If you're looking to start your very own B&B, you'll probably be looking for stylish but affordable bedding solutions - this is where you may come across the term 'contract bed' or 'contract divan set'.
The first thing you need to consider is where you source your bedding and mattresses from - this is hugely important. Not just purely in an economical/frugal sense, but because by law, you'll need to provide your guests with beds and mattresses that have passed stringent fire safety and ignition tests, most commonly known as 'Crib 5 and Source 5'. All beds supplied for commercial or contract use - such as in schools/university dormitories, for the MOD, hospitals, care homes and nursing homes, hotels and guest houses - MUST adhere to these fire safety regulations. So, if you see the phrase 'contract divan set' or 'contract bed', or 'contract furniture', the 'contract' element refers to the use (commercial/contract), and the fact that the furniture has passed British Standard fire safety tests.
If a bed or mattress is listed as 'contract, but there is no reference in the description to 'crib 5', 'source 5' or British Standard test numbers such as 'BS5852', do NOT hesitate to contact the supplier for more information. You cannot risk supplying your guests with furniture that does not meet this standard.
So once you know what kind of beds you can look for, the next step is think about your budget. A contract divan set is a popular option for hotels, guest houses and B&Bs, because they are not only an economical (but comfy!) option, but they also tend to be quite neutral in design, meaning that they can easily fit into most design schemes and complement other types of furniture.
Choosing a contract divan set doesn't necessarily mean you have to compromise completely with comfort - you can opt to increase your mattress budget, choosing a pocket-sprung mattress for that extra support and ensuring your guests get a good night's sleep.