Mattresses - best mattress brands: Choosing a bed Types of bed

Woman sleeping in bed

The average person spends a third of their life in bed

The average person spends a third of their lives sleeping - the equivalent to at least 200,000 hours spent in the land of nod.

Investing in a decent bed will help your sleeping hours to be more comfortable and fulfilling, in turn helping you to make the most of the time you're awake.

A good bed starts with a good bed frame - we've outlined the main types of bed below.

Next, decide on the best mattress for you - our comprehensive survey of mattress brands reveals the best and worst on the market - and follow our top bed shopping tips to get a good deal.

Divan beds

A divan bed is the most popular and simple style of bed available - and there are countless varieties on sale. Essentially, a divan is a base, on to which you add a bed mattress and headboard, sometimes as part of a bed package. 

There are two types of divan base available. Pocket sprung divans have springs in the base, offering a softer top and extra comfort. Cheaper platform top divans have a hard top and will give a firmer feel, though the overall firmness of the bed will depend on the mattress you choose.

Divan bed

Divan beds are simple and practical

Divan bed pros

  • Most widely available type of bed.
  • Tends to be cheaper than other types of bed.
  • Lots of sizes, shapes and storage options.

Divan bed cons

  • Less ornate and stylish than other varieties of bed.
  • Only some offer extra storage.

Bedsteads

Bedsteads are slatted frames (as opposed to solid bases), usually made of metal or wood and comprised of a base, legs and headboard. They're usually a more decorative option, with different colours, finishes and styles to choose from - from a traditional pine bedstead to a luxurious four-poster bedstead. 

Upholstered bedsteads, clad with leather or faux-leather, are an increasingly popular option.

Bedstead

Bedsteads can offer a more decorative style

Bedstead pros

  • Look great, with lots of styles available.
  • No need to buy a separate headboard.
  • Different slat types available to offer a harder or more flexible feel.

Bedstead cons

  • Storing items underneath the bed can look messy.
  • Usually need to be self-assembled.
  • Tend to be more expensive than divan beds.

Storage beds

As the name suggests, storage beds offer just that - lots of tidy storage options below or underneath the bed. They're a great option if you're short on bedroom space but want something a bit more stylish than a standard divan bed. Choose between storage drawers or an ottoman-style bed that fully lifts up, letting you store your belongings inside.

Storage bed

A storage bed is a good space-saving option

Storage bed pros

  • Lots of storage space!
  • Good for small bedrooms.
  • Lots of storage options.

Storage bed cons

  • Ottoman beds can be heavy and awkward to move or lift.

More bed types

There are lots more types of bed on the market - often designed to meet a specific requirement or appeal to particular age groups.

  • Sofa beds and folding beds: flexible, compact bed options that work well in a guest bedroom, or where a bed won't be used everyday.
  • Bunk beds: two beds in one for brothers and sisters in a shared bedroom - and lots of play fun for kids, too.
  • Cot beds: for smaller children, cot beds are convertible cots that can help your little one make the transition from cot to bed.