The more you know: hotel bedding
Author bio: Guest post contributed by the Downlite Bedding team. Downlite designs, manufactures, and markets comfort bedding for major hotel chains, airbnb hosts, and consumers. The family-owned business is an industry leader with three generations of product-knowledge and experience.
After enjoying an amazing night’s sleep in a supremely comfortable hotel bed, chances are that you didn’t think to peek at the tag to find out exactly what you were sleeping on. But, once you got home, you started searching the internet to track down the manufacturer or a hotel store so you could prepare your Airbnb property to wow your guests with the same bedding. Often to no avail.
But, have no fear. Even if you don’t know the brand name or manufacturer of your hotel bedding, you can still find the quality you seek. Check out Downlite’s online database, which features a handy hotel bedding finder to search for your favorite hotel’s bedding line. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to find the same brand if you can find the right quality.
Don’t always trust the labels
Often, bedding made in countries outside the US have labels that aren’t reflective of the materials used. For example, a label may say Thai silk, but actually be polyester.
You need to educate yourself in fabric fibers and weaves. Use your senses to identify these products. Smell, feel and sight can all inform you. Various silks including silk linen have a distinctive odor. Linen has a distinctive smell as well, but it’s very faint. Asking experts for tips on identifying textiles used in bedding can be very informative.
The feel can help identify a fabric
Looking at the weave of a fabric is an excellent way to identify exactly what it is. Most plant fibers have many similarities.
Rayon and acetate, for example, are artificial, but both are made from natural plant fibers. The surface of these manufactured fabrics tend to be smooth and cool.
Cotton and linen have the crispness that you’re looking for, but their surfaces are duller than manufactured materials. Also, cotton tends to be softer and warmer to the touch. Linen is heavy, flowing and smooth. When you’re looking at them under a microscope, cotton and linen are strikingly different. Linen has smooth, straight fibers while cotton looks wooly.
Think thread thickness, not thread count
Most of us have been sold on thread count as the basis for judging quality. But that isn’t necessarily how it really works. Most stores advertise thread count while failing to mention thread thickness. Commercial sheet quality is mainly determined by weight. It’s the best indicator of sheet durability.
Threads in hotel sheets can be up to 3 times thicker than those used in most homes. As a result, they retain their crispness for long periods of time.
Strands of yarn (individual fibers of a material, not the thick product used in crafts) can be twisted together in the direction opposite to that in which they were spun. Multiple yarns can be wrapped together in a single thread. This is called plying and it’s used to create thicker threads, which will impact both the feel and durability of sheets and other bedding. Finer threads result in softer sheets that drape well. Thicker yarns create a heavier and stronger fabric.
Single ply sheets are woven with individual un-plied threads. Two-ply sheets are woven into fabrics with a heavier feel.
The burn test
This may seem drastic - but it is an effective last resort for identification of fabric. You can use it after the fact for a post-mortem of bedding fabrics that have failed you. Rayon, silk, linen, polyester and cotton are all easily identified by this method. You only need a tiny scrap of fabric and a lighter.
Just remember that unless you’re making sheets from raw fabric, this test is probably best used as a last resort.
Benefits outweigh the effort
The effort involved in getting more Airbnb bookings may not sound like the most appealing of tasks, but it's important to understand the potential benefits of mastering your guest’s bedding:
Better business - A good host is a competitive host, and guests notice when their Airbnb sacrifices quality bedding for cost. Instead of striving for customers, strive for repeat customers. Your wallet will thank you later.
Better sleep - By creating a bedroom that allows guests to escape from the pressures of life with sound slumber, they'll feel more energized each morning (and will associate your rental with that feeling).
Better health - A good night's sleep is the springboard to everything healthy. You feel more alert, you accomplish more, and you make decisions that increase your well-being.
Better life - Introducing quality sleep to guests on business-trips is critical. With better sleep, they are better prepared to handle the challenges life throws their way.
By fixing the bed first with quality bedding and making your guest bedroom relaxing to the senses, your guests can enjoy a more relaxing visit (and return!).
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