Monday, October 11, 2010

Triple Sheeting vs. Bed Bugs

There has been a lot of press lately, again, on the “bed bug situation.”

Don’t get me started on how disgusting bed bugs are and the harm that they can do, to the individual affected, for sure.  But also to the poor unsuspecting Hotelier, who may have been doing all the right things to prevent a bed bug infestation, only to have someone bring them in in their luggage, and leave them behind for the next lucky guest.

As disgusting as we will all agree that bed bugs are, it strikes me odd that we only seem to focus on the extreme cases of what we associate with a lack of cleanliness, like bed bugs, but no one seems to be concerned with the every day occurrences that go on right under our unsuspecting noses.

Case in point – triple sheeting, or more importantly, the lack thereof.

Anyone who has EVER worked in a Hotel knows that duvets, or heaven forbid, bed spreads, are not cleaned after every guest.  

Far from it, in fact, bed spreads in Hotels that actually still use them, are almost never cleaned.  Maybe, just maybe, they are cleaned as part of an annual “deep clean” program that the Hotel has, but don’t count on it, especially among Hotels that are trying to minimize their costs, to the extreme, with little or no concern for their guests’ health and well-being.

Believing instead in the tried and true motto of; “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”

And duvets, or duvet covers, are similarly cleaned very irregularly, and certainly not after every stay.

So here’s the question then?

What do you want next to your skin when you have curled up for the night in your warm (Hotel) bed?

Some cootie infested bed spread or duvet cover that is harbouring more germs than the toilet seat, or, a nice fresh 3rd sheet, put in place for the express purpose of keeping you and your cooties from coming in contact with the bed spread or duvet cover, and leaving your germs, to join everyone else’s?

There is only one answer for me – bring on the triple sheeting.

And yet, for some reason this topic never comes up?

I suspect it is because of a couple of factors:

      1.    A great many of the average consumers actually believe that the duvet cover (or bed spread) is changed out after every use, and,
      2.      The room “appears” clean.  You walk in and everything looks all perfectly placed, there is (hopefully) no dust to be seen, there is (again hopefully) no hairs floating around the bathroom, and, the room smells clean – ergo it must be clean.

All I can say, is don’t count on it.

It’s not that the majority of Hotel companies don’t care about cleanliness, because they do.

However, it just isn’t practical to remove the duvet cover after every use to have it cleaned.  The increased labour cost, just for starters, would cut into productivity and profitability.  Then add in the additional cleaning costs, the need for increased inventory and higher replacement costs due to increased wear and tear, and it’s not hard to see why Hotels do not change out the duvet cover after every use.

That said, that does not excuse the need for cleanliness, and to me, that’s where the need for triple sheeting comes in.  Where triple sheeting was once viewed as a luxury to be found at only the best (and usually more expensive) Hotels, it is now a necessity, which as a result, should be found at every reputable Hotel.

Bottom line – don’t accept anything less.  You’re paying for cleanliness, you should get what you paid for. 

Need an experienced hospitality professional to help your property reach its full potential?  Contact me.

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  1. Well said, although I think you are confusing a duvet vs. duvet cover. a duvet is a lightweight comforter. A duvet cover is like a huge pillowcase that the duvet is inserted into. Nice hotels use either duvet covers, or triple sheeting with a duvet between the two topmost sheets. Personally, I prefer to stay in hotels that triple sheet because there is much higher probability that all three sheets have been changed. Why? Because taking a the duvet out of the out the duvet cover, and most of all, getting a new clean duvet into a duvet cover, is a pain the ass! I could easily see a corner cutting housekeeper skipping changing the duvet cover if possible. But, triple sheeting a bed is really easy and much less work. Hope this post made sense.

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