The best white beds will last you a long time. They’re a nice neutral option which is unlikely to look dated. Your sister-in-laws burgundy velvet diamante bed may not age so well.
If you’ve got your eye on a white bedframe, your main options are:
- a simple white wooden bedframe is usually made from pine. Bedframes made from a hard wood like oak are more expensive. The good news is that you get a built in headboard but I personally am too prone to walloping my knee on the corner of a wooden bed whilst creeping to the toilet at 2am. You can also get white wooden bunk beds or white trundle beds.
- a white bed with storage has drawers which slide out underneath and is usually wooden. Others are white ottoman beds which lift up and offer loads of space. They’re practical and neat.
- a white metal bed also has a headboard included. Poor quality metal beds can be a bit squeaky and blow away in a light breeze. Good metal beds look good and are easy to keep clean.
- upholstered white beds, white sleigh beds and white leather beds are not so common, but you usually similar ones in cream, silver and grey colour. The advantage of that type of bed is that they’re softer than wooden or metal beds, but upholstered ones aren’t as easy to clean. You’ll find quite a good range of white fabric beds on Amazon.
- a white divan base is another option, if you’ve already got a headboard. These aren’t especially common, but you can get white divans from Divan Base Direct and other retailers.
Of course, there are environmental and health factors to consider as well as things such as appearance, durability and value for money.
Thinking green when you buy a white bed
Firstly, there is the question of greenhouse gases and emissions from the manufacturing of bedframes. Linkosalmi, Husgafvel et al found that what the bed is made from is more important than how it is delivered. They said ‘materials have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions of products (38–90 per cent)’ whilst ‘packaging and transportation have a minor role’ – 2016 academic study in Finland).
Meanwhile, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization said that ‘Furniture…made out of wood require less energy to produce than aluminium or plastic, and on top of that wood continues to store carbon for years’ (paraphrase from Reuters).
However, the second issue is what happens to a bed when it reaches the end of its life. Metal is easier to recycle and is usually the winner here. In the UK in 2017, 77% of household waste steel was recycled compared to just 30% for wood (Department for food, environment and rural affairs).
Is it good for you?
Then there is the issue of the health in your home, as different items of furniture produce varying levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Researchers Adamová, Hradecký and Pánek claim that ‘Their higher concentrations in the indoor air are associated with negative effects on human health’. Meanwhile, Tanaka-Kagawa, Furuta et al found that ‘VOC emissions from furniture may influence significantly indoor air quality’ (2011 study).
According to a report from the UK air pollution charity Clean Air Day, ‘A fifth of homes showed more than double the amount of safe levels of formaldehyde’ and most people were unaware that ‘chipboard is a major source of formaldehyde’. They advise that there are ‘health conditions linked to indoor air pollution, including asthma, cardiovascular disorders, thyroid disease, diabetes, impaired cognition and cancer’ (2019 report).
A confusing picture for shoppers
This area is a bit of a minefield for the consumer and finding clear information isn’t easy. A UK government report in 2010 into indoor air quality said that ‘While some European countries have legislation on the composition and labelling of building materials for VOC emissions, the UK does not currently require such labelling’.
However, this health blog from 2018 says if this is a concern for you then you should ‘avoid particle board, engineered wood, or pressed wood’ whilst a US government report advises that ‘Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products‘ are sources of indoor pollution.
Meanwhile, a study by Pohleven, Bernard et al highlighted that furniture made from softwoods (such as pine) ’emit the highest concentrations of wood VOCs’ whilst a piece of furniture made from a hardwood (such as oak) can have VOC emissions ’50 times’ lower.
Anyway, let’s move on to our top five. We’ve selected five of the best white beds on the market in the UK. We factored in things like price, guarantee length, specification, customer reviews and awards.
Prices are for double white beds, although most are also available as single white beds and king size white beds.
1. John Lewis & Partners Wilton White Wooden Bed Frame – £199
John Lewis & Partners has a good choice of white beds within its Wilton range. They’re generally not as pricey as you might expect, given the company’s strong reputation.
You can buy the standard white bed frame in single, double and king size as well as more unusual options such as a small double white bed. You can also buy a John Lewis Wilton white bunk bed in the same range.
They’re all made from pine, which is a pretty standard material for white wooden beds. Pine isn’t as fancy as oak, but it certainly does the job. Customer reviews for the standard beds are very good at between 4/5 and 5/5.
The slats which the mattress sit on are what’s known as ‘solid slats’. That gives a firmer feel than you get from sprung slats. The main thing to look for in a wooden bed is whether there are huge gaps between the slats. Some cheap beds have massive gaps, but these look to be fine. Different mattress companies offer different guidance, but as a guide, Simba Sleep say that their mattress needs to sit on slats which are less than 3 inches apart.
There’s also lots of matching bedroom furniture to go with this white bed.
Pros: John Lewis reputation and customer service is good, matching furniture also available, low price
Cons: made from pine which is a softwood
2. Dreams Woodstock White Wooden Bed Frame – £199
This Woodstock white bed frame from Dreams has a lot in common with the John Lewis Wilton white bed (see #1). However, there are a couple of key differences.
It’s not available in as many sizes and variations but you can choose from the most common sizes, including single, double and as a king size white bed. You can’t buy this one as a bunk bed.
It’s got a different design, with horizontal rather than vertical slats at the head and foot. You probably worked that out yourself.
You can choose whether you want solid slats or sprung slats. The sprung slat option will cost you a bit more, but they provide a bit of a softer and bouncier base for your mattress.
It’s also made from a different material, as it uses ash which is classed as a hard wood. The John Lewis bed is made from pine which is classed as a soft wood. Hard woods make more solid furniture generally speaking. It’s not completely clear from the description if the Dreams Woodstock is entirely or just partly ash.
You get a rather ordinary one year guarantee with this one. Customer reviews are glowing red hot at 4.7/5 after more than 1000 ratings.
Pros: big name and long established retailer, huge number of positive reviews, choice of sprung slats or solid slats
Cons: one year warranty could be better, not available in super king size or as as a small double bed
3. Birlea Atlas White Metal Bed – £165
If you want a white metal bed then this Atlas bedframe from Birlea is good value. It comes with a well-above-average five year guarantee if you get it from Happy Beds. Technically, it’s described as cream rather than white. I hope you’ll let me off.
It comes as a single white bed, small double white bed or double white bed. Small double is also known as queen size in the UK.
A key thing to look for with a metal bed is the weight capacity as that gives you can indication of how well built it is. The double version of this white bed is strong enough for up to 250kg. By my calculations that is two people of about 15-18 stone each. The exact number will vary depending on how heavy your mattress is.
It’s got sprung slats which is a good thing. Some cheap metal beds use thin metal rungs which don’t really offer the same even distribution of weight for your mattress.
On Happy Beds, it’s currently scoring just shy of 5/5 whilst reviewers on Amazon give it just above 4/5 at the time of writing.
The Birlea brand does well in reviews too, with an average of 4.6/5 on Google Reviews or 4.2/5 on TrustPilot.
Pros: sprung slats, low price, five year warranty
Cons: not available as a king size or super king size, less well known brand than Dreams or John Lewis
4. Mission White Bed With Storage – £339
This white bed has drawers which provide some useful storage for your pants and socks. They’re a bit easier to access regularly than an ottoman bed, which is more suited for stuff you only need occasionally.
It’s available as a double, small double or single white bed and was achieving an impressive review score of 4.5/5 at the time of writing.
It’s made from pine which is a softwood, which is quite a common choice for wooden beds. It isn’t considered as posh as an oak bedframe but it’s perfectly solid and does the job.
It comes with a generous five year guarantee and has a sprung slatted base. That gives a slightly softer feel than you get with solid slats.
You’ll also find this white bed advertised under the model name of ‘Amani’.
Pros: positive reviews, useful storage, five year warranty
Cons: not available in king size or super king size, constructed from softwood rather than posher hardwood
5. Birlea Phoenix White Ottoman Bed – £349
A white ottoman bed, like this Phoenix model, offers a massive amount of storage space for hiding your spare bedding and assorted stuff. As with most ottoman beds, it’s got clever hydraulics to make it easier to lift up and down (electric ottomans are quite unusual and expensive).
It’s got sprung slats, which give a mattress a slightly bouncier and softer feel than you get with solid slats.
It’s made from rubberwood, which is not especially posh but is a good strong material for making solid furniture.
You can buy this white bed in double, small double or king size. It comes with a five year guarantee if you get it from Happy Beds.
Some white ottoman beds have a base which is raised off the floor by a few centimetres. This one just has a base which sits on top of your carpet. That means you can store heavy things underneath without any risk of damaging the base.
It’s another one made by Birlea and it scores about 4.7/5 from 300+ reviews on the Happy Beds website. On Amazon it scores 4.4/5 from 200+ reviews.
If you’re adding a mattress to go with your white bed frame then I would get a pocket sprung mattress or a memory foam mattress. ‘Open coil’ or ‘traditional’ sprung mattresses don’t offer such decent support. See our guide to memory foam v pocket springs or our guide to 10 of the best mattresses for more mattress related waffle.
Pros: very positive reviews, large storage space, five year warranty
Cons: made from rubberwood rather than posher types of wood, not available in super king size