see the rest of our various ranges.

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Mattress and base

  • Manufacturers encourage you to buy a mattress and bed base together, and this is a good idea if you've had your old base for many years.
  • If you buy the mattress and base separately, or are going to keep your old base, measure carefully to make sure they're a good fit
  • Dimensions can vary so don't rely on a new double mattress being exactly the same size as your previous one.