Our Guide to Beds

At Jones & Tomlin we live and breathe beds, mattresses and bedroom furniture; and it’s fair to say that after more than 70 years in the industry we really know our stuff when it comes to buying a new bed.

We understand that buying a new bed or mattress is a significant investment, and you need to feel completely confident you’re making the right decision. That’s why, whether you visit us in-store or are shopping with us online, our dedicated team is on hand to share our expertise, explain the jargon and help you navigate our extensive range.

Buying a new bed or mattress can get very confusing very quickly. The possibilities seem endless and there are many different ways to tailor your choice to suit your personal taste and specific requirements. If you’re finding it hard to narrow down your options; take a look at our bed-buying guide below. Click through the tabs to learn the key features of bed frames, divans and adjustable beds; in addition, get the lowdown on mattress types from open coil to support foam and everything in between.

If you’d like some more personal advice; or you’d simply prefer to talk through buying a new bed with one of our experts; give us a call or visit us in one of our West Sussex showrooms. We are located in Worthing, Horsham and Chichester. We’ll listen to your individual needs and guide you through our collection. Jones & Tomlin showcases leading brands including Somnus, Hypnos, Manor Rose, Enchanted House and Idyll – to make sure you find a bed and mattress you can count on for style; functionality and peaceful sleep for years to come.

Divan Base Overview

A popular option with our customers when buying a new bed; a divan can really make a statement in your bedroom, especially if paired with a matching headboard. From being considered quite an “old fashioned” style of base in the past; divan bases now come with a huge range of customisable options to suit all styles and tastes.

Design your perfect bed with a choice of storage options, leg styles, fabrics and a multitude of sizes. A divan bed base sits flush to the mattress meaning that it doesn’t add an excess dimension to the bed; therefore creating more valuable space in the bedroom. Easily moved into the bedroom, divan bases come in one (Single) or two pieces (Double and above). You can choose to have 2 or 4 drawers in majority of divan beds whether it is sprung or platform. You then have the option of having small, half size drawers at the top or large drawers. The reason you may choose this option is if you don’t want to have to keep moving a bedside to access the top drawers. A smaller size drawer allows you to do this without moving the bedside. They offer good storage, but not as much as an ottoman bed. A divan base with gas assisted lifting tops is the most versatile storage option. This is called an ottoman base and offers full storage, the same size as the bed base. There is also a complete wooden box on the inside so items are not on the floor.

The tops can lift from the bottom or from either side, so depending on your room size. you can determine the best option for gaining access to your storage. It is worth noting a couple things with an ottoman base. Firstly to check the weight of the mattresses you plan to use on it; secondly, be aware that the are normally available only with a platform top type lid.

Types of Divan Base

Platform divan base A platform base provides a flat surface (with little give) and gives an overall firmer feel to your mattress. Usually made of hardwood; the base is then covered with fabric. Prices can vary depending on the quality of materials used to create the base but typically the platform divan base is the best choice for those on a budget.

Sprung divan base

A sprung divan base generally offers a softer feel to a more rigid platform base. With two spring options to choose from, these bases offer a varying level of support and help transfer body weight from the mattress in to the base – aiding the life span of the mattress.

Open coil bases

Open coil bases are the cheapest of sprung base options. A network of inter-connected springs offer some give to the mattress but does create a “bounce effect”.

Pocket sprung base

A pocket sprung base is the best option for providing support and extra comfort. Just like a pocket sprung mattress; individual springs in the base work independently of each other; and allows the body to be more contoured. In addition it also minimises movement transfer throughout the bed. Partner this type of base with a quality pocket sprung mattress to enjoy the very best support.

Once you’ve decided between the two types of sprung bases, there’s even more to consider. A firm edge base has a firm “wall” border to the layer of springs. This firms up the edge of the bed and helps to prevent the feeling of rolling out as you get closer to the edge. On the other hand; a sprung edge base has springs running the full length and width of the bed to provide edge to edge support.

Shop divan beds

Bed Frames

Buying a new bed also includes buying a bed frame, or bed stead as it’s sometimes called. It is a simple slatted base system held up by legs. It can be manufactured from any type of material but is commonly made from wood, metal or wood covered in upholstery.

Bed frames come with either solid or sprung slats. Usually made from pine wood, solid slats (with no give) run across the full width of the bed frame. Sprung slats are often made from more flexible beech wood and create an upward-facing arch on both sides of a rigid centre rail. The natural bounce in the slats means that they will adjust to your profile where the most pressure is exerted.

A bed frame normally includes a headboard with various styles and height options available. Easily put together, the headboard simply joins to the side rails to create the frame. Frame beds are great for getting into properties with tight staircases and limited spaces where a bulky divan base would maybe struggle to get up and in.

If you like the look of a bed frame but also require the extra storage of a divan base, then an ottoman bed frame is the perfect solution. Featuring hydraulic pistons, the base of the bed is easily lifted to reveal plentiful storage space beneath.

Shop bed frames

Adjustable beds

An adjustable bed functions much like a traditional bed base. Remotely controlled, they allow you to easily raise and lower individual sections of the mattress; most importantly, to provide exceptional comfort and support as required. Historically thought of as a bed purchased only by people with mobility/medical concerns, in recent years they have become more of a lifestyle choice; and the ultimate in luxurious comfort. Finding it difficult to get in and out of bed? Do you spend a lot of time reading or watching TV in bed? Are you tired of having to keep rearranging the pillows that are propping you up? An adjustable bed is something worth considering.

Shop adjustable beds


Open coil

The classic spring mattress, an open coil (also known as a Bonnell spring) is made from a continuous piece of wire and coiled into multiple springs. The simple construction of the open coil mattress means that it is one of the most cost-effective mattresses on the market.

The less supportive nature, and mass production, of these mattresses means they are best suited for occasional use; a child’s bed or a budget option.

Pocket sprung

A significant improvement on the open coil, a pocket sprung mattress system is made up of individual springs; each sewn into its own pocket of fabric. Pocket springs move independently to support your body and offer increased levels of support; a reduction in pressure points and minimal transfer of movement from one sleeping partner to another.

Pocket springs can be combined with all types of mattress fillings but we highly recommend quality natural materials. For example, cotton, wool, horse hair etc. Natural fillings offer the ultimate in comfort and support, and are more breathable, responsive and durable than synthetic fibres.

Memory Foam

Modern memory foam mattresses are made from polyurethane foam and chemicals to adapt it’s viscosity and density. Foams are widely used because of the sensation created of “sinking in to” and being cradled by the mattress. These mattresses can aid circulation, help correct posture, align your spine and relive joint pressure.


Relatively new onto the market and often supplied boxed, hybrid mattresses have gained significant media attention recently. A combination memory foam and support foam; often infused with temperature regulating gels, are layered on top of pocket spring systems to achieve pressure relieving and body cooling comfort.


One of the biggest complaints about memory foam is that it traps body heat in the mattress. The nature of dense foam (needed to support the body) limits air flow through the mattress. Heat will stay trapped in the mattress throughout the night and you’ll tend to get hotter. Advanced cooling gels are infused in to the foam to offset the heating effects – resulting in a cooler, more comfortable night’s sleep.


Latex is considered a more natural bedding option as natural latex is a by-product of sap from a rubber tree. If you’re looking for a natural bedding solution, look for natural latex, as opposed to synthetic latex. This material is similar to memory foam in that it offers pressure relief and contouring; latex does provide more bounce but has less heat issues. In addition, it has elastic properties, so it can rapidly respond to your weight, shape and movements. This elasticity helps support the heaviest parts of your body for great pressure relief; also the structure of latex means it is naturally resistant to dust mites. This helps maintain a fresh and healthy sleep environment.

Support Foam

Support foam is a type of high density foam used to upholster some of our less expensive mattresses. The foam has a compact cell structure and is very dense making it very durable; the foam is often layered into the mattress either side of the spring system, this softens out the feel of the foam resulting in a more comfortable sleep.

Shop mattresses


Hollowfibre/Microfibre pillows

Synthetic pillows are often called microfibre pillows or hollowfibre pillows. Essentially they are all made with man made polyester fibres which makes them widely available. Generally they are easily washable and because synthetic pillows tend to be good value they are very popular. Hollowfibre/Microfibre pillows tend to be very lightweight. This is a lightweight material that is airy and won’t weigh you down its breathable as the hollow spaces allow the fabric to breathe and won’t stifle you in the night.

Feather and Down pillows

Feather pillows are found in most lower end pillows they are cost effect but have some side effect like the quil that can stick out and cause annoyance whereas down pillows are more expensive than feather you do get what you pay for. If you are looking for ultimate comfort, a luxury sleep experience, you really can’t get better than down. Another difference between feather and down is the weight. Down clusters are much lighter than feathers yet they deliver the same level of warmth. Not as bulky as feather, down clusters are airy to create a lofty pillow down pillows are ideal if you are looking for a super soft, cloud-like experience when you sleep.

Wool pillows

Wool pillows are filled with tiny wool balls that give outstanding head and neck support, and now they come in a zipped percale cotton cover that can be removed and washed on a hot cycle, and tumble dried. The zip also lets you get at the wool so that it can be fluffed up thoroughly whenever needed. There are so many great things about wool but one of the many unknown facts are that dust mites don’t like wool. Wool has microscopic pores that respond effectively to changes in humidity making it unfavourable for the growth and breeding of the dust mite. Dust mite cause alot of issues for people with allergies so it is a great product for someone worried about conditions such as asthma. Wool also has balanced thermal insulation properties, meaning it is warm in winter and cool in the summer.

Memory foam pillows

Memory foam is a form of polyurethane with chemicals added to make it more flexible or elastic. when it is cool, memory foam is more viscous or firm as it warms, it becomes more elastic or soft and flexible. These traits are what make a memory foam pillows conform to your body shape. It reacts to body heat and pressure, allowing it mold to your neck and head in seconds while also returning back to its original shape once heat and pressure is removed.

Latex pillows

They have a similar feel to memory foam but are a bit more bouncy and will contour and spring back to support your neck. Unlike memory foam pillows, they don’t suffer from overheating, in fact, they will help you maintain a neutral temperature all night so you won’t need to flip the pillow over to the cool side. They are durable and hold their shape well, longer than any other type of filling, and are naturally resistant to mould and dust mites.

Shop pillows