With such a large choice of bedsteads, bases and divans, here's what to consider before you splash out.

Before you buy

One major consideration is size - of both your bedroom and yourself. To judge a bed's optimum width, both partners should be able to lie side by side, with their hands behind their heads and elbows sticking out without touching. A bed should also be at least 10cm longer than the taller partner.

When shopping for a bed, couples should try a range of mattresses, with divans and bedsteads, to find the combination that best suits them. "Some research has shown that people who have back pain actually have a worse night's sleep on mattresses that are marketed as ‘orthopaedic'," says sleep specialist Dr Neil Stanley. "But irrespective of back problems, a heavy person will always need a firmer bed."

Always visit a reputable bed shop and, when testing the mattresses, remember that comfort is all-important. Lie in your favoured sleeping position for long enough to make a considered judgment. Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council cautions wisely, "Never go shopping for a bed when you're tired, as any mattress is likely to make a favourable impression."