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How to Give Your Guests a 5 Star Luxury Bed Experience

One of the signature questions on the All 4 show Four in a Bed is “How comfortable was the bed”? Let’s face it, if your bed isn’t comfortable, it won’t feel like a luxury hotel experience, and your reviews may suffer.

In fact sleep has become such a hot topic most major hotel chains are recognizing how important a comfy bed is to their guests. It’s effective marketing to tout the thread count of their bed linens and name the well known brand of mattress they provide. Whether traveling for business or pleasure all guests appreciate a comfortable bed to help them get a good nights rest away from home. In fact there’s a good chance the bed you provide may surpass their own for quality and comfort!

The cornerstone of a 5 star luxury bed is obviously the bed itself. Starting with a Good, Better, Best approach, let’s talk about the foundation of your guest bed, the mattress. These recommendations combine memory foam,foam and sometimes pocket springs and can be purchased online. Buying online saves you time shopping, but be sure to check details carefully before you order. You want the size of the mattress to match up with the dimensions of your bed frame.

Where to Find a Good Quality Bed Mattress Online

IKEA Morgedahl Foam Mattress – £165 double. Good for a secondary bedroom. Very firm!

DORMEO Memory Plus – £249. double. Medium firmness, foam core with a 3cm layer of memory foam on top. Offers a 60 night trial.

Eve Hybrid – £499. double. Hybrid combo of pocket springs under foam gives a traditional feel.  Offers a 10 year warrantee and hassle free returns. Sign up to receive discounts.

Simba Sleep Hybrid mattress – £649 double. Combines pocket springs and foam to give a supportive night’s sleep. Latex, memory foam, pocket springs and high density foam create a unique hybrid. 100 night guarantee.

Emma Original – £649 double. All foam mattress with removable cover and handles. Rated medium to soft firmness. 100 night trial and 10 year guarantee.

Nectar – £599. double. Memory foam mattress with three separate layers of foam, comfortable for most sleeping positions. Not too soft or firm.
The only mattress with a 365 night trial. £150 off for signing up with your email.

Mattresses sold online typically are foam or a hybrid of foam and pocket springs. They’re rolled before being shipped and will spring back to full shape once un-wrapped. However keep in mind the thicknesses of these hybrid mattresses will vary. Check the depth or height of each mattress you’re considering before you buy.

Do you have a solid bed frame or a sprung slat base? Make sure the mattress won’t sit too low inside the frame, because if it does it will be difficult to make up the bed. You can’t go wrong with a solid bed frame or standard box spring to support the mattress and make it a comfortable height for your guests to climb in and out of.

Now you’ve found the perfect mattress it’s time to dress it with lovely linens and make it look inviting and comfortable.

How to Choose the Best Bedding

For a true luxury 5 star look, stick to all white linen. Without exception, white will be easier to launder, swap out and mix and match. It also creates the high end crisp classic look you want. Always wash your whites separately from any other colors, adjust your detergent for your local water hardness and don’t crowd the washing machine. Give those sheets room to slosh about and get really clean. Line dry if possible and then iron while damp to get a crisp edge.

When it comes to your duvet cover, I also recommend all white or white with a very tasteful touch of a neutral such as border or pattern of gray or tan. Duvet covers in sheeting material are acceptable, however material with a little texture will be more forgiving of wrinkles. A matelasse or woven material in a crisp white is perfection.

Start with good quality duvets and pillows. As someone who travels with their own pillows, I’m over the moon when I find a hotel or Airbnb that’s thoughtfully provided good bed pillows. There’s simply no excuse for flat lumpy or hard pillows on a luxury bed.

On a double, king or super king bed, allow for two pillows for each guest for a total of four on the bed. One pillow should be medium support, the other should be down, or a down alternative to sit in front. No one wants to wake up with a stiff neck!

If you’re in the UK, then you can’t go wrong with M&S. You can order online and then click and collect at your local M&S or Foodhall. Easy peasy. Debenhams is another store that has good quality affordable bedding. In the US or UK, I highly recommend Costco for their great deals on good quality pillows and duvets. You can confidently order online because you know it’s going to be good quality.

Duvets – Stick with a medium weight duvet insert such as a 7.5 tog. SHOP No one wants to sleep hot. You can always provide additional throws or blankets for the ones who need an extra layer.  If you want to create a very pampering feel, splurge for down. SHOP

Pillows – Remember pillows should give support with a little give. I love a good down pillow as most feather pillows are too firm and lacking in support. Here’s a hybrid down pillow to consider. SHOP 

You can also try a high quality down alternative pillow like these. SHOP  or these SHOP 

All white bedding spells luxury and feels fresh and clean, which is so important to guest’s perceptions! It’s OK to soften it up a bit with the addition of a soft throw in a muted color or even a color that coordinates with the room. So don’t be afraid to add a pair of pillows in a crisp white sham or an accent pillow in front of your bed pillows. A soft throw at the end of the bed, folded to span the width of the bed can be your finishing touch. Don’t be afraid to layer a coverlet along the width of the bed as hotels do. Has the added benefit of keeping the duvet cover cleaner when guests put their luggage or their feet on the bed!

My Recommendations for Proper Bedding

SHOP M&S Egyptian Deep Fitted Cotton Sheets starting at £14 on sale along with the matching pillowcases SHOP 

Duvet Cover
Pure Cotton Matelasse Duvet Set starting at £55 on sale SHOP
Pure Cotton Cut Square Duvet Set starting at £39.60 on sale SHOP

Monochrome Check Throw SHOP
Quilted Ribbed Throw SHOP

It’s never a bad idea to have a backup set of linens and duvet covers. Any single beds usually occupied by a child or extra guests can also be dressed with a tastefully patterned duvet. I still recommend white sheets and pillowcases, but you can mix up the covers from white to a small pattern in a monochrome color such as gray. This helps to create some interesting visual texture in the room.

Alternatives to White Bedding

Gray Dobby Duvet Set SHOP
Hadley Stripe Duvet Set SHOP
Micro Waffle Duvet Set SHOP

I know it’s not done, but one habit I think the US has got right is the use of a top sheet. It’s much easier to wash a flat sheet than an entire duvet cover. You don’t have to be a contortionist to fit the duvet back in as often! It also gives guests an option of a light layer. Which is sometimes all you need in the summer or a hot climate. Of course all linens should be laundered between guests, but keep this tip in mind especially for those longer stay.

Once the bed is made up nice and tidy (hospital corners and all) you’re ready to get those five star ratings! Consider spending a good percentage of your budget on a quality bed and bedding. It will be the one expense you won’t regret. Above all, keep your bedroom and bedding super clean – even when your guests don’t – and bask in your rave reviews!

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