I have never put a lot of thought into beds. They’re just there in your bedroom. You lie on them. The only time you actually use them is when you are unconscious. Why would you need to put a lot of thought into them?
It’s hard now to believe I ever thought like that. Now that I have my own house, now that I am a man, I have realised the truth: that buying a bed is the most important decision you can ever make.
Let us put aside for the moment the whirlwind of confusion that is choosing a mattress – whether it is open coil, pocket sprung, memory foam or some chimeric hybrid of all three, in the end all that really matters with a mattress is comfort. Any decision that you have to make by lying down on a succession of more and more comfortable beds cannot be that taxing.
No, the real decision is the frame. Not simply because there are a vast range of frames available in a host of options, but because this bed is more than just a bed. In choosing this frame you are not just choosing a piece of furniture, you are choosing a way of life. It will be the focus for the bedroom, the first room you will see in the morning, and the last room that you see at night. Once the bed is chosen, the rest of the bedroom furniture must be selected to match – wardrobes, drawers and dressers, all are spawned from that first crucial decision – the choice of bed. But it does not stop there.
This is the first major item of furniture that will be purchased for the house. Which means that this isn’t just defining the bedroom – this is now defining the ruling aesthetic for the entire building. It’s no longer just a choice between getting a mahogany or a walnut finish on our headboard, this is a choice that determines what colour we will paint our living room, what kitchen cupboards we will get, what the experience of the next 5/10/15+ years of our lives will be. It’s a bit of a tricky one.
So now I have to decide if I want to live immersed in a world of contemporary simplicity or classic grandeur, of angular corners or organic curves, of natural woods or modern synthetics. Also: king or double?
Having gone through a phase of admiring solid wood sleigh beds (when no one was around I would totally pretend I had reindeer attached to it) I am currently favouring a sort of contemporary retro 50’s chic look:
This is all still subject to change of course (especially since I can’t find any beds that a) actually look like this and b) I can afford), but time is of the essense – currently I’m sleeping on a second hand sofa bed that leaves me closer and closer to permanent spinal damage every night I sleep on it. It’s been 3 nights so far and I’m not sure I can feel my right leg any more. A decision must be made!
Maybe I should just go to Ikea?