Hotel Linens: What Do Guests Really Want?

When choosing a hotel, consumers prioritize other factors over sheets and linens, but they do notice them and have opinions about how they are laundered. A consumer survey commissioned by TRSA, the association for the linen, uniform and facility services industry, reveals consumer perceptions of quality and sustainability regarding bed linen. Pollster Fabrizio Ward conducted the national consumer survey across 700 respondents in 2015.

Among consumers, 77 percent said that price, location, and amenities were more important when choosing a hotel than the types of sheets and linens that the hotel uses. But 72 percent said they expected the quality of sheets and linens to correspond with the type of hotel. This confirms the conventional wisdom that a higher priced property needs a better grade of linen.

Consumers express mixed emotions regarding conservation programs that give guests the option of foregoing daily bed linen laundering. Providing such a program does create a positive impression of a hotel. More than 60 percent of the consumers in the survey rated a hotel more favorably when a conservation program was in place. However, guests don’t see these programs as motivated by environmental protection. More than three in four guests agreed that the real reason hotels are asking guests to reuse linens and towels is to save money by cutting utility and laundry costs. All types of travelers—whether occasional or frequent, business or leisure—agreed that instead of reusing linens and towels, they would prefer a hotel to have them laundered in a more environmentally friendly manner.

These results highlight the opportunity to better educate guests on how hotels are working to reduce their carbon footprint. They also challenge linen, uniform, and facility services vendors to do a better job connecting with and educating the hotels in their regions about the sustainable and cost-effective benefits of outsourcing laundry services.



About the Author
Joseph Ricci is the president and CEO of TRSA, the association for the linen, uniform and facility services industry.

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