“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Bed „
It's fair to say that sleep is pretty important to me, like many people I never quite get as much as I would like so when I do get some shut eye I like to be in as much comfort as possible, which is why after revamping my bedroom I chose the Autograph Marks and Spencer Bardot King Size bed. If you follow the link on the bottom of the review you will see it's an upholstered style bedstead, with a bit of a retro contemporary look. I ordered it back in April, with 20% off at the time - back then it was priced at £999 as it is now - and then I waited for it to arrive, little thinking quite how complicated things would get, and how well I would come to know the friendly people of Marks and Spencer Customer Support. What follows is a cautionary tale of which I will try to spare you too much detail, however, lovely as this bed looks it has been a fair bit of trouble and it's a definite case of "buyer beware", which is disappointing given that up to the point of buying this bed I'd been nothing but delighted with every furniture item I'd ever bought from Marks and Spencer.
Delivery of the Bed:
My problems first started with the bed delivery. Having viewed it in store I chose my fabric; there are 3 choices available currently, one being white leather and more expensive. I selected a grey velvet finish and ordered online through quidco and waited and waited some more. Promised delivery dates were put back twice and unbelievably, having ordered in April, it was not until the end of August that my bed was delivered. I was told there had been some problem with sourcing the fabric, and, to be fair, given a £50 gift card for the inconvenience - at the time our equally expensive but quite old cherrywood Heals bed was causing us sleepless nights due to be being fantastic at creaking every time you moved, or breathed and was unfixable (note to self I have a bad track record in buying expensive beds).
I can't fault the delivery itself in terms of the fact that the bed turned up at the time the delivery company said it was and was fully unpacked and installed by two helpful delivery men who removed all the packaging.
Then the Problems Began:
The bed once installed looked lovely - much as it does on the picture. It's quite low (17cm) and normal King Bed size - whether you like a lower bed will be down to personal preference, but it does make the room look bigger somehow. It was only when I got closer to the bed that I saw there was a small fault in the upholstery - having had to wait so long for the bed I was hoping it was one I could ignore but it was one of those things that once you had noticed it was hard to pretend it was not there. Right in the middle of the bedstead the fault in the fabric was only a centimetre across but I wasn't sure I could live with it - unfortunately I was about to find out I would have to. I phoned Marks who were helpful and initially said someone would come and look, then I got told the bedstead part and not the upholstered sides would be replaced, then the whole thing, and then I got another phone call to say it couldn't be replaced as the fabric I had was discontinued and would I like another fabric, they would send swatches. They did, and we didn't really like any of the other choices. To cut a long story short we were offered a full refund (by this point we had been sleeping on the bed for a few weeks) or compensation for the fault. We couldn't find a similar styled bed anywhere else we could see it in store before purchase so in the end we decided to plump up the pillows a bit, live with the fault and accept a £100 gift card. So we are left with a bed that is comfortable, stylish, expensive (but less than it was) and still has a fault in the fabric of the sort you probably wouldn't accept in, say a sofa. Though it hasn't actually got any worse over time it does annoy me every time I see it.
So what's it like apart from the unsolvable problem?
It's a shame my bed has a fault in the fabric as apart from that it's pretty good. There is a leg in the middle as well as the sides and sturdy beech slats. The frame is bolted together firmly and its very stable (I have the instructions in case I ever have to disassemble it to get it out of the room, with a125cm high headboard it's not going to fit out of any door!
To sleep in , the bed is very comfortable - I have my existing mattress on it, and unlike my former bed doesn't creak when you turn over or breathe. It's a bit strange getting into a bed that's a bit lower than the norm at first but now I'm used to that it's fine. You also have to hoover the upholstered sides I find, they form a bit of a ledge around the bed as you will be able to see in the product link photo. I still love the overall look and style of the bed and it's comfortable, though I wouldn't have bought it without the discount and even given the fact that by the time I calculate money off via gift cards for issues and quidco it set me back somewhere just over £600, it's still expensive for a bed. The padding on the bedstead is lovely though when you are sitting up reading in bed and it certainly gives my bedroom that boutique hotel room look.
If you are looking at this bed in one of the other remaining 3 fabric choices (presumably mine was discontinued as there were other problems sourcing the fabric and maybe with its quality if my experience is typical), I would say it's worth going to see one made up in store before your purchase if possible. The demo one in the Bantry fabric I saw in store seemed to have a few little lumps on it, so it would definitely be best to not order sight unseen. My issues have taken the shine off the bed somehow, though I have nothing but praise for customer support for the way they handled my complaints if I'd known the trouble the bed would be and the sleepless nights it would cause for other reasons than not being comfortable I would never have ordered it. I can't really recommend this bed, which is a shame, as it looked as if it would be so good.