Your bed is, or should be, one of the most important investments you make for your home. On average, we will spend 26 years in bed (that's about a third of our lives!) and we are all familiar with the health benefits of quality sleep and relaxation. For this reason, it is worth spending time to find the right designer bed and create your perfect bedroom, a sanctuary to get away from our busy lives, unwind, and which you look forward to retreating to at the end of the day. We share with you here our top advice on choosing the perfect luxury designer bed.
Bed Size - Measure Up
In Europe there are generally five standard bed sizes and these are based on mattress size:
- Single - 90 x 200cm
- Small Double/Large Single - 120 x 200cm
- Double - 140 x 200cm
- King - 160 x 200cm
- Super King - 180 x 200cm
Your choice of size should depend on how many people are sleeping in the bed, your body's build and the size of your room. Obviously if you have a partner, are a larger than average build, or if like us you receive little night-time visitors, it is nice to have a little extra space to minimise disruption to sleep. We recommend that you should all be able to lay side by side with your arms behind your head.
From an interior design perspective you want your bed to look in proportion to the room and as a general rule of thumb a 1:3 ratio between your bed and your bedroom size feels about right. At the very least you need to have at least 80cm space either side and at the end of the bed to walk round. Less than this is just not practical and feels too cramped.
Don't forget that the overall bed size is often bigger when you include the frame and headboard, so make sure you consider the overall size and not just the mattress size.
A standard length bed fits a 200cm mattress, but if you are gifted in height you may want to consider an extra-long bed.
The choice between a modern bed design or a classic option largely depends on your taste and the style of the rest of your bedroom. The traditional bed is usually more ornate and has design features from past eras e.g. 4-poster beds or curved camelback headboards, as shown here with the Capri bed.
That said, many modern bed frames take a nod from retro or mid-century styles, bringing a little of the past, to an otherwise modern design, as shown below with the Freedom Bed, which has a slight frame, with simple lines and modern metal feet, but with the addition of a captionné headboard.
Another consideration is whether you go for a Divan, a Classic Bed Frame or Box Spring.
A divan base typically consists of a solid base (rather than slats) and often come with storage inside the base in the form of drawers or an ottoman storage box. A benefit of a divan bed is that the footprint is usually the same size as the mattress so if space is of a premium then it is definitely one to consider. If you like a firmer feel, divans can also offer this solid support for the mattress. However, don't forget with drawers that you need to have sufficient space in front to open them. Another downside of a Divan is from a style perspective they are usually plainer so may not suit your designer bedroom goals.
A Classic Bed Frame looks similar to a Divan, but has slats, which are built into the base. The slats work with your mattress offering flexibility depending on how your weight is distributed. There is sometimes the option to customise the type of slats depending on your sleeping needs. These beds may also have storage, which is accessed by lifting the slats. Classic Bed Frames come in many different styles so you are sure to find your perfect sleeping partner.
Last but not least is the Box Spring Base, which is of U.S origin and is very popular in luxury hotels. Its main feature is that it has a structure (called box or sommier) where instead of the classic slatted bases or divan top there is a spring frame. The combination of the mattress and the springs offers the ultimate in support and comfort, as together they adapt perfectly to the body. The downsides are the expense - they are often the more expensive base option, and do not have the option of storage.
At Milola, we offer a number of different bed base options and also a wide variety of options of beds with and without storage. The Metropolitan Bed is a great example of this, as shown below with a traditional thin frame on the left and a box frame on the right, which contains storage.
Bedframes are normally made of Wood or Metal. Wood is traditional and sturdy, but metal has it's advantages because it is lightweight and easy to clean; an important consideration for many following the pandemic. However, depending on the type of metal and quality of the structure, metal beds can rust and/or squeak, so it is important to check the attention to detail, quality and how they are made. Aluminium as a material is a good choice because it is hypoallergenic and lightweight. Italian bedmakers, Bolzan Letti is one of just a few companies making high quality structures entirely made of aluminium.
If you want an upholstered finish, consideration should also be given to the type of fabric or leather. This covering also tends to be the largest determinant of cost. Therefore it is worth asking the shop about different coverings to fit with your budget.
At Milola we are happy to discuss different upholstery options with you and send out fabric samples free of charge.
You may also want to consider how durable the material is, is it washable and if it is sourced sustainably? For fabrics, durability can be determined using the Martindale scale, a test which simulates the number of abrasive rubs a fabric can take. For general domestic use you should be looking for a score of over 25,000. The higher the score the more durable the fabric. You can also look at colour fastness, especially if the bed will be located in direct sunlight, as well as the extent to which the fabric is likely to pill. For leather, you can also refer to it's resistance to tearing, cracking and water damage.
There are so many mattress choices on the market these days, it is often difficult to know where to start. Comfort is often determined by the position you sleep in and your weight, but it is still very subjective.
Below we summarise the main mattress types:
These mattresses are made of foam and have no springs. They tend to provide above average contouring of the body and pressure relief. They are good for side-sleepers for this reason, as well as couples because they are good at isolating motion so you do not bounce when your partner moves. Some foam mattress come with gel infused foam which is cooler than the traditional memory foam, so this is good for temperature regulation. Latex is also another foam option, which bounces back more easily than traditional foam, so lessens the sensation of sinking into the mattress.
Springs are the most traditional type of mattress. They are good for back and stomach sleepers and are good for heavier individuals who find foam mattresses don't offer enough support. However they tend to offer less pressure support on joints.
With spring mattresses there is the option of a traditional spring/Bonnell Spring, which are very affordable, or a pocket spring version where each of the springs are individually wrapped which isolates movement and minimises disruption to your partner.
These mattresses offer the best of both worlds with a combination of springs and foam. They are good for couples who have different needs and want the support of springs, but the softness and cocooning feeling of foam.
If you want more information and guidance on choosing the right mattress for you, see our Mattress 101 Guide below or Contact Us and we would be happy to help you further. We have a number of mattresses to try out at our boutique showroom in Blonay, Switzerland (open by appointment).
We hope that this article provides you with a useful introduction to buying your next bed.
At Milola, we believe in choice. That’s why all of our designer beds are highly customisable, from size to storage, fabric to colour, we’re certain to have something that works just right for your bedroom. And if you’re not sure what might work best in your home, we’ll gladly have a friendly, no-obligation consultation with you over the phone, via video or in person, to get your home looking perfect for you. Please contact us to set up an appointment.
In the meantime, click here to browse our designer bed collection, all available for free delivery throughout Switzerland.