Sleep expert shares his top tips for buying the best bed for you and your partner

More horizontal space = a good night's sleep

Buying a new bed and choosing the best mattress is a huge investment. You spend a third of your life lying on them, so when you need to fork out for a new one, you want to make sure you get the best bed size to ensure a peaceful and uninterrupted night's sleep. But how do you know what to look for?

Related: 29 small bedroom ideas – the best ways to decorate and furnish a small bedroom

When you bought your bed, did you choose it based on the best bed size for you and your partner? Or did you just pick one that looked good in your bedroom? Most people would fall into the latter category, as the general expectation is that beds, much like the other furniture in your home, need to look just as good as they feel comfortable.

However, when it comes to buying a bed, size really does matter.

bedroom with colourful cushions rug on floor with white windows

(Image credit: Future Plc /Dan Duchars)

We asked the not-for-profit National Bed Federation to give us their top tips for choosing the best bed size for you and your partner to guarantee a good night's sleep. 

1. Size matters

bedroom with grey wall wooden bed and white lamp

(Image credit: Future Plc /Chris Snook)

'Buy as big a bed as you can,' says Simon, 'more space equals less partner disturbance, which equals better sleep'.

Simon continues, 'If you do visit a store (when they’re finally open again!) discuss your requirements with the store's expert as they know more about beds than you, and get a shortlist of about three or four beds.'

'If you’re shopping with your partner, lie beside each other on each bed and put your hands behind your head. If your elbows touch each other then there’s not enough space – opt for a bigger bed size. Lie on each bed for at least five to ten minutes, turning over and lying in different positions - don’t just lie like a statue!'

2. Always test a bed using a pillow

bedroom with wooden wall colourful cushions and long grey curtain

(Image credit: Future Plc /Dominic Blackmore)

'It's also a good idea to take your normal pillow with you,' adds Simon, 'or choose a new pillow whilst you’re in the shop. The  pillow makes a huge difference to keeping your whole spine in the correct position when lying on your back or side.'

3. Do your research, both on and offline

bedroom with wooden cabinet cushions and pillows with vase flower

(Image credit: Future Plc /Dominic Blackmore)

'Ask friends and relatives for their personal recommendations and experiences with different products and retailers websites. Don’t rush into buying – take your time. Make a list of what your key requirements are, for example, pressure relief, allergies, ease of use, such as a no-turn mattress.'

Want to know more? Check out the National Bed Federation's handy video on top tips on choosing a bed.

Related: How to sleep better – simple ways to get a good night’s rest

Make sure you don't face another sleepless night due to a too-small bed.

Ginevra Benedetti
Deputy Editor (Print)

Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.