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Expert Advice: How to Buy a Bed to Last a Lifetime, from America’s Oldest Bed Makers

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Expert Advice: How to Buy a Bed to Last a Lifetime, from America’s Oldest Bed Makers

April 28, 2023

Given that we spend about a third of our lives in bed, it’s crucial to invest in a high-quality mattress and frame to support it. But how to find a setup that will last? We chatted with the experts at Charles P. Rogers, the original American bed maker, to find out.

Established in 1855, Charles P. Rogers has served generations of satisfied customers who flock to the company for its heirloom-quality beds (including canopy beds) and mattresses. “You want to look for a bed that will last in both quality and style,” the company tells us. “As we get more and more focused on sustainability, you don’t want something that is just going to end up in a landfill or something that you’ll get tired of easily and want to replace.”

Here are the four things to look for when you’re in the market for a bed.

(N.B.: Use code SPRING23 for an additional $100 off.)

above: the ana bed is made from solid iron with hand cast details and “h 13
Above: The Ana Bed is made from solid iron with hand-cast details and “heirloom quality construction,” according to the makers. The bed is on sale from $1,299.

1. Look for time-tested materials.

Furniture waste is a big problem, with more than 9.6 million tons of it ending up in landfills in 2019. For the bed—and every piece in your home—it’s important to find furniture that’s designed to last, not be disposable. 

For a bed frame, look for solid, not composite, materials like solid hardwood and metal. “Rogers beds are made with solid iron, brass, and mahogany with detailed finishes, and they’re built to hold today’s heavy mattresses,” Charles P. Rogers reports. The metal beds feature metal-to-metal connections that create a rigid (and therefore durable) frame; its wood beds are kiln-dried, finished by master craftsmen and hand tools, and use traditional joinery that can expand and contract with changing temperature and humidity. 

above: the iron and brass sleigh bed has a hand applied, multi layer finish. th 14
Above: The Iron and Brass Sleigh Bed has a hand-applied, multi-layer finish. The bed is on sale from $1,399.

2. Go for timeless, not trendy.

One factor in the longevity of a bed is style. If you choose something trendy and of the moment, you’ll likely want something new in a few years—not a sustainable or budget-friendly situation. Instead, opt for a timeless look that will fit seamlessly no matter where you move or how your style might evolve. Rogers beds, for example, “harken back to a different age and are inspired by our history, but they are proportioned for today’s rooms,” according to the company.

above: the alana platform bed is a midcentury design updated for modern mattres 15
Above: The Alana Platform Bed is a midcentury design updated for modern mattresses. The platform with the headboard is on sale from $1,139.

3. Prioritize sustainability.

It’s important to look at the individual components of a bed and research their origins, keeping an eye out for sustainable practices. In the case of Rogers beds, most of the steel and brass (and mattress springs, too) is post-industrial recycled material—and it’s 100 percent recyclable in the event your bed reaches the end of its lifespan. The hardwood is responsibly harvested from plantations rather than natural forests. And look at the smallest details, too: The adhesives and finishes in a Rogers mattress are natural or are water based and non-toxic, without solvents. Lastly, finishes are designed to be fully repairable—no need to toss a bed if it gets worn or nicked.

above: a glimpse at the layers of a lifetime mattress, which is on sale from \$ 16
Above: A glimpse at the layers of a Lifetime Mattress, which is on sale from $2,799. 

4. Don’t skimp on comfort.

A mattress is a long-term (and oft-used) purchase—and it’s important to find one that’s nontoxic, comfortable, and made to last. While everyone has different sleep preferences, Rogers prioritizes comfort and support as a baseline across all its mattresses while offering different levels of firmness. The company favors traditional springs (over foam) as a foundation, and its Powercore Mattress Unit uses specialized springs designed in house, which supports all shapes and sizes and adapts to each individual sleeper. Mattresses can be topped with different padding and fabric—including latex, memory foam, Dupont Sorona (a natural fiber-based padding), and nano springs—and each mattress comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Whatever your preferences, be sure to avoid urethane foam, chemical treatments, PBDE, CFCs, mercury, lead—as Rogers mattresses do—and look instead for responsibly sourced and non-toxic materials. 

For more, head to Charles P. Rogers (and see how their beds are made here).

N.B. Shown in the featured image: the Cairo Canopy Bed, made from hand-forged wrought iron, “perfect for draping or leaving open and fresh.”

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Frequently asked questions

What should I consider before buying a bed?

Before buying a bed, you should consider the size of your room, your body type, your sleeping habits, and the type of mattress you prefer.

What are the different types of beds available?

There are various types of beds available such as platform beds, panel beds, sleigh beds, bunk beds, and storage beds.

What is the difference between a platform bed and a panel bed?

The main difference between a platform bed and a panel bed is that a platform bed has a solid base while a panel bed has a headboard and footboard made of panels.

How do I choose the right size of bed for my room?

You should measure the size of your room and the space where you plan to place the bed. Then, choose a bed size that fits comfortably in the space and leaves enough room for movement.

What type of mattress should I choose?

The type of mattress you choose depends on your personal preferences and sleeping habits. Some popular types of mattresses are memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses.

What is the best way to maintain my bed?

The best way to maintain your bed is to clean it regularly, rotate or flip the mattress every few months, and tighten any loose bolts or screws.

What is the delivery process for buying a bed?

The delivery process for buying a bed varies depending on the retailer. Some retailers offer free delivery while others charge a delivery fee. You should also ask about the delivery timeframe and whether they offer set-up or assembly services.

What is the return policy for buying a bed?

The return policy for buying a bed varies depending on the retailer. You should ask about the return policy before making your purchase to ensure that you can return the bed if you are not satisfied with it.

Product summary  

Expert Advice How to Buy a Bed to Last a Lifetime from Americas Oldest Bed Makers portrait 4
Beds & Headboards

Ana Bed

$1,299.00 USD from Charles P. Rogers

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