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Bed Buying Guide

Choosing the best type of bed and mattress:

Choosing the right type of bed is crucial. Without a good night’s sleep, we cannot function for the rest of the day, leading to all kinds of long-term health and lifestyle problems. In addition to considering the best type of bed, you will want to give plenty of thought to the type of mattress that you buy because it is your mattress that will have the most effect on how well you sleep in your new bed.

There are a huge range of options available when you are buying a new bed which is both a help and hindrance. Helpful because you want a range of choices so that you can find the one that suits you best, hindrance because it all becomes rather confusing if you don’t understand what the different terms mean.

So, from mattress sizes to bed types, mattress firmness ratings, beds for back pain and the most popular types of mattresses in the U.K., here’s a complete guide to help you find the best bed and mattress to suit your needs.

Best type of bed

What is the best type of bed?

  • Divan Bed: The most popular type of bed base in the UK is the divan bed. Divan beds are convenient and a brilliant space-saving solution. Free from the addition of a bed frame, divan beds are a streamlined design that includes storage. Able to split in two, divan beds are easy to transport when you move home or first install them. A perfect fit for contemporary living.
  • Bed Frames: Bed frames continue to be a top choice of bed across the U.K. Available in a wide range of individual and unique styles, bed frames are a great way to personalise a room. From contemporary to vintage, natural wood to sleek metal and leather, there are an array of different types of bed frames to choose from. A great way to find a bed that complements the space. Bed frames are not only for style, they can be great space savers with lots available with drawers or ottoman storage.
  • Storage Beds: Wherever you live in the U.K. space is at a premium, so it is no surprise that storage beds are a favourite choice when it comes to selecting the best bed. From drawers to ottomans, there are a variety of different storage solutions that can be concealed within the base of your bed. A clever choice to gain more space without adding extra furniture to your room.

Best type of mattress

What is the best type of mattress for a good night’s sleep?

  • Open Coil Mattress: Open coil mattresses are one of the UK’s most popular types of mattress. Made from single springs that are joined together by a wire, open coil mattresses also feature a border rod that runs around the edge of the mattress to help it to retain its robust shape. Turning open coil mattresses every six months, will aid their ability to remain smooth.A favourite option that is lighter than many other types of mattress, open coil mattresses provide a long-lasting, standard level of support, for a more traditional mattress choice. Particularly suitable for children, guest rooms and sharing with someone of a similar size.
  • Pocket Sprung Mattress: Featuring lots of individual springs positioned within their own envelope of fabric so that they can each move on their own, this is a more luxurious mattress choice. Offering lots of support, the single coil design of a pocket sprung mattress means that it is able to accommodate people of different sizes and will adapt to the shape of your body for added comfort.With the benefit of a robust, hand-stitched side for added stability, pocket sprung mattresses should also be turned on occasion to enhance the life of the mattress. These mattresses can be heavier than other types and their natural filling (such as lambswool) may stimulate allergies. Cooler than latex or memory foam mattresses, pocket sprung mattresses are a versatile choice for a high-quality mattress that suits a range of needs.
  • Memory Foam Mattress: Hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial, memory foam mattresses are formed from heat-sensitive material that adapts to the shape of your body, for maximum comfort whilst you sleep. Moulded to suit your specific silhouette, memory foam mattresses aid correct posture and relieve pressure points, like the joints, during sleep. The memory foam technology does cause these mattresses to be warmer than the others and they should be rotated rather than turned. A great choice for those looking for a top mattress for back support or allergies.
  • Hybrid Mattress: If you prefer something that combines the best of them all, a hybrid mattress is the way to go. Featuring multiple layers of different types, such as a memory-foam surface with a pocket-sprung base, you can blend support and comfort in a mattress that is both cool and breathable. The multiple materials and additional engineering makes hybrid mattresses a more expensive and heavy option, but if you want optimum comfort, support and temperature-control then this may be your preferred choice.
  • Anti-Allergy Mattresses: If you are looking for an anti-allergy mattress there are now many options available. Your anti-allergy mattress should state that it is: hypo-allergenic, anti-allergy or non-allergenic. Some anti-allergy mattresses also display an Allergy UK Seal of approval or notice of an anti-allergy cover treatment. Memory foam mattresses, tend to be the most popular choice because foam mattreses resist dust mites and tend to lower the risk of allergens.
  • Mattress Toppers: Positioned on top of your mattress, a mattress topper is an extra layer that provides additional comfort and support for a luxe feel that can also make a bed last longer. Available in a wide range of fillings, each material delivers the same benefits as its mattress-type equivalent.
  • Best mattress for back pain: If you are suffering from joint or back pain choosing the right mattress can be the difference between a good night’s sleep or further discomfort. Memory foam mattresses tend to be the top choice for the best type of mattress for back or joint pain, because they support the correct alignment of your spine, preventing further injury.For firmness, you may be tempted to choose an extra-firm orthopaedic rating, however, you may find that this is too firm and pushes against your spine, making for an uncomfortable sleep, particularly if you sleep on your back.

    Instead, look first for a mattress that will help to keep your spine aligned and relieve pressure points along your spine and joints. Explore the best type of pillow to aid your back too, because that will also contribute to the alignment of your back during sleep.

Mattress Size Guide:

Wondering what the standard mattress sizes are for UK mattresses? Take a look at our size guide for the dimensions of single, double and king-size mattresses:

Small single: 75cm x 190cm

Single: 90cm x 190cm

Small double: 120cm x 190cm

Double: 135cm x 190cm

King size: 150cm x 200cm

Super-king size: 180cm x 200cm

Mattress Firmness Guide:

Which firmness rating should I choose?

Understanding the UK mattress firmness rating is an important part of choosing the best mattress for a good night’s sleep. Firmness scales consider your sleeping position, height and weight to determine which category of firmness will best suit your sleeping position. Use our useful summary to understand what each firmness type means so that you can select the firmness that is right for you. Ultimately, the final decision will come down to your own unique, personal preference.

Soft/ Medium-soft: Soft/ Medium-soft mattresses tend to be the best firmness for side sleepers or those who find themselves moving around a lot at night. A softer mattress will adapt to your shape, providing additional support to your spine whilst delivering a comfy feel as you sink into the contours of the mattress.

Medium/ Medium-firm: Medium/ Medium-firm mattresses are the most popular choice for many because they straddle both ends of the scale. Medium mattresses are particularly good for sleepers who sleep on their back because they deliver robust support to the lower-back. They are also popular if you change position from front to back during sleep or are sharing the bed with someone who sleeps in a different position to you. If you are a side sleeper, a medium-medium-firm mattress will still support your shoulders and hips well.

Firm: Firm mattresses are a good choice for substantial spine support. Favoured by those who: sleep on their front, suffer from back pain or are over 15 stone, a firm mattress will provide robust support for that extra level of comfort and stability during sleep.

Mattress Care Guide:

Wondering how best to look after your mattress so that it lasts?

Follow these easy steps to care for your mattress the right way.

  1. When your mattress first arrives, leave it to air out for 4-6 hours, to allow it to freshen up and adjust to normal room temperature.
  2. Every six months, turn your mattress and rotate it top to tail, to avoid an uneven surface.
  3. Remove bed linen and air your mattress weekly to keep it fresh.
  4. Allow yourself time to adjust to your new bed and for the mattress fillings to settle.
  5. If you choose to use a mattress protector, you can lengthen the life of your mattress by preventing the mattress from absorbing stains and spills.
  6. Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years to ensure that they provide adequate support and remain hygienic.