Buying a Bed

How to Choose a Bed

A bed is a very personal thing, we all have our own needs and preferences. I can't make the decision for you but can give you some ideas and suggestions to think about when choosing as well as describing some of the different types of bed that you can buy. Note that if you have any medical condition you should first consult your doctor.

If you choose a good quality bed it should last between eight and ten years. Most beds on the market are probably due for a change after ten years. At the very least consider changing the mattress.

Buy New

Buying a second hand bed might seem like a bargain - but it probably isn't. Not only is it likely to be worn down, it may harbour dust mites or other pests. An old bed may not meet current safety standards. Yes, you can get a "bargain" buying second hand but is it worth the risk?

There are many different brands of bed on the market, so take time to do your research and read the reviews.

What Size of Bed?

In general you should choose the biggest bed you can afford that will fit your bedroom. Many beds sold as "doubles" are barely large enough for two people to sleep together. Just an extra six inches of width can make a huge difference to the comfort of you and your partner.

That said, the bed obviously has to fit the bedroom. Remember to leave enough space to easily get in and out of the room and to allow for opening windows, cupboards and closets. Don't forget that you'll also need to open the bedroom door! It sounds silly, but it's an easy mistake to make.

If you have time, a good idea is to draw out a plan of your bedroom and use scale cardboard cutouts to try out different bed sizes. Who knows, you could even decide to reorganise the bedroom totally.

Bed sizes vary between countries - see the bed size charts for the widely accepted standards but be aware that not every manufacturer sticks to them.

Types of Bed

Remember that there are a wide variety of beds available apart from the "traditional" style. Some of them are introduced on the bed types pages on this site. Maybe it's time for something really radical!

Under Bed Storage

Many beds nowadays come with underbed storage. This costs a little extra but can drastically increase the storage space available in a small bedroom. This is another instance where your bedroom plan will be useful; there's no point having a large under bed drawer if you can't open it because it's up against a wall.

Try It Out

Despite all the obvious advantages of buying online, traditional shops and shopping do still offer two valuable advantages: one is personal advice from an expert, the other is the opportunity to try out the bed or mattress and really tell what it feels like.

If buying from a shop, make sure to take advantage of the ability to try before you buy. Don't just sit on the edge and bounce up and down, actually lay down and stay there for ten minutes or more. If the store doesn't like you doing this then they're in the wrong business - take your money to a different store.


To go with the bed, check out the page on buying a mattress. You may be surprised how affordable a modern material such as memory foam has become. If you prefer something natural you can consider latex or an organic mattress.

Space Saving

If you have limited bedroom space or are looking for an occasional bed for visitors, there are several space saving options available.

Invest in Quality

I can't say this too often: you spend a third of your life in bed. Don't skimp, buy the best bed you can sensibly afford. This is probably the best bed buying advice I can give.

Have a great night!