How to choose a bed when you have a disability

Buying a bed is a tricky thing isn’t it?  Well for me it is.  I’m not a great sleeper.  I just struggle to get asleep, stay asleep and have a lie in (sigh!).  Our old bed was perfectly decent and reasonable and only about 6 years old, but in an effort to get more sleep I wanted to hunt for a new one.

Due to the husband’s disability we needed to make sure the mattress isn’t too soft (or he’ll fall off the side which can be funny but not if it happens too often!) or too high as he would struggle to get on it.  We needed one with strong stitching around the edges as he sits on the edge to get dressed and we didn’t want the sides collapsing.

We must have visited every bed superstore, every local independent shop and department store in a 20 mile region, testing every mattress possible.  Tempur, Pocket Sprung, ones with memory foam toppers, 9000 springs, 3000 springs, you mention it, we tried it.

We’e recently moved houses and now had a much smaller bedroom and the metal frame with high end just made the room feel a little smaller than it is.  Also the stuff under the bed was visible and that just bothered me.  And on top of all that the high end frame was getting in the way of my husband’s crutches as he navigated his way round the bed.

We could have gone for a divan, which would have given us most room as it’s usually the smallest option, but we wanted a bed frame as the frame around the side helps my husband get into bed.  He is unable to move his left leg independently and in order to get into bed he pulls his left ankle up and rests it across his right knee.  Then he moves his right leg up and into the bed, with left leg on top.  The side of the bed frame allows him to do this in stages.  From floor to bed frame, bed frame to mattress.

As he uses the side of the bed frame we needed something sturdy.  A flimsy bed frame with drawers wouldn’t have cut it because it would have cracked after he rested his leg on it a couple of times.

So we wanted to get a bed with decent storage underneath (drawers just aren’t big enough) and without a foot end.  I spent a lot of time researching different options but in the end decided on the very simple Cameron bed frame from Feather and Black.

We visited two F&B stores, the first in Tunbridge Wells which is a small shop and access is limited to wheelchair users.  They can bring a ramp to the door but the downstairs is small and only allowed my husband to try a couple of mattresses.  Staff were lovely and helpful however.  We then happened to be visiting friends near the large F&B store in Beaconsfield and it’s all ground floor and very large and roomy for a wheelchair.

After trying every mattress in store, I decided I liked the Conrad mattress, 9000 Pocket Springs with natural fillings.  The husband can sleep anywhere on anything so it seemed it was my decision! The mattresses in question are customisable in different tensions, and also two different tensions if you each want a different firmness.  We chose number 5 (3 being softest and 9 the hardest).


We chose the bed frame in the ‘Marmore’ fabric which is a pale grey / taupe colour.  The beds can be made in bright pinks, teals and greens and many others as well, but neutral is safest as you can add colour with bright bedding or cushions which is a much easier and cheaper way to add splashes of colour into the bedroom.

The bed and mattress were custom made so we waited eight weeks for build and delivery.  We paid the additional for building the bed so the delivery guys put it all together and took away all the packaging.  Win!

fullsizerenderIt’s a beautiful bed.  We have the option of the 100 night guarantee but I’m hoping we don’t need to exchange it.  It’s a little firm at the moment but after F&B called us with a follow up call (brilliant service!) they advised that it takes a few weeks for the fillings to settle, so it will be a little firmer to begin with.

The storage area is very big and useful but heavy to lift, as the mattress is really weighty!  I will end up much fitter if I keep lifting it up, and the husband is struggling to lift it but we’ll manage it.

I wouldn’t have thought we needed to consider his disability when buying a bed, but we absolutely needed to think about tension, height, strength and so on.

I think the F&B bed we’ve chosen is a winner.  I shall keep you posted as we approach the 100 night guarantee period.


9 thoughts on “How to choose a bed when you have a disability

  1. Tip: it is possible to use a special frame at one side of your king or queensize bed. The complete frame is height adjustable and you can use it together with the most kind of mattresses. The german Name for this is “Einlegerahmen” from companies called Burmeier or Bock. I would like to post a photo, but I don’ t know how.

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