Bedroom essentials: how to choose a new bed

Over an average lifetime, we all spend the equivalent of around 10,000 days in bed. And that’s not allowing for lazy Sunday lie-ins, or squeezing in the odd afternoon nap before a big Saturday night out!

With that in mind, it’s worth spending some time choosing the right bed for you. Here’s the Cosy Home guide to what to do, including finding the right mattress, bedstead and bedding.

Image: Pixabay


Bedsteads come in a huge range of styles, from minimalist futon frames to four posters. Remember that a bed is a big piece of furniture, and if you’re going for a style that’s both high and wide, such as a brass bedstead, you’ll need plenty of space.

Beds with both foot boards and head boards can create a cosy feel, but they can also make the bed look visually bigger and if you’re above average height you may find the foot board cramps your style!

If you’re tight for space, then look for a bed that incorporates storage drawers underneath. Vintage-style bedsteads on legs look great, but aren’t a very efficient use of space. If you plump for buying a real vintage or antique bed frame, remember you might not be able to get an off-the-shelf mattress to fit it!

If you’re on a budget, you can buy a simple bed base and make your own headboard by cutting out a suitably sized piece of MDF, covering it with padding and fabric and screwing it to the wall. This has the advantage that it’s easy to change the fabric if you change the room decor.


Image: Pixabay

Always buy the best quality mattress you can afford, as a cheap, saggy mattress can be the cause of anything from sleepless nights to serious back problems. Mattresses should be replaced every eight to 10 years, as well. Types of mattress include:

  • open spring – one long piece of wire coiled into numerous springs supported by a metal frame. These are a great value option, but aren’t always very supportive so are best for beds only used occasionally, such as spare rooms
  • pocket spring – these are made from individual springs, each held in their own individual pocket so they move independently. These are a good choice if you and your partner are different weights, as the springs will compensate and give you different amounts of support
  • latex – these are firm, heavy, supportive mattresses that are very durable. Their main disadvantage is their weight, which makes it hard to turn them single-handedly
  • memory foam – made from a special material that moulds to your body, these are very supportive. They aren’t very breathable, though, and can get warm. As they’re so different to traditional mattresses, look for a company that offers a money-back guarantee in case you don’t get on with it!

Image: Pixabay

Mattresses also come in degrees of firmness, from soft to really solid. The one you choose will depend on whether you need orthopaedic support, your weight and your sleeping position. If you’re not sure, go to a large show room to try out as many options as you can.


Image: Pixabay

Now, on to the fun bit! Bedding is really the finishing touch, and helps you put your own individual stamp on a room.

Throws and cushions look luxurious and cosy, but really need to be neat to look good so are probably best avoided if you don’t have a lot of time in the mornings.

Clean, white, plain, crisp cotton is a classic look that suits any decor, and is easy to change and dress up with coloured pillowcases or a folded blanket. Whatever you choose, bear in mind that pure cotton is lovely to sleep in but will need more care (and probably ironing) than synthetic blends such as polycotton.

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