The average person spends a third of their life asleep – that's around 200,000 hours of snoozing. If you want to sleep soundly and feel recharged when you wake, you'll want to get the best possible bed for you. Our guide explains how to choose the perfect bed and highlights the important features to consider when you're shopping.
For satisfyingly deep sleep, a sturdy bed frame is key. As we'll explain, there are a couple of different bed types to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. You'll also need to consider cost, storage space and how easy your bed will be to assemble. Read on for our top tips.
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Choosing the best bed frame: divan vs storage vs bedstead
Looking for a space-saving bed with storage to put in a smaller bedroom, or a stylish four-poster bed? Your bed is likely to be the most prominent piece of furniture in your bedroom, so choose a bed type that fits with the style and size of the room.
There are three main types of beds: divan beds, bedsteads and storage beds. Read on as we explain the differences and how much you can expect to spend.*
Divan beds explained
What is a divan bed? This is the most popular and simple style of bed – and there are countless varieties on sale. Essentially, a divan is a base. You then add a mattress and, usually, a headboard, sometimes as part of a bed package. There are two types of divan base:
- Pocket-sprung divans, which have springs in the base, offering a softer top and extra comfort
- Cheaper, platform-top divans have a hard top and will give a firmer feel, although the overall firmness of the bed will depend on the type of mattress you choose.
How much does a divan bed cost?* For a single divan base, expect to spend between £150 and £300. Doubles and larger sizes typically start around £300 and can rise beyond £3,000.
Pros and cons of divan beds
- Pros:The most widely available type of bed; tend to be cheaper than other types of bed; lots of sizes, shapes and storage options to choose from
- Cons:Tend to be less ornate and stylish than other types of bed; not all divan beds offer additional storage
What is a bedstead? Bedsteads are built from slatted frames, as opposed to solid bases. They're usually made of metal or wood and are comprised of a base, legs and headboard.
If you're looking for bed that makes a decorative statement, a bedstead could be a good option. They're available in a range of different colours, finishes and styles, from a traditional pine bedstead to a luxurious four-poster. Upholstered bedsteads, clad with real or faux leather, are an increasingly popular option.
How much does a bedstead cost?Expect to spend anywhere between £90 and £1,200 for a bedstead. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a double for less than £500.
Pros and cons of bedsteads
- Pros:Lots of styles available; no need to buy a separate headboard; different slat types offer a harder or more flexible feel
- Cons:Storing items under the bed can look messy; usually need to be self-assembled; tend to be more expensive than divan beds
Storage beds explained
What is a storage bed? As the name suggests, storage beds offer just that – lots of tidy storage options underneath the bed. They're a great option if you're short on bedroom space but want something a bit more stylish than a standard divan bed.
If you're opting for a storage bed, you can pick between a classic style (with pull-out drawers) or an ottoman. An ottoman bed has a piston-assisted lift mechanism – the foot of the bed lifts up to reveal the storage space underneath.
How much does a storage bed cost? You can get an affordable double storage bed for around £150-£300. Premium ottoman-style beds can cost over £1,500.
Pros and cons of storage beds
- Pros:Lots of storage space; well suited to smaller bedrooms
- Cons:Ottoman beds can be heavy and awkward to move
Beds for children and guests
The three bed types we've outlined above will be the main choices for most people's bedrooms. But if you have kids, or want a bed for occasional use by guests, then you might be in the market for one of the options below.
What is a sofa bed? A multifunctional bed that folds back up into a sofa when not in use.
Compact sofa beds work well in a spare room where a bed won't be used every day, or if you occasionally put up guests in your living room. Most sofa beds are two-seaters, but you might find that a corner-shaped sofa bed works better with your layout.
How much does a sofa bed cost? Most sofa beds cost less than £500 – you'll find plenty of options between £300 and £500. But we've also seen 'luxury' corner sofa beds selling for as much as £3,000.
- Pros of sofa beds:Space-saving; convenient if you have guests staying over
- Cons of sofa beds: Can be particularly heavy; usually not as comfortable as a regular bed.
If you only have people stay over now and again, a blow-up air bed might be more suitable than a sofa bed. Discover the best air beds.
What is a bunk bed?Essentially one bed frame built on top of another, with a ladder on one side allowing easy access to the top bunk. They're a popular pick with parents or those looking to save space.
Before you buy a bunk bed for small children, make sure they can safely climb the ladder on the side of the bed, and ensure that the barrier at the top is high enough to stop them from easily toppling over the edge.
If you're only buying for one child but space is tight in their bedroom, you could also consider a mid-sleeper bed or a high-sleeper bed. These are raised beds that have space underneath for toys or a small desk.
How much does a bunk bed cost?You should expect to spend between £150 and £500.
- Pros of bunk beds:Two beds only take up the space of one; fun for kids
- Cons of bunk beds:Can be a pain to assemble; potential safety hazard if not used correctly
What is a cot bed? For smaller children, cot beds are convertible cots that can help your little one make the transition from cot to bed.
Cot beds are suited to little ones that have outgrown their Moses basket or bassinet. Cot beds feature removable sides and a removable end panel that can be converted into a toddler-sized bed. Online, we've seen a selection of cot beds that come bundled with a dresser, where you can store baby clothes and nappies.
How much does a cot bed cost? A basic cot bed can cost as little as £100, although most are on sale for around £300.
- Pros of bunk beds: Cot beds last years longer than a cot (as they also function as a junior bed); more space than a cot bed so your baby has room to stretch
- Cons of bunk beds:Larger than a standard cot and therefore not ideal for a very small space
For more tips on choosing the perfect cot bed, see our guide onhow to buy the best cot bed or cot.
Buying a bed: important questions to consider
How much free space do you have?
You'll need to work out how large or small a bed you'd like – or can fit – in your bedroom. This seems obvious, but bear in mind that some bed frames are larger than others, and you'll need to allow enough space to walk around the bed without the risk of bashing your knees on a regular basis.
Measure your bedroom if you're moving into a new home, allowing ample space at either side of where the bed will fit to accommodate bedside tables or other furniture. If you're buying online, check the measurements of the bed in the product description.
Take a look at the table below for details of popular mattress dimensions. Depending on the type of bed frame, it may take up a bit more space than this, especially if you opt for a bedstead.
|UK bed size||Width and length (cm)|
|Single||90 x 190|
|Double||135 x 190|
|King||150 x 200|
|Super King||180 x 200|
|Emperor||215 x 215|
What type of mattress is best?
Choosing the right mattress is crucial to ensure you get a long-lasting bed that gives you a comfortable night's sleep while properly supporting your body. A mattress doesn’t have to be firm as a rock to be good for you – you just need to make sure it has a good supporting structure.
When trying out a bed in-store, lie down on it in the same way as you'd lie on your bed at home, to see how it feels. Ideally, the mattress should mould to the shape of your body while also supporting it. If you're looking for a bed for two, you should ideally try out potential purchases together.
In our expert mattress tests, we measure the shape of a person's body at 36 different points when standing, and when lying on their back on the mattress.
The perfect bed frame needs to be combined with the perfect mattress. Use ourmattress reviewsto find a mattress that will support your back and last for years and years – our Best Buys start at less than £200.
What's included in a bed's price?
Exactly what you get for your money may vary depending on the retailer. Make sure to check, for example:
- Does the bed come fully assembled, or will it need putting together?
- Is a mattress included?
- Does a divan bed come with a headboard?
- What does the bed's guarantee cover, and for how long?
How will your new bed get delivered, and what are the costs?
Unless you've got access to a van, you'll need to arrange for the store to deliver your bed. There's likely to be a charge for this, so get a quote for delivery before parting with any money. Not all shops offer evening or weekend delivery slots, so check before you buy if this is important to you.
Where to buy a bed
There are countless bed shops to choose from – including specialist high street brands, such as Dreams and Bensons, small independents, and general furniture shops including Ikea, Furniture Village and Habitat.
Whether you're shopping online or in-store, make sure you pay attention to the shop's returns policy.
Popular online retailers that stock beds include:
- Argos sells a selection of divan beds, ottoman beds, storage beds and sofa beds. Its divan beds start at around £170 and rise closer to £1,500.
- Bensons for Beds stocks ottoman beds, divan beds, sofa beds and adjustable beds. The retailer's divan beds start at around £170.
- Dreams has a wide selection of bed types, filtered by frame size and type. If you're looking for storage, its ottoman beds start at around £250.
- Dunelm is home to a selection of storage beds and divan beds. Prices for its Comfort Divan Bed with Mattress range from £400-£780.
- Ikea will appeal if you're on a budget. Its cheapest double bed frame, the Neiden, is £55. The retailer also sells sofa beds, children's beds and cots.
Find out which retailers are rated highly by Which? members with our expert guide on the best and worst furniture shops.
How to save money on a bed
If you see a bed marketed with a big discount, it could be tempting to think you need to snap it up. But it's sensible to approach offers on beds with a healthy dose of cynicism. Check if a 'sale' might be coming up – you could benefit from a an even bigger price cut by waiting a few weeks longer.
That said, there are some good bargains to be had if you're willing to spend a bit of time shopping around. If you go into a store armed with a better deal you've found for the same spec model online, some shops might be prepared to offer a price match.
Don't be afraid to haggle either, particularly in an independent store where the shop assistants may have more power to reduce the price or throw in a freebie.
How to dispose of your old bed frame and mattress
Ask the shop you're buying from whether it will pick up your old bed when delivering the new one – some may charge extra to do this. Alternatively, you can ask your council to collect bulky items such as mattresses, but again some charge a small fee for this service.
Wooden bed frames can be recycled – contact your council for details of your nearest neighbourhood recycling centre or to arrange a pick-up, or get in touch with the Furniture Re-use Network to donate your bed.
For more information on getting rid of mattresses, see our guide onhow to dispose of a mattress.
* Based on average prices from the popular online retailers listed under 'Where to buy a bed.'
Which type of bed material is best? ›
|Microfiber||Affordable, wrinkle and stain-resistant|
|Linen||Super cooling, extremely durable, and gets softer over time|
|Silk||Cooling, luxurious, and great for sleepers with sensitive skin|
|Bamboo||Soft, durable, and cooling|
Differences Between Memory Foam and Spring Mattress. Memory foam is usually known to be more durable because the lack of coils reduces the risk of sagging. Spring mattresses may not be as durable as memory foam because the springs and coils may start poking and sagging due to extended use.Which bed is good for back pain? ›
Memory foam mattresses can alleviate back pain by cushioning the spine and promoting even alignment, but you may find the foam layers too soft and prone to deep sinkage — especially if you weigh 130 pounds or more.Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress? ›
Generally speaking, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses. Soft foams may sink in too much for comfort and adequate support. Conversely, lighter sleepers may sink in less and find firm beds to be uncomfortably hard, so they generally prefer soft to medium firm options.
Innerspring. Another most common type of mattress found in hotels is the innerspring mattress. The mattresses with springs enable sleepers to achieve utmost support due to the series of coils under the foam pad, latex or pillow. These mattresses are available in various ranges in terms of firmness and prices.What is the healthiest material for a mattress? ›
Certified Organic latex mattresses are the best choice for people who have allergies to chemicals such as pesticides, flame retardants, and formaldehyde. This material is also naturally resistant to dust mites which could cause allergy symptoms in some individuals.Which wood is best for bed frame? ›
Durable hardwoods like maple, cherry, mahogany, oak, and walnut are generally considered the best types of wood for a bed frame. Softwoods such as pine, cedar, and fir are easier to shape, but they may not be as strong.What are the 3 best mattresses? ›
- Best Overall: Helix Midnight.
- Most Comfortable: DreamCloud Mattress.
- Best Value: Nectar Mattress.
- Best Luxury: Saatva Classic.
- Best for Side Sleepers: Softer WinkBed.
- Best for Couples: Helix Dusk Luxe.
- Best for Back Pain: Luxury Firm WinkBed.
- Best for Combination Sleepers: Layla Hybrid.
Latex mattresses tend to last the longest, followed by beds made using high-density memory foams or polyfoams. Lower-density foam beds wear out a bit quicker, as do hybrid models. Traditional innerspring beds generally have the shortest expected lifespan, at approximately five and a half to six and a half years.What are the disadvantages of memory foam mattress? ›
- Memory foam mattresses can be quite heavy. ...
- They have been known to be hotter than normal mattresses because they cradle your body and the dense foam retains heat. ...
- In hot climates the mattress may be softer than expected and in cold climates it may be harder than expected.
Is memory foam good for your back? ›
Yes, memory foam mattresses are the best for relieving back pain. They conform to your body providing pressure-point relief, reducing aches. Memory foam's body-conforming feature is the best in all mattress types. This viscoelastic foam forms to the natural curvature of your spine, promoting lumbar support.Which mattress is best for back pain foam or spring? ›
Spring mattresses, also known as innerspring mattresses, are the most traditional type of mattress. They are great for back sleepers and those with lower back pain. They are also an ideal option for individuals who find that foam mattresses do not offer the support they need.Which mattress material is good for spine? ›
Latex is known to keep the bed from heating. So, combining Latex with Memory foam gives excellent back support while keeping the mattress cool.Can Side sleepers use firm mattress? ›
“Most side sleepers will do best on a medium-firm mattress, as a general guideline, but that will vary based on their height and weight,” Dr. Breus explains. “If you're a 250- to 300-pound person, you're going to look for a different mattress than a 120- to 130-pound person.What mattress is best for back pain firm or soft? ›
A softer mattress is usually recommended for those who are experiencing back pain on a standard mattress, or those who have pre-existing back problems. They're also recommended for lighter individuals as a harder mattress can end up not compressing for them at all.Why do Chinese sleep on hard beds? ›
Firm Beds. Most people in China prefer to sleep on a firm mattress, claiming it is better for their backs. They believe the back remains properly aligned, with no sinkage throughout the night, if it is well supported.Do you need a softer bed as you get older? ›
No, you don't need a softer mattress as you get older. While a softer mattress is recommended for people who sleep on their stomach or side, older people actually need a firmer mattress.Why are hotel beds so hard? ›
Reasons that a hotel bed may be too firm include that hotels buy firm mattresses so that they last longer, some hotels use firmer futons which are influenced by Asian culture, and the breathability of the mattress.What mattress does 5 star hotels use? ›
Additionally, most hotels turn to classic brands such as Sealy, Serta-Simmons, and Beautyrest. To fully recreate your hotel sleeping experience, you can opt for one of these brands. Because hotels purchase luxury mattresses, they're likely to run you at least $2,000.Why do hotel beds feel so good? ›
Hotels beds are incredibly comfortable thanks to their use of mattress toppers. These can significantly adjust mattress firmness and the quality of your rest. A mattress topper is simply an added layer of cushioning that rests on top of your old mattress and provides support and extra levels of comfort.
What kind of bed is used in 5 star hotels? ›
Upscale hotels usually use luxury mattresses that are either hybrid , traditional innerspring , or memory foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses are becoming particularly commonplace, as they strike the balance between supportive innerspring coals and body-cradling memory foam.Which foam is not toxic? ›
Natural latex foams, such as Dunlop or Talalay latex, are safer alternatives. Plus, natural latex is antimicrobial, biodegradable, resistant to mold growth, and highly durable. Dunlop latex is not treated with any chemicals or fillers after harvesting and often has a firm feel.What is a natural mattress? ›
Organic mattresses are made with organic and non-toxic materials instead of conventional and chemically questionable materials. Consumers are choosing organic mattresses as a way to avoid unnecessary exposure to these chemicals.Are Sealy mattresses worth it? ›
While Sealy mattresses aren't the cheapest on the market, they are generally of high quality and likely to provide you with a good night's sleep. And when you divide that cost across the number of nights you're likely to sleep on it over time, that works out as very good value indeed.How much should I pay for a bed frame? ›
How much should you spend on a bed frame? Bed frames range widely in price depending on the material, size, and style. Simple metal frames will be the cheapest option, starting at around $100. Wooden, upholstered, and adjustable frames range higher in price, from around $500 to over $2,000.How long do wooden bed frames last? ›
Bed frame life expectancy: Wooden bed frames with slats typically last 7-10 years if properly maintained, while metal bed frames last 15 years or more.What is a luxury firm mattress? ›
Luxury Firm mattresses are very similar to a firm mattress with a little extra padding to provide pressure relief. The luxury firm mattress contours to your body while still maintaining very firm support. Luxury Firm could also be defined as “Cushion Firm”.How often should you replace your mattress? ›
But when should you replace your mattress? Under normal conditions, mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years. Of course, this is a general guideline and not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various factors that influence when you should replace your mattress.What is a zero gravity bed? ›
A zero gravity bed is any adjustable bed frame that places your body into a zero gravity position. This spreads the pressure evenly throughout your body to alleviate neck and back pain. Plus, it can benefit a sleeper's digestion, breathing, and provide proper blood circulation.Which foam is best for mattress? ›
We strongly believe that latex foam is, by far, the best type of foam to use in mattresses. Latex foam offers several significant advantages over Polyurethane foam and Memory foam. Because of this our products never contain any foam other than 100% natural latex foam.
Is memory foam mattress good for health? ›
Although memory foam is generally considered safe, it may pose a problem for certain people, such as those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. Memory foam may also bother you if you are very sensitive to smells.Which mattress is good for health cotton or foam? ›
If you're looking for a mattress that is as good for the mattress as it is for your health, latex foam is the best. Moreover, latex foam is highly durable and hypoallergenic, making it one of the best materials to use in foam or innerspring mattresses.Which lasts longer memory foam or latex? ›
Latex mattresses are typically more durable than their memory foam counterparts. Some latex beds may last up to 20 years with proper care, while memory foam lasts around ten years. Latex is a more resilient material, meaning it bounces back into shape faster and is less likely to sag over time.Can a mattress last 20 years? ›
Can a mattress last 20 years? Some mattresses can last up to 20 years with proper care, but it's rare. Choose high-quality mattresses made with plant-based memory or latex foam.Is memory foam firm or soft? ›
Speaking of foam, memory foam mattresses are often softer-than-average; this material is known for its comfortable feel and great pressure relief. In fact, some of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses feature memory foam alternatives such as Adaptive Foam or AirFoam that are also quite soft.Is memory foam good for side sleepers? ›
Memory foam, latex and hybrid mattresses are ideal for side sleepers because they offer pressure relief for proper alignment, whereas innerspring mattresses can't contour around pressure points.How long do foam mattresses last? ›
Memory foam mattresses can last anywhere from eight to ten years, depending on how well they're cared for. Typically, a memory foam mattress will last as long as any other type of mattress, whether it's an innerspring or hybrid.Why does a soft bed hurt my back? ›
Is a soft mattress bad for your back? It is if it's so soft that it doesn't support your spine. If you sink into the mattress so that your hips are lower than your shoulders, your mattress may be too soft and could be contributing to back pain. Keep in mind that weight is a factor when it comes to mattress firmness.Why does my new bed make my back hurt? ›
Yes, a new mattress can cause back pain temporarily. That's because there's a transition period when you go from an old unsupportive mattress to a new supportive mattress. New mattresses also have a break-in period. Components can be stiff at the start but will soften up and conform to your body over time.Do back sleepers need firm mattress? ›
If you're a back-sleeper, a medium-firm mattress is a good choice because it prevents the heavier portions of the body from dropping too deep into the mattress, so it limits over-flexion of the spine while still cushioning your shoulders, hips, and lower back.
Is memory foam better than spring? ›
Differences Between Memory Foam and Spring Mattress. Memory foam is usually known to be more durable because the lack of coils reduces the risk of sagging. Spring mattresses may not be as durable as memory foam because the springs and coils may start poking and sagging due to extended use.What are the side effects of spring mattress? ›
- They're not as good with motion isolation. More bounce means you're more likely to feel your partner move around if they toss and turn at night.
- They can be noisy. Springs can sometimes make noise as you move around. Foam is quieter.
Mattresses for combination sleepers can range from soft to medium in firmness since these beds are suited to most sleep positions and body types. Takeaway: Overall, memory foam mattresses offer more firmness options than spring mattresses. This variety makes it easier to shop for a mattress that will suit you.What questions should you ask when buying a mattress? ›
- Who Can We Contact for Support After Our Purchase? ...
- What Happens if We Sleep on the Mattress and It Isn't a Good Fit? ...
- What Is the Return, Exchange and Refund Policy? ...
- What Are the Terms of the Warranty? ...
- How Do We Take Care of Our New Mattress?
First, hotel beds are most commonly either hybrid or innerspring mattresses that fall around a medium on the firmness scale to suit most people. Additionally, most hotels turn to classic brands such as Sealy, Serta-Simmons, and Beautyrest.Which mattress is good for health coir or foam or spring? ›
Pure latex, high-density foam and pocket spring mattresses from good mattress brands with good density and gauge are the best bed mattress that is good for durability. Coir, bonded foam, and cotton mattresses are the worst on this parameter even if made by the top 10 best mattress brand.What does the thickness of a mattress mean? ›
Mattress thickness affects your comfort because sleeping on a too thin or even a too thick mattress may lead to poor sleep and impact your health. The thickness of the mattress is also referred to as its height or depth. Mattresses thicker than 16 inches are often called extra deep or extra tall mattresses.What should I keep in mind when buying a mattress? ›
- Learn about different mattress materials. ...
- See what your health care provider thinks. ...
- Visit stores to test out mattresses. ...
- Watch out for gimmicks. ...
- Be aware that firm mattresses aren't always best. ...
- Read reviews from real customers. ...
- Ask for recommendations online.
The Tag. Take a look at the tags on the mattress. They should be sewn into the seams, stating not to remove the tag, and they'll list the mattress's materials. They may also tell you the country of origin, brand and seller, and more.What are the top expect to keep in mind when buying a mattress? ›
The answer is All of the above. Comfort, Material, and Bed size, All of the above are the top aspects to consider when buying a mattress.
Why do hotel beds feel so good? ›
Hotels beds are incredibly comfortable thanks to their use of mattress toppers. These can significantly adjust mattress firmness and the quality of your rest. A mattress topper is simply an added layer of cushioning that rests on top of your old mattress and provides support and extra levels of comfort.Are hotel mattresses firm or soft? ›
Most mattresses will be a medium-firm feel. Having multiple pillow options will help accommodate the standard firmness. Fancier hotels will add a feather bet on top of the mattress to provide a little more sink without losing support. Just about all hotels still have mattresses with coils.What bed does Hilton use? ›
Serta is the company supplying mattresses to all Hilton hotels. Their mattresses are the best in the business. They provide support for a full range of sleepers, from back and stomach to side-sleeping types. They have an impressive cooling system that will keep you comfortable all night long!What are the disadvantages of coir mattress? ›
The problems faced when using coir mattress are that they are heavy, sag easily, is not water-resistant, do not have bounce, and are costly. Rubberized coir mattress does have some bounce, but is more costly as it has latex in them.Which foam is best for mattress? ›
We strongly believe that latex foam is, by far, the best type of foam to use in mattresses. Latex foam offers several significant advantages over Polyurethane foam and Memory foam. Because of this our products never contain any foam other than 100% natural latex foam.Which mattress is best foam or cotton? ›
Memory foam is always a better choice, and it applies to other foam mattresses also. Cotton mattresses are prone to pest infection, sagging, respiratory disease affliction, and other potential problems. Memory foam is hypoallergenic, reacts well to pressure, and high-density memory foam doesn't sag easily.What is a good mattress height? ›
While 16″ to 24″ inches is generally a standard bed height, it is pretty simple for people to find out exactly what height will work for them. Basically, they should sit down on the edge of the bed and make sure that their legs are at close to a 90-degree angle.How thick should a mattress be for a heavy person? ›
You should therefore lookout for a thick mattress to support your body. Sleep experts recommend that overweight people should select a mattress at least twelve inches thick. A thicker mattress will be able to offer you a high level of deep compression support.Is a 6 inch memory foam mattress enough? ›
Will a 6 Inch Mattress Have Enough Support? Certainly! With the right layering of high-density support foam, memory foam or comfort foam, a 6 inch mattress can effectively support most individuals!