GIVEN that most of us spend around a third of our adult lives sleeping, our beds are clearly one of the most important objects in our lives.
An unsupportive and uncomfortable bed is not conducive to a good night's sleep and is likely to leave you tired, grumpy and unable to function properly.
If you have decided that it is time to ditch the old bed and invest in a new one for that perfect night's sleep this guide will help you choose a bed that is right for you.
There are various types of bed available so it is sensible to think about which type might suit you best before you hit the shops:
Divan beds: made up of two parts – a wooden frame base with mattress on top. The divan bed base and mattress fit together with no over hang.
Zip and link beds: a divan bed, which allows two different mattresses to be on the same bed, and can also be separated into two single beds if required.
Ottoman beds: a bed with storage space built in underneath and accessed by lifting the bed.
Guest beds: a single divan bed with a pull-out bed underneath.
It is also important to test the bed before you buy.
Lie on the bed to see how comfortable it feels. Try out all the different positions you normally sleep in.
To test whether the bed is giving you enough support, lie on your back and slide your hand into the hollow of your back. If your hand slides in easily, or there's a gap, the mattress is probably too firm for you. Likewise, if you can't slide your hand in, it's too soft.
Check that the bed is long enough for you. If you are tall (over 1.8m), make sure that the bed is at least 15cm longer than your height.
As well as many variations of bed type there are also several mattress types to suit different requirements:
Pocket spring: the springs are sewn into individual fabric pockets. They provide better support for your body, as each coil absorbs the weight individually.
Open coil spring: single springs fixed together by wire and linked across the mattress for even weight distribution.
Memory foam: topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material (memory foam) that moulds to the contours of your body.
It is important that you don't rush buying a new bed. This is an important purchase so take your time and make sure you get the right bed for you.
Finally, think about this as a long-term investment. Always buy the most expensive bed that you can afford. The National Sleep Council's Great British Bedtime Report 2013 found that the average people-spend on a new bed is £583.05. A well-sprung, quality bed will cost more than this.
At Potburys of Sidmouth there is a wide selection of beds available for you to try out in store and you can take as much time as you need. The friendly team are on hand to answer any questions and to help you choose the right bed. They also offer interest-free credit on selected beds and free delivery on all new beds.