I’ve been saying for years that N needed a new bed. As soon as he grew out of the cotbed really. He just inherited the bed that was originally in his room, and that was the old bed that had been the OH’s teenage bed. Yes, a 35 year old hideous floral 1980s divan bed.
He at least needed a new mattress because it was saggy with no support, he could feel some of the springs through it. And it was probably revolting given its age. The OH didn’t want to get rid of the bed (you might remember the struggles I had getting rid of the old knackered chair that had been in N’s bedroom too!), even though it should have been got rid of 10 or more years ago.
But the bed wasn’t a normal size so buying a mattress to fit wasn’t possible. It was an extra long and wider single, but not small double size. Fitted sheets never fitted and would slip off all the time or be dragging with extra material.
It got to the stage where we just had to change it and sod what the OH thought. He isn’t the one sleeping on it.
Shopping for beds
Boosted by the fact that it seemed to be a bed buying time for lots of people we knew including N’s cousin who had one with drawers in, N and I went bed shopping. We’d previously looked in Dreams, but the guy there wasn’t very helpful, so we tried Bensons for Beds on the recommendation of family.
When N was younger I’d been looking at mid sleepers – to be able to have plenty of storage and potentially a desk would be so helpful. But now getting one would be a bit pointless as he’d grow out of it too quickly (plus they’re a pain to change the bedding). So we were looking at beds with storage under or able to put drawers under the bed if they weren’t included.
I’m not a divan bed fan, but buying a wooden bed frame with drawers would have involved a lot of flat pack pain, and more expense. The divan was looking more likely. But drawers aren’t big enough. Drawers also tend to be on 2 sides, but the bed would be against the wall so we’d only have access to one.
We moved on to Ottomans. N had to test lifting and pushing the bed and mattress down again. I was relieved to hear they come in 2 pieces. It meant we’d be able to get them round the bends in our stairs. They are more pricy but worth it for the storage space.
Then it was a decision on headboards. I don’t like fabric headboards as I think they can get a bit manky and are a bit unhygienic over time as you can’t wash them. But we could combine the divan bed with a wooden headboard. So much nicer and it doesn’t look weird once set up with bedding on.
After big expense (who knew beds and mattresses were so expensive!), it was a long 3 week wait for delivery. N was so excited and we went out and bought a new thicker duvet for him as well. His old double duvet was really thin and not warm enough for winter.
The bed’s arrival
I worked from home on delivery day. Of course, it didn’t arrive in the 2 hour slot they’d given me, and one of the delivery men was very smelly. I had to open all the windows after they’d gone.
The old bed was taken away, and the new one was in 4 pieces for me to clip together and set up. It wasn’t ready for N’s coming back from school, but we did it after I’d finished working and tea.
N was happy to help put the castors on – we couldn’t hammer them in like suggested, so just put the bed down gently with them in, then sat on the corners of the bed. And it didn’t work just because of my weight, because N could also pop them in! He clipped the 2 parts together and we bolted the two lids together. All done and headboard in place (although not bolted on, so we’ve just leant it against the wall and put a blanket over to stop it banging every time he opens the bed up). I did chop a ridge out of his old pool noodle in the hope of slotting that on but it didn’t work. Comedy attempt though.
N loves his new bed. Luckily he’s got a big enough room that there’s still enough space for his desk and for playing on the floor. We need to move his desk round to open up the floor a bit more, but otherwise he’s doing well on space.
The mattress is firm, it’s comfy, and the bed linen stays tucked in.
As for the storage space. There’s so much. He’s put in all the board games and jigsaws, plus some of his lego so far. Then his farm tractors have gone in. But there’s plenty of space left for more toys. The aim is to get all the toys out of plastic boxes in his room and from downstairs, and only for books to be on the shelves.
We’re getting there. Soon N will have a lovely empty floor. The bed hasn’t solved him waking at 6am, but he’s not waking when the OH goes out at 5, so that’s better sleeping already.
Here’s some of my tips for bed buying for tweens.
Bed buying tips for tweens
- Measure measure and measure. Think about doors and wall space, floor space and seating as well as where the bed can go
- If you’re buying a bed with storage, think where the bed will go and how you’ll access the storage.
- Future proof the bed. Do you want the bed to last them through their teen years, or are you happy to upgrade the bed again in a few years.
- Check about disposal of the old bed and mattress and factor the price of that into the purchase budget.
- Ask if you can mix and match. The bed we ordered was meant to come with a different mattress but you can often negotiate switching between them.
- Take your tween with you so they can check the mattress.
- Shop around and check online prices. Buying in person is preferable for a bed especially as you can ask all the questions directly. If you’re buying local you’ll also know that their delivery is probably more reliable than who online shops may use.
- Remember to factor in new duvet and bedding if tweens are moving to a larger bed, as well as a mattress protector. We like Dunelm for bedding.
- Give tweens a say but if you don’t want them having a huge double bed that they say all their friends have, then don’t be swayed by them.
Have you had to upgrade beds for your children? What did you decide on?