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Don't buy dark sheets or comforter

Discussion in 'Hosts' started by Matt S, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    I made the mistake of buying dark blue sheets and a dark blue comforter. I also don't have the best dryer. These things are almost worthless. It's impossible to get all of the lint off of them. Live and learn.
  2. Chicagohost

    Chicagohost Member

    I love discussions about linens and bedding. I feel like we can't win with this -- I have white sheets and towels so that I can bleach them but I'm often frustrated at how much time I end up spending on trying to get out makeup and/or self-tanner stains. I've often thought as I do a second bleach soaking, "this would be so much easier with dark sheets and towels."

    My duvet cover is dark and I will keep it that way as I've found that guests all throw their big, dirty suitcases onto the bed -- I don't know how to protect the cover from wear and tear.

    Matt - I've heard some people use a lint roller when making the bed, not sure if this would help?
    Matt S, Carolyn and Estuarto like this.
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    It may be that Matt threw his cover in with some towels - the laundresses nono .

    Totally agree about the blooming make-up and brown crap on the white towels and pillowcases CH. I also cringe the minute I see someone lug their luggage onto my bedding. I have antique coverlets, and just look in amazement. They probably think is just old lady stuff (I'm not that old. I just love beautiful hand made things and fabulous textiles, especially antique homespun linens). I even have places for people to put their luggage, and will often suggest its placement. Many times a guest will go 'oh no it's fine', as they hurl it onto a delicate piece of furniture or bedding. Ah, if only everyone could know what we go through presenting these little idylls, aye?
    I think there is still a disconnect as people are thinking of our homes and rooms as if they are hotel rooms. I think they would be surprised that they are OUR things, not just 'things'.
    Matt S and Estuarto like this.
  4. Estuarto

    Estuarto Active Member

    I monitor the web for cheap linen deals. I figure sheets last 3 months with good luck. Comforters can last maybe half a year. I usually am looking to get the sheets for $20 for the set and a comforter for $30. So my bedding cost for 1 room for the year is about $150. I generally get beige colored sheets and a little darker comforter. But depends on whats on sale. I've never tried white or dark colors but can see how both could have their share of issues.
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    I pay more up front (although I still search for the best bargains on high quality linens), but I have yet to have to replace anything. If buying cottons, I choose Egyptian cotton for the longest threads to avoid pilling, and go for a 400 thread count for strength and breath ability (the best Italian sheets are usually this kind, such as Sferra). Otherwise a good Pima cotton so long as it is no more than 400 thread count. I only use cottons for duvet covers, as I use pure linen for sheets. Linen is expensive (especially antique!), but it is tremendously strong and launders exceptionally well without holding onto stains.

    I have never had to replace a duvet yet, and we have been hosting guests in our home for 12 years! Good quality down lasts as lasts. You can launder it, and if it is decent quality it will stay fluffy for a very long time. I believe I save a lot by buying things that don't need replacing hardly if at all with good care.

    Whites are great, because you can see stains easily, and treat them with the correct method. I have yet to meet a stain that hasn't lifted. Oxyclean is my best friend, with a large bucket with extra hot water for anything that needs freshening up. An overnight soak and always gets things bright white. If it is make-up, or a greasy type of stain, I use some soap and water directly on the area and lift it that way. By keeping a soaking bucket, anything that was stained goes into the bucket while everything else gets washed.

    A good reason to avoid colors, is because they fade over time and tend to look scruffier than whites. Another reason is the dyeing process can make the fabric less soft than a white or off white. At least this has been my experience. You can color your room with throws, and throw pillows.
    Castle Woman and Carolyn like this.
  6. Carolyn

    Carolyn Member

    Sandy, that's good advice re: Egyptian cotton to avoid pilling. I never know what to do for that problem.
    I have found that solid color sheets also are not a good choice, even light colors. After drying, they have a slightly streaked look that is not really noticeable but not nice enough for guests, IMO. This happened with middle-range sheets, not super expensive but not cheap either.
    Matt S likes this.
  7. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    I did learn the no towells with linens rule early on. I think it might be that my washing machine is an old lousy GE, and I have been hang-drying the sheets. It is a light colored lint so it must be what's still in the washing machine. Not having the dryer definitely adds to my lint problem. I tried a lint roller but didn't totally fix the issue. My guest actually said she thought they looked fine - she saw me hassling with them. But I am going to take them to laundrymat and see if some proper machinery can help.
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    I personally hang dry all my linens. The dryer is very hard on them. But that's because they are an investment that I like to get a long time out of. I realize this is simply not possible time management wise for many hosts. I make it work by having quite a lot of sets. If using a dryer, the best advice is to dry until just damp, and hang , or drape over the bed for the final bit of dampness to dry out. This will make sure you don't over stress your linens, and also give you a beautifully smooth ironed result, rather than the rumpled mess you can end up with if left to sit in the dryer. I do this sometimes with my duvet covers if in a hurry.

    Lint is difficult to remove from a dark fabric once on there. The most usual way it ends up there is if a tissue accidently gets thrown in the laundry with the fabric. Maybe it was the technique you mentioned you use for avoiding seeing evidence of sex that caused you to miss it? Either way, to try to salvage it I would get the sticky roller things you were trying, and roll over the entire surface to try to remove as much as possible, as well as take it outside and shake it as hard as you can to try to make the fluff fly off, and give it another wash alone. Over time the white bits will come off, so long as it doesn't encounter a wash with a white towel or worst of all a tissue again.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
    Matt S likes this.
  9. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    Professional approach Sandy. I think you are on a more of a proper business level compared to a lot of AirBnB users. Have you ever had guests complain?
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    My beds and bedding get a lot of praise both in person and in reviews. When I travel, the main things I care about in order of importance are: a good sleep on a comfortable bed with good linens and pillows, followed by a decent temperature and if possible access to fresh air, and thirdly, great coffee in the morning. The aesthetics are important too, especially to provide a good initial impression, but after that, it's all about how comfort feels, more than how comfort looks. A great bed made up with lovely linens always looks amazing anyway.

    We currently have 93% 5 star reviews and are superhosts. I do think beds and comfort are a big part of it.
  11. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    When I turned 30 I had the realization how important a bed is, how much time I spend in the thing.

    I got my bed for the guest room off of craigslist, and it's a Queen size, I think Sealy brand. This guy had quite a business buying and reselling used beds. Sounds kind of sketchy but when I saw his setup I was sold. The bed looked new, he had a serious steam cleaning machine, and he also lets them stay out in the sun for awhile to be sure they are bug and bacteria free. I liked the recycled aspect of it, and for $200 I got a $1k bed delivered. I get a lot of comments about how well people sleep and how comfortable the bed is. I don't get any comments about my bedding. Generally the air is pretty agreeable here in West Hollywood. I have a space heater in the room for cold nights, and a pretty good fan for when it gets hot. My house is shaded by big trees so heat isn't as bed as some of my friends in the neighborhood. Not sure we have the best air here in Cali :(
    Sandy and Carolyn like this.
  12. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    I have no problem at all with your recycled bed Matt. As a matter of fact, I have spent a long time researching beds - something people with pain issues tend to do, and I found out some pretty interesting things about beds. Things that led me also to making choices that allowed me to buy very inexpensive beds that were very comfy.

    Here's the info. Just like everything else in more recent times, beds are being made to fail within a certain time frame. This time frame is a lot shorter than it used to be. You can see this by all the horrifying reviews all over the Internet of people that spent over $1000 on a bed only to have it fail within the year, or at most two, with big body indentations. The reason is this: manufacturers started this trend for pillow tops. Pillow tops use very cheap poly foam. This soft foam is the first thing to go in the bed, and when it does, you'll be in a world of hurt. You're on the springs.

    Jumping back ten- fifteen years or so before the invention of those silly beds, we had the simple bed. A good one had a lot of coils for great support (these are heavy!) and really good ones had coils in individual pockets. On top of the coils is a layer of cotton backing, and some thin foam and cotton fill for padding. They are firm, sometimes too firm. But they don't collapse, and there are never body shaped canoes in them. People are selling off these wonderful old mattresses, the likes of which you can't find anymore unless you pay thousands for a really great manufacturer to make you. They want one of these new ones, because well, it's been in the guest room at mom's place, and she's since passed so nobody has room for it, or it had been the bed in the guest room at the cottage they are selling.

    While you can't do anything to fix a too soft mattress, you can always add a wonderful inexpensive foam topper to a slightly firm mattress, and turn it into a heavenly pillow top, and if the topper wears out over time, you can easily replace it instead of being stuck with a dud mattress. It will also protect your mattress.

    How much are people selling these beauties for on Craigslist? $50 and sometimes free just to pick it up. Of course you want a good one. You want one that hasn't seen much use. No body impressions, stains, marks of any kind. Look for weight for good quality springs. Make sure there are no little spots of blood - eek bed bugs! I've never seen them. Always smell test. I have purchased two fantastic mattresses this way. They didn't even need foam toppers, just a nice padded mattress protector.

    By getting great mattresses this way, I was able to spend more on beautiful bedding.
    KJR, Matt S, Shirey and 1 other person like this.
  13. Shirey

    Shirey Member

    I'm weary of a bed off craigslist, but to each their own. Admitingly my bed cost over $1000 and after 6 years it has a dip in the middle. I'm thinking my next one I won't spend so much and invest in a good foam mattress cover. My bed in the guest room was a firmer bed I bought for half the price and I choose it for its sturdy feel. Definitely like you say Sandy, a topper can go a long way in making a bed more comfortable and protect the mattress as well.
    Sandy likes this.
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    Yes Shirey, if recycling makes you squeamish, the best bet is a cheaper model available at the mattress place. A firm mattress with minimal padding. But I still hold that the coils were much better in the old days, unless you want to go to a higher end mattress, and it's difficult to find those without all that foam that fails unless you really step up in price to specialty makers. But if you look hard, you may be able to find a high quality mattress without the cheap foam. You MUST insist on looking what's inside (many sellers say it's protected info). If you see layers of poly foam, or even feel that cushy feeling on top, you know it's there, and those sags in the mattress? That will put me in pain for a week or more, and ruin my ability to enjoy a stay at the place where the bed that hurt me was.

    That dip will mean if two are on it, they either resist gravity and spend the night tumbled into the middle with each other, or spend it trying to half hang onto their side of the bed so they don't slip or roll into the soft/weak spot on top of each other. Alone, you have no chance of staying on the nice padded portions on the side where the foam isn't as worn, because no matter what, you are rolling down into that dip, and sleeping on springs. It can make for an exhausting night. With the two dips you find in a lot of hotels that haven't replaced the mattresses (they have very cheap deals going with manufacturers, often getting them at $200) good luck trying to cuddle your lover or get out of the dip onto some padding. It's coils for you my friend, and they hurt.

    Beds are extremely important to the guest experience. If they don't sleep well, they don't have a great time. I stick to hotels that I can trust to provide a good bed for this very reason. Interestingly, modern hotels often get this right, although we prefer historic hotels architecturally.

    Edit to add that I know Shirey hasn't got the bed with the dip in her guest room. I was just discussing the many places you find them in, as they are so common these days. All the best with your next purchase Shirey!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
    Matt S likes this.
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    By the way, for hosts with a higher end airbnb, I find latex mattresses are fantastic. It is what we sleep on ourselves!
  16. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    Great info on beds! And good point that buying a solid cheap bed and putting a mattress top on it and then spending more a bedding is a good approach. I never had heard of a latex mattress before. From what I read latex has been more common in Europe for years. Latex is a type of foam that should last a lot longer.

    Latex foam in mattresses is generally a blend of the latex of the Hevea brasiliensis tree and synthetic latex, which is derived from petrochemicals and other substances and fillers. Latex foam is produced using either the Talalay or the Dunlop process.[19] Each provides a different feel. Dunlop is generally a firmer foam, Talalay is softer. While the Dunlop process produces a foam that is more dense, the Talalay process produces a lighter foam that has more air in it. If you were to weigh each as latex cores, the Dunlop foam would be heavier because it has more latex in it.[citation needed] Talalay is more expensive as its production is more resource intensive. One hundred percent natural latex foam mattresses are also available from niche mattress makers.[20]
  17. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    Yes Matt, and if you want an awesome topper that lasts forever, latex, so long as you buy a good quality talalay or Dunlop rubber (not a cheap rip off that claims to be latex), will last forever. An inch to an inch and a half is plenty, and will feel like the most expensive mattress.

    We love our latex mattress, and we also have a guest bed that is latex. Ours is ultra fancy and is electric like the European beds, so we can sit up in bed for coffee and TV, at the touch of a button (or iPhone :). Wouldn't go back, and the only downside is how hard it is staying on regular beds now. But I would be very happy with the set suggested above.
    Matt S likes this.
  18. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    I hadn't thought of the potential dependency to finding a better sleeping surface. Are electric beds common in Europe? I guess nowadays I don't need to be propped up because I don't watch TV ever, just this phone!!
  19. Sandy

    Sandy Active Member

    Haha. True! We don't have TV either Matt, but do enjoy netfix. Yes, electric beds that allow you to move up and sit comfortably in bed are pretty popular in parts of Europe. They are very comfortable and easy to get used to. We have another fancy thing in our bathroom that we discovered is very popular in Japan. It's called a Toto - we love that too.
  20. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    Try to figure out what Toto is but only found the 70s rock band. Can't imagine they are in your bathroom. Is it a type of bidet?

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