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Guest Beds

Regrettably, not everyone has a guest room as spacious as this

A Bed Fit for A Guest Room

"Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends." Samuel Pepys

You plan to have guests to stay in your home, hotel, chalet guest house and you want them to sleep comfortably, so which type of bed is best for your guest room?

The answer will depend on (amongst other things) your personal preferences, available space, budget, how frequently and for how long your guests come to stay, and whether they pay.

So here are a few of our thoughts which may help you choose the perfect bed for you and your guests.

The first point for consideration is how often the bed will be used? Your answer will dictate how important quality and durability will be as factors are when making your final decision.

A less expensive bed that would normally wear out after only a few years in daily use may be fine for infrequent visitors who stay for just a night or two but – unless you'd prefer that they don't come to stay again – then we maintain that when you buy a bed from us "you get what you pay for and the more you pay, the better the product".

At BBW we simply loathe reflex foam or memory foam mattresses, mainly because they often cause overheating and are not natural. We prefer – and have based our many years of success – on full-sized pocket-springs (which provide support and reduce motion and so mean that your guest is less likely to wake with a stiff neck or aching lower back and be disturbed by his or her sleeping partner); on natural breathable fillings (for supreme comfort, temperature and moisture control); and on artisanal finishes such as tufting by hand and traditional genuine hand side stitching (for longevity, durability and an edge to edge sleep surface). We also rate very highly and are happy to recommend Dunlopillo latex mattresses for those few for whom pocket-sprung mattresses are not acceptable or practicable.

At the bottom end of the sprung-mattress market are open-coil mattresses. Whilst not the ideal choice for comfort, this option can be a solution on a tight budget for infrequent and very short stay guests. However, guests staying frequently or for more than a couple of nights or who are paying will not go home with fond memories of your open-coil sprung bed. Please bear in mind, moreover, that the cost of delivering this kind of bed outside the UK will far outweigh the product price, so unless you are buying a large number of them together or adding one to an order for a higher specification model, it will not be economically viable.

As you move higher up the specifications of a collection, the comfort and support your bed provides for your guests improves and the longer it will serve you. Higher numbers of full-sized pocket-springs, deeper and more luxurious fillings, more time spent building it by its maker, and artisanal features to make it robust and durable, will all combine to provide better returns on your investment, be they tangible or intangible.

Your guest bed is, after all, an investment. It not only cares for the well-being of your guests but also attracts return visits, recommendations and positive reviews – all of which will add not only to your profits but also to your own sense of well-being and satisfaction at a job well done.

So, we do recommend that you invest as much as you can possibly afford in your guest bed.

A 200x200cm “statesize” bed offers lots of space for two people

The second question is how much space do you have for your guest-bed? The answer will help you choose the size and type of bed for your room.

A well-designed guest room makes friends, family or paying guests feel welcome and there is no reason why a compact guest room has to be unattractive or feel cluttered.

We always recommend that you buy as wide a bed as you can afford and fit into your bedroom, however. Partner disturbance is the main cause of sleep deprivation, so whilst a small bed may look comfortable and inviting, guests who have spent a restless night in it crammed against their partner may have to grit their teeth when you ask them if they slept well.

The ideal bed-width for two people is no less than 180cm, but with options up to 240cm wide. However, if space or budget is limited, you could consider downsizing to 160cm or even 150cm wide as for many couples these are still acceptable widths – especially, for example, older British visitors who are the remnants of generations who were obliged to snuggle up in traditional UK double-beds only 135cm wide.

Downsizing is also something to consider if your guests need to be able to move freely around the bed or they have health or mobility challenges that make it more difficult to get out of bed without help.

When space really is at a premium, an upholstered guest bed with a folding bed stored underneath (also known as a trundle bed) will provide practicality as it can be used as a single bed, two single beds or a double bed and when it isn't in use it takes up the space of just a single bed. Finished with an optional large cushioned headboard covered in a sumptuous fabric, this versatile type of bed can still look very stylish. What's more, it's perfect in a "family room" offering a flexible arrangement for kids or extra family members.

A four-poster with clean contemporary lines

A practical and stylish upholstered guest bed

The third consideration is who is likely to be staying in the room. Friends, family, paying guests? The answer will help you decide on the style of your bed.

Making a statement with your guests' bed will provide not only a wonderful sleep experience for guests or loved ones, but also make for a memorable visit that they will wish to recount to others.

A four-poster, for example, will never go out of date, and positioned centrally in the bedroom provides maximum impact and ideal photo opportunities. Four posters need not be grand and ornate or extravagantly dressed. Modern simple lines sit well in contemporary surroundings and, constructed from beautiful wood such as Ash, will become family heirlooms as generations pass. Only the mattress will ever need to be replaced, avoiding considerable expense over time.

Another practical and versatile choice that allows for the varying needs of families is a "Zip and Link bed": two half-beds that zip and link together to create one large one. (Roger Charles our MD made a Youtube video about this system a few years ago, see Some of the references and the telephone number are now out of date, and we no longer supply Hypnos products, but it still clearly demonstrates the versatility of the system).

Such beds are easy to move from room to room, the mattresses are easier to turn (and so balance the wear and tear throughout each mattress and thereby help prolong its useful life) . Moreover, if you know the stature of the guests who will use the bed the most, you can even choose different spring-tensions for each user.

Whilst we don't recommend it, even a 150cm wide mattress can be split in this way, providing two narrow singles for children when it is unzipped or allowing you to downsize if space or budget require it.

The 200x200cm bed unzipped and unlinked for grandson and grand-daughter.

The last question comes down to budget: needing versatility, how much can I afford or should I spend on a bed for my guests?

It's worth remembering, as alluded to above, that the quality of the experience will be remembered long after the cost has been forgotten by you and your guests, whether they pay or not. And also worth remembering are how important high quality of sleep is when people stay away from home and that many people are prepared to pay more and come back again to be assured of it.

An upholstered guest bed with its second fold-out bed stored underneath and open-coil spring mattresses will usually be the lowest costing, least comfortable and least durable option. It can, however, be made more comfortable and longer-lasting if you choose pocket-sprung mattresses and perhaps add a topper to each mattress as an additional layer of comfort.

Whilst the versatile Zip and Link arrangement is often considerably more expensive than having just a one-piece mattress (because you are buying two singles and having zips added), if you would ideally need a the Zip and Link version but it's simply too expensive, you could consider buying the next model down in the manufacturer's collection and perhaps add a mattress topper which will not only add an extra comfort layer but also help to protect and prolong the useful life of your investment.

For a statement bed "the sky really is the limit" and the possibilities are endless. However, a comfortable bed is a must, especially if you open your room to paying guests.

And finally: having decided on the importance of quality and durability, and the size, type and style of bed you require, it's time to place your order. But which model?

Except for a fortunate few, most people do not tend to sleep as well as they do at home when they are in a new or unfamiliar bed. The more you can do to help your guests over this hurdle, the more it will be appreciated. If you are in the hospitality business, you are fundamentally selling a good night's sleep on a comfortable mattress. Everything else will count for nothing if your guests do not enjoy this. And so it is with our non-paying loved ones, too.

Just like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the vast majority of guests will want a bed that is not too hard and not too soft, something that is "just right". With this in mind, our suggestion for the optimum "catch-all" (or, at least, "catch as many as possible") is:

  • a good quality pocket-sprung divan-base (with drawers for extra storage space, if you'd like them) or an attractive slatted bedstead;
  • paired with a 150cm or wider one-piece mattress with at least 1000 medium-tension springs or a zipped one with medium-tension pocket-springs mattress in at least one of its halves,
  • with wool and other natural fillings in the mattress;
  • and an elegant classic or contemporary headboard to make the bed the focal point of the bedroom.

To protect the bed and add a touch of super-luxury

Having guests, especially children, can expose your mattress to accidents, especially liquids. So, whichever model you purchase a mattress topper or, at the very least, a mattress protector is a must as it will create a barrier to protect your mattress and help to keep it looking like new. A good quality topper will add comfort and help to protect your mattress for several years,and may mean that you never ever have to buy another mattress. Imagine that!

If you would like any further advice or help choosing a bed for your friends or family get-togethers, hotel, guesthouse or chalet, please don't hesitate to contact us. We can supply and deliver anywhere in the world comfortable and attractive beds to suit all size, style and budget requirements; so you can rest assured that your guests will enjoy a good night's sleep and wake refreshed ready for the day ahead.

To contact us: call us on +44.1752.289578 or visit