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Hotel Bedding Buying Guide

No matter what type of hotel you operate, guests expect their bedding to be clean and comfortable. You should always budget for quality sheets and bedding to ensure your guests are happy with their stay and to protect your business's reputation. This guide will go over the types of hotel sheets available and provide you with a hotel bedding checklist to ensure you have everything you need for a cozy night's sleep.

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Types of Hotel Sheets

Whether you are starting a vacation rental, opening a hotel, or upgrading your current hotel sheets, you will need to decide your establishment's aesthetic and budget when choosing your hotel sheets.

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Cotton Sheets

The most commonly used hotel bedding is cotton sheets for their durability, breathability, and softness. Cotton is a hypoallergenic, natural fiber, so guests are not at risk of allergic reactions or irritated skin. Cotton sheets have better air circulation than most synthetic materials and help wick away moisture to keep sleepers dry and comfortable. They are machine washable for easy care and get softer with every wash for long-term value.

The longer the fiber length, or staple, of the cotton, the higher the quality of your sheets. Egyptian cotton and Supima cotton are two of the highest-quality cotton bed sheets and are made with extra-long staple cotton. They offer premium durability and are resistant to pilling, making them a top choice for upscale hotels. Cotton sheets also come in two different types of weaves, sateen and percale, which have differences in durability and texture.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Breathable and moisture-resistant
  • Softens over time
  • Natural fabric is hypoallergenic
  • Machine washable
  • Available in affordable and luxurious varieties
  • Not all types are created equal
  • Some types are susceptible to pilling
  • Luxurious, high-quality varieties are expensive

Sateen vs Percale Sheets

Both sateen and percale are a type of weave used to make cotton sheets. Sateen sheets have a one-up, four-over thread pattern, whereas percale sheets have a one-up, one-over thread pattern. Sateen sheets are soft, smooth, and easier to care for, while percale sheets are crisp, breathable, and more durable.

Sateen sheets have a silky-smooth feel with a subtle sheen. They are easy to care for since they are machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant. Sateen sheets are heavier than percale sheets, which gives them a luxurious, cozy feel but may not be ideal for hot sleepers. While they are a durable option, sateen sheets are more prone to pilling over time than percale sheets.

Percale sheets have a light, crisp feel with a smooth, matte finish. A percale weave is tight, making percale sheets the more durable and longer-lasting option when compared to sateen sheets. Plus, washing softens percale sheets so they may get more comfortable over time. They are also more breathable, making them the better choice for hot sleepers. Percale sheets are machine-washable, but they are not wrinkle-resistant, so it is often necessary to iron them to enhance their crispness and deliver a clean, professional appearance.

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Cotton-Poly Blend Sheets

Combining the soft, crisp touch of cotton with the durability of polyester, cotton-poly blend sheets have superior durability and will retain their vibrant color and shape wash after wash. The blend provides pilling, shrink, and wrinkle resistance for easy care and long-term value. Cotton-poly blend sheets are ideal for high-volume hotels, spas, salons, and other establishments that need affordable, quality sheets that will stand up to rigorous use.

Compared to microfiber sheets, cotton-poly blend sheets typically feel softer and thicker due to their composition, which usually features a higher percentage of cotton than polyester.

  • Combines the softness and breathability of cotton with the durability of polyester
  • Resistant to pilling, shrinking, and wrinkles
  • Easier to maintain than 100% cotton sheets
  • Affordable
  • Made partially with synthetic materials
  • Stain more easily than 100% cotton sheets
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Microfiber Sheets

Microfiber sheets are made from tightly woven, thin synthetic fibers for superior durability and softness at an affordable price. Microfiber hotel sheets are low maintenance, machine washable, and provide a lasting vibrancy of color no matter how often they are washed. Some microfiber sheets will say they are brushed, meaning the fibers have been gently lifted for an even softer, fluffier feel. It is important to note that some microfiber sheets will need to be washed and dried at a low temperature to avoid damaging the material.

Instead of thread count, microfiber sheets are graded in GSM (grams per square meter). GSM describes the weight or thickness of the fabric, and the higher the GSM is, the more durable the sheets will be. A good GSM range for microfiber sheets is lightweight 90 GSM microfiber sheets to luxuriously soft 120 GSM microfiber sheets.

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Soft to the touch
  • Affordable
  • Holds its color
  • Washes wrinkle-free
  • Made of a synthetic material
  • Non-absorbent
  • Traps heat
  • Typically needs to be washed at a cool temperature to prevent damage
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Hotel Sheets Thread Count

Thread count, which is relevant when choosing cotton sheets, is the number of threads used per square inch of fabric. It is widely suggested that the higher the thread count, the better the quality of the bed sheets but this is not always true. When sourcing hotel sheets for your rooms, you will need to take the quality of the cotton used into account. High-quality cotton threads are thick, so you do not need as many to create luxurious, durable sheets. Low-quality threads are thinner, so more can be layered together, and this gives the sheets a higher thread count but doesn't make them as soft and durable as sheets made with high-quality threads.

Instead of considering only thread count when choosing hotel sheets, look for sheets that use long-staple and extra-long staple fibers since these will result in a softer, more plush feel.

Hotel Bedding Checklist

Below is a list of all the hotel bedding items you will need to accommodate overnight guests.

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Bed Sheets and Mattress Protectors

Typically coming in a classic white color, hotel bed sheets include a fitted sheet with an all-around elastic design to fit over the mattress and a flat sheet, or top sheet, to layer over the fitted sheet. Some hotel sheets feature colorful threads around their edges to designate different sizes from each other. A mattress protector is placed around the mattress and features a waterproof membrane on the sleeping surface to protect the mattress against spills, sweat, bed bugs, and dust.

  • Flat sheet
  • Fitted sheet
  • Mattress protector
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Bed Toppers

Bed toppers provide another layer of warmth for cold sleepers and give a finished look to your bedding. A duvet is a thick, fluffy comforter that is placed on top of the hotel sheets. It is filled with down, feathers, synthetic materials, or a combination of the fills. Adding blankets to your bed or room will create a home-away-from-home look and feel for guests, making them great for a bed and breakfast looking to enhance the comfort of their bedding.

  • Duvet insert
  • Duvet cover
  • Blanket
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In addition to quality sheets, an equally important thing a hotel can give their guests is a comfortable place to lay their heads. Hotel pillows should be supportive, comfortable, and fluffy to accommodate different sleeping styles. For enhanced sanitation and safety, choose pillows that can be machine washed and have a hypoallergenic filling. Pillowcases should match the material and style of your bed sheets.

  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
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Bed Bug Treatment and Control Products

No matter how clean your establishment is, it is important to be proactive about preventing bed bugs. One of the most effective ways to prevent bed bug infestations is to furnish your beds with bed bug mattress encasements, box spring encasements, and pillow encasements. Encasing the box spring, mattress, and pillow makes it virtually impossible for bed bugs to enter. If you need to treat an outbreak, sprays and powders can kill bed bugs and pests immediately upon contact and continue to work for weeks after they are applied.

  • Bed bug mattress cover
  • Bed bug box spring encasement
  • Bed bug pillow encasement
  • Bed bug spray or powder

Hotel Bedding FAQ

Hotel sheets are not just a good idea for hotels and motels to purchase - they are also ideal for resorts, cruise lines, spas, and salons to ensure a luxurious stay. You may still have some questions regarding the care of hotel sheets and we are here to answer them.

What Is a Normal Par Level in Hotel Laundry?

A par level refers to the number of complete linen sets a hotel has for each bed. Ideally, an establishment should have three sets of bedding linens on hand at all times, or three par, to account for soiled linens, lost or damaged linens, and linens stocked on a housekeeping cart.

Why Do Hotels Use White Sheets?

Bright white sheets lend a feeling of newness, even if they have been laundered multiple times, and show guests that the establishment is a clean, sanitary place to stay. Bold or dark patterns and colors are not recommended as hotel sheets since they can fade and possibly hide stains.

How Do Hotels Keep Sheets White?

Hotel sheets get washed frequently, so it is more difficult for stains and grime to set. Prior to washing your linens, inspect each sheet for stains and separate stained sheets for spot treatment. Investing in commercial laundry equipment and high-quality laundry chemicals, or a professional hotel linen cleaning service will also ensure your hotel sheets look new after every wash.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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