How to choose a new bed
Given that we all spend a third of our lives asleep, your bed is a key purchase for your home and a good bed should last you for 10 years. Essentially your bed should be the first thing you purchase when you move in to your new home, as sleeping well will ensure you have the energy to go to work during the day. The secret of having a good nightís sleep is the mattress and bed base you choose, donít forget that the two work together.
Comfort and support are the main factors to look for but these are highly personal choices and decisions should not be made lightly. If you share a bed with your partner you should always test the bed and make the decision together to ensure maximum comfort for you both. Over a third of the UK population suffer from back pain and for many this is needlessly endured due to the poor condition of their bed. After ten years, your mattress will have experienced 30,000 long hours of hard labour and is likely to have deteriorated up to 70% from its original state. But itís not just those who suffer from bad backs who need to ensure their beds are up to scratch, having a comfortable, supportive bed is something everyone needs.
Here are a few key things to consider:†
Are you looking to replace a complete bed or just the mattress? If itís a complete bed the two main choices are a divan set (mattress & divan base) or a bed frame and mattress. Always remember that a Ďbedí is a mattress and a base working together Ė you should not consider them in isolation and should ideally try them together.†
Given how long you spend in bed and how key a good nightís sleep is to your general health and wellbeing, you should spend as much as you can afford on a bed, particularly on the mattress. A bed frame may make a great fashion statement, but thatís not the part of the bed you sleep on, your choice of mattress is key. As with everything else, you get what you pay for.†
A comfortable bed is a bed offering the right support. You will need to make your own assessment, guided by factors such as weight, height, build and even preferred sleeping position. Too soft and youíll slouch, leading to problems with your back and posture, too firm and itíll cause pain in your hips and shoulders. If you and your partner are very different in size and weight then getting two separate mattresses may be the ideal solution. You can make double beds out of two singles zipped together, and sometimes itís possible to combine different levels of firmness in one mattress. If you suffer from a bad back then check with your doctor or osteopath as to whatís best for you, an ultra-firm mattress is not automatically the best solution.
Being disturbed by a sleeping partner is one of the most common complaints. With a larger bed you are less likely to disturb one another. You should be able to lay side by side, with your arms behind your head and your elbows out, without touching.
Your bed should be 4 to 6Ē (10 to 15cm) longer than the tallest partner, anyone taller than 6ft (1.8m) tall should consider a bed longer than standard. Many manufacturers make beds up to 7ft square as a matter of course, others will make special sizes.
When choosing your bed, remember that you will have it for a number of years so it is wise to consider the height as you may find it difficult in the future to get in or out of a bed that is either too low or too high. Most beds now a day are higher than they were 10 years ago. Most bases today with the castors in are 40cm or 15Ē tall, add that to a mattress where the panel sides are usually 8 or 9 ď deep (20 to 23cm tall) which makes the overall bed before you put your bed linen on approximately 25Ē or 66cm high or higher.
Bed frames will always be larger than the mattresses, as the mattress sits within the side rails. Always check the external size of the frame to make sure that it will fit into your bedroom.
Existing Bed Frames
It is worth remembering that If you purchase a mattress to fit on to an existing bed frame, be it wooden or metal, the slats should be no wider than the recommended by some companies that the gap be no more than 5cm apart , As this will most certainly affect how the mattress will wear.
The NBF National Bed Federation mention the following on their website about Slatted Bases
Slatted bases are mostly used with bedsteads. These can be either rigid (with no give) or flexible. Flexible slats are made from laminated soft woods mounted in a frame creating a modest level of springiness from their bowed shape. The tension of some slats can be adjusted to suit individual requirements.
The space between slats on most, cheaper, rigid bases is usually wider than on flexible slatted models but, as a general rule, it is advisable to ensure the maximum gap is no greater than 7.5cm (3 inches). Wear and tear on a mattress will be greater the wider the gaps. Most manufacturers make their own recommendations for slat spacing to suit their own mattresses so check these before buying as they do vary.To help the mattress you could purchase more slats to fill the gaps or purchase a sheet of ply or hardboard to fit over the entire slatted base. Failure to give the mattress an even surface will probably cause problems within the mattress and may affect the mattress guarantee.
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