If the average person gets 8 hours of sleep a night that amounts to 26 years of their life spent sleeping and an estimated 7 years spent trying to fall asleep. That’s a whooping 36 years spent in bed! With just those numbers alone it’s clear why choosing the right bed is so important.
However with so many different beds to choose from it doesn’t exactly make the decision process easy… and that’s before you’ve even moved on to thinking about what mattress to buy.
Why Does Having The Right Bed Matter?
We all know how rubbish we feel if we haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s because you can’t switch off, your partner’s snoring, you’ve spent too long on a screen too late at night, there’s too much light in the room, you’re too hot, too cold, you can’t get comfortable, there can be many different reasons as to why we struggle to fall asleep or feel as though we haven’t had good quality sleep. And one of the reasons for a bad night’s sleep is because we’re not sleeping on the right kind of bed.
Did you know that you share your bed with lots of other co-sleepers? Roughly 10 million of them to be exact… yep we’re talking dust mites. They live in our mattresses and feed on our dead skin cells. Add to that our own bodily fluids, such as sweat and drool, our beds can be pretty manky places indeed!
But hygiene reasons aside, an old or badly supporting bed can mean all manner of problems, including:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Lack of sleep – which equates to moodiness, decreased reactions, lack of motivation, we are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, experience daytime drowsiness, poor judgement and can even lead to more serious health conditions if lack of sleep becomes a continual problem.
Do Your Research
No matter what you buy, it is always a good idea to do your research first and this is especially true when it comes to buying a bed. Websites such as thesleepstation.co.uk are a great starting point to explore a range of different beds that will help you narrow down your choices and show you what’s out there. It’s a good idea to bookmark any useful articles you find, this one for example (just saying 😉 ), as well as any beds you like the look of. Of course this is only the initial research stage and you may find your choices are geared more towards how a bed looks rather than the practical side of things. That’s completely understandable, I’ve done it myself, but it will at least help you from a design point of view which you can come back to after you have also considered the factors below.
Who Is The Bed For?
A bed is a bed right? Well yes, but a lot can depend on who the bed is for. For example a young child will have very different requirements from a bed than say an older, less able person. You will need to firstly think about what size bed is best suited to that person. A toddler or young child is probably best off with a bed aimed at them and this will also give you the option of making it fun, by choosing one in a particular colour or that features their favourite character. Children’s beds usually have features such as bed rails to stop them falling out, which is really handy when they’re making the transition from bed to cot. In order to future proof a child’s bed it may be worth considering choosing something like a mid or high sleeper that has room for storage or even a desk or a trundle bed underneath. This will save you having to spend more money, as they won’t out grow it. If you’re looking to buy a bed for an older relative, think about whether they will need an adjustable bed to help them get in and out and also whether it has adjustable back support should they need to sleep propped up. Establishing who the bed is for is key to breaking down what it is you actually need from a bed. And the best way to narrow down your choices is by immediately eliminating the ones that are not suitable from your search.
Different Types Of Bed
There are so many choices of bed out there, which is great we all like choices after all, but it does mean you can end up not really knowing where to start. Bunk beds, cabin bed, mid-sleeper, high-sleeper, divan, ottoman, sofa bed, single, twin, double, king, queen, California king, four poster, canopy, trundle, day bed, adjustable, and these are only a few! I would recommend working out what size is going to work best (more on this in a bit) for example is the bed for just one person or is it for two, in which case you need to think about looking for at least a double sized bed. Again the different types of bed must relate to the user’s requirements, it’s ultimately not just about sleep, there’s storage solutions and design elements to take into consideration too.
Make Sure It Fits!
This is an important one, because the last thing you need is to go ahead and order the ‘perfect’ bed only for it to be delivered and it doesn’t fit. Make sure you measure the space where your new bed is going to go and allow for room to get out without hitting your head on the ceiling or walls. But it’s not just about measuring where the bed will be positioned, you also need to factor in how the bed will be manoeuvered to its final spot. Most bedrooms are located on the second floor, sometimes they may be on the third, or even higher if you live in a flat or apartment, and so thought has to be taken about how easy it will be to get the bed up the stairs and whether there is enough turning space. Some beds come in separate parts and require you to build them yourself, whereas others come as a solid fixed frame and so will need to go up in one piece. Is there enough room for it to fit through your doors and up your stairs?
Some companies offer a delivery service which includes taking the bed to the room it will be located in and others may also set it up and build it for you. Be sure to check whether this is a service on offer to you as it’s much better to opt for this rather than struggling to get it up there yourself. You risk putting your back out or damaging your paintwork, whereas companies who offer this service will have insurance to cover them for these eventualities if they do the move themselves.
One other thing you need to account for is the height of the bed. Bunk beds and high sleepers need to allow room for people to sit up in bed without risking hitting your head on the ceiling and an ottoman bed needs to have space for the mattress and base to have enough room to tilt.
Does The Mattress Matter?
In a word…. yes. The mattress is arguably the most important part of your new bed, as this what you directly lie on and this is where you get your support from. First and foremost you must make sure you buy the correct size mattress for your bed as an ill-fitting mattress will have a much lower lifespan and will also affect how well (or not well) you sleep. Mattresses can range in price from tens of pounds to hundreds and thousands of pounds and you do basically get what you pay for. Remember… we spend 36 years of our life in bed!
Just as you did when choosing your bed, do your research and investigate the different types of mattress available. Most mattress suppliers (if they have a show room) will allow you to visit them to try the mattress out by lying on it. This is definitely worth doing so that you can feel for yourself how comfortable the mattress is before committing to buy.
There are lots of things to think about when choosing the right bed. Hopefully this information has helped simplify the decision process for you and will ensure you can go on to get a good night’s sleep. Night night!