Savoir Beds X National Gallery

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Savoir’s No.4 bed, with a headboard illustrated with Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora’s 15th-century painting The Combat of Love and Chastity.
Credit: Savoir

Bed and board: introducing the bespoke bed service offering the best night’s sleep on board your yacht

21 May 2024 • Written by Emma Love

A luxury bed company is bringing an ultra-bespoke USP to getting the best night’s sleep on your boat, says Emma Love

It’s a no-brainer that some of the most successful design concepts are the result of demand, which is how Savoir Beds came to launch its new bespoke service, Savoir at Sea, last year. “A client asked for four Nº1 mattresses for their new yacht, but two of them were too large to fit through the windows of the cabins,” recalls Nic Alexandre, Savoir’s managing director. “They still really wanted them, so we arranged for our craftsmen to visit the Lürssen shipyard in Germany and build the beds in situ. That sparked the idea for Savoir at Sea.”

Savoir’s mattress toppers are stuffed with loose South American horse tail.
Credit: Savoir

Of course, the company is used to working with interior designers and international shipyards, from Feadship and Benetti to Heesen Yachts, Baltic Yachts and Fitzroy Yachts. In fact, four of the 10 largest superyachts in the world exclusively feature Savoir mattresses. Whereas in the past the solution to navigating awkward spaces was often a zip-and-link mattress, this new offering means that any specification (shape, size, height) can be accommodated. 

“Everything is handmade,” continues Alexandre, of the breathable mattresses and toppers. “We do that not for the sake of craft but because there aren’t machines that can do it better. Even tufting, if we used a machine, would damage the materials. The fact that we don’t have a production line, and each bed is made by a single craftsman, means that we can physically go to the yacht, whether it’s new or in a dry dock for a refit. We’re the only company to offer the service of handcrafting a natural mattress on board.”

At this point, the process is well practised; superyacht owners – especially those who haven’t had a Savoir bed before – typically have a three-hour private showroom consultation to work out which bed is best for them. Then CAD drawings are created. If the yacht has an existing frame or base, the mattress is shaped to fit, or alternatively Savoir can create one (on special request, a member of the team will even visit the yacht to measure the space and create a custom template).

The Savoir at Sea yacht service involves an artisan hand-crafting a natural bespoke mattress on board your superyacht.
Credit: Savoir

“Often beds on yachts don’t have a base, partly because of the risk of corrosion, but we use galvanised springs and stainless-steel screws to counteract that,” says Alexandre. At the end of their life, the natural materials will biodegrade and the springs can be recycled, reducing waste and impact on the environment. 

Savoir also designs and makes bespoke headboards and, with its long-established history as a heritage brand, has relationships with all the top fabric houses – whether a client fancies a Loro Piana velvet or a Pierre Frey floral, the team are easily able to source and supply a favourite fabric.

The Savoir story has its origins in London’s Savoy Hotel when, in 1905, opera producer and hotelier Richard D’Oyly Carte couldn’t find a bed to match his exacting standards so commissioned an upholsterer, James Edwards Limited, to make one instead (and to ensure exclusivity, he later bought the company and renamed it The Savoy Bedworks). 

The result was the famous Savoir N°2, slept on by each of the hotel’s illustrious guests, from Winston Churchill to Marilyn Monroe and the late King Hassan II of Morocco. The latter was known to always travel with his own furniture but on one occasion his mattress was damaged in transit; forced to use a Nº2 bed, he declared it “like sleeping on a cloud” and immediately ordered 24 for his palace.

Credit: Savoir

Still sold today, the N°2 comes with a topper that’s filled with loose South American horse tail and encased in a layer of soft wool. It’s finished with Savoir’s trademark Trellis ticking pattern, originally designed by Lady D’Oyly Carte in the early 20th century. Fast forward to 1998 and, with growing demand from hotel clients, the N°4 was launched, made using simpler hand-crafted techniques. 

The company had changed hands a year earlier and become Savoir Beds, with its new owners pledging to continue with the same time-honoured craft techniques. Special commissions from private clients flooded in, including for private jets and yachts, and in 2005 the N°3 was born. More luxurious that the N°4 and less complex to make than the N°2, it was followed five years later by the N°1, Savoir’s deepest mattress yet. In a full-circle moment, The Savoy hotel has one in its Royal Suite.

Today, this iconic company still produces fewer than 1,000 beds each year, retaining its focus on producing quality over quantity. As a finishing touch, each artisan hand-signs their individual creation – which comes in handy for repeat customers who want to replicate their exact purchase so they can sleep as comfortably at sea as they do at home. savoirbeds.com

Read More/How luxury interior retailer ABASK is democratising design

First published in the May 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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