Guide to buying beds and mattresses in Spain, with accessories such as storage divans and other types of bed bases.  List of standard bed sizes available from Alberto Mobiliario and those which would be to special order.

BEDS

This is the subject that causes the most confusion for our overseas customers. Here you have an idiot's guide - if you have any questions I'll be pleased to answer them.

BEDS - A Spanish bed (cama), with a few exceptions consists of a headboard, footboard and 2 side pieces which hold the thing together. In a very few cases, the slats are included, but usually you have to buy a slatted or upholstered base separately which just slots into the bed. In fact, you don't really need the bed at all, as the bases can have legs fitted to them to make them free standing. The bed is thus mainly for decoration.

      

      

BASES - Just to complicate matters further, the slatted base comes in  differing forms. The differences between them are the amount of iron that goes into the frame, and the style and quality of the slats which fit into it. Similarly the upholstered bases (which are basically a large piece of chipboard with a metal frame underneath and then upholstered) differ in the strength of the metal frame and the thickness of the upholstery, not forgetting the quality of the fabric. 

      

A recent innovation in these upholstered bases is to make them breathable, either by fitting them with slats or by perforating the chipboard.  The appearance is the same, but these new bases can be used with mattresses without springs, such as latex and memory foam mattresses.

 

The other option is the divan base which in Spain is almost always for storage.  They are very practical  and can be an elegant solution for space-saving, especially in small bedrooms.  To aid their ingress into such confined spaces, it is possible to order the base in two parts or there are some which are in wood effect which come in smaller pieces, the largest of which is the bed base which you sleep on.  (There are often problems getting bed bases into older village houses and it's a good idea, if you have the chance, to make sure there's at least one first floor balcony window to move larger pieces of furniture in through.) The divan top can be an upholstered base for firmness or a slatted base which has a bit of 'give' and aids ventilation of the mattress.

 

 


HEADBOARDS - Nearly all bed designs can be purchased in two ways, either the whole bed or just the headboard. The headboard, however, does not fix onto the base, but onto the wall, with the result that you have to be pretty sure where you want it to go before you start drilling. There are many designs of headboard in wood, but there is probably even more choice in wrought iron, starting at very reasonable prices -  I can see one in one of our leaflets at 49€ for the 90cm size.

MATTRESSES - Another world.  You can pay anything between 80€ and 2500€ for a mattress.  Obviously it's not such a good idea to buy the cheapest, but the second or third cheapest aren't such a bad idea for a rental.  At this lower end of the range we're talking about a bog standard spring mattress,  the cheapest won't have lateral reinforcement, the next cheapest probably will.  Then the difference is in the covering fabric and the type and thickness of padding between you and the springs. For a little more money you can have a layer of latex or memory foam on each side of the springs and the springs themselves improve in quality.  Then we move up to pocket springs,  which are excellent for two people of very different weights as they don't have the tendency to roll into the middle with the combined weight.  2 of our favourite mattresses at present are the Ortopedico (which is firm biconic springs with lateral reinforcement, stretch material and anti-mite treatment for 198€ for a double) and the Vitalia 3D, which has pocket springs with 3cm of memory foam on either side and  a high quality velours fabric at 587€ for a double.

If you don't want a spring mattress there are various possibilities.  You can have latex, which comes in various thicknesses and densities and can come with a zip on cover or a sewn-in cover.   Another possibility would be an orthopaedic H.R. foam mattress  with or without a layer of latex or memory foam on either side.  Depending on the amount of latex or memory foam, the price rises.  These mattresses may also come vacuum packed and rolled up, so that you could fit  several into a Fiat Uno.  If they come like this once unwrapped they should be left to expand for at least 12 hours, and they won't reach their full height until at least 24 hours have passed. 

In this range (not vacuum packed) we like the Biomemory which is an H.R. mattress with 2.5cm of memory foam on each side.  It is firm and comfortable with stretch material on each side and a band of breathable material around the edges.

     

 

 

 

It's all a matter of personal taste and it's always best to try a mattress if possible before you buy. 

SIZES - Spanish bed sizes are not exactly the same as those of other countries.  If you found an old cast iron bed in your house when you moved in, it is almost certainly for a mattress 180cm long unless it's even older from before they standardized the sizes of the mattresses.   Nearly all the new beds are 190 cm long, although 200cm long is also a standard size.  If you want a bed longer than that it can be arranged; we can make the mattress to order.  As to the width, they can also be made to order, although the price goes up, but standard sizes are 80cm, 90cm, 105cm, 120cm (standard for some manufacturers, but rarely used), 135cm, 140cm(uncommon) and 150cm.  Some manufacturers are even beginning to produce mattresses of 160cm and 180cm wide as standard too, but make sure it'll go up the stairs and fit in the bedroom  before you get too carried away.