Sunday, March 3, 2024

Fraudulently sold mattresses costing Yorkshire bed manufacturers over £40m annually

With over 40% of the UK’s beds and mattresses manufactured in Yorkshire and the Humber, the region’s economy is being hit hard by rocketing levels of illegitimate trading across the UK, with sales of substandard mattresses reaching a new high.

Research from the National Bed Federation (NBF), which has its national headquarters in Skipton, North Yorkshire, has revealed that every year up to 280,000 unsuspecting UK consumers are buying a mattress which may not be what it claims from a doorstep or ‘back of the van’ trader. This number has doubled in the last six months as consumers try to cut spending under the pressure of the cost of living crisis.

The growing fraud is estimated to be costing the UK bed and mattress industry around £100m per annum, and Yorkshire and the Humber manufacturers are bearing the brunt of this cost as almost half of the industry’s reputable businesses are based in the region. The NBF is warning consumers that not only is buying a mattress in this way a false economy, as they are not the quality or brand of product they are labelled to be, but they may actually be unhygienic, second-hand mattresses or even unsafe due to the use of banned materials.

Simon Williams from the National Bed Federation said: “Often, mattresses not purchased through a reputable retailer are cheaply manufactured products that are likely to be worth less than £100 – they may contain a very basic spring unit with a polyester fibre pad or a layer of cheap foam over it, all covered in a cheap outer covering material. What’s more, some of these products are actually dangerous as they almost certainly won’t have undergone testing to ensure they meet UK mattress flammability regulations that reduce the chance of fires in homes.

“At worst, the mattress may contain an old, used spring unit along with dirty fillings, and the NBF has even come across cases where rogue traders have simply placed old mattresses inside brand-new covers and passed off the products as new.”

The most recent consumer mattress buying surveys undertaken by the NBF, covering 1,000 people who had bought a mattress in the previous six months, showed that in October 2022, an alarming 4% reported buying their mattress from a doorstep or ‘back of the van’ trader whereas the previous survey a year earlier put the figure at just 2%.

Mr Williams added: “Unfortunately, our latest research backs up the anecdotal information we’ve been receiving in recent months that this activity is on the rise as fraudsters look to prey on the most vulnerable in society who are struggling the hardest under the burden of rising costs.

“We’ve also heard from retailers and recycling centres that they’ve seen an increase in requests from traders wanting to take old, used mattresses off them. We fear the cases we come across are only the tip of the iceberg with many of those scammed either blissfully unaware, or too embarrassed to complain – we estimate that around 280,000 mattresses a year may be being bought this way.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemichaving a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.








Latest news

Related news