Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Winter's Warmer With a New Bed

It's that time of year again. The Bolshoi Theater has reopened with a wide-ranging program guaranteed to appeal to all. Young couples will soon be donning their skates for a romantic turn in Gorky Park. Restaurant proprietors across the capital have begun to gather brushwood to stoke the open fires that will warm their customers as winter draws on.

"Frankly," said Igor Stepanov, a Russian literature teacher, scanning Ambassador's salesroom near the Prospekt Mira metro station, "I'd rather stay in bed."

If your springs are a little rusty or your headboard has lost its original gleam, now is the time to invest in a new bed. Furniture stores are springing up all over the city as the number of imported beds continues to soar.

Whereas five years ago the only choice of where to sleep was between the green fold-out sofa bed or the brown one, today's furniture stores offer everything from asymmetric wooden single beds from Finland to palatial four-poster beds, which are, literally, fit for a queen.

For this bed of your dreams, head for the Tkani-Drapirovka salon on the city's northern side, where there is a four-poster bed with swaths of green velvet, which has giant eyes from peacock feathers woven into it. Around the edges of the velvet curtains, draped over the bed in the style of Catherine the Great's boudoir, are gold brocade borders. The bed sells for a whopping 435 million rubles ($75,000).

"We had a couple in the shop last week who were very interested in ordering the Tsarina," said Natasha Leskova, a sales assistant. "But they said they had to sell their gold waterbed first."

Shopping for something a little less grand at Ambassador, Stepanov moved from the single-bed section, where beds range from 1.4 million rubles for a metal-spring frame to 2.8 million rubles for a wooden frame, and began to peruse the mattresses.

"We offer a wide range of mattresses, from the summer/winter model to orthopedic and anti-rheumatism" ones, said Marina Kuleshova, a sales assistant at the Italian furniture store.

Stepanov bought the summer/winter model -- wool on one side, cotton on the other. The single mattress costs 2.6 million rubles and the double will set you back 6.5 million rubles.

A new product offered this year is the anti-rheumatism mattress, which costs 2 million rubles for a single and 5 million rubles for a double.

"It is very firm and supportive," Kuleshova said. "It costs more than the other sort, but it is value for money and it has proved to be rather popular. You won't need to buy another mattress for a very long time."

For a Scandinavian slant to your apartment, head for Meya, the Finnish furniture salon on Sushchyovsky Val, where all the beds are made from birch wood. There is a wide range in price, from 5.5 million rubles for the plain Major and Marilyn models to 14 million rubles for the hand-finished king-sized bed called the Hollywood, which had legs made of large wooden spheres.

"We haven't sold very many Hollywoods this season," said Dmitry Kuzmin, a sales assistant. "But they come with a handy built-in table, so that you can watch television in bed."

The most popular beds this season at Meya have wooden headboards -- some curved, some slanted daringly on one side -- and no footboards.

"They are particularly popular with tall people, who are cramped by footboards," Kuzmin said. "This type means that their legs can hang off the end."

For a cheaper option, try Moskva, a Russian furniture store in central Moscow. Here you can buy the sofa beds that are the staple furniture of most Russian apartments -- as ubiquitous as the glass-front display cabinet or the line of fraying slippers beside the front door. They range from 1.1 million rubles for a bed with brown and pink floral upholstery to 1.5 million rubles for the higher quality orange corduroy bed with a superior sliding mechanism. Ordinary wooden beds cost 1.7 million for a single and 2.7 million for a double.

The biggest bargains in town, however, can be found in the newspaper Iz Ruk V Ruki, or From Hand to Hand. The paper, which is free and comes out every weekday, advertises hundreds of second-hand household items.

Look up the beds section, No. 201, where there is always a lot to choose from. Last Tuesday's issue advertised a single sofa-bed for 800,000 rubles and a sturdy, wooden double bed for 1.5 million rubles.

Ambassador, 16 Olimpiisky Prospekt, Entrance 2A (in the Olympic stadium). Metro: Prospekt Mira. Tel: 232-2684. Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday. Delivery charge is 5 percent.

Meya, 59 Sushchyovsky Val. Metro: Rizhskaya. Tel: 210-9740. Open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Sunday. Delivery charge is 5 percent, but beds more than $500 are delivered free of charge.

Moskva, 17 Polkovaya Ulitsa. Metro: Novoslobodskaya. Tel: 289-1133. Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Delivery charge is 10 percent.

Tkani-Drapirovka, 6 Bolshaya Akademicheskaya Ulitsa. Metro: Voikovskaya. Tel: 150-0485. Open Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Delivery charge is 10 percent.