November 30 2011
Having a bed made to your exact requirements is one of life’s luxuries. Yet Epoc Beds, which custom-makes mattresses and divans, is a bit of a hidden secret. Although it showed at the interiors exhibition Decorex for the third time in September, clients generally hear about Epoc through word-of-mouth recommendations and buy direct from its Ipswich factory or via an interior designer.
Even its name is a camouflage. Having founded the business in 1949, Joseph Cope reversed his surname to christen the company. It remained a family firm until 2007, when it was bought by Mansion House Bedding – although Epoc remains a separate division. What hasn’t changed is its use of traditional techniques such as hand-tufting and hand-stitching. Fillings, meanwhile, are completely natural – horsehair, white cashmere hair, cashmere wool, silk, mohair – and Epoc makes its own pocket springs. Various tensions are available and gauges can be fine-tuned to individual requirements.
A typical 6ft zip-and-link two-piece mattress costs about £6,000 and Epoc can cater for special sizes and irregular shapes such as for yachts, or mattresses with cutout corners to drop into four-poster frames. One client ordered a 7ft square mattress with one side firmer than the other (around £6,000) while another bought an 8ft circular mattress with divan (around £20,000).
“There aren’t many requests we can’t meet,” says Epoc director Colin Payne. “For the owner of a castle in Scotland we built up the divan heights because the rooms had such high ceilings.” Clients with multiple homes often order identical beds for each property, and Payne recently received a call from someone who, after 25 years, had handed their well-built bed over to the next generation and wanted another.
Orders take four to six weeks and Epoc will remove old beds when delivering and installing new ones.