A buyer's guide to beds

What sizes are available?

Although some bedding suppliers can custom make, here are the standard bed sizes in New Zealand:
Single 900 wide x 1900 long
King single 1050 x 2030
Double 1350 x 1900
Queen 1500 x 2030
King 1650 x 2030
Super king 1800 x 2030

The king single is perfect for smaller rooms. It has the length of a queen, and is wider than a single, so is ideal for growing kids or single adults.

As houses have got bigger, so have the beds. Although the queen is still the most popular size, king and super king are rapidly gaining ground.

All king and super king bases are ‘split’ – meaning each base is 2 pieces. This is purely for ease of carrying and manoeuvring around staircases and doors!

Bed types

Too hard... too soft... just right! Goldilocks had it right. Beds are different, and until you go bed shopping, you probably had no idea there were so many beds available. So how do you find the bed perfect for you or a member of your family?

The 'traditional' bed is a mattress and base. But what is in a traditional mattress can verify greatly:

Foam mattress

Great for little kids, or a cheap extra bed for sleepovers. Cheap and portable – but offer no support (and a guest who has to sleep on one won’t thank you either!). Just don’t blame us if your kids want to spend all their time in your bed!

Innersprung mattress

This means the mattress has metal springs inside that are attached to each other. They are then surround by foam ‘comfort layers’ and fabric.

Pocket Spring mattress

The metal springs are individually encased in ‘pockets’ – so each spring is independent of the other. This can help alleviate ‘roll together’ – which is when the weight of one person on the mattress can cause the lighter person to roll toward them. Companies like Beautyrest and AH Beard have built their reputations on this technology and their loyal customers swear by it.

Latex (rubber) mattress

Natural latex and manufactured latex have been around forever. Remember grandma’s heavy bed? Chances are it was latex. Latex is still very heavy, but is often added to the foam and ‘comfort layers’ of innersprung and pocket sprung mattresses to provide additional, body conforming comfort. You can still purchase a complete latex bed – it will give you body conforming comfort – and it will last for ages.

Memory foam mattress

Memory foam was developed by NASA for the astronauts – so the foam would conform to their bodies while in space, meaning they wouldn’t develop ‘bed sores’ from being in one position for extended periods of time. We tend to say you sleep ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ a memory foam bed. Initially cool to the touch, memory foam will conform to your body – making the feeling unique for each person.

Wool, silk, felt, polyfibre and cotton are all additional comfort layers that are often added to mattresses to give them greater comfort and support. Generally, the more comfort layers - the softer the bed.

Don’t forget the base!

If you have a mattress and base, rather than a mattress on a slat frame, your base will either be:
1.Sprung or
A sprung base (with metal springs) provides additional support for an innerspring mattress. But don’t be tempted to keep an old base to go underneath a new mattress.
A platform base is using a fabric covered wooden frame. It doesn’t have springs, so this can make the over feel of the mattress firmer. A sprung or platform base won’t affect the feel of a latex or memory foam mattress.

My bed is 20 years old but still looks good. Why get a new one?

You don’t want to know how many dead skin cells there can be in a 20 year old bed! Your bed will NOT be offering you proper support. 8- 10 years is the recommended length of time to own a bed.

As computer technology has raced ahead in leaps and bounds, so has bed technology. Better steel means better springs, foams, fibres and fabrics are all better than they used to be.

What should I do with my old bed?

Don't just take your old bed to the bach, or give it to one of the kids - you'll make your old sleeping problem someone else's. We will collect it from you at no charge when you get a new one delivered, and throw it away. If it is in pretty good nick, we will donate it to an organisation that provides furniture for low income families.

I have a bad back. Should I get a hard bed?

Maybe... and maybe not! Every back and every body is different. What feels soft to you, may feel firm to someone else. There are no hard and fast rules. The right bed for you is the one that feels the most comfortable. TAKE YOUR TIME. Ask the salesperson lots of questions, and talk to a salesperson who knows about beds! At Furniture City, our bedding sales staff only sell beds and they really know their stuff. They can help eliminate all the choices down to the final few. Despite all the recommendations and opinions, YOU are the only one who can decide what is best for you.

Choose carefully – a bed that has been slept on can’t be exchanged or replaced (unless there is a fault with the product).

A bed will feel different with 2 people on it than 1 – so make sure you take your beloved shopping with you.

Remember – it will take some time to get used to a new bed once it is in your home.

I have seen some cheap imported beds that look fancy enough. Why not buy one of those?

The support and technology you need is inside the mattress and base – not on the outside.

We deal only with NZ supplies and manufacturers. We KNOW what goes in each and every bed. Our suppliers are some of the most trusted names in the country, and they stand behind everything they sell. It really does make a difference to the product and your comfort.


Buy NZ made from suppliers and retailers who have been around for ages and who, you know, will be able to honour their warranty and who stand behind their products. Names to remember: Sleepmaker, Beautyrest, Serta, Simmons, Sealy, AH Beard, Mazon Virtali.

Furniture City has been selling beds for over 33 years.

Take your time to find the right bed. You will own it for a long time – so invest some time.

Buy the right size. Sure – a super king may look small in a big store – but it may end up way too big for your room. Measure staircases to make sure bed bases can get upstairs!

Take care of your bed. Cover the mattress with a mattress protector, turn it if the manufacturer recommends that, keep your room well ventilated and use a professional cleaning company if it requires a good clean. At Furniture City we have completely liquid proof mattress covers and protectors – ideal for little kids’ beds, or for the elderly or infirmed.

Listen to the experts. Chances are, if a store sells luggage, silk flowers and beds, you won’t be dealing with a bed expert! Some of our staff have sold just beds and bedroom furniture for over 15 years. We trust and value their knowledge and recommendations.

The final choice is up to you. You need to decide what feels best for your body.