What Is a Bed?


A bed is a large rectangular pad for supporting a person while they lie down. Most modern beds are designed with specific sleep needs in mind, including relieving aches and pains, keeping the sleeper cool and comfortable and helping them to stay asleep all night. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, from infant-sized bassinets and cribs to single, queen or king-size beds for two people. Many beds come with a mattress, which is usually supported by a slatted or sprung base. The type of base you choose can have a significant impact on the feel and support of your mattress, as well as how much space there is beneath it for storage.

Some of the earliest beds used simple wooden frames. These were often raised on a set of wheels to allow the sleeper to easily move them from one room to another. Later, metal frames were popular, but these could become rusty and unstable over time. They were also more expensive than wood frames, but tended to be lighter and more compact.

Mattresses can be firm or soft, depending on the preferences of the sleeper. The type of foam and the density or thickness of the foam layers will have an impact on the amount of support the mattress provides, as well as how it responds to movement and temperature changes. Many mattresses now feature layering that can help to improve the support they provide, as well as reduce heat retention and increase breathability.

When choosing a mattress, it’s important to consider the size of the sleeper and any other uses the bed will be put to. A bed that is too small may feel cramped and uncomfortable, while a bed that is too large will take up valuable floor space. It’s also worth considering any storage or other features you might want to incorporate into your new bed, such as a headboard or footboard and drawers underneath the frame.

Most modern beds are supported by a slatted bed base, although some use divan bases instead. The type of slats can have an impact on the feel and support of your mattress, with solid slats giving a firmer feeling as there’s no give. Sprung slats are softer and can provide a slightly springy feel to the bed, as well as offering some cushioning and support.

The slatted base of this Saatva mattress is also a good choice for narrow staircases or tight renovations, as the slats are curved upwards to make it easier to get into bed and out again. It’s also a great choice for those who need a medium-firm feel, with the combination of inner springs and memory foam providing good support for most sleeper types.

This mattress has a quilted cover infused with phase-change material, which customers say does an excellent job of absorbing and dissipating body heat, as well as wicking away sweat. It’s a medium-firm option, which means it should be suitable for most sleepers, but is particularly good for back and stomach sleepers and those with back pain or stiffness. It also isolates motion very well, making it a good choice for couples who share a bed.