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Your Choice: 16 Different Kinds of Bed

There is a multitude of over 16 different kinds of bed, offering you many different choices. You might choose a style that suits the rest of your décor, preferring metal over wood, or contemporary over traditional designs. The key is to look at this as a positive and not be confused by the options available. We explore some of the most popular styles and their benefits.


Futon – from a Japanese design, the futon consists of a padded mattress, sometimes with a wooden frame, which folds away to save space during the day.


Divan – a box-spring based bed, which sits on the floor or on castors, often with storage underneath. Divans are usually in two main pieces, which link together, making them easier to move than their counterparts. The word divan is Turkish and means a couch.


Iron bedstead – originating in the industrial revolution, these bedsteads often have ornate metalwork at the head and foot, with bare springs under the mattress. Popular in period properties and cottage-style rooms.


Sleigh or boat bed – has a curved wooden headboard and footboard as part of the structure and resembles the shape of a sleigh. Originally popular in France in the 19th century.


Day bed – like a three-sided cot, which might be metal, wooden or upholstered


Chaise longue – a long sofa-type bed, usually with one raised end resembling a headboard and no arm at the other end.


Four-poster – traditional four posters have an upright post in each corner, often supporting a canopy or tester (raised frame). Originally they would also have had curtains to keep out draughts in unheated bedrooms and for privacy in shared rooms.


Sofabed – a versatile piece of furniture that serves as a comfortable sofa but converts to an occasional bed for an overnight guest. There are various mechanisms, from a simple folding out of the cushions, to more elaborate wooden or sprung metal framed beds.


Circular – a statement bed, intended to impress (but we can’t work out how you tuck the sheets in!)


Waterbed – fashionable in the 1970s and 80s, waterbeds were filled with water to provide a supportive but adaptable sleeping surface. Some included heating elements. Drawbacks include the danger of leaks and the need to ensure the floor would support the weight of the water.


Trundle bed – one twin-sized bed with a similar one on casters that is stored underneath. The second bed will sometimes rise to the height of the taller bed. Saves space and useful for occasional guests.


Bunk beds – twin beds, arranged one above the other with a ladder to access the top bunk. Guaranteed to lead to disputes about who has the top bunk!


Cabin bed – similar to bunks, with a raised bed and a sofa, desk or both at floor level. Often the furniture can be folded away underneath to create more floor space when needed.


Murphy bed – folds up into the wall to resemble a cupboard when not in use.


Folding or zed-bed – hinged in the middle and useful for occasional guests or children, the folding bed has a simple foam mattress and the frame is sprung using tension springs


Platform bed – the mattress is supported on rows of flexible wooden slats


Standard sizes

Standard size beds are useful for buying linen – you can be sure it will fit! The following are standard sizes for the UK.


Single bed – 90 cm x 190 cm (3′ 0″ x 6′ 3″)

Small double bed – 120cm x 190cm (4’ x 6’ 3”)

Double bed – 135cm x 190cm (4’ 6” x 6’ 3”)

King size bed – 150cm x 200cm (5’ x 6’ 6”)

Super king size bed – 180cm x 200cm (6’ x 6’ 6”)


For a full range of quality beds, pop into our Gloucester showroom and see which style takes your fancy.

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