Beds buying guide

A bed is an important investment, especially when you spend a third of your life in it. If your quality of sleep has worsened or you have experienced a better night’s sleep in a bed other than your own, it is perhaps time to consider buying a replacement.

We recommend you change your bed at least every 7-10 years. This is because the materials in many beds can deteriorate as much as 75% after 10 years of use. You’ll find many different options: bedsteads, divan sets, storage and guest beds – what’s important is that we help you find the best and most comfortable option for you.

Our beds are hand made by some of Britain’s most established and experienced bed makers, with a reputation for meeting the highest quality standards. Use this guide to help you choose the right bed. In most cases, we can even assemble your new bed, and take away the old mattress.

Discover more about a good night's sleep in our mattress and bed linen buying guides.

Initial questions

  • Who?
    Your list of requirements will differ greatly whether you are making the purchase for yourself, your child, or a guest

  • How often?
    You may not need to splash out on a guest bed, but it is advisable to make an investment in the bed you will sleep on every night

  • Sharing?
    It is important you ensure the size and support of the bed is comfortable for you both, and that means trying lots of different options. Bear in mind, a couple sharing a double bed have as much space as a child sleeping in a single. Opting for a kingsize bed will offer you the room you need

  • Storage?
    We offer a range of storage beds that provide either underbed drawers or ottoman solutions

  • Style?
    You can make a statement with a bedstead, or with a divan set and headboard – consider your interior scheme and also the mattress support on offer

  • Access?
    Consider the journey the bed will have to make from your front door to the bedroom. Many of our beds are delivered in parts for assembly, and our divans often come in two parts, making them ideal for hard to reach rooms

Measuring up

All John Lewis beds are available in UK standard sizes and are sized according to the size of the mattress it takes. The dimensions of a bedstead are greater than a divan base equivalent, but the mattress size required remains the same.

The mattresses we sell are sized as shown, and our bed linen is made to fit those sizes. Note: some retailers may supply beds in non-standard UK sizes, so be sure to check that the mattress size - and even the bed linen - is compatible.

All John Lewis beds are available in UK standard sizes and are sized according to the dimensions of the mattress it takes. These are as follows:

The dimensions of a bedstead are greater than a divan base equivalent, but the mattress size required remains the same.

View all bedding

Bed/Mattress name Mattress size (cm)
Small single W75 x L190
Single W90 x L190
Small double W120 x L190
Double W135 x L190
Kingsize W150 x L200
Super kingsize W180 x L200
Super kingsize zipped and linked W180 x L200

Different types of bed

Top tips

  • Try it
    Try, try and try again. A bed is a an investment, and a way of safeguarding your quality of sleep, so take the time to lie on a number of options before committing to that final purchase. When testing out a bed or mattress, make sure you take your time. Lie for a few minutes on each surface, moving through various positions and finding your natural sleeping pose.

  • Think about everything
    Your bed, mattress and pillows all work in conjunction to offer support, so it’s a good idea to try out all elements together. Whatever type of bed you're buying, remember to try it with the same, or similar mattress, to the one it will eventually accompany.

  • Space
    One of the most common sleeping problems is not having enough space, so invest in as large a size as possible according to your budget and the space available in your home – the bigger the better.

  • Sharing
    If the bed is going to be shared, make sure you try out the options together and take the time to consider the space and features which will benefit you both.

  • Cost
    A good bed doesn’t have to cost the earth, but remember how important a good night’s sleep is for your health and wellbeing. Decide which features are most important to you and keep those in mind when testing out options, so you get the most for your money.

  • Environment
    A relaxing bedroom is made up of so many important factors. Other than choosing a quality mattress and bed, there are other products which will help you create the perfect environment for rest.         
  • Select the right pillow for your style of sleep to support your head, neck and shoulders. Add luxurious home fragrance infused with relaxing ingredients such as lavender and sage, and invest in either substantial curtains or use a blackout blind to shut out any unwanted and potentially sleep-disturbing light.

The complete bed

the complete bed - matresses


If you’re buying a new bed, it’s a good idea to replace your mattress at the same time, especially when considering a divan base as this will be designed to take a specific range of mattresses. Take a look at our open coil, pocket spring and memory foam mattresses and find further advice in our mattresses buying guide to ensure your sleeping surface is as sumptuous and supportive as possible.

the complete bed - bedding


Put the finishing touches on your new bed with linens that reflect your own personal style and interior scheme.

Remember to check your bed and mattress dimensions before selecting your linen as these will affect which size you will need. Find helpful advice from our bed linen buying guide

the complete bed - headboards


A headboard is a great way of adding an extra element of style and/or comfort to your bedroom space. Most of our divan bases do not come with a headboard, giving you the opportunity to select a design that will best complement your interior scheme. These can be made from a solid material such as wood or metal, or upholstered in a luxurious fabric, offering a softer feel. Upholstered designs may need spot cleaning or vacuuming, whereas solid styles will be easier to care for. Most of the headboards we offer come in standard widths to fit their bed counterparts: 90cm (single), 120cm (small double), 135cm (double), 150cm (kingsize), 180cm (super kingsize).