When it comes to picking out a new bed, your aim should be to choose a design that’s not only comfortable to sleep on but will bring personality to your space. Size-wise, buy the biggest you can without making the room feel cramped – that way, you’ll get the best night’s sleep possible.
A bed should ideally be 10 to 15cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. Beds’ classic dimensions (W)x(L) are below – these are mattress/divan sizes, so bear in mind that a bedstead will be a little bigger:
– Small single 75 x 190cm
ABOVE: This solid pine Fjell storage bed has four large drawers beneath it to give you bags of space for hiding away clutter. Its base has 17 birch slats that adjust to your body weight and increase the suppleness of your chosen mattress, and the bed has adjustable sides to allow for different thicknesses. Prices start at £345 for a (L)200x(W)140cm bed (requires assembly, not including mattress), Ikea
ABOVE: If you’re buying a divan, it makes sense to go for one with drawers beneath to help reduce the amount of visible furniture in your room. This hardwood divan base is 35cm high, sits on castors, has smooth running drawers (two on a single, four on all others), and can be matched to the mattress of your choice. Prices start at £225 for a (L)190x(W)91cm single, The Dormy House
ABOVE: The perfect option if you need lots of storage space and the flexibility of castors, this high bed has 20cm of storage depth hidden beneath it, and comes with end, side or alto mechanisms. Available in six sizes, the bed shown has a Java Wine removable cover and a standard 60 headboard. Simplicity Plus storage bed (H)33x(L)190x(W)120cm, £625, The Storage Bed Company
When shopping for a new bed, bear in mind that the better the bed’s construction, the better the support, and the longer it will last. Here’s what to consider:
Bedstead frames are generally slightly larger than divans, although the mattresses are the same size. They come in lots of materials and styles, giving you huge design freedom.
Wooden – either rigid or flexible – slats are the most common support for bedstead mattresses, although you can buy flexible or rigid wire mesh supports, or sprung bases. The space between slats on most cheaper, rigid bases is usually wider than on flexible slatted models, but it is worth checking the gap is no more than 9 to 10cm, as the wider the gaps, the greater the wear and tear on the mattress.
‘Divans are good for small spaces because they are not only compact in design but are also available with storage beneath,’ says Anna Trinder, owner of The Dormy House. ‘Once considered less stylish than bedsteads, the latest range of fabulous headboards that can be bought separately mean they can look just as contemporary.’
Sprung-edge divans, which have a complete open coil or pocket spring unit mounted on a frame, provide even support across the whole mattress and act like a giant shock absorber. Generally firmer and less expensive, solid or platform-top divans have a rigid, non-sprung top panel, often made from hardboard. Firm-edge divans have a smaller number of larger, heavy-duty springs within a rigid, wooden-sided frame, while flexible slatted divans use laminated soft woods mounted in a frame, creating a modest level of springiness. The tension of divans can be adjusted to suit your preference.
Storage beds, such as those with a base that lifts up to reveal storage beneath, those with smart, pull-out drawers or ones with a headboard with pull-out shelves are another good option for a small room where hidden storage can be transformative – but even with storage possibilities high on your list, keep comfort right at the top.
ABOVE: If the warmth of wood attracts you, this four-drawer Opus double bed frame will be the perfect buy. Made from solid ash and ash veneer, it comes flat-packed for self-assembly, and with sprung beech slats for the mattress of your choice (not included). Prices start at £579.99 for a double (H)110x(L)202x(W)202cm, Bensons For Beds
ABOVE: Looking to create luxurious style and not restricted by budget? The Venetian four poster, shown here in a white hand-painted finish, has the wow factor. Available in a range of finishes, including natural wood, it is made from solid mahogany, with removable sections in the posts allowing the height to be changed for rooms with lower ceilings. Prices start for a king-size bed (H)240x(L)200x(W)150cm at £5,425 excluding mattress, And So To Bed
ABOVE: If space is at a premium, this Brimnes headboard with hidden storage behind it means you won’t need a bedside table at all. One shelf is adjustable, providing plenty of scope for hiding away anything from books to jewellery, while the other has a hole for cables. The unit itself is fixed to the wall and can be matched to a Brimnes bed or divan. Prices start at £85 to match a (W)140cm mattress, Ikea
ABOVE: If you’ve chosen a divan bed and need a practical alternative to bedside tables, this Malm three-piece headboard bed storage shelf set is a great choice for a small room. Made from real oak veneered fibreboard, prices start at £100 for a headboard combination that matches a (W)140cm mattress, Ikea
What should you spend?
Whatever other budget you set aside for your bedroom, you should spend as much as you can reasonably afford on a bed. According to the sleep council, every £100 spent represents just 3.9p per night over its seven-year life.