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Bed Frame Buying Guide


Central House
Medwin Walk
West Sussex
RH12 1AG

Telephone: 01403 252500

Email: sales@horsham

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Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Bank holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

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Nothing can add style, elegance or character to a room like a great looking bed frame

We try to cater for everybody's personal tastes and needs, whether your after wood, metal or an upholstered bed, the choice with Jones & Tomlin is vast with our product range constantly growing and being updated as fashion, and our customers tastes dictate

Choosing a bedframe is probably the easiest of all purchases you can make as it's all about you and your personal taste

The number one rule when buying any bed frame, be it metal, wooden, leather or upholstered...... "you get what you pay for"

In this short guide we will give you a few tips and tricks with browsing through the bed frames:

Why choose a bed frame over a divan?

  • A bedframe will always arrive 'flat-packed' so it can be assembled in the room, in many houses that we deliver to there are often narrow walkways, difficult turns on staircases or a lack of manouvering space for a bulky divan base
  • A slatted base will increase ventilation and airflow underneath your mattress, giving you a fresh and healthy sleeping environment
  • Bedframes are typically lower to the floor than divans if you have trouble getting in/out of bed
  • Storage space is optimised under a bed frame, as a divan will have drawers which cannot be overloaded, giving you a place to put any bulky items
  • Bed frames can tend to be more asthetically pleasing
  • Choosing a bedframe will generally widen the choice of mattresses available


Wooden Frames

All types of wood have distinctive grain structure. Woods like oak, ash and walnut have open pores in the form of small holes on their surface that give a distinct textural quality to bed frames. When the surface of the wood is stained, the color tends to collect in the open pores and appear darker than the rest of the piece. There are other woods for example maple and cherry, which are tighter grained woods. These tend to have smooth texture and can take a stained or painted finish evenly accross the wood. Here are some examples of the types of wood used in our bed frames and the benefits of each:

  • Aesthetics
  • Wood beds provide a natural, rustic appearance to your bedroom, they make the space appear warmer than the room would look if you used a metal frame. At the same time, there are some great contemporary designs available today, many models have clean lines which gives a room a finished appearance. Adding a wooden bed frame to your room will completely change its look and feel, they offer elegance, charm and sophistication to any room.
  • Environmental Impact
  • Unlike metal beds, wood beds are very easy to recycle. A wooden frame left to the elements easily will decay over time, whereas a metal frame typically has to be taken to a recycling center and takes more effort and time to break down. Bed frames can be easily recycled to create mulch for multiple uses, including chipboard manufacture, landscaping and children’s play areas.
  • Unique
  • Metal frames look extremely uniform because of the way they are manufactured. There is little difference from one piece to another. With a wood bed, however, every frame is unique because of differences in the wood grain. Your bed always will be one of a kind, even if a manufacturer uses identical methods to produce other beds of the same model. Apart from grains, a further characteristic of many woods are the unique figures on their surface such as knots, etc, these naturally occurring characteristics can make a bed frame acquire extra ordinary beauty
  • Healthy Sleeping
  • Bedframes will allow a mattress of any specification to be used (including pocket sprung), with the added benefit of constant airflow, which allows the mattress to breathe, enhancing health benefits. It is also easier to clean under and around the bed, as there is more room to get your cleaning utensils like your vacuum or broom all the way underneath.
  • Revitalization
  • The beauty of wood furniture is that it can be changed over time to give it a second, third or fourth life. By sanding, staining, or painting, you can refinish your bed frame to give it an entirely new look. Also, years down the line when you need to replace your bed, all you need to do is buy a new mattress.... bed frames will keep their support throughtout their entire lifetime, unlike sprung divan bases which need replacing at the same time as the mattress

Types of Wood

  • Mahogany
  • Mahogany is a tropical medium-to-hard fine-grained wood indigenous to South America, Central America and Africa. Mahogany's strength makes it an excellent carving wood for furniture making, it can resist swelling, shrinking and warping. Mahogany is usually free of voids and pockets, with less defined annual rings. Mahogany ranges from tan to reddish-brown in colour, which darkens over time, and displays a reddish sheen when polished, it has excellent workability, very durable and it's stability and resistance to decay makes the wood ideal for high-quality cabinetry and furniture since the American colonies first started using it in the mid 1700’s, see our Frank Hudson beds and furniture for an example of this lovely wood
  • Oak
  • Oak trees are members of the Beech family and can live for over 200 years. They are native to the northern hemisphere where about 400 different species exist. Oak has good bending qualities for manufacturing and apart from being durable and very resistant to insect and fungal attacks, it finishes well and resists moisture absorption. It also has those beautiful grain markings which make it ideal for fine furniture and bed frames. Oak is vastly becoming one of the most popular choices with our customers, such as our ever popular Saxony Oak furniture range
  • Walnut
  • Walnut is hard, dense, tight-grained and polishes to a very smooth finish. It resists shrinking and warping and can take all types of finishes very well. American black walnut is a soft to medium density wood, closed pored and a beautiful dark brown colour, with a purple overtone. See our Saxony Walnut range for an example of this beautifully veneered wood, or the Frank Hudson Elegance bedframe, modern in design and featuring smooth curves in beautiful figured flame veneers and a deep rich polished finish
  • Maple
  • Maple is a fine textured wood with immense strength and hardness, being very dense and shock resistant. With moderate shrinkage, maple is one of the harder domestic woods. The "select white" grade of maple has a warm gold-ivory color when finished with a hand rubbed oil. Maple wood has superb machinability, meaning it can easily be worked into shelves, paneling and cabinet furniture
  • Cherry
  • Cherry wood is again a close-grained wood and resists warping and shrinking. It gets red when exposed to sunlight. It ages well and is extensively used in cabinet making. Cherry wood is a more specialised timber within the furniture industry where larger species such as the wild cherry are normally used, see our Frank Hudson bedframes and furniture for perfect examples of exquisitly made cherry wood pieces
  • Pine
  • Pine has a uniform texture and is very easy to work with. Being fast growing and one of the most common types of wood and it is very cost effective and also finishes well and resists shrinkage, swelling and warping. Pine does not have any insect or decay resistant properties, so is mainly produced for interior use only, and being quite neutral, it will blend in nicely with most bedroom decors, it is however prone to dents and scratches being a softwood. For great value pine bedframes, have a look at the Barcelona or Pickwick bedframes by Julian Bowen, perfectly suited for children or a spare room
  • Redwood
  • Redwood is light, durable and easy to work with, it has natural resistance to decay due to the adverse weather conditions the tree grows in, so is therefore excellent for making furniture or bed frames. The wood sourced for our bed frames such as the Calton are crafted from Scandinavian Redwood, which has close grains denoting quality due to it's slow and steady growth
  • Veneered / Foiled Woods
  • Veneered finished woods are another way to control the movement of wood to glue thinly sliced sheets of wood to a more moisture resistance substrate. Using this technique bedmakers can select unusually beautiful boards and carry the appearance of the wood grain throughout the piece, offering an asthetically pleasing look but without the cost of a high quality solid wooden frame


Metal Frames

Do you want to add style and sophistication to your bedroom? A metal bed may be just what you are looking for to add that special touch. The bed is very often the focal point of your bedroom, therefore, what bed you choose is an important decision. The style of your bed can enhance the décor of your room and draw all of the elements of your bedroom together into that special atmosphere that you wish to create. Here are three reasons to choose metal next time it comes to buying a bed frame:

  • Durability 
  • There is nothing quite as tough as metal when it comes to bed frames, they are solid and sturdy, metal bed frames are created with one sole aim in mind: to make sure you have a relaxing night’s sleep every time you rest your head down on the pillow. On top of that, you won’t have any problems with splinters or cracks when you buy metal bed frames. That means you’ll never have to worry about the bed frame breaking or getting weaker, or picking up any annoying splinters, because metal stays in great condition for many years and will look just like new for a long time to come.
  • Cost Effective
  • Metal is not at risk of damage from insects, mould or any of the other elements, and that means metal bed frames are designed to last. So when you buy a metal bed frame you won’t have to go shopping for another bed frame for a long time to come, meaning you will be making an excellent investment that will last you many years into the future.
  • Stylish & Versatile
  • Metal bed frames come in a wide range of styles, so you will always be able to find one that will match the surroundings of your bedroom. Contemporary, classic, modern, simple, grand, industrial or elegant, metal bed frames come in any style you can imagine, and in a range of finishes, making them ideal for any bedroom.



100% natural, beautiful and long lasting

If you are looking for a leather bed we have a great selection in many different styles from traditional to the latest in contemporary design. We have leather beds for sale in double, king size and super king size. We are able to offer an extensive range of colour options many of which are held in stock and are available for immediate despatch. From low foot end leather beds which help to enhance the feeling of space, to higher backed sleigh beds we have something for everyone:

Bi-Cast Leather

  • Combination of natural leather with man made finish
  • Bycast leather has a polyurethane coating bonded to it and the thickness of this coating dictates whether the leather can be termed real leather or not. This coating provides "the look" and also makes the Leather more resistant to everyday spills.
  • Bycast leather is a split leather with a layer of polyurethane applied to the surface and then embossed. Bycast was originally made for the shoe industry and recently was adopted by the furniture industry. The original formula created by Bayer was strong but expensive. Most of the bycast used today is very strong and durable product. The result is a slightly stiffer product that is cheaper than top grain leather but has a much more consistent texture and is easier to clean and maintain.

Faux Leather

  • Faux leather bed frames allow the look of genuine leather but for a lower price. Made from bonded leather, they are still hardwearing and stylish and still offer a great choice of modern and traditional styles.
  • Faux leather is a much more affordable alternative to real leather and will still give you the luxurious look of a real leather bed. Synthetic leathers are used to create faux leather and many different designs are available, from low foot end faux leather beds to sleigh faux leather beds. Choose also from faux leather beds in various colours, such as black or red, to give your bedroom the vibrancy that you were looking for.
  • Faux leather is a great substitute for the real thing that only recently has begun to take a true leather-like form. It is a composite material that provides an affordable and humane substitute to real leather. It looks and feels authentic in many ways, but it is completely man-made. There are many benefits to this (which will be covered later), but for now, let’s focus on different ways faux leather is made.
  • Most faux leather is made of a fabric lined in plastic so that it is durable, flexible and soft to the touch, just like real leather. You can find these faux options in a number of colors, shapes and sizes, and you can incorporate them however you would like. Faux leather never requires the use of animal products because it is entirely manmade. It’s a great option to us in just about any situation.
  • Faux leather can be much easier to care for than some types of leather, as it can be easily spot cleaned, and it is not a problem if it gets wet. It also has the advantages of being uniform in color and color fast, which isn't true of real leather.



As long as the gap between each slat is below 3 inches (and the vast majority, especially sprung slatted frames, will be) the virtues and benefits of pocket springs will not be affected.

Wear and tear on a mattress will be greater the wider the gaps. Most manufacturers make their own recommendations for slat spacing to suit their own Mattresses, so check these before buying as they do vary.

Sprung Slats

  • Curved wooden slats, which sit within the frame. The natural bounce in the slats adjusts to your profile where the most pressure is exerted giving a greater degree of comfort.
  • Slats are the most common type of mattress support system used on bedsteads. A base with sprung slats features curved wooden slats, usually made of beech, which sit within the frame. The natural bounce in the slats means that they will adjust to your profile where you exert the most pressure. A larger bed will have a double spring unit, one on each side, supported by a central rail, which eliminates roll together and ensures you will not be disturbed when your partner gets out of bed.

Rigid Slats

  • Most common mattress support system used on bed frames. Usually fixed wooden slats. Offers a firmer base. Which would therefore provide an overall firmer feeling bed
  • To support the mattress, the most common system is wooden slats – either rigid (with no give) or flexible. Other systems include flexible or rigid wire mesh.
  • The space between slats on most, cheaper, rigid bases is usually wider than on flexible slatted models but it is advisable to ensure the gap is not more than 9-10cm ( approx 3inches).
  • Wear and tear on a mattress will be greater the wider the gaps. Most manufacturers make their own recommendations for slat spacing to suit their own Mattresses, so check these before buying as they do vary.



The dimensions in our size guide refer to the sleeping area/mattress size of the bed. Bed frames in wood, metal or fabric will have an overall width and length greater than the sleeping area due to the nature of the beds construction, these dimensions are stated against the individual items.

What mattress...?

The good news is that all types of mattresses can be used on a frame, however, it is useful to bear in mind how your frame will look and feel if you were to combine a deep mattress on a base with a high foot-end. Be aware that some mattresses from the top-end of the market may require the use of a mattress-pad over the slats to protect the springs from moving out of place over a long period of time.

Click here for our comprehensive mattress buying guide.

So, there you have it. You have a great range of choice, with flexibility of which mattress to combine with your new look frame.


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