Need a Made to Measure Mattress?
Special Size Mattresses in the UK
If you’re looking to purchase a custom size mattress for a non-standard bed then this helpful guide could be ideal for you. This special size mattress page is packed full of information, hints, tricks and money saving tips.
We’re always attempting to help the UK consumer get the ‘best possible product’ for their money. Equally we’re always attempting to highlight the ‘pros and cons’ of bespoke mattresses and the things you should be looking out for.
Buying a high quality made to measure mattress
in the UK can be a challenge. Some people require mattresses, which are round, curved, shaped or have cut out corners.
Typically, a standard bed shop will not accommodate custom bespoke mattresses
such as these, so a special size mattress company needs to be found.
Remember, it’s important to purchase a custom shape mattress that is both supportive and comfortable, after all, you’re the person that’s going to be using it!
In general, when purchasing a new mattress you should feel ‘refreshed’ upon waking. Your slumber should be supported
and every part of your body should obtain the correct level of support
for your needs.
Pro Tip: If you’re purchasing a made to measure mattress for a confined environment, such as a boat, caravan, truck, etc. It’s extremely important you buy a product which has passed all UK fire regulations.
Always ask the supplier to see the UK flammability fire certificate. (All GOOD companies will have conducted fire testing on their products, once they have passed UK regulations, they are issued with a certificate).
Understanding the Industry Jargon
The bedding industry makes it really complicated for most customers to understand the general terms. Sometimes this is used to confuse customers, while at other times it’s because companies name their products differently from each other.
For example ‘Custom Size mattress’
can be called many different names. These can include the following:
- Bespoke Mattresses
- European / Continental Mattress
- Large Mattress
- Long Mattress
- Round Mattress
- Made to Measure Mattresses
- Narrow Mattresses
- Odd Shape Mattress
- Short Mattress
- Special Size Mattress
- Curved Mattress
- Custom Shape Mattress
- IKEA Sized Mattresses
To make things even more complicated, some companies will call them by their industry type. For example:
As you can see, it can easy get confusing! However they all generally mean the same thing.
These items tend to be produced in the UK to specific custom specifications
for individual requirements.
This means you will have to measure the size of mattress you need and tell the company your measurements.
Most online companies will have a price automatically
calculated on their website, however some providers still do it the ‘old fashioned’ way and calculate a price on demand.
What Style of Bespoke Mattress Do I Need?
Typically, most people in the UK buy a custom size mattress
for small bedrooms, caravans, motorhomes, boats, trucks and so on. These special size mattresses tend to have a ‘corner cut off’ or shaped to a certain specification.
For example, in made to measure mattress for motorhome and caravans
tend to be custom island shape mattress, this simply looks like a normal mattress, however one end has a semi-circle shape.
Obviously, this configuration isn’t available as standard in most bed shops, so it can only be purchased from a bespoke manufacturer.
Here’s a basic example of the standard styles of custom mattresses available in the UK:
Island Mattress with Bolster
Left Top Corner Cut
Right Top Corner Cut
Left Bottom Corner Cut
Right Bottom Corner Cut
Top Corners Cut
Bottom Corners Cut
Generally speaking you should select the shape that closely matches your requirements. If you’re replacing an existing mattress or thinking about purchasing a new item, then simply measure the dimensions you require.
Most bespoke manufacturers will separate the sizing into four sections. These generally include small, double, king and super king.
Made to Measure Mattress - Fire Regulations
If you’re purchasing a made to measure item for a confined environment, it’s extremely important you buy a product which has passed all UK fire regulations.
Generally speaking, it’s always better to purchase from a manufacturer who is part of the NBF (National Bed Federation).
The National Bed Federation, obviously take compliance with the UK flammability regulations and standards very seriously. All their members must sign a declaration each year to confirm that they are complying with the requirements for the UK.
Unfortunately, not every company trading in the UK
is as honourable, possibly through inexperience, cost-cutting, or even occasionally because of deliberate dishonesty.
More importantly, if a mattress is for 'home-use' then manufacturers and retailers don't legally
have to provide mattresses to 'Crib 5' fire proof specifications. Mattresses or beds for 'commercial' use only, must comply to specific UK Fire regulations.
This obviously can cause a issue, if you're using a mattress in a confined space. Generally, most mattresses will be 'fireproof' for a specific number of minutes, this is to allow people to escape from a house (for example). However, if in a small environment. such as a Caravan, Lorry or Boat, the chances of other things catching alight is greatly increased. Generally, it's always a good idea to spend a little more money and purchase a 'Crib 5' or equivalent item.
Reputable manufactures will have appropriate flammability tests on their products at an accredited UK testing facility. Once the products pass the test and upholds UK flammability regulations, the supplier will be issued with a certificate. If you’re in doubt, always ask to see the fire certificate!
You see, it’s really important you’re aware of this issue, because Mattresses, divans and bed bases as a final item do not fall within the UK Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. However, it is recommended that manufacturers test their products to comply with the relevant standard, BS 7177. This is to demonstrate that the product is safe in accordance with the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
For further information on accredited UK suppliers and manufacturers
FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association)
NBF (National Bed Federation)
The size of a mattress varies depending on the materials used.
In the United Kingdom, most made to measure mattresses
are constructed out of foam
. This is because foam is easy to shape, it offers great support and can be produced to almost any size.
Sizes for foam
mattresses typically start in width and in length from around 60cm to 213cm.
However, over the past decade or so, there’s been a steady growth in the market for made to measure pocket sprung
mattresses too. These differ in size and shapes available, as a spring cannot be ‘cut’, so they generally are only created in a regular shape with a three-inch difference between each sizing.
Did you know, Custom Mattresses cannot be returned to the retailer or manufacturer in question. They have been specially produced for your own requirements. Your consumer and statutory rights are not affected, and you will run the risk of losing your money if you don’t like the product in question.
How are Bespoke Size Mattresses Produced?
Most odd size mattresses in Britain are manufactured by hand in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
There’s other retailers and manufacturers spread around the country, however these regions tend to be ‘hot-beds’ for this type of production.
The facilities of each factory can range from small independent manufacturers to large multi-national companies.
In most cases your mattress will be created from a blank template, this means the workers in the factory will cut the materials to your specific dimensions.
By and large the materials used are imported from abroad, however in some cases UK sourced fabric and foam can be used.
Made to Measure Memory Foam
If you’re purchasing a foam mattress you will have specified what type of foam you require.
Most manufacturers will be able to produce items made from Memory foam, Latex foam and Reflex foam as standard. Memory Foam cut to measure
is a popular choice for Caravans, Boats and Motorhomes.
After the foam has been cut to size and shape, it usually gets treated to help to prolong its lifespan.
Foam tends to be delivered to the factory in large ‘blocks’. This then gets cut to size on a CNC cutting machine for accurate precise.
After this process has been completed it will be sent to the sewing department where a skilled team of sewers produce the outer elements of the product. This can include additional layers of foam and supportive fabric texture.
On most bespoke foam mattresses you should find a ‘zip’ along the edge of the fabric, this can normally be taken off the product so you can wash the cover if needed.
Foam Mattresses tend to be produced in a very quick time frame. This is because foam is readily available, it’s easy to work with and other elements such as spring systems do not need to be integrated into the final product.
Made to Measure Pocket Spring
Made to measure pocket spring mattresses can be a little harder to product in Britain.
The general ‘lead time’ is usually around one to two weeks, however it can be anything up to a month in some cases. This is because producing a item with springs can be trickier than a standard form item.
As pocket springs cannot be ‘cut’ in half, the product needs to be produced at a set dimension, which allows for enough springs to be placed inside of the mattress.
Typically the manufacturer calculates how many pocket springs can fit into the mattress and connects the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the item with a tapered rod edge. This holds both the overall structure and springs together. It’s not ‘unusual’ for some bed factories to be producing up 2,500 pocket spring units each week!
After this stage has been completed, the manufacturer generally adds foam to both sides of the mattress. In some pocket-sprung items this can include more than one type of foam, this allows extra support and comfort for the body.
Once the foam is in position, some manufacturers will add a ‘luxury’ damask fabric to the sleeping side of the product.
As some items can be turned over, this fabric will be on both sides. Finishing off the entire item will be lovely fabric and side detailing, which usually includes handles for ease of use.
Unfortunately pocket spring items ‘tend’ to be more difficult to deliver to homes, as they can’t be ‘rolled up’ (also known as vacuum packed) like foam items can. This sometimes causes ‘delays’ with the delivery schedule
Who uses an Odd Size Mattress in the UK?
Special size mattresses can be the perfect solution
for many different requirements and situations, these can include:
- Homemade Beds – Producing a handmade bed can be worth all of the time and effort you’ve put it. Beds such as these can range from themed designs to magnificent four-poster bed frames. If you’ve created such as masterpiece, then a tailor mattress could be ideal for your requirements. After all, what’s the point in doing all the hard work, then purchasing a standard mattress? After all of your effort you need to lie upon a comfy and relaxing item, which fits your requirements exactly.
- Box Rooms – Sometimes a ‘standard size bed’ will not fit comfortable in a box room. This can be a real pain however a tailor-made mattress with an odd size bed could be the solution you’re looking for. As box rooms can come in all shapes and sizes, a bespoke option is more than likely the way to go. Made to measure beds can be purchased for a large amount of retailers across the nation, so a special size mattress should easily fit on most solutions.
- Tall People – Sometimes a standard bed isn’t big enough for tall people, they require that bit more space. After all, there’s nothing wrong in that! If you’ve just had an odd size bed frame made, then you’ll need an odd size mattress to go with it! Special size products like this can be ideal for a wide range of people across the country. With a Super King item only measuring 6’6”, you may find that a custom length is exactly what you need.
- Caravans – Made to measure mattresses can be ideal for caravans. It’s unfortunate that most people think they need to purchase a replacement item from the caravan manufacturer themselves. Sometimes these replacement products can be expensive, it can be much more affordable purchasing a made to measure mattress from an independent company.
- Boats – Buying a extra long or short length mattress for a boat can be a bit tricky. Sometimes a bespoke retailer is the way to go! After all if you’ve spent a lot of money acquiring a boat, yacht, narrowboat or vessel, then you should have a high-quality sleeping surface to rest your body!
- Bunk Beds – A lot of people don’t realise that it’s not just standard 3-foot mattresses, which fit into bunk beds. Generally a 2’6” mattress will also fit too. If you require something a little smaller, then a bespoke mattress should certainly be considered.
- IKEA Beds – In Britain, IKEA generally sell continental size bed frames, this obviously means that a standard UK mattress is not compatible with IKEA beds. By purchasing a special size mattress this means you can get a custom item made to your IKEA bed specifications.
- Babies and Cots – Sometimes a cot mattress simply isn’t the right size or quality for your requirements; this is when a Custom Size mattress UK can be ideal for you! There’s nothing worse than having a lovely cot and child’s bedroom without having a snug and comfy item for your baby to lie down in. Most manufacturers’ will produce cot mattresses to the size you require.
Having a bespoke mattress
delivered is important, particularly if you’ve ordered a product from a company, which isn’t local to you.
Most ‘standard’ companies will offer a two-man white glove delivery service, which will place the item in a room of your choice.
‘Exceptional’ retailers will offer a two-man delivery team
and assembly free of charge. While this is few and far between, some retailers will go the extra mile
to make their customers happy.
In most cases ordering a vacuum packed mattress
will cause the least hassle, as this simply arrives rolled up in its packaging. This can be ideal for awkward and small stairways and bedrooms. There’s no real chance of any paintings, pictures, carpets or furniture getting broken.
However on the contrary purchasing a made to measure pocket spring mattress
can sometimes be a delivery challenge. Depending on the size of the product, it can easily cause a headache or two for the delivery time. If you’ve purchased a large odd size mattress then the chances of hitting walls, carpets and furniture are obviously increased.
Before exchanging any money with the retailer or manufacturer you should always ask about their delivery service and what company procedures are in place, should something go wrong.
It can be a good ‘idea’ to photograph
your home and the route to your bedroom before any delivery team arrives. This might provide you with useful documentation should a valuable possessions get damaged.
Equally if applicable it can also be a good idea to move any personal belongings out of the way, just in case an accident does occur.
Also if you live in a high-rise apartment or flat
, some companies will not delivery to addresses where a lift is not present. This could present a problem if your flat is on the tenth floor!
Usually in this situation most delivery drivers will place the item at the entrance of a block of flats. As stated you should always attempt to ‘iron out’ these issues before the day of delivery.
Most companies will likely state that a delivery driver cannot go into buildings due to ‘insurance reasons’. This sometimes can be the truth, however other times it can be a tactic of getting people to purchase more expensive delivery services.
As each company is different, you will have to use your instinct to judge the situation accordingly.
Made to Measure Tips and Tricks
We all want to save money on purchasing products, take a look at some of these fantastic made to measure mattress money saving tips!
- Double Check – It’s very important you double-check all of your measurements. For example, let’s say you want a made to measure memory foam mattress, which has the dimensions of 120cm in width and 190cm in length. A standard double is 135cm x 190cm, while a Single is 90cm x 190cm. Some people would think they require a custom item as these two don’t match up to their needs. However, 120cm x 190cm is actually a standard small double. Some retailers may not tell you this fact, and may charge you a ‘custom price’ for a product that already exists!
- Search Engines – We all type what we’re looking for and pick the first search result that comes up. However, this sometimes isn’t always a good idea. By looking further a field you may find cheaper prices further down the first page or even on pages two, three or four. Don’t always ‘assume’ the first couple of search results are the best quality or the best priced. In this instant it’s a really good idea to compare all specifications to see if you’re getting a good deal or not.
- Call the Manufacturers Direct – Sometimes it’s a good idea to cut out the ‘middle man’ completely. Retailers will always have there ‘mark up’ on bespoke items so going to the manufacturer direct can sometimes save a lot of money.
- Local Companies – It’s a little known ‘secret’ that most local bed shops will be able to put you into contact with a bespoke manufacturer. While the special size mattresses might not be on ‘display’ in store, they can usually be created on request. This can sometimes cut out any middlemen and reduce the price against larger more established companies.
- Return Policy – Understand the law, should a problem occur, it might save you a fortune in the long run. In most cases a special mattress is regarded as ‘bespoke’ or ‘custom’. This means by current UK law retailers do NOT have to give a refund if an item is ‘personalised and custom-made’. For example, should the item be the wrong size, however the mistake was your fault, a retailer does not have to give a refund, as long as it was produced to the specifications you provided. The only time a retailer has to give a refund is if the item was faulty, not described or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. For more information on returns and refunds, please visit the UK Government’s website .
- Retailers Terms – You should read the Retailers terms and conditions before purchasing any made to measure mattress. In most cases you will find that ‘once the packaging has been removed’ some retailers will not accept returns due to ‘hygiene reasons’ even if the product has never been slept on. This is why it’s extremely important to check the measurements and quality of the product BEFORE any delivery driver’s leave. If you’re not happy simply reject the item without opening the packaging.
Original Publication: 31 May 2017
Last Updated: 11 August 2017