Bed-Buying Tips: Navigate the Sales

Dec 1, 2023 | Beds & Accessories

We love bagging a bargain as much as the next person, but as the year’s biggest sales period descends and reduction stickers stretch as far as the eye can see, it is crucial not to dive straight in and buy the cheapest bed you can.

Follow our bed-buying tips to expertly navigate the Boxing Day and January Sales!

  1. Be wary of dodgy dealers waiting to lure you in with prices that seem too good to be true. While the vast majority of UK bed manufacturers produce safe, compliant and ‘as described’ products, some rogue traders try to pass off inferior products as luxury items, or worse – unsafe and unhygienic mattresses. Watch our video about mattress scams.
  2. Plan ahead. Before you get to the sales, make a list of what you want from your bed. Is price your main criterion? What about storage, access to your bedroom, turning the mattress, getting in and out of bed, size of the bed? Are you seeking pressure relief for a shoulder or hip problem or other health issues?
  3. Spend as much as you can afford and buy as big as you can. Instead of buying the bed, you might have chosen during a non-sale period more cheaply, trade it up for a more luxurious model. We spend one-third of our lives asleep, so see this as an investment in your overall health and well-being.
  4. Bargain or not you still want a bed that’s safe, clean and is what it says it is. Look for the NBF-approved tick logo. NBF members have all been rigorously audited to ensure they meet (amongst other things) flammability, cleanliness and trade description regulations.
  5. NBF Retail Champions stock beds made by Approved NBF Members. Find your nearest retailer by using our Find a Retailer tool.
  6. Sale periods can often be busy but make shopping for a new bed a special trip – you’ll choose more wisely if you are not in a rush, tired, emotional or harassed. Don’t feel rushed into trying out the bed for just a couple of minutes either. Lie down in your normal sleeping position and spend a good 10 minutes trying it out.
  7. Take advantage of any offers to trade up a size at no extra cost. A roomy king-sized or super king-sized bed will ensure less partner disturbance during the night than a standard double, which at just 4’6” wide only gives each user the same space as a child has in their cot!
  8. Only buy a drawer divan or ottoman base if you really need extra storage space: four drawers can account for well over £100 of the purchase price – money that could be better invested in a superior quality mattress. The same applies to other features – only go for them if they offer real benefits.
  9. If you’re buying a bed for yourself and your partner, you should shop together. Comfort is so subjective and even though you may think you know your partner very well; it is risky trying to guess which bed would best suit their individual needs.
  10. Think about taking your pillow with you when trying out beds in a shop (unless you intend to buy a new pillow at the same time). Your pillow is critical in achieving the correct posture in combination with the right mattress. You won’t get a true comparison if you rest your head on a different pillow from the one you have at home.
  11. If you’re buying online, it’s worth checking independent reviews on the product and the company’s service. Check delivery costs and returns policy as online retailers can have different rules on returning goods, so establish their terms and conditions before starting your shopping. Watch our video for more tips when buying online.

Read more advice in our Bed Buyers’ Guide.

First published 05.12.22, updated and republished 01.12.23

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