Having postponed our bedroom redesign due to what has been a somewhat challenging year on all levels, we have finally started to get our heads around what we need to achieve. We’ve managed to get the carpet up in readiness to sand and stain the floors, which is a start of sorts!
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Perfect Bed
Decor aside, one of the reasons for updating our bedroom is that we are in dire need of a new bed. It’s well past it sleep well date!! The dated metal bed frame takes up too much room and let us just say the mattress has seen better days. On a personal level as an M.E. sufferer, as well as sleeping for 8-10 hours at night, I can sleep an additional 1-4 hours during the day (yes I sleep a lot which always makes my waking hours a bit manic). Finding the right bed is going to be essential to my wellbeing and my sanity!
It’s easy to get carried away when bed hunting to actually just go the aesthetic look and forget its function. It needs to address more than just what is naturally the main focal point to a bedroom space. With a third of our lives spent sleeping it’s important to give it a little more thought than just how it looks.
So today is all about how to choose the perfect bed for you and not the mattress. We’ll have a closer look at mattresses at a later date so keep your eyes peeled or sign up so you don’t miss it.
Get To Know Your Bedroom – Spatial Planning
It’s easy to get carried away when there are some amazing beds out there to choose from. If there’s one thing you’ll need to do before anything, is you’ll need to look at your overall space that the bed is going to be part of and not the other way round.
Our bedrooms may primarily be for us to rest and sleep in, but they are also somewhere that we dress and get ready for the day/night.
Addressing your storage issues such as clothes and how many you have will dictate how much your storage you have in your bedroom and indirectly how large a bed as well as the positioning of your bed within your bedroom space.
Beds come in all shapes, sizes and when you start looking you might be surprised by the choice available, especially if like us it’s been a while.
How Big A Bed?
The experts say that you should go for the biggest bed you can fit in your room whilst leaving you enough room to comfortably carry out your daily tasks. Whilst we might not all live in the ideal world, it does kind of make sense.
Shopping for a bed is much the same as shopping for clothes. If you think about it, your bed is accommodating your body pretty much like your clothes do. Your ideal size of bed should be one that fits your body’s size, weight, and height as well as being comfortable enough to move around in.
If you have or are planning on having a family, you might want to consider a larger bed purely for those nights that you end up nursing or having your little ones snuggle in with you.
Where To Position Your Bed
The positioning of your bed will be dependent on a few factors and they may not necessarily fit in with the rules of feng shui.
Sadly, we’re not all blessed with large well-proportioned bedrooms, myself included. Whilst we might be told where the ideal position of a bed should be, it’s not always practical and it may well make you feel uncomfortable.
It might be that if it’s time to choose a new bed, it might also be time to take a good look at where your bed is positioned within your bedroom spaces to help aid a good nights sleep. There are several factors to be bear in mind when deciding where to put it.
As a multifunctional room, bedroom furniture can take up a lot of space namely wall space. Freestanding furniture offers you the flexibility to move and change things up to accommodate a new bed.
If you’re revamping your whole bedroom, as we are, you need to be honest about how many clothes you do have and not try and ignore those overflowing drawers and wardrobes. As we hadn’t anticipated the daughter moving out, I’ve now managed to acquire the guest bedroom as my dressing room so we won’t necessarily need as much clothes storage as well as foregoing the dressing table. Thankfully this has actually freed up a lot of floor/wall space in our bedroom Our options are now open to whether we opt for free-standing furniture or less built-in wardrobe/storage.
Measure & Plan Your Bedroom Space
It’s good practice to measure your room and plan your furniture/bed placement. You can read more about spatial planning and how to go about it (no computer programme needed) here.
Of course, the size, positioning of windows, doors and bedroom storage etc will impact on your bed’s position. Give thought and considerations to what will work for YOU and ultimately, where you’re going to feel comfortable sleeping.
Costs involved in rewiring plugs and lighting can run high and then you have redecoration costs involved. So if you’re not wanting to overhaul your bedroom space and/or don’t want the additional costs, stick with what feels right and works for you.
Consider combining a statement bed with built-in storage and no I don’t mean those awful overbed units. Get in a carpenter who knows what he’s doing and you’ll create storage that is personal to you and more importantly your needs. I’ve talked about painting your rooms in one colour before (read it here) Painting the storage ie., wardrobes and cupboards the same as your walls and maybe even your door will blend in your storage into your surroundings allowing your bed to stand out and make a statement and make your bedroom feel more spacious.
It’s been said that positioning your bed on the same wall as your door is not the best. Ours does and to avoid additional costs of moving plugs and lighting we are going to keep it there as it works for us. However, if you are going to follow this rule, and you position your bed facing the door, bear in mind any light that may enter from connecting rooms/landings as light can disturb your sleep as most of us leave the door ajar especially with little ones. Night lights that you’ve left on to aid your little ones in the night etc can filter through and can make going to sleep harder.
Did You Know: Russian culture states that your feet shouldn’t face the door in a bedroom space. The custom of carrying a coffin out of a room with the feet first through the door means nobody wants this kind of association in their bedroom.
If you’re considering positioning your bed near or under a window take into consideration how well your windows insulated? With our ever-changing seasons and, dare I mention the unseasonably hot summer we’ve just had, having your bed directly under or near a window can pose all sorts of issues. From the heat to cold drafts as well as natural light.
Of course, if you have no other option for this position due to the configuration of the room, think about your choice of window treatments such as blackout blinds, insulated heavy curtains or ultimately shutters.
Don’t forget the logistics of getting your bed upstairs (if you have them) and any other obstacles that may pose a problem. Measure doors, staircase ceiling heights etc.. to ensure you’re not disappointed on its arrival.
Other Considerations When Choosing The Perfect Bed
Not an obvious one, but the weight of your bed may have some effect/impact on your bedroom spaces and no I’m not talking about getting it up the stairs, that’s a completely different matter!
It’s good to bear in mind the weight of the bed you are choosing. Heavier beds may damage floorboards, or make a dent in an expensive carpet. Adding rugs under your bed may help protect your floors.
Beds are more often than not the focal point to a bedroom space, adding a rug two-thirds under the bed helps ground the bed (especially great if you have floorboards) as well as accentuating your chosen bed.
With the many styles available, you might be won over with the overall look of a bed. It’s good to bear in mind the height of the bed for practical reasons. It may be your back isn’t in the best of health making it difficult to get in and out of bed. Or maybe you have little ones that like to hop in for a snuggle. Either way, give thought to your back health and choose wisely.
Ultimately, children have smaller bedroom spaces which in itself can pose problems when choosing beds and trying to find ways to store their playthings. They’re much more than somewhere for them to sleep. Multifunctional and lots of activity can leave you pulling your hair out trying to find the right solution.
There are multifunctional beds that combine storage with sleep and we ourselves had opted for this form of bed when our eldest two were younger. Whilst the eldest son’s platform bed with desk and seating area underneath didn’t impose on his bedroom space and left more floor space for activities, mainly the emptying of thousands of pieces of lego everywhere, the daughter’s room was a lot smaller. Her storage, bed/desk combination actually imposed on her room and what little area was left wasn’t much and made her room feel twice as small.
Make sure if you go for this type of bed you ensure it’s not so large that it swallows up half the bedroom. As we found, later on, her bedroom felt much larger and more practical with a smaller bed, a desk built-in wardrobes and shelves than an all in one multifunctional piece.
Also because these beds are higher, usually at eye level, it’s the first thing you see in a smaller room. It also makes bedtime reading less practical with little ones unless you’re happy to climb up too.
That said, there are some cleverly design modular type bed/furniture like those from Go Modern above that are less imposing.
If your child’s bedroom is on the larger size, think about positioning the bed away from the wall. Using the bed to help create zones within the space is as a way to use the room more productively as natural free-flowing paths are created by positioning the bed.
Also, kids grow at an incredible rate, so bear this in mind when choosing a bed. There are adjustable beds that accommodate their growth.
Which Type of Bed?
A good bed starts with good bones or should I say good framework for a good nights sleep.
Ariel Bed – Double – Luxury Velvet Plus – Lustrous Blossom Sweetpea & Willow
Decorative, upholstered beds are a growing trend and one that I personally am loving. Their forms offer interest, texture and style to a bedroom space. They may be more expensive than your traditional beds but they certainly add more character.
TIP: Make sure you order free fabric swatches as the colour and fabric itself doesn’t always match up to what you see on the internet. In fact, it’s a great way for you to experiment with colour and texture. Upholstered beds can make a real statement piece.
With a slatted frame for support platform beds are often made from wood or metal but there are upholstered versions available too. They came about as part of the mid-century modern design evolution offering you clean lines and a minimalist feel to your bedroom spaces.
Platform beds are much closer to the ground than divans and dependent upon how good (or bad) your back health is you’ll need to decide to be closer to the ground is a good thing for you or not.
- This style would work if you’ve limited space at the end of your bed as they typically have no footboard to obstruct your walkways.
- Platform beds utilize slats for support instead of a box spring, which adds an unwanted height for this style.
- Platform beds are more decorative in their form than their divan counterparts offering you more choice in colour, finishes and styles.
- Solid slat beds are more affordable and offer more firmness.
- Laminated softwood bases are the most comfortable. Each beam is fitted to form a slight arch that gives the bed it’s spring-like qualities.
- The width between each slat is important as it will impact on the comfort of the mattress and its wear and tear. As a general rule, slats should be no wider than 9-10 cm apart to ensure a good nights sleep. If you’re opting for a memory foam mattress, you should look at a bed with slats that are closer in spacing.
If you’re considering a platform bed, you’ll need to bear in mind that things can get rather messy underneath. If you like the idea of a platform bed but can’t bear the thought of under bed mess, then there are designs like this one from Made.com that come with optional under-bed storage solutions.
Divans are the most popular simple choice and style of bed to choose from. They tend to sit a lot higher and are a lot easier to get in and out of if you’re not as able-bodied as you used to be.
Not all divan beds are equal. There are basically two types to choose from.
- Pocket sprung divans have springs in the base which offer you a softer top and extra comfort. These act like a giant shock absorber as well as making the bed more durable as there is more give.
- Cheaper platforms tend to have a hard top with a firmer feel but bear in mind the mattress will determine the overall firmness.
- Most divans are sold without a headboard but there are a number of choices available when it comes to style, shape and size.
Choosing a Headboard
- The height of the headboard should be checked as it may impose on your decor/accessories such as lighting, artwork.
- Consider the comfort of the headboard – Will you be using it to rest against, or will it be purely decorative.
I love sleigh beds for their sweeping forms, but they do take up more space with their additional framework, padding and upholstery. Ensure you have ample room at the foot of your bed to move around comfortably.
Storage beds are great if space is at a premium but bear in mind that they are heavier than more traditional beds making them harder to move especially if you are decorating etc.
Divans with drawers are great but you need to ensure that you have ample space either side of your bed to open them. Otherwise, they just become obsolete.
If you’re trying to preserve space in a smaller bedroom there are some great designs that perform well. Loaf has introduced this multifunctional headboard that has built in storage and removes the need for bedside tables.
What I love about this headboard design is that it hides away all the bedside paraphernalia that helps create a clutter-free sleeping experience.
Work With Your Decor/Space
Like any other area in our homes, the way our bedrooms look and style is important to us. They’re another expression of who we are, expressing our style, personalities and somewhere we can go at the end of the day and feel comfortable and happy in our surroundings.
Metallic bedframes may not be for everyone, but they do pop in darker styled bedrooms, adding reflective qualities that lift this type of decor.
Wood adds warmth to a bedroom space especially scandi inspired decor which thrives on textural contrast to make a room more inviting and interesting.
If you have high ceilings, then you are truly blessed! Four poster bed frame draws the eye upwards and makes a statement. Smaller headboards/beds will get lost so this type of bed is perfect.
Even if you have lower ceilings, choosing a bed that has a headboard with vertical lines can help create the illusion of height as it draws the eye upwards.
Online Or In Store
Ideally, you need to go into the store to really get to see what your hard earnt cash is buying and let’s face it beds are an investment piece for our homes. However, if time is against you and maybe you just can’t physically make it, many online stores today, offer a return if you’re not a 100% happy with your purchase. You just need to make sure you read their small print and terms and conditions before parting with your cash!
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, well done and thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found it useful! It’s been a mammoth one to write so you may want to bookmark it for future or why not pin to Pinterest.
Right back to some bed shopping!
Have a beautiful week!
PS: I’d love if you could give me your vote for the Amara Interior Blog Awards where I’ve been nominated for Best Design Inspiration category! It takes less than 30 seconds and you could be in for a chance of winning a camera! Vote here! Voting ends by 12 pm 18th September 2018!
I love the loaf bed and the Ariel bed! Great post 👍
Thanks Natalie! There are some fab beds out there to choose from and both of these bring something different for our bedroom spaces.
Some really good advice on how to choose a bed to perfectly fit your room. There’s so many lovely examples of beautiful beds here too. I’m definitely a fan of having the biggest bed you can fit in the room!
Thanks Fiona! It’s definitely worth taking time to find your perfect bed and absolutely get the biggest bed you can without encroaching on your ability to move around a bedroom easily.
This is such a well written, comprehensive post! So many great tips and you’ve highlighted so many points that I’m sure most people forget to consider. I myself have been looking for a new bed for about two years now. Like all decisions related to my home I really struggle but I’ve finally made the decision and I can’t wait for it to arrive on Saturday. Knowing my luck I won’t be able to manoeuvre it up the stairs and into the bedroom lol. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And good luck with your makeover, can;t wait to see it once it’s finished!
Thanks so much Stacey!! And you’re not alone we’ve taken a year so far lol 😆Keeping everything crossed the new bed fits up the stairs!! 🤞🏻
I’ve always been a fan of Loaf – I find they are reasonably priced and good quality. I will definitely be referring to this guide when I move in with my boyfriend!
Quality and price are important to most of us when looking to invest in an important piece such as a bed and agree Loaf are great on both. Good luck with the move! 🙌🏻
Oh MY! This post was full of great tip! Massive!
So my 2 cents on the subject: spatial planning is a must, you really do need to get your measurements right. The oldest fail when it comes to beds? Buying something too big and then it is too close to your wardrobe for the doors to open completely. So take your measurements to avoid disappointment!
Thanks so much Jenny!! And completely agree spatial planning is essential!!
What a great post Maria. I especially liked your comparison of beds to clothes. It’s so true, isn’t it? Very well written and I’m actually on a look out for a bed for my daughter so good timing too 😉
Thanks so much Anne Marie!! And yes beds have to fit our bodies to enable us to be comfortable and have a good restful nights sleep 👌🏻 Good luck with bed shopping for your daughter 🤞🏻
Bed-buying is a real minefield isn’t it!? Your post has really highlighted the available options to make it easier to drill-down to which one’s best for you. Personally I always look for storage underneath, but I’ve always lived in small spaces!
What a comprehensive guide. Thank you! Love your spatial planning tips x
Wow so much in here to take in! I think for us the biggest challenge is size. My husband is so tall, I concur with the “go as big as you can” rule!
Such an insightful post and so many gorgeous examples x
Maria, this is a fantastic guide! Not just about beds but how to decorate and where to place them. I wish I could follow feng shui guidelines, but my bedroom is too small (so I’m stuck with the bed on the smae side as the door). I’ve learned new things with your post :-)
Thanks so much Juan! There’s definitely so much to take on board when buying a bed 😅
Maria can you tell me what colour is on the wall in the bedroom with the pink bed? I am in love with it.