Helping retailers to flag up British made beds is a special version of The Sleep Council logo with a Union Jack face that can be used to instantly identify a bed as being British made.
Said Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council: “There’s been a distinct swing back to buying British made products over the past couple of years. Now, anticipation of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations along with the London Olympics is adding to the patriotic fervour.
“We’ve developed our special logo to help consumers quickly pick out a bed that has been made in Britain. We know Buying British is something for which there is a real appetite just now.
“There are many reasons for choosing to buy British when buying a bed – from the fact we have a long history of producing the best beds in the world to knowing that buying British is to buy a bed that will unquestionably meet the UK’s stringent fire safety regulations which are among the toughest in the world. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about all imported mattresses.”
British bed making also continues to be a thriving industry with more than a hundred manufacturers making beds across the length and breadth of Britain. They are also among the most innovative producers of beds in the world, producing latex foam mattresses and embracing new technology such as memory foam alongside craft traditions such as tufting and hand side stitching.
The best made British beds and mattresses also have a long tradition and design all of their own, geared to provide the best levels of support and comfort. Pocket-springing has been around for over 100 years and there is little doubt that the Brits do it best!
Britain is also home to one of the most famous beds in the world and one of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) ‘greatest treasures’. The Great Bed of Ware has returned to its home of Hertfordshire and gone on display at the Ware Museum where it is on loan from the V&A for 12 months.
The solid oak bed is thought to have been created in 1590 as a tourist attraction for travellers on the pilgrim route from London to Walsingham. More than three metres wide and said to be able to sleep 12, travellers were reputed to break their journey at Ware just to spend a night in the bed.
Said Jessica Alexander: “We wouldn’t normally recommend sleeping on a bed that is more than 400 years old! The advice today, to ensure high quality sleep and the perfect sleep environment, is that a bed needs replacing after seven years. But the Bed of Ware is a fantastic symbol of British bed making and a reminder of the importance of a good bed to a good night’s sleep.”
For a full list of British bed manufacturers, or to do a search for a particular type of bed, visit the National Bed Federation (NBF) website at www.bedfed.org.uk. The NBF has also produced a new book – Bed Times (£20 plus p&p) – to celebrate its centenary as a trade association for British bed manufacturers. For a copy, contact the NBF on 01756 799950.