How To Furnish Your Bedroom

You've planned it, you've designed and decorated it, now you've got to furnish it. Finding the right furniture for your bedroom will go a long way towards improving your quality of sleep, as well as creating a space that's comfortable, stylish and practical. Here's how to go about it.

By Andrea Dean

Dorma-Bedlinen. How To Furnish Your Bedroom

The Basics

A bedroom is far more than somewhere to crash - unless you're a gap-year student - and there's more to furnishing it than throwing a few pieces together and hoping it works. But, palace or crash pad, there are certain elements common to every bedroom. The key is not to cram in too much - keep the furniture to the minimum and add character and warmth with bedding, upholstery and drapes. Most of all, keep it neat. There's no way you can relax in a cluttered room.

Laura-Ashley-Bedroom. How To Furnish Your Bedroom

First and foremost, there's the bed, and you'll also need storage for clothes in the form of a wardrobe and possibly a chest of drawers. Bedside tables are a must for many of us, and, depending on the amount of space and your personal taste, you may want to include a dressing table, chair, ottoman or chaise longue.

Buying A Bed

Bed Types
Beds are divided into two types - divans and bedsteads. A divan consists of a mattress on a matching upholstered base, with both parts sold together. The base is usually available with the option of storage drawers, which are roomy enough for spare duvets and pillows. A bedstead is a metal or wooden frame, with a mattress on top, purchased as a package, or separately. A bowed or sprung slatted base will give better support than solid slats.

Some bedsteads incorporate storage, but in most cases you'll need to buy extra drawers or boxes. Make sure there's enough space under the bed and go for ones on castors that slide out smoothly and can be tucked right underneath.

Mattress. Heal's. How To Furnish Your Bedroom

Which Mattress Type To Buy?

Whether you choose a divan or bedstead, it's important to get the right mattress, to ensure a good night's sleep. Buy the best you can afford, whether it's a traditional sprung design, latex or memory foam. With a sprung mattress, you have the choice of open coil springs or more luxurious - but pricier - pocket springs, which are ideal if you and your partner are different sizes.

Generally speaking, the greater the number of springs, the firmer the support. The springs are topped with layers of fillings in a variety of materials, and each combination gives the bed a different feel - so try a few different types to see which suits you best.

Originally developed for NASA, memory foam mattresses have become extremely popular as they shape themselves to the contours of the body, and are very supportive. Latex is soft, flexible, supportive, and breathable, so you won't overheat. It's also hyper-allergenic, so an excellent choice if you suffer from allergies.

John-Lewis-Bedroom. How To Furnish Your Bedroom

How Big Should My Bed Be?

Mattresses are sold in standard sizes. It's possible to have a bespoke bed made to virtually any dimensions, though these don't come cheap.

The larger the bed, the comfier you'll be, so if space allows, go for a kingsize or super kingsize, which should ideally be at least 15cm longer than you or your partner.

Classic Dimensions (W x L)Small single 75 x 190cm

Single 90 x 190cm
Small double 120x190cm
Double 135x190cm
Kingsize 150x200cm
Super kingsize 180x200cm

If space is an issue, don't go for bedsteads with footboards - such as sleigh beds or platforms - as these take up more room than more simple designs. And it's worth remembering that divans are generally slightly smaller than bedsteads, although the mattresses are the same size.

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