Sleep is a wonderful thing. During sleep, our bodies are able process information, repair blood vessels, and even increase metabolism. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, but many of us get, on average, six. To remedy this deficiency, thousands of Americans travel to Bed and Breakfasts each year for a relaxing week or weekend.
Bed and Breakfasts offer a respite from the daily hassles of traffic, chores and work. As the hosts of visitors to these comforting escapes, bed and breakfast owners should take great care to ensure the quality of accommodations for their guests. While a cozy and quaint atmosphere is certainly conducive to relaxation, innkeepers must consider the basics of their business, namely bedding.
Because travelers seek a restful retreat when choosing a bed and breakfast, they will often search reviews of accommodations at their destination. The majority of reviewers will show leniency when discussing factors such as hospitality, desk hours and decor, but will be absolutely honest about the comfort of the beds offered. This is why it’s extremely important for the owners of bed and breakfast accommodations to choose comfortable mattresses and bedding for their rooms.
Bedding selection is important for bed and breakfasts for a number of reasons. Imagine planning a romantic weekend getaway for you and your spouse. You arrive at your destination and are greeted by a friendly staff amidst charming, rustic decor. Your host takes your bag and guides you to your room, where you are presented with a basket filled with scones and champagne. Everything is perfect. Until you lie on your bed. As your body hits the hard mattress, a waft of odor is released. The smell of mildew and body odor assaults your nose, and you know that your weekend will not be as relaxing as you’d originally hoped. After an uncomfortable weekend, your back is sore, your joints ache, and you feel less rested than when you’d arrived.
Now, imagine the review you’d write. The internet is an excellent resource for travelers seeking accommodations, but is a certain way to lose business when unhappy guests share their experience.
The bedding you choose should reflect the reviews you want written. There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing mattresses and bedding. To begin, choose a mattress that is soft, yet firm. A mattress with too much “give” can cause sore muscles and back pain, as well as neck pain for your guests. A mattress which is too firm will be reviewed as hard, and can be as uncomfortable as sleeping on a carpeted floor.
Secondly, choose a mattress which can be both turned and flipped. Flipping a mattress allows for more even wear of the internal springs, and prevents bowing and dipping of the shape of the mattress. While pillow top mattresses appear soft, only one surface of the mattress can be used. You can reverse the mattress head to toe, but can not flip it over, giving your mattress a shorter life. Memory foam mattresses are also not recommended for this reason, but additionally memory foam can become brittle when exposed to liquid.
Choose a mattress which can be steam cleaned, or treated in some other way. Stain resistant mattresses are a good idea, but the smells of mildew, mold or body odor will be a certain turn off to your guests. Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the frequency of the cleaning of your mattresses.
Finally, as with the mattress itself, your sheets, pillows and comforters should be easily cleanable. Down comforters are soft and appealing, but generally require dry cleaning, an additional expense and hassle for which you may not have the time or budget. Sheets should offer a high thread count, and be made of cotton or other durable material. Silk and satin are not recommended; while soft, they stain very easily, even from sweat, and will appear and smell extremely unattractive in very little time. Pillows should be machine washable, as most states will require that you wash pillows after the departure of each guest.
The bed and breakfast that you’ve been dreaming of is charming, comfortable and decorated in a style which suits your personality. Your hospitality and generosity are apparent, and your smile is the first sight greeting your guests. You’ve done all you can to ensure that your bed and breakfast appears welcoming and relaxing. Take care that your guests feel refreshed and relaxed upon checkout by providing them with the most clean and comfortable beds possible. Your reviewers will thank you.