Our Guide to Buying a new Bed

Our Guide to Buying a new Bed

When choosing your new bed there are a few things to consider. First, your base and mattress are two separate parts that can offer different support and comfort levels. The first choice to start with and the focus of this guide is the base. The Mattress is further discussed in our Mattress Buying Guide in more detail. 

A study carried out by Harvard University over a 10 year period tracked sleep habits and health of more than 70,000 women aged between 45 and 65 that had no previous history of heart disease. In the end, 934 of these women suffered from coronary heart disease and 271 died from it. Factors like age, weight and whether they smoked were accounted for, they then looked at the subjects’ sleep patterns. Five percent of the women slept less than five hours per night. Those women were nearly 40 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease than women who slept an average of eight hours. Add to this a study that found women who slept only five hours a night were 2 ½ times more likely to have diabetes as those who slept seven or eight hours and the links to obesity, migraines and even the height of our children, we must all ask ourselves do we pay enough attention to the real importance of a good night’s sleep.

An uncomfortable bed can be down to a number of reasons including:

  • The age of the Mattress
  • The size of the bed
  • The support structure of the bed

This can come as either a Solid Base, commonly called a "Divan Bed", or an Open Bed Frame often referred to as “Bedstead” or "Slat Base" due to the nature of the supports that the Mattress can rest on these are bed frames with wooden or curved flexible slats that span from side to side in order to support the weight of the mattress. Some advantages this can offer include:

  • Extra storage room under the bed.
  • Come in a wide variety of styles using a range of materials to achieve almost any look.
  • Improve circulation for the mattress.
  • Ease of transportation.

A Divan bed is a solid bed base that can sometimes include integrated drawers for storage use. They can also include a sprung foundation which will extend the life of your Mattress.

Available base sizes

Before you choose your bed it is important to measure the available space where the bed will go. Rather than simply estimating from the size of the room, take into account the space taken up by other furniture. There should be at least 50 centimetres of space around the bed at any given point to ensure you can walk around freely. Here is a table showing the standard bed measurements you will find in our range.

  • Single (3' x 6'3) 90cm x 190cm
  • Double (4'6 x 6'3) 135cm x 190cm
  • King (5' x 6'6) 150cm x 200cm
  • Super King (6' x 6'6) 180cm x 200cm


In addition to this some models do come as:

  • King Single (3'6 x 6'6) 105cm x 200cm
  • Small Double (4’ x 6'3) 120cm x 190cm 


Next: The Mattress!

After you have chosen a base all you have to do now is choose the Mattress. While the base is usually chosen aesthetically the mattress should be chosen more carefully with function in mind as this is the part of the bed that makes the difference when considering your comfort and the levels of support you get while sleeping. One thing to consider is the pressure points, like your hips and shoulders; these should be protected from taking too much load. The best way to judge this is to hop on! You should always where possible test the support of a bed before you buy it. This means jumping on and getting comfortable. Our staff are well used to this as a means of demonstrating and can instruct you in store on what to look out for when testing your new mattress. Here are some pointers:

  • Lie down in the position you sleep in and test out the firmness.
  • Is it big enough? Make sure you test it with your partner.
  • Roll around; your partner shouldn't be affected by your movement in the night.
  • There should be no sagging in the mattress.
  • Pillow top mattresses offer an extra padded layer on the surface of the mattress for a more soft and luxurious feel, without compromising on support levels.

For the second part of this guide please continue on to the Mattress Buying Guide.

Come and visit us at your local Harvey Norman Store or shop on line today and we'll find the perfect bed for you!

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