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Delivering the finest British beds to discerning customers worldwide


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1. What is the Allergy UK Seal of Approval?

This endorsement is given to products that specifically restrict or remove allergens from the environment of allergy sufferers and can be scientifically tested with measurable results.

2. How should I care for my bed?

Please refer to the care instructions that you received with your bed, or if you are in any doubt, please call or email us with your BBW Invoice Number and the brand and model of your product.

3. Why cashmere in my mattress?

Historically regarded as the softest of natural hair, cashmere is used in several forms, but the best is cashmere hair, teased out to form a fine upholstery insulation pad that is soft and warm to lie on. Cashmere is often combined with silk to form a resilient and sumptuous layer to retain warmth exceptionally well.

4. Tell me about castors

Several types are used to support divan-bases, ranging from heavy-duty plastic twin-wheeled through to the very best – Shepherd© castors. These are widely recognised as the strongest available and are needed for the best quality and heaviest beds. The customary method of fixing is into the end-grain of blocks of hardwood at the corners of the divan.

5. Who are Cotswold Caners?

Based in Cirencester in the Cotswolds, this specialist bespoke furniture maker creates high-quality hand-finished solid wood beds, headboards and bedroom furniture. They are able to make your bed to a design that suits you and in a size that will fit your available space. Your selection of design, size, wood and finish means that Cotswold Caners will be making the bed specifically for you.

There are many designs of high-quality beds to satisfy a wide range of personal taste. All beds are made in solid wood and have gained an enviable reputation of looking as new for many years.

The company aims to provide a solution to all your possible bed requirements – and can provide Bed Base surrounds or Bedstead Base supports. Other special adjustments can often be accommodated.

"If it's in wood, they can do it!"

6. How and why is cotton used in mattresses?

Raw cotton is used widely in mattress making, being very soft and versatile in its use. In all cases it is first carded to remove unwanted particles, nourished with natural oils, and then used loose (to be teased by hand) or compressed into cotton felt before being treated with fire retardant. It is sometimes blended with polyester for increased resilience.

7. What are your Delivery charges?

(Please also see section 4. Delivery in our Terms and Conditions page).

Our delivery charges depend on what you are buying and your delivery address. We charge you only what our carriers charge us. We do not mark up those charges. That means that you will enjoy the special trade rates that are given to us.

For example, we are charged and will charge you £375.00 plus VAT to deliver into your bedroom, unwrap and assemble a super-king (180x200cm) divan-set and a king-size (150x200cm) divan-set in many parts of Western Europe, and take away the packaging. The service will be carried out by two drivers and includes a 50m from the truck to a first-floor room or rooms.

For a modest charge, we may be able to bring your old bed or mattress back to the UK for recycling. Do please ask about this if you are interested.

Our carriers do charge us a minimum rate, so the charge will probably be the same for a single mattress as it is for two beds. This can often turn one of our lower-priced mattresses into an expensive purchase, so please be aware that your quotation may come as a nasty shock on small lower-priced products. Why not get together with someone else nearby and have both your purchases delivered to one address?

Our quotations often itemise the costs individually. If you don't like the price quoted (bearing in mind that our service is second-to-none and fully insured from the UK to your bedroom), and you wish to make your own arrangements for transport from the UK we will gladly deliver free of charge to a UK carrier of your choice. But please be aware that our liability for the condition of your goods will end when they are handed over to your carrier.

8. What is the Delivery Timescale?

(Please also see section 4. Delivery in our Terms and Conditions page).

Very approximately, it takes between four and six weeks to make a mattress, divan or bedstead to order. Ordinarily, your goods should arrive at your mainland European home no more than four weeks after manufacture, but sometimes it may be as little as one. Deliveries to European islands and the rest of the World will usually take much longer unless you request and pay for air freight.

This means that in mainland Europe you should allow up to ten weeks between confirming your order and receiving delivery. This timescale may very rarely be exceeded due to circumstances beyond our control, but it may often be reduced, depending on what you order and when. If you wish to stipulate a "not before" date (e.g., because your building will not be finished, or no-one can accept delivery on your behalf), or a definite "by" date (i.e., the latest date by which you need delivery), you must inform us at the time of order. In any case, you must allow us a delivery window of one month between your stipulated "not before" date and "by" date, to enable us to load-plan most economically.

Special delivery timing and other arrangements requested after the time of order may be subject to an additional charge.

9. Explain Discounts

Our published prices are the prices we normally ask you to pay, excluding delivery and (where payable) UK VAT. UK VAT is payable anywhere inside the EU. Outside the EU, UK VAT will be zero-rated. If we ever offer goods at a % discount that % will represent the amount being deducted from our normal published price, not the manufacturer's suggested retail price or any other.

Many of our competitors act illegally in not identifying the origin of the pre-discount price. The following press-release shows what happened to one such company. The company was fined £5,000 and had to pay £152,795 court costs.

If you wish to deal with a company of impeccable integrity, confirmed by numerous unsolicited testimonials, then choose British Beds Worldwide Limited.

Trading Standards reaction
Norfolk Trading Standards department welcomed the conviction. David Collinson, assistant director of public protection at Norfolk County Council said: I am pleased with this result. We brought this case after receiving a complaint from a business in March 2010 about commercial practices at Mattressman and after conducting a detailed and thorough nine-month investigation.

That investigation revealed that the company and its directors used misleading and fictitious price comparisons to make these products appear to be heavily discounted. We felt these were serious misleading commercial practices " and the judge agreed with us, he said.

By pleading guilty to these two specimen counts, Mattressman and two of its directors have admitted that their commercial practices were not up to scratch.

In effect, they were attracting customers by cynically making them believe they would be getting a better bargain than was actually the case.

That is unfair to consumers and unfair to other businesses that don’t use tactics like this to boost their sales and Norfolk’s Trading Standards service is committed to investigating and taking action whenever this type of activity is brought to our attention.

10. How is a divan base made?

The basic divan is constructed from top quality timber, which is glued and screwed together to provide strength, durability and rigidity.
The springs are overlaid with a sheet of hessian (or similar) to provide a foundation material. Layers of upholstery are then added.
The pre-sewn ticking case is then added with a high-quality calico (or similar) cover on the underside of the frame to help prevent entry of dust.
Headboard bolts and fitted and castors are inserted into solid corner blocks.

11. How does a divan compare with a box-spring?

In many countries a bed comprises a mattress on top of a box-spring which in turn lies on top of a metal or wooden frame. This arrangement is used sometimes in the UK, where the box-spring is called a bed-base.

However, the far more popular, aesthetically pleasing and practical bed arrangement is a mattress placed on a "divan-base". A divan-base incorporates both the box-spring and the wooden frame into one beautiful piece of upholstered furniture. There are no ugly metal or wooden bits to be seen or gash your legs: instead the covering fabric of the divan can usually be chosen from a lovely range of colours to complement or, as the centre-piece of the room, set the colour-scheme for the whole bedroom. For beautiful pictures of "divan-beds", click on Divans/Box-spring Beds in the menu.

12. What are you doing to help minimise damage to the environment?

At British Beds Worldwide Ltd we are aware that sending a bed around the World is not the most effective way of looking after the environment. However, we are trying to "do our bit". We communicate as far as possible without the use of paper and try to help our valued customers choose their bed without needing to travel to showrooms. Delivery by sea is usually on a groupage basis, often helping to fill ships that are returning to their home port half-empty. Delivery by road is carried out whenever possible on the latest and "greenest" trucks that meet demanding international standards.

13. What fire safety properties can I expect?

To the best of our knowledge all the mattresses made by our carefully chosen manufacturers incorporate safety felt which is resistant not only to ignition by smouldering cigarettes, but also by a flame source. All foam used is CMHR (Combustion High Resilience) specified by law for use in beds and furniture. When combined, this type of foam and felt provide positive fire protection. All products meet the demands of the relevant UK legislation.

14. Aren’t “firm” mattresses best?

Only if you weigh more than 100kgs or your doctor has told you to sleep on a firm mattress. Firm mattresses often cause or aggravate back-pain because they do not always keep people’s backs straight.

15. Why put foam in a mattress?

Different forms of foam are widely used to complement other fillings in mattresses because of its softness or, more recently, its memory. The most desirable form of foam in a mattress is Talalay© latex. See FAQs on Latex Foam; Memory Foam; and Reflex Foam.

16. What is meant by “hand-forged” in respect of metal beds?

Solid steel metal rods are heated in a blacksmith’s forge and hammered onto an anvil to achieve the desired shape. A jig is used to ensure consistency of design and size. All the prepared pieces are welded together to create the final product. The welds and any rough areas are sanded down to give a clean yet natural finish to the steel. Finally the product is baked to give a hard-wearing surface finish.

17. What is meant by “x rows of hand-stitching” to the borders of a mattress?

In cheap mattresses, the side stitching is done by machine or there may even be none In good quality mattresses, the border is hand-stitched by specialist craftsmen to the second row of springs to ensure there is no bulging of the mattress sides, whilst extending the sleeping area to the very edge of the mattress. The mattress will always regain its original height and retain its strength over many years. A good quality mattress will have two rows; a very good quality one, three; and the very best one, four rows, involving many hours of highly-skilled work.

18. What is so special about “hand-tied” or “hand-lashed”?

Hand-tied (or hand-lashed) divan springs support the heaviest and most luxurious mattresses, with the craftsmen painstakingly ensuring that ach spring offers the optimum level of support for the mattress. Each spring is compressed slightly and then tied to its neighbours, so that eventually every spring is tied to others in the base, with the tension on each being the same. The thickest possible cane edge surrounds the divan spring unit to offer additional support to the very edge of the mattress.

19. How are headboards attached to beds?

Struts are attached by the manufacturer to the back of the headboard. These struts have long slots to enable them to be slid onto the headboard bolts which come as a standard fitting at the head-end of divan-bases. The bolts and struts are traditionally spaced within the UK bed industry so that headboards and bases from different manufacturers can be fitted together.

20. Why would I want lambswool in my mattress?

Whilst it is used primarily for its softness, lambswool is a natural insulator, retaining warmth in winter whilst being cool in the summer. Merino wool is used in some mattresses and is considered to be the finest wool available. All lambswool is excellent at aiding moisture control, as the air trapped in it allows body moisture to evaporate more easily.

21. What is latex foam?

Essentially it is rubber suspended in water, which has undergone a foaming process. 100% natural latex is a completely natural material that is often used as a layer in mattresses add to their softness. It is extremely durable, hypo-allergenic and dust-mite proof. When 'Talalayed', it becomes even softer and more breathable, eliminating the tendency of other types of foam to cause or aggravate overheating and night-sweats. Whilst British Beds Worldwide Ltd does not show any beds containing latex on its website, these are available on request. If you particulary require a mattress or divan-set, please use our Enquiry Form to ask for more details.

22. What does loose hair do?

It is highly resilient and therefore offers a luxurious loft or springiness in the upholstery. Hair gives a mattress a sumptuous feel and helps it to retain its level of comfort for the lifetime of the bed. Sometimes hair is compressed into pads to combine resilience with a firmer feel.

23. What’s so special about “memory” foam?

Memory foam is alleged to be a wonder product. Whilst many claim that it is such, perhaps to justify the large expense to themselves, a significant and growing minority have published several disadvantages on the Internet. For example:

A chemical smell that diminishes from new but often never completely disappears;
Heat retention or slow heat dissipation, causing or aggravating night-sweats;
A slipperiness that makes it hard for one to turn over in bed, or even make love!
Slowness to re-shape to one’s new sleeping position.
This list is not comprehensive.
For these reasons, British Beds Worldwide Ltd has decided not to sell beds or mattresses that contain memory-foam.

24. What is mohair used for?

This is another natural fibre traditionally used in British beds manufacturing- the long soft silky hair of the Angora goat – selected for the sumptuous level of resilience it offers. Such resilience helps prevent the mattress from settling.

25. What is a no-turn or no-need-to-turn mattress?

These mattresses are made with layers of fillings with greater resilience on the sleeping surface of the mattress. They are better able to stand continuous use of just one surface of the mattress, and therefore need less care by the user. They should still be rotated and flipped every month for the first 6 months to allow the fillings to settle correctly, and rotated every three months thereafter.

26. How often should I buy a new bed?

The National Bed Federation recommends replacing beds every eight years, but beds of the highest quality will often last much longer than this. Cheap beds are unlikely to perform satisfactorily for more than a few years unless they have been used only occasionally, for example, as a guest bed. Wear and tear, lumps and bumps, and decreasing support and comfort are the most obvious sign that a bed needs to be replaced.

27. What is open-coil springing?

This is sometimes known as the traditional Bonnell spring system, the most widely used throughout the bed industry, particularly in cheap beds and bedstead mattresses. Electrically tempered wire is formed into large coils. Helical wires connect each spring to form a sleeping platform. When one spring is pressed down, all adjacent springs (and their connected springs too) will compress. This can cause sleeping partners to roll together, sleep disturbance, discomfort, and poor spinal support.

28. Aren’t “orthopaedic” or “firm” mattresses best?

Only if you weigh more than 100kgs or your doctor has told you to sleep on a firm mattress. "Orthopaedic" was a marketing term used in the 1980’s to persuade customers that firm mattresses were good for their backs. Firm mattresses often cause or aggravate back-pain because they do not always keep people’s backs straight. You should choose the correct mattress support level according to your weight.

29. Tell me about P&C Upholstery?

P and C Upholstery is another family-owned company making the very best upholstered headboards for the very best bed manufacturers, so it is only natural that we include P and C among our chosen suppliers.

In an old tannery in Roger's home-town of Helston in deepest Cornwall, the P and C team works with pride to produce beautiful headboards to match or contrast with the fabric of your bed. They will gladly create headboards in Hypnos's and Relyon's designs and fabrics, if the bed-width you have chosen is not produced as a regular size by the bed-manufacturer. Or, they will produce your headboard in your own fabric. Or, they will try to create a bespoke design in accordance with your wishes. For example, we worked closely with P and C and an interior designer in Switzerland who supplied the dramatic black and white fabric to produce an exquisite bespoke headboard for our mutual customer. The result was a veritable "tour-de-force".

The P and C designs shown on our site are their standard products, but if you would like something unique, please don't hesitate to ask us. We will immediately get P and C on the case!

30. What does POA stand for?

"Price on Application". For a variety of reasons we are not able to publish the prices of all products and/or sizes, so please call us on +44 1752 290748 or Enquire for a free comprehensive quotation to supply and deliver this product / size to your home wherever you live and into your bedroom if possible.

31. How is a pocket-sprung mattress made?

The pocket-sprung unit is placed on a special table-top and covered with a calico or cambric sheet as a basic foundation for the upholstery.
The layers of upholstery are added, with the top and bottom surface layers of ticking last, finishing with the "tick".
The mattress border fabric is placed around the unit and tape is used to sew the border to the top and bottom panels.
Evenly-spaced tufts are then passed through the smooth-topped mattress to keep the fillings in place.
In "cheap" mattresses, the side stitching is done by machine. In good quality mattresses, the border is hand-stitched by specialist craftsmen to the second row of springs to ensure there is no bulging of the mattress sides, whilst extending the sleeping area to the very edge of the mattress. The mattress will always regain its original height and retain its strength over many years. A good quality mattress will have two rows; a very good quality three; and the very best four rows, involving many hours of highly-skilled work.

32. What is the BBW Price Guarantee?

The British Beds Worldwide ("BBW") Price Guarantee

Download this as PDF >>

If you receive a lower quotation for exactly the same product(s) and service, then you can take advantage of our price guarantee when you order from BBW.

How it works:

Call us on the number below with your personal information and have the following details about the alternative quote to hand:

Full product and service details – not just a price summary
Date of quote and its expiry date
Your name and full delivery address
A full description of the product(s)
A full description of the delivery service
A full description of the factory packaging and quality check
The timescale promised
The retailer's trade organisation credentials and consumer protection policy
The retailer's experience in direct-to-bedroom delivery (UK / overseas, as appropriate)
The total price quoted or, if already ordered, invoiced
Payment terms
If we are satisfied that it is a like-for-like quotation, we will beat the quote by between £20 and £100 depending on the product and size. We will NOT compromise on service to offer a lower quotation unless you ask us to, e.g. kerbside instead of bedroom delivery. This price guarantee applies if you pay us in full with acceptance of our lower quotation. It excludes all admin charges/credit charges and is not available in conjunction with any other offer. Proof of like-for-like product and service, including a copy of the quotation or, if already ordered, invoice may be required.

+44 (0)1752 290748

To take advantage of this offer, ensure you quote "price guarantee" when you speak to us!

33. What do the prices shown on the website represent?

What do the prices shown on the website represent? All prices are shown in British Pounds (GBP / £), the currency in which we trade. Each price shown is the Net buying price for one individual item. Delivery and UK VAT (where applicable) are not included. Headboards are not included in the price of a divan-set or mattress and appear in most of such images for illustration purposes only. If you are thinking of buying more than one item (e.g., a divan-set and headboard, or two beds), a discount may apply. Please call us or use our online enquiry-form to ask.

34. Tell me about Reflex Foam

Reflex foam is a synthetic inexpensive material that is often added to lower-priced mattresses as a comfort layer. It is not found in higher quality all-natural mattresses. Because it resists dust mites it can be a boon for asthma and allergy sufferers, but most high-quality pocket-sprung mattresses have other defences against these little horrors. Being a synthetic foam it can cause or aggravate night-sweats, so it is definitely not recommended for hot climates.

35. Tell me about Relyon

Relyon Limited started life in 1858 as a wool merchant in the Somerset town of Wellington. Originally named by the founding Price family as Price Brothers and Co., the business moved rapidly into manufacturing beds and in 1935 changed its name to Relyon Ltd. Since that time the Relyon brand name has become synonymous with the very highest standards of product design and manufacturing quality and is now recognised as the leading UK manufacturer in its field.
In 1966 Relyon became a public company known as Relyon Group p.l.c. and used its considerable financial strength to diversify into other areas. In 2001, the group was acquired by Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd., a quoted South African group with worldwide sales in excess of £500m. Steinhoff has over 90 factories worldwide with a strong presence throughout Europe, South Africa and Australia.
As the market leader in the production of high quality mattresses, divan sets, storabeds and bedframes, the Relyon brand can be found in all leading furniture stores in the UK. The quality of the Relyon range has been recognised by a number of awards. These include the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers in the City of London by the awarding of their highly prestigious Production Guild Mark. This mark of excellence, together with the company's ISO9000 certification, reassures customers that they are investing in the best products on the market.
Relyon now employs 400 people in bed manufacturing and is firmly established as by far the most significant supplier to the top half of the UK market.

36. Is it OK to replace only the mattress?

If you are absolutely sure that the base is in good condition and of a suitable type for the new mattress – yes. If your base is old and distorted, however, the new mattress will follow its worn contours, thus providing little improvement on your existing bed. Moreover, manufacturers design their beds as a complete sleep system so a mattress may perform differently when placed on a non-matching base.

37. Please explain the sizes

Please explain the sizes

Size = (cm) Length x (cm) Width / (feet & inches) Length x (feet & inches) Width

Narrow Single: 75 x 190 / 2'6″ x 6'3″

Standard Single: 90 x 190 / 3′ x 6'3″
Long Narrow Single: 75 x 200 / 2′ 6″ x 6'6″
Long Standard Single: 90 x 200 / 3′ x 6'6″Small Double: 120 x 190 / 4′ x 6'3″
Double: 135 x 190 / 4'6″ x 6'3″
Continental Double: 140 x 190 / 4'7″ x 6'3″
Long Continental Double: 140 x 200 / 4'7″ x 6'6″Kingsize: 150 x 200 / 5′ x 6'6″
Kingsize Zip & Link: 150 x 200 / 5′ x 6'6″
Continental Kingsize: 160 x 200 / 5'3″ x 6'6″
Short Super Kingsize Zip & Link: 180 x 190 / 6′ x 6'3″
Super Kingsize: 180 x 200 / 6′ x 6'6″
Super Kingsize Zip & Link: 180 x 200 / 6′ x 6'6″
Super Kingsize Plus: 200 x 200 / 6'6″ x 6'6″Statesize: 215 x 215 / 7′ x 7′

38. What are springs made from?

Raw steel wire which in good quality beds is sprung at the manufacturers' own factory.

39. What mattress tension should I choose?

These guidelines for people who are unable to try our products before ordering have worked reliably for over 10 years for our many customers around the world.  However, they are only guidelines and not obligatory.

If you have tried one of our mattresses in a showroom somewhere and / or you have a strong personal preference for a tension other than that considered "most suitable" for your weight range, then your own experience should prevail.

Also, be aware that your height and body shape and the kind of base on which the mattress is to be placed may affect how it will feel, so do please ask us for advice.

Individual Weight Range Mattress Tension considered "most suitable"
Up to 12 stones (75kg) Soft
12 to 16 stones (75kg to 100kg) Standard, Regular or Medium
16 to 18 stones (100kg to 120kg) Firm
Over 18 stones (120kg) Extra-firm*

*If you are over 125kg, the base for your mattress may need to be reinforced. We can also obtain supply bariatric beds. Please don't hesitate to talk to us in complete confidence.

40. Is it necessary to try a bed before buying it?

Not with the right advice in advance. People have been buying beds by mail-order for decades. As long as you follow the "science" of weight-to-tension and follow any order your doctor has given you about mattress tension, you can be assured that your mattress is right for you. It’s reassuring to try before you buy, but you need to do it properly and spend at least 10 minutes on each bed you try. Don’t let salesmen rush you, and choose a quiet shopping time if you’re concerned you’ll feel silly.

41. What is the benefit of white fibre?

White fibre is man-made, produced by Relyon’s sister company Pritex. It contributes to the soft and resilient feel of a mattress. Being sterilised and dust-free, it is ideal for products used by allergy sufferers.

42. What are the advantages of zip-and-link beds and mattresses?

1. They provide different levels of support for sleeping partners.
2. They may be separated into two single beds when the need arises.
3. They are easier to deliver, move from room to room, and remove.
4. The mattresses are easier to turn.

Disclaimer: The information given in these FAQ's is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge, but no reliance should be placed on it without first independently checking it. The information does not form part of any representation prior to or in the formation of the sales contract.