The experience sleeping upon a really great bed is as unmistakeable as it is comfortable. Designing for that blissful experience means being prepared to shell out extra bucks for the right products—from linens and duvets to pillows—all the while seeking to understand exactly what customers are looking for in order to satisfy them. Because, sometimes, the simple answer isn’t always in the amount of threadcount.
“Even in suite-level rooms, from mid-scale to high-end, hotels are trying to get the best quality for the best price, and much of that price is dictated by threadcount,” said Jason Needleman, CEO of bedding and linen company Peacock Alley. “While threadcount is the determining factor for average linens, it often comes down to the quality of the yarns being used in the bedding as well as the gauge.”
“As customers become more well-traveled they also become more aware of touch and feel, and also more demanding [of hotels],” said Scott Formby, creative director for linen provider Frette.
Formby says that cotton is still the best type of linen used for bedding in hospitality. “The bed is no longer just a place for the guest to sleep; it now has a design focus to address needs in comfort and style,” said Stacy Garcia, CEO of Nanuet, N.Y.-based Stacy Garcia Inc.
Garcia says that hotels can focus on the bed as the center of the guestroom for design in order to heighten an atmosphere of luxury. “Low-end properties are more limited due to branding rules and other factors,” she said. “Designers have more and better materials to work with at higher price points, and that allows them to meet hotel needs on both sustainability and durability.”
Hotels with high-quality linens are also returning to triple sheeting for emphasis, a configuration that can also reduce overall operational costs of purchasing and laundering bedspreads.
However, sheets are not the only factor in creating a luxury feel.
According to Needleman, the quality of a hotel’s pillows also factors heavily into high-end comfort and is often overlooked. “Too many hotels have hard, small pillows, but a more luxurious pillow can change the whole experience,” Needleman said.