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Bed Buying Guide

Bed Frame

Oak Bed Frame and Mattress from the York Oak Range

Beds and mattresses are arguably the most important pieces of furniture that you will buy.   They are used more than any other article of furniture in the home, let alone the bedroom.

If you are in bed for an average of eight hours every night, that adds up to 2920 hours every year or in other words nearly 122  days of use!

The quality of your sleep affects your  quality of life and ultimately your health, so the quality of your bed and mattress are paramount.  Therefore, if you’re buying a bed for your own use,  you’ll probably want to buy the best bed and mattress you can afford.

If, on the other hand, you’re buying a spare bed or a mattress for a buy-to-let property for example, you may decide to choose a cheaper or more utilitarian option.

The majority of beds come in two main types.  Divan beds and Frame Beds:

Divan Beds

Divans are a type of platform base, often covered in the same fabric as the mattress.  They are most often sold complete with the mattress although divan bases can be bought separately.  The divan bases can include drawers and sliding doors for storage, and they can be made in a wide range of sizes. for example 2 ft 6, 3 ft, 4ft, 4ft 6, 5 ft and 6ft widths.

Often, custom sized mattresses and beds can be made. This is because divans and mattresses are often made to order.  When the retailer places the order, the manufacturer makes the mattress and divan base.  This saves the manufatcurer from having large stocks of bulky mattresses waiting to be bought.

Divans are normally made in their local market and, as we have said are mostly made to order.  The vast majority of matresses and divans sold in the UK are made in the country.  This may be owing to their size and relative low price by volume, making them less economical to manufacture overseas and import by container. Unlike frame beds, which can be sent flat-packed and are therefore small enough when packaged to be shipped cheaply from overseas.

Divan bases come in two basic forms – Platform base and Sprung base

Platform Base

A Platform Base divan bed base is effectively a flat, solid base on which the mattress lies. This is the simplest and cheapest option.

Sprung Base

A Sprung Base divan bed base is a base with springing built itno it, so your mattress is sitting on a layer of springs, providing you, the user, with additional comfort.

Any divan bed base larger than 4ft  width usually comes in two halves which bolt or clip together. This is to enable ease of access into the bedroom, which is usually upstairs.


Dont forget that you’ll need a headboard for a divan bed.  Often these are sold separately, so you’ll probably need to have extra budget to buy one.

Headboards are supplied in the corresponding size to the divan base. They come in a wide variety of woods, materials and colours to suit your decor.  They simply bolt onto the divan base with bolts that are always supplied with the bed.

Electric adjustable bed

Electric adjustable bed

Electrically Adjustable Beds

Electrically Adjustable or Motorised Beds are great for when you want or need to spend a little longer in bed.  They enable you to sit up in bed with ease as the mattress hinges up at the push of a button to provide a comfortable semi-sitting position.



Bed Frames

A bed frame is a wooden or metal frame, sometimes covered in leather or faux leather, on which the mattress sits. A bed frame will include a headboard (if the bed design includes one)

The mattress lies on wooden slats, either sprung or solid,  which provide a softer or firmer level of support accordingly. Below, we show an example of a solid slat bed base. You can see the solid planks that the mattress sits on.

Solid Slat Bed Base

The Calgary Solid-Slat Bed Base

Bed frames are delivered flat-packed or in sections to allow for ease of transport and access into the home.  Assembly is often a simple matter of bolting or screwing the frame together.

Bed frames can incorporate under-bed storage.  This can come in the form of drawers on rollers that slide under the bed or drawers that may be built into the sides of the bed.  Another storage option can be the mattress base, hinging at the headboard end or at the side, on gas-struts like you find on a car boot. This allows access to the whole underside of the bed and provides the maximum amount of storage space.

Bed frames are often included in ranges of bedroom furniture, so you will be able to find matching beds and wardrobes so you will be able to coordinate your style in the room.

Unless it is clearly advertised otherwise, the price of the bed framew does not include a mattress.  You will need to budget separately for the mattress of your choice.  See our mattress buying guide for more information.

View our extensive range of beds



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