Bed buds

Carol O’Callaghan says a comfortable bed and linens are crucial if you want to avoid a restless night’s sleep

DOES size really matter? Yes, it does when it comes to your bed and linens, especially if you have a sleeping partner on the large size or if they happen to be a duvet-hogger.

For decades bed partners were happy with the traditional four foot six bed, but larger houses and our prosperity fuelled larger selves have us indulging in five and six foot versions which are great if you are sleeping with someone restless and don’t want to be disturbed.

But when investing in a new bed, or maybe just a new mattress, bear in mind the importance of the latter far outweighs the choice of bed style. Afterall, we spend a third of our lives asleep, so when you pop to the shops lie on several options to test them out and take off your coat to replicate being in light clothing. And if you are sharing it with someone else, drag them along and insist they test it with you. It’s reckoned a mattress shared by two needs to be replaced every 10 years, which is a long time to sleep on one that isn’t right for you.

Bear in mind larger beds can overwhelm a small room. Divans are great if storage space is tight and you opt for one with drawers set into the base, but their solid appearance may add to the bulk of the bed. They are, however, an excellent option due to their height if you have the misfortune to suffer with back problems, or the early morning creakiness of arthritis, as they are much easier to get out of than low level beds. But if aesthetics are your only concern, a low-level bed on legs with space underneath will seem lighter and not oppressive.

Headboards are a matter of personal taste, although there is a new look for using a shelf unit behind a divan to site a reading lamp and clock, which is a great idea if you lack space for bedside tables. Check out some repeats of Sex and the City and the shelf behind Carrie’s bed to get the picture.

Beds traditionally sit against a wall, but there’s a new vogue for having them in the centre of the room. Mind you, a pretty big room is required to make this work and the headboard would need to be a statement piece finished beautifully behind as well as to the front in case anyone walks behind it. If you have a divan, a low unit behind to stop the pillows falling off is essential. Fab though this look is in the right environment it’s not something that would appeal long term to those of us who like the sense of security that a bed against the wall provides.

When it comes to linens it’s a very good idea to buy a duvet and top sheet bigger than your bed size if you share it. So if yours is a four foot six double, buy for a five foot king which will be marked 150cm x 200cm on the packaging. This is especially important if you sleep with the bed clothes hogger mentioned earlier and to minimise the 4am chill when hogger steals most of the duvet.

* Next week we’re looking at multi-functional products for the home.


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