Bed base and mattress in a bedroom

Which Bed Base to Choose?

Choosing the right bed base for your needs

There are many types of bed bases on the market, so you may want to know what are the differences between them and which one you should choose for yourself. Here we cover the selection criteria when choosing a bed base and the three main types of bed bases to consider. 

Is the base of a bed important?

Yes, choosing a bed base is an important decision. It will hugely influence your comfort at night. Moreover, it’s usually a piece of furniture which you will be using for years. So it’s obvious that you want to choose the right one. 

How to choose a good bed base – the criteria explained

What to consider when buying a bed base?

A sturdy bed base is key. But it’s not the only thing to look at. Generally speaking, it is better to buy a complete set – a bed base and mattress together. This way you can be sure that the base will support the mattress correctly and that the sizes will match.

Criteria to choose the best bed base

  • width and height 
  • the amount of space you have in the bedroom
  • whether you prefer a harder or a softer bed
  • storage space under the bed 
  • style 
  • price
  • does it come assembled or not


What size of bed base do I need? 

Bed base length 

Standard bed base length is 190 – 200 cm. Generally speaking it should be 20 cm longer than the person sleeping on it (the same relates to the mattress length). 


Bed base height 

Bed base height is measured from the floor to the frame and typically can be anything from 7 to 30 cm. The higher the bed, the easier to sit down on it and get up; it will also have more storage space underneath. Apart from that, it’s a matter of what design you prefer. Lower beds look lighter in the bedroom and make a more spacious impression. Some people also have a better sleeping experience on lower beds. 

It’s also important to consider what the mattress height is to estimate the final height of your bed. 

Apart from getting a bed base in the right size, remember that it needs to fit the size of your mattress. 

Your bed size and the bedroom size

When choosing your bed size, you’ll probably want to maximise the sleeping area to increase your comfort, but you don’t want to clutter your bedroom doing this. 

To figure out what size of the bed frame you can fit in your bedroom, mark out the bed frame dimensions on the floor with masking tape. As a rule of thumb you should leave at least 50 centimetres of free space around the bed to be able to walk around without bumping into furniture. Also remember to leave enough space to fully open the wardrobe door or any chests of drawers which are next to the bed.

Hard or soft bed: slatted or sprung bed base?

Slatted bed base – rigid and flexible

A slatted base will give the mattress a firmer feel. Bedsteads or bed frames are the kinds of bed bases which most commonly come with slats. Slats can be either rigid (with no give) or flexible, also known as sprung slats. Flexible slats have a bowed shape and create a modest level of springiness. 

If you are buying your bed base and mattress separately, check if your mattress is suitable for a solid bedstead use.

Flexible Slatted Bed Base


Rigid Slatted Bed Base

Fully sprung base

A fully sprung base will give the mattress a softer feel. The more springs the bed base has, the more comfortable it is. This type of base will also extend the mattress’ life as it absorbs the pressure, however the base itself is not as durable as the solid type.

Sprung Bed Base



Bed bases with storage

For many of us storage space available under the bed is an important feature of a bed base. 

There are three types of beds with storage:
  • Lift-up ottoman bed frames
    Ottoman beds are usually powered by gas-lift hydraulics, so the bed can be easily lifted up and stays open for storage access.
  • Divan beds with drawers
    Bed frames can have drawers built in on the sides of the bed. Such drawers are easy to access, and a great option to store things which you use more often. 
  • Bed frames with storage boxes or storage bags
    While this option may be the most cost effective, putting storage boxes, baskets or bags under the bed frame may spoil the visual effect, so consider how visible anything under the bed will be. 

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Ottoman Bed with End Opening 

Divan Bed with 2 Storage Drawers

Which bed base: divan vs bedstead vs storage vs adjustable

There are four main types of bed bases:

  1. Divan bed (fully sprung or solid top base)
  2. Bedstead (bed frame) 
  3. Bed base with storage
  4. Adjustable beds

Here is a brief description of each type, so you can see the differences. 


1. Divan bed base explained

A Divan bed is the simplest option of bed base, usually also the cheapest. They may come with head boards in a set or storage drawers. Divan beds are also great space-savers, as the base has the same dimensions as the mattress. But the most important feature is the top of the divan bed. Divan beds can come with a solid base or with springs in the base, so consider which type you prefer. 


  • price
  • space saving
  • possible storage
  • choice of sprung or hard top


  • limited designs

Divan Bed

Divan Bed with Drawers

2. Bedstead

Bedstead is simply a frame with slats which support the mattress. The construction of this bed base type is simple, but there is a wider range of designs available here. Bedsteads are available in wood, metal, upholstery, plastics or combinations of different materials.


  • many design options


  • no storage included


Upholstered Bedstead

Metal Bed Frame

3. Adjustable bed

These beds can be operated manually or electrically. Those operated electrically can be also called adjustable electric beds or motorised beds.  The base can be adjusted into various positions to make sleeping more comfortable. They are especially useful in reducing back pain or for people with mobility issues, poor blood circulation or respiratory issues. Most often they can be operated with a remote control, and some even have massage options. 


  • can accommodate special needs
  • comfort and convenience 


  • higher price 



Adjustable Bed

Double Adjustable Bed 

How important is the bed frame?

A good bed base is extremely important because it provides the right level of support and ventilation. Well matched bed base lengthens the life of your mattress and improves your comfort at night. 

What type of bed base is best?

This will depend on your preferences, taste in design affordability and storage requirements. I hope with the guidance you will know what to consider to choose the right bed base for your needs.