Guide to a well-dressed bed


A well-dressed bed is sure to improve not only the style of your bedroom, but also the quality of your slumber. Believe it or not, sleep scientists have proven that the quality of your bed linens, pillows and mattress actually affects how well you sleep. So don’t skimp on your bed – after all, it’s the place you’ll spend at least a third of your life. Given its size, it’s also the star of the bedroom, so its frame, headboard and bedding should reflect your personal style. In this guide on how to dress a bed, we share insider secrets on selecting a mattress, purchasing a headboard and how to choose beautiful bedding which will help you get your forty winks.

How to choose the right mattress for you

Think of assembling a bed like building a house, with the mattress as the foundation. Invest in a high-quality mattress – you’ll be thanking yourself in the morning.

We searched far and wide for the highest quality mattresses we could find. Eventually, we discovered a family firm in Yorkshire with over 30 years of bed-making experience to handcraft our mattresses, divan beds and frames. Our mattresses are sprung to medium firmness, offering fantastic, even support. They’re covered in the finest quality 100% cotton ticking, sourced from traditional English cotton mills, which lasts longer than its synthetic counterparts and guarantees a healthier sleeping environment.

What size bed do you need?

First decide on what size bed you need. Studies show that most people are sleeping in beds that are too small, which makes for a restless night, so consider upgrading to a larger size for some extra leg and elbowroom. Some people find that a divan bed actually works better in the layout of their bedroom.

Next decide if you want your bed to work double duty by providing storage space. Our divan beds are designed with or without drawers: four drawers come in the larger beds and two in the single beds, making them perfect for stowing away spare bedding or extra blankets. For a co-ordinated scheme, cover your divan base with a valance that matches your headboard or bed linen.

Divan beds come in a variety of size options and are great if your bedroom is a little tight in space, as the divan bed base and accompanying mattress fit together with no overhang. Our divan beds are available in a range of sizes, from king-sized to single, and we now sell an ottoman style bed – available in all four sizes. We also offer bed frames, including four poster beds – ideal for creating a dramatic boudoir with a regal edge.

How to choose a stylish headboard

Headboards can transform a boring bedroom into a master suite. They act as the centrepiece of your scheme, so select one that complements your other furniture. For ease (and to preserve your walls), choose a headboard that requires no fixing to the bed – one that simply stands behind the mattress, flush against the wall.

Headboards aren’t just stylish additions. Padded ones also provide another level of comfort – perfect if you like to sit up in bed and read or watch television. Our range has plenty options: for something simple, our white cotton upholstered headboard can be easily covered with your own choice of fabric or one of our ready-made slip covers. Available in a range of colours and patterns with simple tie-back fastenings, they make for a quick bedroom update.

For something a little more luxurious, why not go for a quilted leather headboard, an ornate studded design, or a wooden headboard, to match your bedroom décor.

You can also dream up something imaginative by fashioning your headboard out the unexpected, such as a wooden screen, wall-hanging, rug or paint decal. Here we’ve used mounted faux gazelle antlers and an array of throws to make a surprising headboard that draws the eye and creates an original focal point.

What material makes the best bed linen?

Bed linens are what we consider the crowning glory of a well-dressed bed. So rid the airing cupboard of those old sheets that have seen better days and splurge on a set of high-quality bed linens – after all, they come in direct contact with your skin. Here’s how to choose the right bed linen for your bed.

With many different kinds of sheets available, the choice can be overwhelming. Breathability, durability, maintenance and, of course, softness and smoothness, are key considerations. Don’t be fooled by thread count (the number of threads in one square inch of fabric) – a higher thread count doesn’t necessarily mean superior sheets. The most important features to look for are the quality of the bed linen’s yarn, its weave and whether it features any special techniques, such as embroidery.

Pure cotton, Egyptian cotton and prima cotton are all safe bets, but our ideal bedding is made of 100% pure stonewashed linen. Linen is regarded as one of the most luxurious fabrics to sleep in, but the downside is it can get incredibly wrinkled without ironing. So if you’re iron-adverse like we are, stonewashed linen is your answer. Stonewashing is a process involving actual stones that loosens the weave of the fabric, making it divinely soft and breathable with a relaxed, lived-in look. Luckily for us, our Huguenot bedding is made of pure stonewashed linen. Not only is it incredibly soft and easy to look after (no ironing required), it features beautiful detailed scalloped and embroidered edges. We also have the Elysium range of bed linen; made from 100% Egyptian cotton with subtle hem stitching, this snow-white set includes crisp white pillowcases, bed sheets and duvet covers.

What is the best type of pillow?

Let’s engage in pillow talk. For a good night’s sleep, it’s crucial that you select the right one for you. Of course, the right pillow all depends on your personal preference (soft, fluffy, firm, etc.). You may have some special considerations like neck or back pain, in which case a memory foam or latex pillow might provide additional support. The most common pillow fillers are down-feather combinations, foam or polyester fibrefill. What you may not know is that experts recommend buying new pillows every 12 to 18 months. If your pillow is past its prime, it may contain skin cells, mould, mildew, fungus and dust mites (eek!).

Aside from fresh sleeping pillows, a well-dressed bed should definitely have a display of scatter cushions. They instantly elevate a scheme by introducing colour, pattern and luxury. Cushions can also help tie together other decorative elements in your bedroom for a cohesive look (such as valances and curtains). And don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colours for a pop of fun.

Just make sure that you strike the right ‘cushion-to-bed’ balance. Cushions should enhance, not overwhelm. Too many will make your bed look crowded, while too few and the effect will be lost.

How to layer a bed

It’s time to layer up your bedding and create a sophisticated, luxurious look. The easiest way of layering is with throws or quilts. Not only are they functional, but they also add an extra dose of style, texture and depth. You can even change your throw throughout the seasons – a colourful lightweight faux mohair throw is perfect for spring, whilst a soft faux fur throw will keep away the winter chill. If your duvet cover is a solid colour, try adding a patterned throw for contrast, or vice versa.

With all these elements in place – a good-sized bed and high quality mattress, a beautiful headboardluxurious bedding, plenty of pillows and extra layers – we guarantee you will wake fully rested, ready to start the day ahead.


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