A guestroom's sheets, pillows and duvets go a long way in creating a positive guest experience—and to conveying your hotel’s message. “Everyone wants to be unique, and bedding is a great way to do it,” said Jon Bryant, sales director of hospitality at Sferra.
The range of options for bedding can seem overwhelming, but when selecting materials for the sheets, it can actually be easier than choosing linens for one’s home. The top picks tend to be cotton, a polyester-cotton blend or Tencel, a brand name for the lyocell fiber that is regenerated from wood cellulose. Tencel can be blended with cotton or polyester for bedding needs.
The decision of what material to use can depend on several factors—for example, what kind of laundry and ironing facilities does the property have? A hotel with its own washing, drying and ironing equipment will generally prefer pure cotton sheets, said Michael Dobin, CEO at Valley Forge Fabrics, although that fabric tends to wrinkle more. Polyester, on the other hand, wrinkles less, making a poly-cotton blend a better option for properties with limited ironing facilities.
For home bedding, Chris Gowdy, VP of Liddell International, said, bamboo sheets are trendy—but for hotels, particularly in the upscale sector, classic cotton is still king. “Nothing really has taken a strong foothold in a major way,” he said. “Cotton stands the test of time. It’s what the luxury resorts and hotels demand.” Some properties may want flax linen or cotton-linen blends, but that can be cost prohibitive, he said. “True cotton is a workhorse in the luxury market.”
Valley Forge has its own line of Tencel sheets, and Dobin said that the product can draw heat away from a guest’s body while they sleep (reducing bacteria build-up) and can kill dust mites, making this a good pick for allergen-conscious rooms. “A variety of things go into sheets nowadays,” he said. “There’s a push on health and wellness, not just sustainability. A product that kills dust mites or draws heat from the body, which reduces bacteria, and lets you sleep better all lead toward better health and wellness.” Everything on a guestroom bed should be washable, said Kim Deetjen, principal, TruexCullins Interiors. Throws and scarves can be washable, and even decorative pillows can have removable, washable cases. In terms of color, hotel bedding is almost uniformly white, conveying a sense of cleanliness to the guest.
But that doesn’t mean that some color can’t add an accent to the bedding. Bedscarves have been popular for years, but are gradually being replaced with colorful elements that are incorporated into the duvet covers themselves. “Guests didn’t believe the bedscarf was being washed,” Dobin said. A contrasting color along the foot of the duvet, however, helps convey that same sense of neatness and order. And there’s a practical element to a contrasting color as well: “Even with a luggage bench, guests will put their suitcases on the bed, so some color prevents staining,” he said. Incorporating color into the duvet cover can also save the hotel money in the long run, Dobin added, because some bedscarves might walk out in the guest’s bag.