Give Your Bed A Boost – Part II
by Lisa De Silva
In part two of our guide to bedrooms, we explore how to choose the best bed and mattress for a refreshing and reviving night’s sleep.
CHOOSING A BED
A divan is simply a base, with a mattress and headboard placed on top. There are two types: pocket sprung divans have springs in the base, which can make them more comfortable, whereas platform top divans are cheaper, but will give a firmer feel.
Divan beds usually have built in drawers for storage, although these will not be able to store bulky items. Style wise they offer only a limited choice of options, so beds tend to be plainer and less ornate than those with a frame.
A bed frame with a slatted base will give you limitless options on the styling front and is the easiest way to make a style statement.
If you have narrow access doors or stairwells, this type of bed will suit as it comes as a flat pack which can be assembled once in situ. A slatted bed frame also allows for a constant airflow, letting the mattress breathe.
Cleaning under the bed is easy. Or, if you’re looking for extra storage, there’s ample room for either purpose built storage boxes, or bulkier items underneath the slats.
When choosing a frame the type of material you select will influence the overall vibe of the room. Wooden frames will bring a natural, more rustic appearance to the room, adding warmth. Metal bed frames are hard wearing, with a wide range of styles and finishes, while leather is growing in popularity. If cost is an issue, faux leather is an affordable alternative. Easier to clean, it is durable, soft to the touch and offers a wide choice of colours.
The type of bed now available is vast, so here’s a quick run down on the most popular.
If you have the space, a four-poster or canopy bed, whether fully curtained or draped in voile, makes a strong statement. Romantic and dramatic, this type of bed can increase your privacy and in the winter months, your warmth.
French style beds can also be hugely romantic. These whitewashed beauties have ornate carved detailing and often include upholstered head and footboards. Dress in layers of lace, throws and pillows in every shade of white.
Wrought iron and brass beds can be styled to suit, whether you want a contemporary or traditional look. These beds are sturdy and strong, but if you enjoy reading in bed you’ll need to invest in extra pillows, to cushion the metal headboard.
Sleigh beds are made of solid wood but can also be upholstered and are characterised by their sloping head and footboards. These can be a great shape for night-time readers as the curve supports the spine when sitting up in bed. Similarly, beds with upholstered headboards are also extremely comfortable for reading and your choice of textiles is another opportunity to make a style statement.
A once trendy alternative to the traditional mattress bed, the waterbed achieved peak popularity in the ‘70s. Despite their apparent comfort, the high levels of maintenance required, their weight and the potential issues of leaking water, mean they are now a niche product.
CHOOSING A MATTRESS
A mattress needs to be both supportive and comfortable. This ensures a good night’s sleep and avoids waking up with aching limbs.
The most basic type is an open sprung, open coil, or continuous coil mattress. These consist of one long continuous length of wire, coiled into springs. They are great value for money and extremely light, making them easy to turn. Owing to the lack of support they provide, these mattresses are best suited to children’s bedrooms, or guest rooms.
A pocket sprung mattress gives a more supportive and luxurious feel as it is made up of individual small springs housed in their own pockets of fabric. They offer breathability and the separate springs mean that two people sharing a bed can move and sleep independently, without rolling into each other. But they can be heavy to turn and as they are often topped with materials like lambswool, can aggravate any allergies.
Allergy sufferers should consider a memory foam or latex mattress. Memory foam moulds to the shape of your body, absorbing the weight and relieving any pressure on joints. However, they can get quite warm and do not offer much support for those who suffer with back pain. Alternatively, latex mattresses are much more breathable, do not generate so much heat and are firmer to sleep on.
Levels Of Firmness
The level of firmness required in a mattress depends on sleeping position, height and weight. Soft mattresses suit side sleepers, because this position already relieves any pressure on the joints and so the mattress simply needs to mould to your body shape.
A medium soft mattress will suit those who move around during the night, as while it still moulds to the body, it also offers greater support.
For those who sleep on their back, a medium firm mattress is the best choice as it will give greater support to the lower back area, while a firm mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their front, weigh over 15 stone, or suffer from back pain. A firm mattress will help to support your frame in a comfortable and stable position preventing lower back pain.
Whatever type and firmness of mattress you plump for, a mattress topper adds an extra layer of comfort and luxury to a good night’s sleep. Made from goose feathers, polyester, cotton and wool, there will be a topper to suit every requirement. Bonne nuit!