16 April 2024, 15:13
By Furniture News Sept 16, 2022

The UK bed industry talks trends

Is your bed business ahead of the curve, or has it some catching up to do? For this year’s Bed Buyer, Furniture News asked a selection of our regular contributors to share their thoughts on the market’s directions …

What’s in? What’s out? And how well positioned is your business to react to changing demand? 

Against a backdrop of squeezed budgets and fluctuating costs, we asked the trade’s experts for their take on incoming (and outgoing) product trends and the most significant changes ahead, and to share which aspects of the National Bed Federation (NBF) they most value. 

Thanks to our contributors: Adam Ashborn, founder and creative director, Reborn Marketing and Design; Andy Stockwell, senior retail manager, Gardiner Haskins; Huw Williams, MD, Toons Furnishers; Mike Murray, director, Land of Beds; Rebecca Maloy, beds, cabinet and semi-fitted bedroom selector, AIS; Steve Adams, CEO, Mattress Online; Steve Pickering, CEO, Sussex Beds; and Steve Reid, CEO and co-founder, Simba Sleep.

We started by asking by asking which product trends they expected to see coming in (and going out) … 

Adam Ashborn: More focus on sustainable/recyclable products/materials. Within the last few years we have started to see some mattress producers begin to solve the issues surrounding the problem of how to recycle a mattress more efficiently, with easy-peel pocketed coils and biodegradable fillings. I see this trend continuing for the next few years as the world comes to grips with climate control measures.

Andy Stockwell: It’s all about sustainability in materials, fabrics, production processes and recycling. Mattress recycling is due to take huge leaps forward in the next 12-18 months.

Huw Williams: I think that after a long run of customers understanding the need for a quality bed and the steady increase in price points as a result of that, the current cost-of-living crisis will probably mean aspirations will be lower, with many customers buying the best bed they can afford rather than the bed they actually want. 

Mike Murray: I think natural earthy colours and materials will be popular this year. After everything the world has been through recently, we now want more than ever to create a tranquil, safe and comfortable sanctuary to retreat to. Therefore, anything that connects us to nature is likely to resonate with consumers. 

"Mattress recycling is due to take huge leaps forward in the next 12-18 months

Rebecca Maloy: We are in for some challenging trading over the coming months which will inevitably influence the trends in the market, making great value (at any price point) and recognised, trusted brands more important than ever.

Sustainability is certainly on the agenda, and will continue to be so from a consumer point of view. There is lots of great work going on in the industry to drive awareness around new ways of working, including recycling practices. This will make manufacturers look at different ways of working and product make-up to provide great product.

In the short term I think there will be a shift to added value and trusted brands as consumers are up against rising bills, hot weather and redirecting their spend to holidays following the inability to travel during Covid. As the market normalises, following a period driven by far more considered and distress purchasing, I believe lifestyle products will become more important. Retailers will have to work harder than ever to provide great service and to give consumers a high level of reassurance in relation to their purchase. 

Steve Adams: Ottoman bed frames are continuing their upward trend, whilst the bottom end of the memory foam market seems to be stalling.

Steve Pickering: Recycled products with a focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly will grow. The colour trends seem to be more pastel and beige/creams, rather than the greys that have been really strong for a number of years.

Steve Reid: I believe the movement to hybrid mattresses will continue, as, I hope, will a continued reduction in ‘traditional’ foam usage, in order to lower the industry’s carbon footprint drastically. I also think there will be an increasing desire for brands to offer services to customers in regard to sleep advice. 

Discover the contributors' take on future opportunities and the role of the NBF in this year's Bed Buyer.

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