If you are in the hospitality industry then you will know that the right choice of bed linen can mean the difference between your guests having a great stay, and one that makes them long for home. Protect-A-Bed asked interior designer MEG VAUN of Meg Vaun Interiors, specialists in lodges and small luxury hotels, for her advice on making the perfect choice of bed linen for your establishment.

What fabrics would you consider for bed linen at a guest house or B&B?

The three main choices are polycotton, cotton or Egyptian cotton. My advice? Avoid polycotton at all costs. It doesn’t breathe well, so will leave your guests hot and sweaty. Contrary to popular belief, it does crease, and it’s also not durable, so has few benefits other than lower cost.

Rather go for a natural fibre like cotton. Cotton is a popular choice because it’s breathable, easy to care for, long lasting, and offers great value. Choose a percale cotton weave, which gives it a cool, dry feel, ideal for hotter climates.

Or you can splash out on 400 thread count Egyptian cotton, for a luxurious, silky feel.

And bed linen colour?

Go for white, which gives guests the reassurance that the beds are clean. You can always bring colour onto the bed with throws or cushions. If you prefer a coloured duvet, keep the flat and fitted sheets white.

What thread count would you recommend for the hospitality industry?

Remember that the higher the thread count, the more dense the fabric, and the less it will breathe, making it not the best choice in a hot climate such as ours.

For this reason, and because the increase in quality doesn’t justify the added expense, I wouldn’t go above a 400 thread count. And on the other end of the scale, I wouldn’t go below a 100 thread count.

But how you take care of your linen is actually more important than the thread count.

Really? Linen care is more important than thread count?

Absolutely! If you invest in quality bed linen and look after it properly, it can last up to four to five years, if not longer. With improper care though, you may only get two years use from it.

Any advice on good linen care?

I have five tips when it comes to caring for cottons:

  1. If you use bleach, make sure it’s an oxygenated bleach since ordinary bleach can damage the fibres (and reacts with sweat and body oils to cause yellowing over time).
  2. Stay away from fabric softener.
  3. Always sun-dry rather than tumble-dry.
  4. Never iron linen when it’s wet as you’ll damage the fibres.
  5. And last, it’s really important to have enough linen stock. Three to four sets per room means you won’t need to wash, dry and iron it in a rush, and you can allow each set to rest in between use.

Let’s sum up then. What linen would you recommend for an establishment on a budget?

I’d recommend a 200 thread count percale cotton. If you can’t afford that, opt for 100 thread count percale cotton over polycotton. And remember the importance of having enough stock; rather buy more of a cheaper option, than have only one set of a more expensive bed linen.

And for a more luxury-oriented establishment with more in the budget?

I’d suggest going for a 400 thread count Egyptian cotton; no need to go higher than that. Egyptian cotton has a shimmer because it’s so tightly woven. In a sateen finish, it’ll give the sheets an almost satin-like, luxurious feel, which your guests will appreciate.

Follow Meg Vaun Interiors on Instagram @mvinteriors

And a last bit of advice from Protect-A-Bed…

Whatever your choice of linen, keep your mattresses in showroom condition and give guests extra peace of mind knowing the bed is clean and hygienic and by slipping on a mattress protector from Protect-A-Bed.

The layer of Miracle Membrane in each Protect-A-Bed product forms an impenetrable waterproof barrier against bodily fluids and spills, preventing staining and odours. It’s also dust-mite proof, which is good news for allergic guests. Yet despite its impermeable nature, Miracle Membrane is entirely breathable and whisper quiet, ensuring your guests have a comfortable night’s sleep.

Once your guests leave, simply pop the protector in the wash with the bed linen, to ensure a fresh, clean sleep for your next guests.

Protect-A-Bed has a selection of EXCLUSIVE deals for the hospitality industry.

Call us now on 0800 775 775 or email info@protectabed.co.za for more information.