The Cornish Bed Company is currently the only bed-making foundry in the UK making cast iron beds.
Notably, it has recently received the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark from The Furniture Makers’ Company. This mark of excellence recognises their high standard in design, sustainability, and more.
Knowing that I decided to get a new bed after waking with a backache for over a month. While browsing through the cast iron beds, I impulsively purchased one of their eco-friendly mattresses, too.
But is the top-notch quality and excellent customer service of the brand still the reality? Let’s find out…
History Of The Cornish Bed Company
The founder, Mark Tremlett, took an unexpected turn despite being a boat builder by trade. While working at the family boatyard, he noticed that people travelling in his father’s beautiful vessels slept on poor-quality, thin mattresses.
So, he began creating custom mattresses using coconut fibre springs and English wool filling. Slowly but steadily, the demand for these expanded and Tremlett was requested to craft breathable mattresses for children’s beds and babies’ cots!
But it was only five years ago when he stumbled upon a fortuitous opportunity that led him to create exquisite metal beds in the Victorian style. He chanced upon a foundry that was still making beds using the same moulds and techniques employed during the Victorian times. The building housing the foundry was a vast brick warehouse located just a few miles from the Great Western Railway line.
However, the true value of the company lies within its skilled workforce. The Cornish Bed Company employed six men, boasting a collective experience of over a century. One particular individual had dedicated 30 years of his life to crafting beds, possessing unparalleled knowledge in the field.
Distinguishing themselves from the majority of modern cast-iron beds, which are typically assembled by joining metal pipes, these men followed the traditional method passed down through generations. Just as their ancestors did in the 1800s, they meticulously crafted their beds from four poured metal pieces – a footrest, a headboard, and two sides. These pieces fit snugly together without the need for screws, ensuring a seamless construction that eliminates any potential for squeaking.
1. Design And Craftsmanship
The Cornish Bed Company is renowned for its meticulous design and craftsmanship. They showcase a harmonious blend of modern aesthetics and Victorian-style beds, resulting in timeless and visually appealing pieces. The attention to detail in their intricate metalwork and joinery is a testament to their skilled craftsmanship.
I was specifically drawn to the Agnes because of its minimalistic build. Like the rest of the brand’s beautifully finished beds, this one, too, features a distinctive cast knuckle joint. It securely connects the side rails to the head and foot of the bed. This unique self-locking system guarantees long-lasting durability, unlike flimsy bolted connections commonly found in modern flat-pack beds.
Besides, the brand offers a variety of options, including traditional iron, brass, and nickel beds, as well as day beds, four posters, half-testers, and headboards. It also offers bespoke models in addition to standard sizes.
Notably, each bed is hand cast with molten metal using the traditional gravity casting method and is assigned a unique number, ensuring a personalised touch for every customer. Plus, the iron beds are coated with a robust powder coating available in various colours. Similarly, the brass beds undergo meticulous antiquing and hand lacquering with a durable matt finish, ensuring long-term resilience.
2. Materials Used And Eco-friendliness
The company prioritises eco-friendly practices and utilises sustainable materials in its bed production. They source high-quality materials such as solid hardwoods and metal alloys, ensuring durability and longevity. Additionally, their commitment to sustainability extends to using natural and organic components, such as coconut fibre and English wool, in their mattresses.
I also appreciate how the Billy Four Poster bed showcases a peach-skin, super soft, 100% natural cotton-linen upholstery, providing a luxurious resting experience. However, the Fowey end of the bed bench features a mosaic-inspired design in the same cotton-linen fabric.
Finally, the brand’s outdoor furniture collection, The Heligan, boasts water-repellent fabrics in vibrant plain colours to withstand the British weather.
3. Comfort And Durability Of Their Mattresses
The Cornish Bed Company places great emphasis on providing comfortable and supportive mattresses. Their use of natural materials, like wool, helps regulate temperature and enhance comfort.
Handcrafted by their parent company, Naturalmat, in Devon, these mattresses are designed to cater to various budgets. Merging superior natural materials with meticulous craftsmanship, they provide exceptional comfort and excellent value for money.
Furthermore, their commitment to craftsmanship ensures long-lasting durability, ensuring that the mattresses retain their quality over time. I also appreciate how the knowledgeable team is readily available to help you choose a natural mattress that aligns with your specific requirements.
And if the mattress does not fit your requirements, the brand’s experienced sleep consultants will help you find a new mattress and exchange your current one within 45 days.
4. Range Of Bed Styles And Customisation Options
The Cornish Bed Company is known for making beautifully finished beds in diverse bed styles to cater to different preferences and interior aesthetics. Whether one prefers a classic Victorian design, a minimalist modern look, or something in between, the brand has options to suit various tastes. Some types of Cornish beds manufactured by the company are cast iron beds, brass beds, nickel beds, day beds, four poster beds, and dog beds.
Furthermore, you can personalise your Cornish bed with choices of finishes, colours, and even bespoke dimensions.
Handmade, artisanal products often come at a higher price point due to the attention to detail and craftsmanship involved. Plus, the brand emphasises the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials, leading to a high price range.
But the quality and longevity of the products are absolutely incredible, making each of them worth the investment.
Customer Service And After-sales Support
After trying my hand at the Agnes bed, it is safe to say that The Cornish Bed Company places great importance on customer service and after-sales support. They offer assistance throughout the buying process, helping customers make informed decisions by providing guidance and answering any inquiries.
In terms of warranty and return policies, the brand has not explicitly mentioned anything, though details may vary for each product. However, you can contact the sales staff if you wish to return your purchase.
Regarding customer inquiries and issues, The Cornish Bed Company aims to address them promptly and effectively. Their customer support team is likely dedicated to handling customer inquiries, providing assistance, and resolving any concerns or issues that may arise after the purchase. The company’s commitment to customer satisfaction is crucial in ensuring a positive experience and building long-term relationships with its customers.
Overall, The Cornish Bed Company stands as a reputable brand with a rich history of more than a century. Their commitment to design, durability, and eco-friendliness is evident in their meticulously crafted beds and mattresses.
While the decision of whether they are worth it or not depends on your personal preferences, I certainly believe that their products offer a combination of quality, comfort, and style. My purchase from the brand, Agnes, is a rather good quality bed. Coupled with their luxury natural fibre mattress, I have been sleeping like a baby ever since!
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