How to choose a new bed – in-store and online

Despite the fact that most people buying a new bed will be spending around 3,000 hours in it a year, they will only spend only a small fraction of that time choosing and even less testing the bed.

By educating yourself on the different factors involved in buying a bed, including budget, style and size, you will get more for your money and ultimately a better night's sleep.

Bed buyers spend up to 3,000 hours per year in a new bedIt doesn't matter whether you're buying online or offline, a little knowledge can go a long way to helping you sleep better.


The big advantage of buying a bed in-store is that you can actually try it out and lie on it.

The average time for testing is two minutes but it's recommended that you spend at least 10 minutes trying one out. Anyone in the process of choosing their next bed shouldn't be afraid to spend a little longer lying on the bed to make sure it offers the level of comfort and support you’re looking for.

Trying out a bed in store is also a great way of trying types of bed you haven't slept in before, and finding out which you find most comfortable. Different types of bases include divans, bedsteads, adjustable bases and even bunk beds. While mattresses are divided into sprung and non-sprung with each category offering numerous variations of springs, fillings, foams, and finishes. A soft mattress isn't necessarily bad for your back and it's important to consider the kind of bed and mattress you are buying together, as one can affect the other's performance.

It's also advisable for couples to lie on a bed together, to ensure that the size is comfortable for both parties. It should be 10-15cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in the bed and a couple should be able to lie side by side, hands behind head and elbows out, without touching.

Some stores also offer a guarantee so you can swap your bed for another if you aren't entirely satisfied with the comfort level you're getting. Read our bed buyer's guarantee.


Although you can't physically test a bed when buying it online there are other advantages.

Online shoppers can view a really wide range of beds, in different styles and sizes, and lower prices mean they will be able to get a better bed for their money. As budget can often be a deciding factor and lower-priced beds are generally less supportive, then those looking for a good deal might want to check out the internet first.

It might not be possible to test different beds online but purchasing one through a website will make it easier to compare other factors, such as size, price and features.

There will be no salesperson to answer your questions but there are plenty of great resources to guide you, such as this blog, and you will also be able to read reviews of the beds you look at.

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