The National Bed Federation (NBF) crowned its 2022 Bed Industry Awards winners last night at the Bed Show Gala Dinner in Telford.
An independent panel of judges selected 11 winners from a shortlist of finalists comprising NBF members, their sales agents/reps, and supporting bed retailers.
This year’s winners were Elevate Ultra Turing Plush mattress by Sealy UK for Bed Product of the Year; Himalaya Nettle, Cotton and Kapok Fibre Comfort Layer by Hypnos for Component Product of the Year; Harrison Spinks for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; John Cotton Nonwovens for Component Supplier of the Year; Neil Steed at Shire Beds for NBF Member Sales Agent/Rep of the Year; Dreams for National Bed Retailer of the Year; Mattress Online for Online Bed Retailer of the Year; Now to Bed for Small NBF Retail Champion of the Year; Glasswells for Large NBF Retail Champion of the Year; Dreams for Best Marketing Campaign; and Glasswells, Bury St. Edmunds, for Outstanding Bed Store of the Year.
TV and radio presenter Colin Murray hosted the annual gala dinner and awards ceremony, which takes place on the first day of the Bed Show and attracts over 400 guests from the industry. The evening recognised winners across bed manufacturing, supplying and selling for representing the very best in innovation, growth and marketing.
Jim Gerrety, NBF President, said: “Now in their 13th year, the NBF Bed Industry Awards are a pivotal event in the bed industry calendar and a real opportunity to recognise the businesses and individuals who have gone above and beyond during the last 12 months. Congratulations to all the worthy winners and finalists and those who put themselves forward to be judged.”
Harrison Spinks scooped the trophy for Bed Manufacturer of the Year, a category which returned for 2022. With well-established sustainability credentials, the Leeds-based manufacturer has built further on those in the past year with initiatives ranging from product-related innovation to tangible end-of-life processes. From a high base, Harrisons Spinks has also found growth with key independent retailers in the UK and successfully expanded its international horizons.
Worthy finalists were Sleepeezee and GNG Komfi.
The judges were Tony Attard (Furniture Makers’ Company), David Fitzsimons (Oakdene Hollins and European Manufacturing Council) and Richard De Melim (Furnishing Report).
Taking Component Supplier of the Year was John Cotton Nonwovens. With impressive advances made to help its customers and the environment – alongside a truly next-level foam replacement product – John Cotton, described by judges as “West Yorkshire’s finest”, continues to demonstrate a world-class approach to developing the filling solutions of tomorrow.
A close runner up selected by the judges was Wolf Components.
The judges were Tony Attard, Paul Farley (Furniture News) and David Fitzsimons.
The coveted Bed Product of the Year was awarded to Sealy UK for its Elevate Ultra Turing Plush mattress, part of its Sealy Posturepedic collection. The mattress is based on simple skeletal symmetry, keeping the body’s posture parallel to the sleep surface, so that the hips and shoulders are aligned and the spine is straight, yet perfectly relaxed. The judges acknowledged the product draws on the heritage of Sealy UK, using a lot of small innovations that come together to make a bed that does not just feel great, but looks truly fantastic and is sure to be a huge success.
Close runner up was Harrison Spinks for its New Dawn Collection.
Hypnos took home this year’s Component Product of the Year trophy for its Himalaya Nettle, Cotton and Kapok Fibre Comfort Layer. Completely new to the bedding market, this product demonstrated that comfort layers could be effectively and sustainably derived from nature, making it suitable for vegan products or mixing with other protein-based natural fibres such as wool. The judges acknowledged that the product drives value for the community that produces it and for the manufacturer and retail partners that invest in this unique comfort story.
Judging the products were Steve Adams (Mattress Online), Jerry Cheshire (former owner, Surrey Beds), Sue Davies (Sue Davies Design Solutions), Paul Farley, and Rebecca Maloy (AIS).
Neil Steed from Shire Beds clinched the NBF’s first NBF Member Sales Agent/Rep of the Year Award, which shines a spotlight at an individual level. Described by Shire Beds as “The father of the industry in the agent community”, Neil has worked in the bedding trade for 50 years, driving more than 1.5 million miles and booking over £100 million worth of orders. Neil is known for his quote: “One always needs a good mattress and a good pair of shoes because if you’re not in on one, you’re in the other.”
The finalists were Louise Hardy – Shire Beds, Graham Riggall – Deluxe Beds and John Saunders – Sleepeezee.
Steve Adams, Jerry Cheshire and Rebecca Maloy also judged this award.
Continuing its 2021 success, Dreams has once again scooped National Bed Retailer of the Year. The judges cited that the retailer overcame a different set of challenges with evidence of some excellent work supporting and building relationships with NBF brands. Dreams, which recently joined the Tempur Sealy family, demonstrated a continued excellent performance from a top and bottom-line perspective and was praised for its marketing, particularly in supporting ParalympicsGB as its official brand sponsor.
Close finalists were Fabb Furniture and Furniture Village.
Mattress Online was crowned Online Bed Retailer of the Year for an incredible fourth-year running. The judges recognised its excellent achievements, from launching a new website to increasing average order value and conversions. Mattress Online has also grown its team by 14% and successfully launched its omnichannel strategy by acquiring its first two brick-and-mortar stores.
The finalists were Mattress Next Day and Simba Sleep.
New for 2022, the Small NBF Retail Champion of the Year category was awarded to Premier Retail Champion Now to Bed, which stocks entirely NBF approved brands. With its new 8000 sq ft flagship store, website and additional warehouse, the judges praised the retailer’s great improvement in margins and sales growth this past year. Alongside strong customer satisfaction evidenced in over 770 five-star Trust Pilot reviews, Now to Bed also invested in its staff with increased factory visits to suppliers and an improved fleet of delivery vehicles.
Linthorpe Beds and Prestige Beds were named the finalists in this category.
Glasswells, one of the UK’s largest independent home furnishing stores and a newcomer to the NBF’s retailer scheme, scooped the Large NBF Retail Champion of the Year award. Described by judges as “one the finest furniture retailers not just in the UK but maybe all of Europe,” Glasswells proudly promotes its NBF Retail Champion status and is a supporter of many NBF approved brands. Sustainability and staff development are high on its agenda too, with the NBF’s Introduction to Beds course now a key part of bedding staff’s induction.
Sussex Beds was announced as the finalist in this category.
National Bed Retailer, Online Retailer, and the Small and Large NBF Retail Champion awards were judged by Andrew Kidd (Interiors Monthly), Bernard Eaton (Greenwood Retail) and Richard De Melim (Furnishing Report).
‘The Power of Sleep’ by Dreams, in partnership with Team GB and ParalympicsGB, won the NBF’s first Best Marketing Campaign. In less than one year, Dreams, with its top athlete ambassadors, became the brand most associated with ParalympicsGB by its target audience, and the second most associated with Team GB. Its social media reached an incredible 35.5m people and the new ‘Dream Team’ product range now accounts for a significant amount of mattress sales volume.
The finalists were Linthorpe Beds and Mattress Online.
This was judged by Phil Bennett (PIP Creative) and Richard McMurrough (The Propaganda Agency).
Finally, winning another new category Outstanding Bed Store of the Year was Glasswells of Bury St. Edmunds. The NBF Marketing Committee produced a shortlist for this award which was then mystery shopped by an agency to reveal the winner. From exceptional kerb appeal and immaculate presentation of products to merchandising and excellent product knowledge, Glasswells’ flagship shone as a store that truly knows its products, its customers and what is required to support staff to deliver the best possible service.
Bradfords of Evesham and Housing Units of Manchester closely were named the finalists in this category.
Hear from the winners:
Scooping Bed Product of the Year, David Trimble, General Manager, at Sealy UK said: “This award win is an acknowledgement of all the design and development work that went into the new range. However, it is also a tribute to our factory teams for building this great-looking, great-performing product.
“To be recognised by the National Bed Federation for producing and selling the ‘bed of the year’ feels like the first step in a new era for Sealy UK.
“Special thanks to everyone associated with every aspect of this Award entry. It’s a great result and a big win for us all.”
Steve Adams, CEO of Mattress Online, commented following their win of Online Bed Retailer of the Year: “To have been recognised as the winners in the Online Retailer category for the fourth successive time and finalists in the Marketing Campaign category feels incredible. We appreciate the effort and time that the judges put in each year. The accolades reflect the stellar work of every employee at Mattress Online – I am so proud of them all”.
Paul Burnet, owner of Now to Bed, said: “Winning the ‘Small NBF Retail Champion of the Year Award 2022/23′ reflects all the hard work and dedication our team at Now to Bed has put in over recent years.
“This award will make a huge difference to our business going forward and will give the consumer even more confidence to shop with a successful family-run award-winning company.”
Glasswells’ MD, Paul Glasswell, said: “We are thrilled that Glasswells has won not only the Large NBF Retail Champion of the Year but also the Outstanding Bed Store of the Year in the National Bed Federation Industry Awards. My grandfather started the business in 1946 and we have always strived to be the best home furnisher; from creating immaculate shopping environments, to working closely with specially selected suppliers and investing in our people to offer the expert advice we are renowned for. To be described by the judges as “one the finest furniture retailers not just in the UK but maybe all of Europe,” makes me very proud.
“Whilst all of the team at Glasswells has played their part in achieving these awards, special thanks must go to Julie Valentine, our Bed Buyer, who has put tremendous effort into making Glasswells the Outstanding Bed Store of the Year.”
Nick Booth, Managing Director of Harrison Spinks Beds, said: “To be crowned ‘Bed Manufacturer of the Year’ is an incredible achievement and testament to the amazing hard work, passion, commitment and innovation from everyone across the business.
“We have worked hard to create a business where the quality and comfort of our products are underpinned by continuous innovation and a sustainable approach, so we are delighted that judges recognised this; as well as our growth areas and consistency in supply, in what has been a challenging 12 months for all manufacturers.”
David Baldry, Group Managing Director at Hypnos, said: “At Hypnos, we believe that sleep shouldn’t cost the Earth, and have a passion for sustainable design. This comfort layer combines 100% plant-based fibres, responsibly grown and sourced through social initiatives CottonConnect and Himalaya, to provide a breathable, natural mattress filling.
“Hypnos is committed to luxurious sleep, sustainability and achieving Net Zero by 2030, so it’s fantastic to have been recognised for this design partnership and receiving the Component Product of the Year award.”
Mark Baron, Sales and Marketing Director at John Cotton Nonwovens, said: “John Cotton are proud to be the first company within the industry to win the ‘Component Supplier’ of the year award. Winning this provides us with a huge sense of confidence that we are doing all we can to provide our customers with innovative, quality performance products that are highly credible within the industry. We will continue to strive for this high level of standard for years to come while ensuring we limit our impact on the environment and invest in our people and technology.”
Jonathan Hirst, CEO at Dreams, said: “We are delighted that Dreams has been recognised once more by the National Bed Federation as the National Bed Retailer of the Year. From our Bed Factory to Bedquarters, every one of our colleagues at Dreams has continued to help us go from strength to strength, even in tough times. I am exceptionally proud of our Dreams colleagues and this award is a huge testament to everyone’s hard work.”
Jo Martin, Chief Marketing Officer at Dreams, said: “It was a fantastic achievement to win the Best Marketing Campaign for ‘The Power of Sleep’; our multi-award-winning activation that showcased our Team GB and ParalympicsGB partnership during Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. I’m tremendously proud of our continued partnerships, so it’s wonderful that the hard work of the Dreams marketing team is recognised for delivering such successful campaigns.”