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Wool Mattress Pads

September 27, 2004

by Kit Cassingham

Wool mattress pads have been used for years in hospitals for patient comfort. It's time for the hospitality industry to offer the same comfort to their guests for improved sleep. You have the option of wool felt fabric encased in cotton or wool fleece. My personal preference is the wool felt fabric that's pad-like.

There was a time I could sleep well anywhere, any time. As I "matured", my sleeping needs matured as well. I have migrated from thinking that one bed is like any other bed to understanding that bed quality, construction, and materials matter greatly in providing a good night's sleep. Upscale property owners and managers have known that for a long time. Paying guests understand it too and vote with their dollar. Your challenge is finding the balance that will satisfy the biggest majority of your guests. The bed pad is the first step in making a great sleeping surface for you guests.

In my recent search for a comfortable bed to replace my aging mattress I had several criteria. One, in keeping with my desire to have a "natural" house, was that it had to be a bed that emits few VOCs (volatile organic compounds. Along with that research I was prompted to take another look at wool mattress pads. Wool mattress covers aren't for long-term hospital patients or babies anymore! You can use them on top of cotton and wool futons, conventional mattresses, waterbeds, and latex mattresses. The wool mattress pad adds a resilient, long-lasting cushion to any bed you use.

The reason I bought a wool mattress pad was because of its abundant pros. They are made from a renewable resource, don't off-gas, are chemical-free (make sure you buy from a reputable company that doesn't use chemicals to clean the wool of burrs and such), and naturally flame resistant. Wool discourages the growth of mold and mildew, and may resist bed mites -- bonuses for the lodging industry. Wool breathes, letting the sleeping person better regulate their body temperature, providing a better night's sleep. Wool mattress pads are washable. Because wool is the most resilient of the natural fibers, wool mattress pads are long lasting. A huge plus for lodging properties is that they are odor free; the natural-occurring lanolin is a deodorizer which keeps the wool from absorbing odors.

There are two styles of mattress pads you can use: fleece, and batting wrapped in organic cotton. I think your choice is merely a style issue, there being no right or wrong choice. I bought the batting style, and it's incredibly comfortable.

Various lodging chains and independent properties are showing that time and again a quality bed and sleeping experience creates happy, loyal guests. Those are the guests who share their enthusiasm with friends, family and co-workers too. That kind of guest loyalty builds profits.

Adding a wool mattress pad to your guest beds is a cost effective way for you to increase their comfort and subsequent loyalty to you, and goes right with last month's article on quality linens.





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