07:14 Sunday 03 March 2013

Buying a bed

Who’s been sleeping in MY bed?


Well, unless things are going terribly wrong, it will be you, of course. And probably your significant other half. And maybe the kids… perhaps even the dog or cat.

And the important thing about your bed is that, during the course of your lifetime, you will spend up to a third of your time in it. So it needs to be right because sleeping on an uncomfortable bed could cost you up to an hour’s loss of ‘zzzzz’ per night.

Not only that but an old bed isn't hygienic... we sweat as much as half to a full pint of fluid a night, and house dust mites accumulate in beds too. Eugggh!

But how do you know what is right for you?

Don’t be shy. Take a leaf out of Goldilocks’ book and try out a selection of beds to find the right one.

Start off by lying on your back, placing your hand in the small of your back and then trying to move it about. If it moves too easily, the bed may be too hard for you; if it's a struggle to move your hand, then the bed is too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, it’s looking like the bed may be just right for you.

Then try out all of the sleeping positions you tend to use because unless you become completely comatose when you’re asleep, you’ll move about in the night. If you share a bed, take your partner with you. Remember, it's important a new bed suits both of you.

Young happy woman jumping high on her bed

The kind of bed that you want will depend on the space available, the use it will get and the style that you prefer.

A divan bed acts as a base for a mattress and will either have springs or a solid top which provides firmer support. A divan will usually have drawers underneath to provide additional storage.

Bedsteads are more decorative and will provide a definite classic or contemporary look to your bedroom. A 'sprung slat' bedstead will give more cushioned support than a 'solid slat'.

A headboard is an optional, but comfortable extra.

A sofa bed and storage beds - a single bed with another, slightly smaller bed tucked away underneath - provide flexible solutions for overnight guests in a smaller bedroom.

The correct mattress with the right base can mean the difference between sweet dreams and nightmares. By matching the mattress to the base, it will promote the correct posture and provide support where you need it most. If you already have a bedstead in good condition you may only need a mattress.

However, if you have a divan, a new mattress alone won’t give you the full benefit. It’s advisable to replace both. The dimensions of a bedstead are greater than a divan base equivalent, but the mattress size required remains the same. 

A good quality mattress will last for many years; it will help you sleep by giving you better support so don’t be tempted to compromise on quality. Buy the best you can afford - when you think that every £100 you spend on a mattress represents just 2.7p a night over 10 years, it’s a small price to pay.

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