The Bed Buying Guide

1. When is the right time to invest in a new bed?

Nothing feels better than waking up in the morning and feeling refreshed and revitalised after a good night's sleep.

If you're starting to wake up feeling tired or fatigued, whether it's due to waking up constantly throughout the night or feeling like your body no longer feels rested, identifying the root cause of this can be as simple as looking to your bed and mattress.

How long does a mattress last?

Struggling to fall asleep? Tossing and turning throughout the night? Though you may not realise immediately, over time as your circumstances change, whether it's marriage, kids or even fluctuation of weight etc, these factors can all contribute to the lifespan of your mattress and bed.

Even if your mattress still looks like it's in good condition, it may not be providing you with the right support to enable a good night's sleep, therefore, changing your bed or mattress can be the first important step in improving your sleep quality.

What to consider before investing in a new bed.

  • Is your mattress lifespan coming up to or above seven years?
  • Are you waking up with stiffness, and/or aches and pains?
  • Have you experienced a better night's sleep in a bed other than your own?
  • How has your sleep quality changed over the past year?
  • Can you see visible signs of wear and tear on your mattress? (Is it sagging, feel the springs etc)

If you're answering yes to the majority of these questions, it is worth considering your options regarding purchasing a new bed or mattress. With thousands of choices available on the market, it can seem daunting to find the perfect bed for your needs, however, here at Discount Beds, we encourage you to take your time and choose wisely.

This short bed buying guide is aimed at aiding you through the process from start to finish, to ensure that you commit to the perfect bed and mattress for you.

Shopping for the right bed

2. Shopping for the right bed

So you've decided to go ahead with purchasing your new bed. Before making any rash decisions and purchasing the first bed you see, it is important to find out what you want from your bed. Recommendations of what to look for include:

Type – What kind of style bed are you looking for? Is there anything you don't like about your current bed? Are you looking for a firm mattress or soft mattress?

Bed Price – We are always looking to find you the best bed at the perfect price for your budget and encourage you to search for the best value beds - whether that means saving a bit of money, or paying that little bit more for quality which will offer better support and last longer.

Size Matters – When lying next to your partner, there should ideally be 4-6 inches (10-15cm) between you when you both have your arms behind your head. By considering this, there is less chance that you will disturb your partner. If either of you is taller, over 6ft for example, then it is better to consider investing in a slightly longer bed over a standard.

Dimensions – Although beds are categorised (eg. King Size), they are not always the same size, especially if you're purchasing the base and mattress from separate manufacturers.

Typical UK Bed Sizes

Small Single 2’6″ x 6’3″ 75 x 190 cm
Single 3′ x 6’3″ 90 x 190 cm
Small Double 4′ x 6’3″ 120 x 190 cm
Double 4’6″ x 6’3″ 135 x 190 cm
King 5′ x 6’6″ 150 x 200 cm
Super King 6′ x 6′” 180 x 200 cm
Purchase the base and the mattress together

Purchase the base and the mattress together – We understand that this is not always possible, but we try to encourage you to ensure the mattress has a similar type of base to how you originally bought it, as these are designed to work together.

This is especially important if you are using an old base, as it could affect the support and comfort that the mattress offers. Occasionally, it can also affect or invalidate the manufacturers' warranties or guarantees.

3. Finding the right bed

Think of it like this, you're spending a third of your life in your bed, so make it worthwhile and invest wisely. Elements to consider can include:

Try it once, try it twice, then try it again!

Nothing beats lying down on different mattresses to really test them, and here at Discount beds, we encourage you to get comfortable, take off your shoes and lie down on the bed. We generally suggest you do so for a minimum of 10 minutes in your normal sleeping position, along with testing it on your side and your back. This will help you decide whether the mattress feels right for you.

Shop together

If you're shopping for two, we recommend bringing your partner along so that you can ensure you're both happy with the choice.

Give yourself enough time

If you're feeling tired or rushed, you risk the possibility of investing in the wrong bed as they will all feel amazing! Take out enough time to test out all choices and do the job properly.

Make sure you have the correct support

Major factors the contribute to finding a bed that offers correct support include your weight, height, build as well as sleeping position. The perfect mattress should ideally mould to the shape of your body whilst still offering support. When lying on your side, your spine should remain horizontal and turning over should be reasonably easy. As a general rule, the heavier you are, the firmer the tension of mattress you will require.

Too soft - If when lying down, your body slouches and your spine is out of alignment.

Too hard - If you do not feel relaxed when lying on your side and you feel tension in your pressure points.

Just right - When your spine is aligned with full support and give along your body's profile.

Try different options

Everyone has a preference and finding what's right for you is important. Whether you prefer a soft mattress over a firm one and like the feel of being cocooned in a bed, opposed to lying on top of it with minimal give, each of these options can make the difference in having a good nights sleep.  

Remember, with no industry-wide standard that compares firmness ratings, it is all the more important that you try before you buy.

One size doesn't fit all

If you and your partner differ widely in size and weight (3 stone/18kgs or more), it may be that you require different mattresses. You will find that some mattress manufacturers provide double beds from two single mattresses that can then be zipped together, offering different tension and firmness levels.

Buying online?

Though shopping online has now become convenient with the ability to order anything at the click of a button, it is always important to test your bed and mattress before you buy. Terms and conditions are also very important as some retailers offer different rules regarding returning goods, so ensure that you are fully aware of these before buying.

If however, you decide to buy online, check for the following factors before purchasing:

  • Ensure that the site is reputable with good customer reviews. For sites you've never heard of before, you can search for them on which identifies all shops that offer secure credit card transactions, clear delivery prices and return policies.
  • Confirm that the website has full contact details, address, phone number etc.
  • Stick to the reputable brands that have been created by NBF Approved members.
  • Ensure that the product descriptions are fully accurate and true, look for reviews if you have to.
  • Check that the website is secure before entering payment details.
  • Always check the sellers' privacy and returns policy.
  • Although purchasing your mattress online may work out to be cheaper and convenient, there are always drawbacks associated with not seeing and inspecting the items. The Consumer Contract Regulations 2014 are there to provide extra protection. For more information regarding this, you can find it at
  • Always remember that if you're buying something cheap, you may not always get what you paid for, therefore practice caution.
Ready to buy?

4. Ready to buy?

Using this as a general guide will allow you to be fully prepared before purchasing the right bed that will hopefully offer the good night's sleep you've been looking for.

Here at Discount Beds, we offer a fantastic range of beds and mattresses from top brands including Silentnight, Harrison beds and Millbrook beds amongst many more, that offer fantastic quality at a price to suit your budget.

Pop into the Discount Beds showroom to view our full range, where we will be more than happy to talk you through the process and assist you with finding the perfect bed and mattress for you.

Alternatively, contact us on 0114 2584656 for more information or drop us a query online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.