Sleep talking: all about the bed

This image: Sweetpea & Willow's Lauren Bed, from £1,190

Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the experts to reveal the latest trends and how to achieve the perfect bedroom sanctuary

Central to any bedroom is the bed you choose. Whether you go for a lavish, padded style, like those at And So To Bed, or a practical, wooden bed with storage, like those at Direct Furniture, make sure you select a model that will stand the test of time. Space is also important. Dwell’s felt Morrison storage bed is a practical choice, while Natuzzi’s Fenice model lifts up to give extra storage space underneath, making it ideal for smaller rooms.

Specialising in beautifully romantic beds is Sweetpea & Willow and co-founder Jacquie Dunton says the size of your room is the most important consideration: “It’s essential that a bed is practical and beautiful. Before committing to your favourite design ensure that you’ve taken into account the size of the room and the measurements of the bed. Many homeowners don’t realise the size of a headboard or height of the bed and this can completely distort the feel of the room if not considered correctly. If storage is a necessity then an ottoman or drawer-base bed is imperative. Look for beds with wide panelling, which will give your mattress support and additional comfort. A bed can often completely change the feel of a room and with an array of headboard options it is important to pick one which complements the rest of the scheme.” 

Arguably more important than the frame is the mattress – after all, this will be where you will be resting your head for many years to come. Interior designer Nicola Sanders, at Parsons Gray in Cambridge, agrees: “When choosing a new bed and mattress, apply an approximate rule of one third of your budget on the base and two thirds on the mattress. It’s possible to pick up a decent base for under £200 if budget is tight, but it’s well worth spending as much as you can afford on the mattress. Less glamorous, yes, but a really good mattress should last you ten to 15 years and will improve the quality of your sleep, which is invaluable. I prefer natural fillings – such as silk or wool – but it really comes down to personal preference.”

Jim Carlile, managing director of Reeds Homestore, gives his expertise: “On average we spend a third of our lifetime sleeping, so choosing the right bed is a very important decision. Reeds Homestore in Ely have a huge range of beds and mattresses to suit everyone. With so much choice, finding the right one can be daunting so we have trained staff to help you. With the latest health advice being about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, it is vital to create a serene environment in the bedroom. Make sure your pillows are technologically designed to do the best job to suit your sleep patterns (replace them every two years) and get some expert advice on the best mattress for you.”

Lastly, choose your pillows, duvets and bed linen wisely. According to John Lewis, how your pillow feels is affected by how firm or soft your mattress is. It will perform best when there’s a match rather than a contrast, so avoid a firm pillow with a soft mattress. 

Taibah Mazhar, brand director at Bedmonkey, adds: “The bed is the main visual focus in any bedroom, so it’s worth choosing the right bedding to make your room look and feel as cosy and plush as possible. Invest in a feather duvet and layer with pillows, cushions and a throw to create the ultimate on-trend stylish bedroom retreat. Combine different luxurious materials and textures in your bedding, rugs and accessories too, for instance try layering textured linens with silk throws, knitted blankets and velvet cushions.”

Above image: Harrison Breeze four-drawer Divan, at Reeds Homestore

Right image: Felt Morrison bed with storage, £899, Dwell