The first thing most people do when they check into their hotel room is check out the bed. How can you resist it’s white crispness, just calling for you to spread out across it? And once you are in it, who doesn’t revel in the comfort and coziness as it lulls you to an unbeatable nights’ sleep. And what about that unparalleled feeling of rest and relaxation that you have upon waking?
Since the early 90’s when the big hotel chains started focusing on the quality of their guests’ sleep as a way to build customer loyalty, those same guests have spent a lot of time (and money) trying to recreate the sleep environment at home with limited success. It’s hard to pinpoint all of the little tricks they use to create that overall sleep experience, but fear not, we’ve been in the industry long enough to have unearthed all the secrets and we’re going to share them with you... but Hush Hush... let’s keep it quiet!
Keep it white
One of the best ways to turn your bedroom into a 5 star luxury hotel room is to stick to white bedding only. Think about your last hotel stay. White wasn’t confined to the bed, you notice most textiles are white – towels, dressing gowns, slippers, flannels. Why would a hotel choose a color that is potentially very hard to keep pristine. Nearly 30 years ago, the now famous Westin hotel chain carried out a number of surveys of its guests and found that white bedding led to participants reporting a better night’s sleep compared to bedding that used other colors. White is proven to evoke feelings of cleanliness and purity and simplicity, attributes that benefit guests physically and psychologically when staying in a bed that has been used by many other people than themselves! Besides that, from an upkeep point of view, the color white is actually much easier to look after than shaded sheets, the color doesn’t fade and they can be easily be treated with environmentally-friendly cleansers such as vinegar and baking soda to get rid of stubborn marks that may occur.
Stick to pure cotton
If you buy quality sheets made of long-staple cotton, considered the best cotton on the market, you’ll immediately benefit from the lightness, comfort and temperature regulation that superior threads can give. Moreover, you don’t need an artificially high thread count! We see many consumer brands advertise thread counts in the 800s and even 1000s. Stick to a thread count near under 400, as anything above uses multiple-ply threads, which will cause the sheets to become dense, heavy and potentially too warm to sleep comfortably under.
Learn to make a bed the old fashioned way
Fitted sheets may save you precious minutes when making your bed but using traditional flat sheets is one simple way to add a feeling of luxury to your bed. With a little practice, this will give you the smoothest sleeping surface you’ve ever experienced. This subtle change can help transform your sleep experience from good to stellar.
Learn to stuff a duvet
Again, it may add a few minutes to your routine, but if you want to sleep like the stars, it’s essential to get the perfect duvet insert and duvet cover combo. Your duvet should have a little weight to it, so you can tuck in over and around your bed, but should be made from either down or a down alternative, such as microfiber which is ideal for those with allergies, that creates body or ‘loft’ to give the outward appearance of fluffiness while providing the temperature regulation that is so vital to the hotel bed experience. Don’t be afraid of getting too hot – if you copy the hotels, they keep rooms at the optimum of 18 degrees so a little insulation will help you drift off with no need for heavy pajamas or extra blankets. A duvet cover that’s 100% long-staple cotton will ensure you have the best combination of comfort, crispness, breathability and if you can, buy both the duvet and cover slightly larger than you need them... the extra material on each side of the bed is a long –used hotel trick to add just one more hint of luxury.
Go mad with the pillows
Most of the luxury hotel chains have at least 4 pillows per bed, if not more including a few decorative ones! Generally, two are softer down-filled (or down alternative) and two are firmer fiber and foam filled. This allows for guests to choose from multiple combinations that suit them personally without having to contact the concierge.
Sleep on quality
The foundation of the perfect hotel bed is the mattress. Bear in mind that many hotels have mattresses custom-made for their properties, so whilst this is beyond most people's budget, invest in the best quality you can afford. Our guide to how to choose a mattress has some great tips. What you are looking for is quality materials and manufacture and worthwhile features – but don’t get caught up in a sales pitch for features that won’t benefit you individually. For example, a memory foam mattress offers great contouring, but for those who toss and turn a lot, it will not be the most comfortable all night long. Spring mattresses offer fantastic support, and features such as motion isolation and edge support – great for those who want to be able to sleep unaffected by the movements of a partner – but can be too soft if not chosen correctly. Consider a hybrid mattress, which is the best of both worlds -- this is the type of mattress that high end hospitality brands typically choose, such as the Heavenly Bed made famous at Westin and the W properties.
Look after your feet
Adding to the 5 star experience is no doubt the thick-pile carpet that adorns the floors of the best hotel rooms around the world, no matter what the outside temperature. Nothing beats that feeling of bare feet on warm soft shag pile. However, for many reasons carpeting your bedroom may not be possible or preferable, but you can bring a little luxury to your sanctuary by simply buying a good quality rug to place beside your bed. It will be the last thing your feet feel and night and the first in the morning...you’re guaranteed to start your day with a spring in your step with this little tip!
Time to de-clutter
Falling and staying asleep has been shown to be easier if you have a set routine and stick to it. One important element of that routine is to get rid of distractions in the sleeping environment. Ever noticed that the bedside tables in your hotel room seem very small and empty? There’s a reason for that, to keep it simple. Try this trick at home – remove everything from your table and replace with only the essentials; a lamp, alarm clock, glass of water and maybe one decorative item such as a family photo or piece of art you are a fan of. You’ll be surprised how much better you sleep when you are not checking your phone, writing your to-do list or working out your finances when you should be closing those eyes!
If you follow our tips, getting a 5 star hotel-grade sleep every night is not just a dream, it’s a reality... and one that everyone deserves and can easily achieve!