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Your bed is where you spend almost one third of your life, yet for many it is one of the least thought about furniture purchases. Making sure you have a good nights sleep is the key to a good day – all too often bad sleeping patterns can be put down to a bed that is too old and no longer gives the support which you need.

This guide aims to help you select the best possible bed, ensuring you get a good nights sleep each and every night.

The Basics

Before you start looking for a new bed, make sure you know what size you are looking for. Measure the space available in the bedroom, remembering to take into account adequate space to move around the bed, and for doors and drawers of wardrobes and chests of drawers, as well as any in the bed, to open fully.

Once you know the space you have available, try as many models as possible. If the bed is just for you, then trying them on your own is all you need do, but if it is for you and a partner, you should make sure you both try them together so as to ensure that you get an accurate feel – this is particularly important if your weights or heights differ significantly.

When trying beds, take off your shoes and any coats and lie down for at least 5 minutes – don’t simply sit on the edge of the bed and bounce up and down, or quickly lie down before getting up again. It is important to have a mattress on the bed which is neither too soft nor too hard, but which provides support along the full length of your body, keeping you spine straight. A proper test will make sure you make the right choice, ensuring many nights of refreshing and relaxing sleep.

Bed Sizes & Formats

As you try different beds, you’ll see a variety of sizes and formats available. Each offers something different, and at Fairway the range is wide enough to provide something to suit all requirements, with a range of formats available.

Below is a simple breakdown of the common sizes used for beds:

Size Description Mattress Size (cm) Imperial Equivalent (feet/inches)
Small Single W75 x L190 cm W2’6” x L6’3”
Single W90 x L190 cm W3’0” x L6’3”
Small Double W120 x L190 cm W4’0” x L6’3”
Double W135 x L190 cm W4’6” x L6’3”
King-size W150 x L200 cm W5’0” x L6’6”
Super King-size W180 x L200 cm W6’0” x L6’6”


Divan Beds

A divan bed consists of a base section, which for beds larger than 90cm usually come in two sections, with a mattress placed on top. The base section can often also contain drawers (see Drawer Options), providing valuable extra storage space in the bedroom, although as explained above, care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient space to open the drawers in the bedroom.

Electrically Adjustable Beds

In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity of electrically adjustable beds. They provide the ultimate in comfort, allowing you to move the head, centre and foot sections of the bed into various positions. These beds are usually sold in 90cm sizes, although some ranges feature 135cm upwards beds where there are two mattresses side by side, each with their own adjustable system.

The Guest Bed

If you’re short of an extra bed on the odd occasion, and don’t want to have a normal bed all year round, then the guest bed may provide the answer. This bed consists of (usually) a 90cm bed, with another slightly smaller bed underneath. When needed, this pulls out and raises to the same height as a normal bed, so giving you two beds in the space of one.


Increasingly popular, the bedstead allows you to incorporate the bed with the rest of your bedroom range. Alongside the selection of bedsteads in both wood and metal, many of the bedroom furniture ranges at Fairway feature a bedstead.

Most bedsteads are available in a variety of sizes, and provide a frame with wooden slats onto which a standard mattress can be placed. It is normal for the bedsteads to be slightly larger than the standard bed sizes quoted above, but the mattresses for them are standard sizes.

With all bedsteads, it is important that the slats provide adequate support for the mattress so as to maximise comfort and prevent premature wear. Ask our sales personnel if you have any questions about the requirements of a specific bedstead.

Drawer Options

With space at a premium in many bedrooms, the option to add storage under the bed is one that many find appealing. Many of the beds featured in the ranges at Fairway offer the option to add storage, which can be used for anything from storing spare bed linen and towels to those winter pullovers not needed in a tropical British summer!

Most manufacturers offer similar drawer options – the diagrams below indicate how these drawer combinations work. Increasingly popular among drawer options is what is termed the ‘2+2’, which consists of two large drawers at the foot end of the bed, and two half drawers at the head end. This arrangement allows the head end drawers to be opened even when bedside chests are being used, and provides a useful option for the smaller bedroom.

Mattress Choices

On top of the base lies the mattress – the Fairway range features a wide range of mattresses to suit every need, and all mattresses are available separately from the bases for use on bedsteads. In addition, we can offer some mattresses in different sizes from standard, as well as variations such as ‘zip & link’, which allow larger mattress sizes to be manufactured in two sections for easy delivery into small properties.

Essentially there are 3 types of mattress design:

  • Open coil sprung
  • Pocket Sprung
  • Springless

Choosing the right mattress is vital, so here we explain how each of the mattress designs works:

Open Coil Sprung

This is the simplest and most common form of construction for a mattress. Rows of springs are held together by wire stitching to form the mattress shape, which is them covered in filling material and finished with a padded quilt on top and bottom to provide a comfortable sleeping surface. This type of mattress is most often used to provide a firm level of support.

Pocket Sprung

Often seen as the more luxurious mattress, the pocket sprung construction consists of a varying number of individual springs (dependent on the mattress specification) encased in their own fabric casings, which are then bound together to form the mattress. As with the open coil sprung mattress, fillings are then added and the mattress construction completed. Pocket sprung beds usually provide greater levels of support and comfort. Individually pocketed springs are designed to react to weight and pressure, providing support to all parts of the body.

Springless Mattresses

Increasingly popular, springless mattresses are just that – mattresses without any springs. While this type of mattress has been around for many years, it is only recently that they have become very popular with manufacturers introducing more products to their ranges.

While there are several versions of springless mattress, the most popular use visco-elastic pressure relieving material in the construction – a foam-like material which reacts to the heat and weight of your body, moulding to match the contours of the body. Tempur is the market leader in this type of product and we offer a wide range of their products.

This type of mattress, often given the generic term ‘Memory Foam’ , provides the best levels of support and is also suitable for use on slatted bases. They are also superb for allergy sufferers, as it is resistant to house dust mite. Sometimes, visco-elastic material is used in conjunction with open coil or pocketed springs to provide a pressure relieving sleeping surface.


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