One of the biggest perks of the job is reviewing pet products, I have to be honest. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to try out some of the newest pet gadgets, beds, collars and vacuums to hit the market.
Some time ago I got a sneak peek at a dog bed not yet out but coming soon and I have to be honest, I kept it on my radar so that when it was coming to market, we could receive one to put to the test - with an extra one to giveaway too (details at the end).
The bed was the George Barclay Hursley Sofa Bed and what particularly caught my attention of the bed I saw, and now have sitting at my feet, was the colour - a beautiful, subtle cabernet. Bright but not too bright, bold but not too bold. It is made in limited numbers, which makes the bed even more special.
When the bed first arrived, Chris, followed by Danny, was first on the scene.
I have taught my dogs very little over the years. With a dog trainer for a husband, I suppose I've left him to instal the basics and I'll happily maintain his work, but really, I let his skills take over the learning process.
Unfortunately, one thing I have taught Chris is that parcels are exciting. So exciting in fact that if he wants to help me unwrap something, that's fine. Generally, it's not fine and I wish I'd never taught him. So, it's a race against the clock to get the product safely out of its box before he gets involved. Note to self: untrain this, pretend parcels are in fact not exciting.
Anyway, this explains why he was first on the scene. He was a bit late though, thankfully, so by the time he arrived, the sofa bed was already settling on the floor, ready for inspection and he quickly obliged.
First Impressions: The George Barclay Hursley Sofa Bed
I was severely tempted by the chocolate/chestnut, another in the Hursley sofa dog bed collection but stuck with my original choice to complement my purple/red furnishings and we received the cabernet sofa bed in large (£109.99-144.99).
The cabernet exterior is made with soft faux leather complemented by a brown faux suede piping, which is matched in colour with the George Barclay badge to the front. It has ash coloured woven fabric in the sleeping area, it really is a striking looking dog bed and incredibly comfortable (yes, I've sat - lay down - in it).
The bed comes with two mattress options - an encapsulated pocket sprung mattress or orthopaedic memory foam blended particles.
Since we've previously reviewed a box bed with a blended particle mattress, I opted for the pocket sprung mattress which I thought would be ideal for Mia who's now 12, combining mobility issues this year with fading eyesight, she really needs structure and solidity under her paws.
The side support
Having tried both mattress options, I can say I - my dogs - like both. They're both durable and comfortable, but for Mia, I'm far happier with the pocket sprung mattress because it's flatter essentially in the context of the sofa bed, so easier for her to get in and out of without any drama.
At the moment, she is tripping up when she's not sure what's beneath her feet so the flat base is perfect and leaves her, and me, without any concerns that she won't be able to get in or out of the bed unaided.
The cover is machine washable, always useful, in fact, it's essential, isn't it? To remove for washing, you just un-do both zips which are concealed at the side.
When unzipping, you'll see the inner mattress layers are both protected by Moisture ShieldTM protective water-resistant inner covers.
It also has a black non-slip base, so it can be used on hard floors or carpets.
Ours is in our conservatory so sits on a tiled floor and I can wholeheartedly say the non-slip base works! The bed is a heavy bed to move if needed, the weight is in the quality of the mattress and side support, so it's worth it.
Genuinely, this is one of the best dog beds I've seen, and over the last 17 years, I've seen a lot.
It's recommended for larger dogs and older pups, and I can see exactly why.
My dogs are all large breeds and it comfortably fits their needs. They can sprawl out, lie upside down, nestle into the sides or raise their chin to keep an eye on things (they ALL do this). It ticks all boxes.
Although just under £150 with the pocket sprung mattress, it's built to last and that's clear in everything about the bed.
From the quality of the inner mattress to the stitching and fabrics, to the colours used. It's a gorgeous bed, I believe it will prove it's worth the cost - and my dogs are all very happy.
Well done to the team behind it and many thanks for sharing the Hursley sofa bed with us for review. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Would You Like to Win One?
Since we do love this bed, we think it's only fair we give your dog the chance to win their very own.
So we have asked the lovely team at George Barclay to share another large cabernet/ash Hursley sofa bed for you to win one for your own pup.
To enter, all you have to do is visit Freepetstuff.co.uk and comment on the post, sharing your dog's name, breed and why they'd love to have their own sofa bed to snuggle in - it's as simple as that!
Enter here: www.freepetstuff.co.uk
George Barclay Hursley Sofa Bed Review
Value for Money