A guest’s experience in your vacation rental can be made or broken by the details and there are some places where the details really count. Not only can these details affect how the guest feels about your rental but they can also have a huge impact on your efficiency and finances. And there are few details that will have a bigger impact thank sheets. That’s right, sheets, those things your guest spent 8 or more hours a night on. Get the right sheets and your guests will be spending their nights in a peaceful slumber and your pocketbook and housekeeper will thank you. Get the wrong sheets your guests will be tossing and turning all night, you’ll find yourself constantly shelling out way more than you planned on replacement sheets, and it’ll be a housekeeping nightmare. Or you can use our easy sheet buying guide and we’ll help you select sheets that will please your guests and your wallet.
You may be tempted to use the good old sofa and rug approach to selecting a sheet color. As every parent knows, using a dark fabric can hide those pesky stains from plain sight and make things seem overall cleaner. But with sheets, the opposite is true, people tend to associate white sheets with cleanliness and believe it or not, it’s easier to clean white sheets than it is to clean colored sheets. Both bleach and non-bleach whitening cleaners will do wonders to get rid of stains and restore sheets to that pristine white glow. You’ll end up cycling through sheets less as you’re able to maintain them more easily and guests will get an overall sense that your property is much more clean in the place it’s most important, where they sleep.
Sheets come in a number of different fabrics but the most common you’ll consider are microfiber, cotton-polyester blends, and 100% cotton. Your choice of fabric may be the most important because it has a major impact on guest comfort, stain resistance, housekeeping and cost.
Microfiber is a synthetic material made up of extremely thin fibers which are woven together to make a sheet that is lightweight, comfortable and inexpensive, which all put together make it a top pick for vacation rental managers. If the weave is tight enough then microfiber sheets can be fairly durable but if without a tight weave those microfiber sheets will fall apart more quickly than some of the alternatives, so while it may be tempting to purchase the least expensive microfiber option, it’ll also mean replacing those sheets more quickly. A tighter weave may mean more durability but it will also mean it’s less breathable and guests will sleep hotter so you may want to avoid the more expensive microfibers in hotter climates. You also won’t want to use bleach on your microfiber sheets as it will break down microfiber more than other fabrics. Microfiber can be more stain resistant if you deal with the stain immediately, however if the stain is left too long it will set and is more difficult to get out than with cotton sheets.
Cotton fabric comes in a number of different qualities and is generally the more expensive of the options. There are three main types of cotton, Egyptian cotton, a term often applied to extra long staple cotton produced in Egypt although technically any cotton produced in Egypt can be labeled as Egyptian cotton. Pima cotton is another extra long staple cotton but unlike Egyptian cotton it’s grown in the United States. Most 100% cotton sheets though are made from Upland cotton, which is shorter and considered to be of a lower quality. Overall 100% cotton sheets are slightly more susceptible to wear and tear than polyester but all cotton sheets tend to stay soft longer and is easier to clean when it comes to dirt and oil-based stains. 100% cotton sheets also tend to wrinkly more than their polyester counterparts making them less appealing visually when they come right out of the dryer without any ironing.
Polyester cotton blends (also known in the industry as polycotton) tend to be the gold standard of hospitality bedding with nearly every hotel using them. Polycotton is a mixture of polyester and cotton together in the same fabric, usually a blend of anywhere from 50% cotton and 50% polyester to 60% cotton and 40% polyester. Combining the two fabrics allows for the benefits of both in the same sheet. Polycotton fabrics tend to be more durable and wrinkle resistant than 100% cotton while also being more lightweight and comfortable. Polycotton sheets also clean fairly well and resist the shrinkage you may see with 100% cotton sheets. Polycotton will also generally dry more quickly than cotton making turning over a unit a quicker and more easy task. Best of all, polycotton blends tend to come in at lower price points and over the long run will save you a good deal of money.
Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch and it is generally true that a higher thread count will be softer and will last longer and even soften over time. In hospitality, thread counts generally range from 180 to 350, although you may see some microfiber sheets that boast thread counts of 1,000 or more, but this isn’t as much of a function of quality as it is with 100% cotton or polycotton sheets. Most hotels will go with 200 thread count although higher end hotels may go as high as 300 or 350. In addition to softer, higher thread counts will be slightly heavier and warmer for guests as well as take longer to dry. The higher the thread count the more your sheets will cost with extremely high thread count cotton and polycotton sheets getting quite expensive. We recommend using sheets with a thread count of between 200 and 300. We use 200 thread count sheets and have never had a guest complain about our bedding.
Weaves and more
The weave will often be omitted from labeling from the sheets you buy and it’s unlikely to be a huge factor, but we wanted to clue you in on a few terms you should know about.
Sateen: this is cotton fabric and made with a satin weave which will produce a soft and luxurious feel but will be less durable over time.
Percale: this is a durable and crisp weave generally used on bed sheets and what you’ll most likely find as you are shopping for bedding.
Combed cotton: this is cotton that has been combed to remove the short fibers and leave the long ones making for a stronger, softer, and more durable fabric.
In the end we always recommend using 200 thread count plain white polycotton percale sheets for any vacation rental. Financially these sheets will be reasonably priced and they will be durable enough to last you long enough that you won’t need to replace them too often. These sheets will feel good to guests and their maintenance will be easier than other options.