A comfortable and luxurious guest bed might just be the single most important demand for any accommodation stay and for most guests, a good review will always be about the quality of the sleep experience.
However, in 2022 survey after survey has shown that sustainability is the most important traveller trend. Moreover, guests say they are prepared to pay more for a sustainable experience.
Pondering this trend our ever-curious team at AccomNews had some questions about the sustainability factor of commercial guest beds.
We wondered how an accommodation provider in the market for new mattresses can provide guests with the very best beds with luxury sleep-enhancing features, while also satisfying the ever-growing demand for sustainable products.
And what about end-of-life recyclability?
AccomNews contacted Peter Deveny, Group Commercial Manager A. H. Beard with those important questions. He shared his expertise on the latest developments in commercial beds and how to satisfy guests’ sustainability concerns.
We asked what constitutes a commercial-grade accommodation bed while providing the utmost guest comfort?
He answered with a word of caution, hospitality guest beds should never have a ‘body signature’.
He explained: “The rigours and demands of commercial situations mean that beds should be specifically designed for that environment. We’ve all seen the big, fat puffy beds in retail stores and thought about how comfortable they look, but the reality is that many of these models aren’t at all suitable for commercial environments.
“But mattresses made with a lot of fibre fill in the comfort layers can be problematic, in that they are often more likely to show ‘body signature’, which is the indentation that is left in the mattress when you get out of bed.
“This is obviously a huge red flag for guests in the commercial environment. To avoid this comfort fills should be made from high-quality, Australian-made foams, with small amounts of fibre in the quilt fill. Pocket coil spring systems provide the best support, ideally, they should be zoned so that correct posture is maintained.
“Upholstery should be durable, fire retardant and treated to resist mould, mildew, and other allergens for safe, comfortable sleep.
What are the latest innovations in guest sleep comfort?
“Continued developments in spring technology and comfort materials mean that commercial beds are more comfortable and luxurious than ever.
“Zoned pocket coils that react and respond to different sized and shaped bodies offer ergonomically correct support that gives your body better quality rest and is healthier for you.
“Materials like latex provide incredible comfort, pressure relief and durability. There is nothing quite like the feel of a bed using latex as the main comfort layer.
“Fabric treatments that help to redistribute heat and moisture make your bed more comfortable and healthier.”
What are the bed options for environmentally conscious accommodation providers?
Mr Deveny advised determining what environmental factors the bed has impacted. He suggested the following.
Ask your supplier:
- Where are the raw materials sourced from and what are they?
- Are they produced with environmental sustainability in mind?
Only buy Australian-made products. Is it really worth the cost to the planet of shipping a mattress halfway around the world to save a few dollars?
Think end of life
Ask, will the materials used in the bed be easily recycled at the end of their useful life? And choose a product that doesn’t excessively add to landfill.
Trust your supplier
Only buy from reputable, established suppliers who can prove their credentials in relation to the way their beds are manufactured and the efforts they go to, to be responsible for their actions.
On the issue of recycling, when it is time for a new mattress what happens to the old one?
“There are several viable recycling businesses around the country that break down mattresses and other bedding products, reusing or re-tasking as much as possible of the various materials” Mr Deveny explained.
“You can send your beds to one of these facilities as part of your refurbishment programme. Don’t forget to include this in your budgeting, as there is a financial cost attached to recycling beds but there is also a significant environmental and social benefit.
“Many of these recycling businesses are also social enterprises that employ people who might otherwise not find meaningful work in the community. People who have been displaced because of domestic violence, political and social refugees from other countries and many others are given the chance to find a way into mainstream employment by way of these social enterprise employers.
“Therefore, by recycling your beds you are not only helping the environment, but you are also contributing to a better society as well.
“The Australian Bedding Stewardship Council is an industry body working with governments and other stakeholders to improve the way we deal with end-of-life bedding products and AH Beard is a founding member.
“We are proud to be part of the solution and embrace the challenge of finding new uses for old beds.
Finally, what else can you tell us about sustainable beds?
“Our Origins range is the first fully recyclable mattress and is a new approach to mattress design and construction. Using no glue, no foam, and sustainably sourced, recyclable comfort materials it is the world’s most sustainable mattress.
“Available in a range of different comfort levels and constructions, this range is the ultimate solution for accommodation operators looking for an environmentally responsible and sustainable solution without sacrificing comfort and performance.”
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.