The National Bed Federation (NBF) has announced the categories for the 2020 bed industry awards – including a one-off award for Covid-19 Community Champion.

Now in their 11th year, winners of the awards – usually presented at the annual Bed Show gala dinner in September – will be announced in a live virtual ceremony on 26th November.

Launching the awards, NBF executive director Jessica Alexander says: “The show itself may have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic but new developments in product innovation and sustainability continue.

“We thought long and hard about this year’s awards and feel they have become such an important and motivating part of the industry year that it was critical they should go ahead, albeit in a way that reflects the extraordinary nature of the year.”

This year’s categories are as follows:

Three product-based manufacturer/supplier awards (open to NBF members only): Bed of the Year; Accessory Product of the Year (including headboards, pillows, toppers, mattress protectors, etc); and Component Product/Machine of the Year (the machinery element is new for 2020).

Three Retailer of the Year awards: Small Bed Retailer of the Year (fewer than 10 stores); Large Bed Retailer of the Year (10 or more stores); and Online Bed Retailer of the Year (at least 80% of sales must be generated via the internet).

There are also two general category awards for both NBF members and bed retailers (businesses not individuals): the Sustainability Award, for the most significant contribution/innovation in sustainability; and the Covid-19 Community Champion Award, for the business deemed to have made the greatest contribution to supporting the country during the pandemic.

The awards are open for entry now, with the deadline for submissions 5pm on Friday 16th October.

This year’s judges are: Manufacturing awards – Steve Adams (Mattress Online), Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds), Paul Farley (Furniture News) and Paul Stott (The Virtual Works); Retailer awards – Richard de Melim (Furnishing Report), Andrew Kidd (Interiors Monthly), Dan Squires (Inside Furniture) and Bernard Eaton (Greenwood Retail); Sustainability award – David Fitzsimons (Oakdene Hollins), Izzie Eriksen (Zero Waste Scotland); and Covid-19 Community Award – David Woodward (The Furniture Makers' Company), and John Hancock (former MD of Sealy UK and NBF president from 1998-2000).