You spend around one third of your life in bed so the bed you choose needs to be just right. An uncomfortable bed can rob you of an hour’s sleep every night, and being disturbed by a restless partner will lead to poor-quality sleep for both of you. Choosing a bed is not a decision to be taken lightly so do your homework. Our Luxury Bed Buyer’s Guide gives all the information you need to make the right choice.
Set aside plenty of time
Never shop for a bed when you are rushed or tired. Choosing the design of luxury base you like is probably the easy part – Juliettes Interiors has an extensive range of beautiful beds in all colours, sizes and finishes to suit every style of décor. However, deciding on the perfect level of support and comfort is something that cannot be rushed. And if you are tired, every mattress will probably feel wonderful simply because it gives you an opportunity to lie down.
If the bed is for two of you, go together so you can be sure that the bed you choose is right for both of you.
Try them out – for as long as you can
Wear comfortable clothes, take off your shoes and lie on each mattress for 15 – 20 minutes if you can. Lie in your favourite sleeping position for 10 minutes or so, then try turning over a few times and lie on your side and back for a while. If your partner’s moving disturbs you, this is not the right one for you. Do not be put off by the sales assistant or anyone else in the shop. Tell them in advance that you will be there for the next 20 minutes and, hopefully they will leave you in peace. Try as many mattresses and combinations of mattress and base as you can in the time you have. At our Chelsea showroom, you can try out our Hypnos Lusso mattress (made exclusively for Juliettes Interiors) and the Hypnos Eminence for as long as you like, and we’ll even bring you a cup of coffee in bed.
Buy base and mattress together
Your base and mattress need to work together over many years. With so many different combinations of base and mattress, it is important to test combinations to find out what is right for you. See Types of Bed (below) for more information. If you have a gorgeous, vintage bed frame, or cannot bear to part with the base you already have, try out mattresses on a similar base if you can and make sure that the mattress you choose is suitable for your lovely frame.
You need support
Support is not the same as firmness, and comfort is very subjective. What is important is how the mattress fits around your body. It depends very much on your height, weight, build and preferred sleeping position. When you lie on your side, your spine should be horizontal. If it curves downwards like a hammock, the mattress is too soft. If you are raised on your shoulder and hip, it is too hard. There should be just enough give to follow your body’s profile and you should be able to turn easily without disturbing your partner. Back sleepers may prefer a firmer feel than someone who sleeps on their side.
Your weight makes a difference
Generally, the heavier you are, the firmer mattress you will need – but do not rely solely on a manufacturer’s or retailer’s firmness rating. There is no standardisation, and what feels medium to a strapping rugby player may feel far too firm for someone smaller.
Both need different support?
If there is a big difference in weight between you and your partner (3 stones/42 lbs/18 kg or more), you should consider either two separate mattresses that can be linked together, or look for a company that can offer a bespoke solution, with different tensions within one mattress. At Juliettes Interiors, we recommend and supply Hypnos mattresses, which can be zip-linked or fully customised to suit you and your partner perfectly.
Level of comfort
Comfort is a very subjective concept but if you are looking for a luxury bed, it goes without saying that comfort is not negotiable. At Juliettes Interiors, all our wonderful designer beds are manufactured by some of the world’s finest master craftsmen. They are created with both comfort and style in mind and give you the choice of an entire library of colours, fabrics and finishes. Our mattresses are all supplied by Hypnos, who have won the Bed Manufacturer of the Year Award again this year. These luxurious mattresses use a generous blend of natural and sustainable fillings with an intelligent pocket spring system. Different configurations offer an extensive range of comfort and support levels.
Bigger is better
The more space you have, the less likely you are to disturb your partner. A UK standard double bed at 135 cm wide only gives each person 67.5 cm to themselves, about the same as a cot mattress. If you are tall, remember that a double bed is only 190 cm (6’ 3”) long and a UK King Size is 200 cm (6’ 6”). If you are buying a bed frame rather than a divan base, you should choose something without a raised foot end.
You should both be able to lie side by side with your arms behind your head and your elbows out without touching. Ideally, your bed should also be around 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) longer than the taller partner. Some manufacturers make beds up to around 215 cm square – that’s approximately 7 feet – and at Juliettes Interiors, all our luxury beds and mattresses can be made to order in any size.
Check the dimensions carefully
Bed sizes around the world vary widely. The same name does not mean the same size. For instance, a UK King Size (150 x 200 cm) is around the same size as a US Queen. The American King is equivalent to a UK Emperor (both around 200 x 200 cm). US retailers may offer a California King, which is 4” (10 cm) longer (but also 4” narrower) as part of a standard range. European and Scandinavian sizes are different again. Below is a table of standard UK and US mattress sizes but always remember to go by the actual measurement, never the name.
UK & Ireland
US & Canada
75 x 190 cm
75 x 190 cm / 29.5 x 74.8 in
Single or Twin
90 x 190 cm
100 x 190 cm / 39.4 x 74.8 in
135 x 190 cm
135 x 190 cm / 53.1 x 74.8 in
150 x 200 cm / 59.1 x 78.7 in
150 x 200 cm
200 x 200 cm / 78.7 x 78.7 in
180 x 200 cm
250 x 200 cm / 98.4 x 78.7 in
200 x 200 cm
Note: There is a great deal of confusion over a UK Queen Size. Some sources say it is larger than a double but most agree that it is only 120 cm wide, the same as a three-quarter or small double bed. Whichever it is, this size is no longer popular and is not part of most standard ranges. At Juliettes Interiors, we can manufacture your luxury bed to this size if it is what your space requires.
Types of bed
A luxury bed is made up of two parts; the bed base and the mattress. The combination you choose will depend very much on the style you are looking for, level of comfort, space and storage.
This is the most popular type of base in the UK and parts of Europe. Put simply, it is an upholstered box. It can be deep, reaching almost to the floor, or shallow so that there is space underneath. It may have castors for ease of movement or legs as a design feature. There are three main types of divan base. They may look very similar from the outside but there is a lot more going on underneath the upholstery than you realise.
Platform or Solid Top Divan
This has a flat, rigid top panel, often made of hardboard with a layer of padding on top. It generally gives a firmer feel and is cheaper than a sprung divan.
Firm Edge Divan
This has a rigid, wooden-sided frame enclosing a number of large, heavy duty springs. They are robust but will still give a softer feel to your mattress. However, they do not give the comfortable edge of a sprung edge divan.
Sprung Edge Divan
This is the most luxurious option, with a complete open coil or pocket spring unit inside a frame and covering the base. It provides support across your whole mattress without any hard edges. It creates a softer feel but with good support and can increase the lifespan of your mattress.
Divan Storage Options
A divan base is a perfect storage space. It doesn’t affect the support or comfort of your bed in any way and the space is just sitting there doing nothing otherwise. At Juliettes Interiors, we supply a wonderful range of luxury divans with a choice of storage options.
Perfect for a single bed or at the foot end of a double or larger.
Four large drawers for maximum storage. Available for double or larger.
Two large and two smaller drawers to allow for bedside tables. Available for double or larger.
This uses the whole of the open void inside the divan base, allowing you to tuck items away. It is cleverly hidden behind a deep, upholstered valance. Suitable for any size of bed, including linked divans.
Again, this uses the whole of the void beneath the divan top. This top is hinged, with hydraulic springs so that it is easy to lift, even with the mattress on. It gives easy access and more storage space than drawers. Available in all sizes.
Hypnos divans allow you to add a hidden Yale safe that can be built into your divan as an optional extra. Secured behind an upholstered drawer front, it looks exactly the same as the other drawers but is only revealed by pushing the drawer front.
Bedsteads and Bed Frames
If you have a quick look at the luxury beds on the Juliettes Interiors website, you will realise just how many styles and designs there are, from traditional classics to ultra-modern designs. They can include any combination of wood, metal, upholstery and finishes. The majority of our luxury beds will have a slatted base to support your mattress. However, if you have an antique bedstead, you may have a metal grid or woven wire base. Antique beds are unlikely to conform to current standard sizes so measure carefully to ensure your mattress will fit. Whichever type of base you have, always make sure that the mattress you choose is suitable and approved for this base.
Rigid Slatted Base
These are rigid, wooden slats with no give, mounted in a frame. Their lack of flexibility gives your mattress a firmer feel but makes them more prone to breakage. They leave the mattress to do all the work but they do provide ventilation. Make sure that the gap between slats is not more than 10 cm (3”). Cheaper models tend to space their slats further apart, which can lead to excessive wear and tear on your mattress and is, therefore, a false economy.
Flexible Slatted Base
These slats are made from laminated soft woods that are bowed in shape to give a modest level of springiness. They may be adjustable to provide different tensions throughout the length of the bed. Flexible slats give a softer feel than rigid ones and work with your mattress, helping to prolong its life. Again, they provide ventilation for your mattress but you must make sure that the slats are no more than 10 cm (3” apart).
A striking, designer headboard will create a wonderful focal point in your bedroom. They are usually an integral part of a bedstead or bed frame but an optional extra with a divan, giving you a choice of heights and designs, in a range of woods, metals, fabrics and upholstery to coordinate either with the divan or with your décor. A luxury headboard is a design feature so the type you choose will not affect the quality of your sleep.
There are two main types of mattress – spring interior or non-spring. These categories cover a wide range of materials, different types of construction and quality.
Spring Interior Mattresses
The majority of mattresses in the UK and US have a spring interior. The materials used, construction and type of springs vary considerably, each offering a very different level of tension, support and comfort. Luxury mattress manufacturers may offer zoned support, with different tensions to give extra support for hips, shoulders or a heavier partner.
Open Coil or Bonnell Spring
Used in budget – mid-range mattresses. Springs are arranged in rows, connected to one another at top and bottom by a spiral wire. Firmness will depend on the gauge of the wire used. There should be a minimum of 325 coils in a 150 cm mattress (UK King Size, US Queen Size). Better quality mattresses will have more.
Made from a single length of wire, linked into a continuous series of vertically-linked, interwoven springs. The gauge of wire is generally softer and the springs are smaller than the open coil option, giving a higher spring count and a more responsive feel. Available in a range of tensions.
All the Hypnos mattresses supplied by Juliettes Interiors use an intelligent pocket spring system. Small, softer springs work independently from each other to conform and adjust to your body and eliminate roll together. Spring counts vary but generally, the more springs you have, the higher quality the mattress.
Interior Spring mattresses use a very wide variety of fillings around the internal springs to provide a range of different properties; durability, resilience, ability to wick moisture away from the body, ability to regulate body temperature, comfort. A luxury mattress will usually have a higher proportion of natural, breathable materials, making it more durable and hygienic. However, you will still find high quality synthetic fillings at the core, added for cushioning and their ability to bounce back.
Our luxury mattresses include different combinations of fillings including latex, cashmere, mohair, pashmina, British wool, bamboo, cotton, silk and even silver for its anti-bacterial properties. The combination you choose will depend not only upon your budget but also upon the level of comfort you require, the climate you live in and the feel that you prefer.
These are often used to soften the feel of a mattress but they are not a substitute for the right level of support and should not be used instead of replacing an old, worn out mattress. They can be made from a variety of natural and synthetic materials and your choice will depend entirely on the feel you want to achieve.
At one time, foam mattresses were a cheap option. This is now changing, with a range of high quality mattresses available offering different levels of support and comfort. They are particularly suitable for use with slatted bases and adjustable beds and are vacuum packed for easy delivery. Juliettes Interiors does not currently stock this type of mattress as we still believe that a pocket sprung Hypnos mattress beats everything else on the market.