How to Choose a Bed Frame

Nothing can add style, elegance or character to a bedroom like a great looking bed frame. Get inspiration and advice with Jones & Tomlin’s bed frame buying guide.

We cater for everybody’s personal tastes and needs

Choosing a bed frame is quite possibly the easiest of all bed purchases as it’s all about your personal taste. Our product range is constantly growing and adapting as our customer’s tastes and current fashion trends dictate.

From solid wood, sophisticated metal, natural leather and beautiful upholstery; Jones & Tomlin offers a bed frame just for you (even a luxury TV bed).

As with many other purchases, the number one rule when buying any bed frame is that “you get what you pay for”. That’s not to say that the most expensive frame will be the best; but the quality of craftsmanship and materials will normally be superior.

There are a number of reasons to choose a bed frame over a divan bed. A bed frame is a great option for delivery – it will always arrive “flat-packed” and be assembled in the bedroom. In addition they will generally widen the choice of mattress and allow any mattress specification to be used. Storage space is optimised under a bed frame and it’s easier to clean under and around a frame. Divans tend to be higher than bed frames, and so can make it more difficult to get in and out of bed.

Read our short guide to gain a few tips and tricks to help choose the perfect bed frame for you.

Wood, metal, leather or fabric?

Wooden Bed Frames

Wooden bed frames are a classic choice that never fall out of fashion. Choose wood if you want a natural and solid bed frame with a distinctive textural quality.


Wooden bed frames provide a natural appearance to your bedroom. They make the space appear warmer than the room would look if you included a metal frame. Tighter grained woods like maple and cherry have a smooth texture, whilst oak, ash and walnut are more porous and allow varied staining on the surface.

Environmental impact

Unlike metal beds, wooden bedsteads are very easy to recycle. A wooden frame left to the elements will decay over time, whereas a metal frame takes more time to break down. Wooden bed frames can be easily recycled to create mulch for multiple uses, including chipboard, landscaping and children’s play areas.


Every wooden frame is unique because of differences in the wood grain. Your bed will always be one of a kind, even if a manufacturer uses identical methods to produce other beds of the same model. Apart from grains, unique figures on the surface, such as knots, are naturally occurring characteristics that can make a bed frame acquire extraordinary beauty.


The beauty of wooden 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 refresh your bed frame to give it an entirely new look. Many years down the line all you will need to do is buy a new mattress.

Types of Wood


A medium-to-hard fine grained wood; indigenous to South America, Central America and Africa. Mahogany’s strength makes it an excellent carving wood and it resists swelling, shrinkage and warping. Ranging from tan to a deep reddish-brown, the wood darkens over time and displays a red sheen when polished. It’s a lovely wood and ideal for high-quality furniture; such as Frank Hudson beds.


Native to the Northern Hemisphere, there are approximately 400 different species of oak tree. Oak is fast becoming one of the most popular choices with our customers. Highly durable, and moisture resistant, the superb manufacturing qualities and beautiful grain make this wood an ideal choice for furniture.


A hard, dense and tight-grained wood which polishes to a very smooth finish. It resists shrinkage and warping over time and can take a variety of finishes. American black walnut has a beautiful dark brown colour with a purple overtone.


Often substituted for oak, is similar in appearance and grain.


Has a uniform texture and is very easy to work with. A fast growing, cost-effective soft wood; it’s resistant to shrinkage but can be prone to dents and scratches.

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Metal Bed Frames

Do you want to add style and sophistication to your bedroom? A metal bed frame (or metal bedstead) may be just what you are looking for to add that special touch of class or style.

Durable and cost-effective

There is nothing quite as tough as metal when it comes to making bed frames. 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 on the pillow. Unlike wood, you won’t have any problems with splinters, cracks or insect damage. That means you’ll never have to worry about the bed frame breaking or getting weaker over time. You can be assured that metal bed frames are designed to last.

Stylish & versatile

Metal bed frames come in a wide range of styles, so you will always be able to find one that will match your bedroom. Contemporary, classic, modern, simple, grand, industrial or elegant; metal bed frames come in any style you can imagine. With a range of finishes, they are ideal for any bedroom.

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Leather Bed Frames

Leather bed frames are natural and extremely long-lasting. From low-foot end leather beds which enhance the feeling of space; to luxurious, higher backed sleigh beds, we have something for everyone.

Bi-cast Leather

A combination of natural leather and a man-made polyurethane coating; the thickness of the coating dictates whether the term “real leather” can be used. Resistant to everyday spillages, bi-cast leather is strong and extremely durable. It’s slightly cheaper and stiffer than top-grain leather, but it has a much more consistent texture.

Faux Leather

A much more affordable alternative that will still give a luxurious look. A composite material, it looks and feels authentic but is completely man-made. Made of fabric lined in plastic, it’s easily cleaned and available in a wide range of colours.

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Fabric Bed Frames

Upholstered bed frames are the perfect choice if you want to bring a warmer, softer feel to the bedroom. Choose a vibrant colour or luxurious fabric to make a real statement.

Extra comfort

Many fabric bed frames, such as the Manor Rose Campbell or Stuart Jones Mozart, will come with a deep, padded headboard offering a higher comfort level than wood or metal. It’s the perfect option for those who like to sit up and read in bed.

The choice is yours

Often upholstered by hand, these bed frames are available in a wide range of colours and gorgeous fabrics to suit all tastes.

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Slats, sizes and how to choose a mattress…

Slats are the most common type of mattress support system used on bedsteads. 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

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 ensures you will not be disturbed when your partner gets out of bed.

Rigid Slats

This is the most common mattress support system used on bed frames. Usually fixed wooden slats, with no give, provide a firmer feeling bed to support the mattress. Other rigid slat systems can include flexible or rigid wire mesh.

The space between slats on most cheaper, rigid bases is usually wider than those on flexible slatted models; but it is advisable to ensure the gap is not more than 9-10cm (approx. 3 inches).

Size Guide

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.

Size Guide

How To Choose A 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.

Mattress Buying Guide

Shop Bed Frames

Now you have a better understanding of bed frames, its time to find something you like.

From the brand new Jones and Tomlin Country Oak Collection, Serene to Frank Hudson, Manor Rose, Baker Furniture and Stuart Jones; explore our full range of beautiful and luxurious bed frames online and in our Horsham Chichester and Worthing Bedding Centres.

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