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Product Help/Explanations & Terminology

Buying a new bed can be a big decision; therefore here at The Sleep Shop we aim to make it as simple and easy as possible. On these pages you will find everything you need to know including bed terminology, mattress types and divan drawer options as well as a simple guide and explanation of bed sizes.

If you have any specific questions please visit our FAQs page. For any further enquiries simply fill out our Enquiry form and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

If you would like to talk to someone in person or if you require any specific information on one of the beds featured on this site please contact us using the details listed on the Contact Us page.

Back Pain Sufferers

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for buying a new bed. Whilst it is true that changing your mattress will help relieve discomfort its essential that you choose the right springing unit. Orthopaedic mattresses are the firmest mattresses in that manufacturer's range and means that the mattress is recommended by back specialists. However if you do suffer from back pain an ultra firm mattress may not be advisable, you should get a normal firm mattress. Different springing units work in unique ways to help relieve pressure and tension in the body. For more information please see the different types of products, spring units and mattress fillings available below.



The springs provide the main support in the mattress. The firmness of the mattress is determined by changing the thickness of the wire and the number of coils and the density of the springs. Some modern mattresses are 'zoned' to allow for the spread of body weight, giving most support where the majority of the weight is at the hips and shoulders. It also provides different degrees of firmness on each side of the bed.


Pocket Springs

If you are looking for a high degree of body support and a more flexible response to compression, then you require a pocket-sprung mattress. The individually wrapped springs allow the mattress to adapt along the length of the body providing support where it is most needed. There are varying support options depending on the type of spring and the range of upholstery materials used. Pocket sprung mattresses are generally to be found in the mid to upper price bands. With the most expensive of this often being hand made using first class materials.



Tufting is often associated with pocket spring beds. Tufting puts the mattress under tension but prevents the loose fillings usually used in the pocked spring mattresses from being dislodged. A tufted mattress has a dimpled effect surface as shown in the picture to the right.



Visco Elastic / Memoryfoam

This is a relatively new material appearing in beds. It is premium quality; high-density foam that is energy absorbing and temperature sensitive, with pressure relieving features. The Visco Elastic foam moulds itself to the shape of the body and recovers to its natural state when the pressure is removed, as shown in the picture to the right.  Mattresses manufactured using memoryfoam tend to be warmer than a conventional mattress.  Should you require further help or advice please call and speak to one of our sales advisors.



Sprung Edge Divans

Sprung edge divans vary from being quite pliable to quite rigid due to the spring unit being mounted on a wooden or metal frame. They are often considered to be the most luxurious option as they provide even support across the whole mattress, with no hard edges. It acts as a pressure absorber increasing the mattresses durability. This can be seen in the picture to the right.



Platform Top Divans / Firm Top Divans

These are wooden sided frames with a rigid unsprung panel. Often teamed with firm mattresses and called 'Orthopaedic Beds'. This option often works out cheaper as fewer materials and therefore less labour is required to make them. An example of a firm top base can be seen in the picture to the right.




We offer a wide selection of styles in wood and metal. All come complete with a bed base, usually wooden slats (as shown in the picture to the right) or wire mesh support systems. All of our bedsteads come complete with a standard mattress unless stated otherwise. When buying a bedstead and mattress separately, make sure you buy corresponding sizes. If you require a special size mattress for a foreign or antique bed, please contact us as special sizes can often be ordered in a wide range of mattresses.



Bunk Beds

This option is fun as well as practical and space saving. They are useful when there is more than one child and bedroom space is limited. All bunk beds come with slatted bases, as shown on the picture to the right, and prices include standard mattresses. Modern day bunk beds often incorporate desks, futons and other stylish space saving ideas. Many companies now also offer lower height bunk beds suitable for younger children. Please see our Children's Section for more details.




We offer a wide selection of wooden, metal and material headboards. Headboards can be brought as an accessory to any divan or as a single item. They all come with fittings so that they can easily be attached to an old or new bed base. Headboards are available in all standard sizes, including a small single,    2’6 (75cms) and a small double, 4’0 (120cms). Please see individual models for the range of size options available. If you cannot see the size you require please Contact us as some headboards are available in special to order sizes. A headboard is a way of quickly adding personal style and colour to any bedroom and can simply be updated with the dcor without having to replace the whole bed!



Sofa Beds

Sofa beds are another space saving innovative idea. They are available in various styles, so as to aesthetically enhance most rooms, whilst at the same time serving a dual, practical purpose. Sofa beds usually come with a bi-fold metal action and a trampoline style base, as pictured to the left. However deluxe models are available and these come with a sprung beech slatted base, as shown in the picture to the right.




Futons consist of a firm, unsprung sleeping surface, commonly made from layers of cotton wadding, which moulds itself to the shape of the body. They usually look like sofa beds with a slatted, convertible frame. They require good ventilation and should be regularly be plumped to maintain effectiveness. Their life expectancy is shorter than that of a conventional bed, which is reflected in the pricing.