Newbie with a question on comforters

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Like many I have seen the programs on what actually lurks on the hotel comforters  and since seeing that program  we always throw the comforter on the floor before sitting on the bed.  We are just planning out our first venture in to the B&B business.  Just wondering what everyone does with the comforters and blankets when turning over a room?  I'd like to use "custom" made type comforters but wonder how many of each I would need.  Do you wash after each use, just put through a hot dryer or do nothing?  Seems there could be alot of wear and tear on them to wash daily.  Thanks for helping us out.

muirford's picture
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There are at least two sources for open stock sheets that I know of - American Hotel Registry carries white or ivory sheets, including all-cotton options, in quantity lots and the Company Store sells prints, solids and monogrammed flat sheets individually.  They may be more expensive but if you regard a nice, high-quality, printed top sheet as an alternative to a bedspread or coverlet, maybe they're not so bad.

I have seen all-white decor at some B&Bs - the Bellmoor in Rehoboth Beach and the Kehoe House in Savannah.  I have been told by folks in the biz that this is a growing trend even among B&Bs.  It's not what I would do, though.  My thought was to use a solid set for the bottom and a printed sheet on top - mixing and matching is what gives it the shabby chic look. If I decided to go the triple sheet route that is what I would consider - using open-source flat sheets in coordinating colors, maybe with the Inn's monogram.  I think that would be a pretty and B&B-appropriate look.   Unfortunately I have a lifetime supply of matelasse comforters and print sheets sets, so it won't be happening any time soon!

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Proud Texan's picture
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muirford wrote:

... They may be more expensive but if you regard a nice, high-quality, printed top sheet as an alternative to a bedspread or coverlet, maybe they're not so bad.

The point I was attempting to make is that we used a less expensive, but good quality sheet as the third sheet.    Everyone sleeps between the high thread-count sheets and doesn't even notice the texture of the 3rd.   We found our top sheets during a Penny's white sale.

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I considered doing triple sheeting but it won't happen until I get help (too many sheets to wash & iron).  If I ever go to triple sheeting, the top flat sheet will be white and monogrammed so that it can coordinate with any of the guest rooms and beds.  (Total 8 beds here, only one King.) 

That mix and match look is attractive but I don't want to keep track of all that since our rooms are all different. I know I've said before that our linens get comments from almost all our guests.

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muirford's picture
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I'm with ya' - I mixed and matched sheets on my own bed way before I had a B&B and before I had ever heard of shabby chic.  We bought used oak furniture (now antiques) when we first had a house because it was cheaper and more plentiful in upstate New York than the furniture store stuff. It just takes a little hunting (bargain, that is - not wild pig) sometimes.

gillumhouse's picture
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I had been looking for some fitted sheets to replace the tired elastic bottom sheets from sets that were in otherwise good condition. I decided I will just have to get out the sewing machine this winter and replace the elastic.

gillumhouse's picture
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It is hard to find "open stock" sheets - most are sold as sets these days. So - do you buy 2 "sets" to get that triple sheet? To me (IMO) all white says hotel and why bother with that beautiful blanket/comforter/duvet if it is just going to have an uninteresting white sheet over it?

Triple sheet in a hotel/motel setting makes sense as who knows who or what was there last but WE have a different kind of guests.....(sounds snooty and maybe it is, but we do get a different demographic for the most part)

Proud Texan's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

It is hard to find "open stock" sheets - most are sold as sets these days. So - do you buy 2 "sets" to get that triple sheet? To me (IMO) all white says hotel and why bother with that beautiful blanket/comforter/duvet if it is just going to have an uninteresting white sheet over it?

We opted for 600 tc Egyptian Cotton SOLID for the fitted and top sheet.   We use a 300 count PLAID sheet for the third.     You could just as easily have a SOLID/FLORAL combo,  PLAID/FLORAL COMBO or if you wanted to get really wild, mix sets for a SOLID/PLAID/FLORAL combo.   Throw in CHECKS for good measure.

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Proud Texan wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

It is hard to find "open stock" sheets - most are sold as sets these days. So - do you buy 2 "sets" to get that triple sheet? To me (IMO) all white says hotel and why bother with that beautiful blanket/comforter/duvet if it is just going to have an uninteresting white sheet over it?

We opted for 600 tc Egyptian Cotton SOLID for the fitted and top sheet.   We use a 300 count PLAID sheet for the third.     You could just as easily have a SOLID/FLORAL combo,  PLAID/FLORAL COMBO or if you wanted to get really wild, mix sets for a SOLID/PLAID/FLORAL combo.   Throw in CHECKS for good measure.

I seriously wish I had considered this before opting to buy the sheets I did. This is exactly the look I like, I just thought others wouldn't appreciate it and would think I just didn't have enough matching sheet sets to go around! I'll take it under advisement as I have to start replacing sheets and dang ol' JCP stopped carrying the line I was buying.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Oh there are all sorts of combos that can be down. I just do not have the storage space to store the dozen flat sheets I would have to buy to get the "third" sheet. I like the quilts and duvets I have now. Granny does not third sheet.

Proud Texan's picture
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I realize that this could be a problem for larger inns.   We only have two rooms.   Though very different in style and decor, we were able to color coordinate the bedding to be interchangeable between rooms.   So, we have extra fitted sheets and that's about it.   These and another set serve as our "backup" sheets in case someone has an accident during their stay.   It also makes for a quick change between guests.

If someone is just starting out, the same could be done for larger configurations if enough thought is put into it.   The problems comes from having each room so totally unique, that sheets from one would not work in another.   Just stick to a basic color pallette throughout and it could be done easily.   The paint and furnishings and even the bed itself will make each room unique.

gillumhouse's picture
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I bought the best I could afford when I opened 13 years ago and am still using some of the original linens. Since I took half of my storage room to create a private ensuite bath, I have 50 pounds of stuffing in a 5 pound casing. It is not as bad now (summer) as it will be in another month or two when the A/C units come out of the windows and go back into the storage room.

Most of the full-size sheets will go in either room. I have a couple sets that are just for that one room. Only have one queen bed upstairs (we get the rejects from that room for us). When I but sheets, I try to get an extra set of pillowcases and I also have several pair of white and other contrasting colors that I can use in case I have neglected to keep my appointment with the dreaded ironing board.

In winter we go to flannel and I get to put the dreaded ironing board away for a few months..

gillumhouse's picture
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I use duvets and duvet covers.

I found on OUR bed which is a queen that there was a nightly battle in the winter for the  covers so I bought a king size down comforter for winter and a king-size down alternative blanket for summer's chilly nights. Downside is that our bed has a 30 year old mattress and the blankets trolls the floor all around.

My guestroom queen is very high off he floor so I bought a king-size for that bed nd it looks really nice and no one has to fight for covers. The double bed duvets & covers are already double/queen size (which is why I do not like them on a queen - too skimpy). I took a tip from the kind ladies here and sewed velcro and/or bias tape ties in the corners to hold them in place (duvets & covers) and noticed recently one in a catalog with ties already there.

One for the queen room is satin & goes to the cleaners (every couple months with cotton for a couple months & I have two of them) and the others are all cotton so I can wash them regularly - not every guest though.

What I do wash every guest is the cloth shower curtain liner in the showers - have it inside with the plastic on the outside.

Sanctuary's picture
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We use coverlets.  The master is a standard size.  The rest I had to custom sew them since my mattresses are odd sizes.  So, I'm quite protective of them since I can't just go out and buy new ones.  When guests arrive, the beds are made with the coverlets for the big "ta-da!".  We do a turn down service during dinner time so that when guests return from dinner, the coverlets are removed and the beds are ready to crawl into. 

When we are on charter and have guests onboard around the clock, we keep the beds made, but not with the coverlets on (we call it a "day use" set up).  For B&B, we make the beds up completely after breakfast, and then do the turn down during dinner time.  We have light blankets at the foot of the beds for use and we try to steer folks from using the coverlets as actual bedding by providing alternatives and hanging the coverlets in the closet or put them in a drawer when the beds are ready for sleeping, but don't go so far as to tell them not to use the coverlets!  So far, this has worked for us. 

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We live in the maritimes and we are using 320+ sheets,duvet and cover plus we keep extra blanklets in the closets. Duvets are great and cozy.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Sometimes a/c can be too cold, so using a lighter weight but still offering the heavier comforter quilt is a good idea too.  Triple sheeting is what P.T. is talking about. I stayed at a place recently that did that and it worked well.  I never had the blanket on me, only the sheets below and above the blanket.

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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BEDSPREADS are what you are talking about.  Not many B&B's use those.

There is no worldly way to wash quilts/comforters/blankets after each guest.  Not enough time in the day to do that amount of laundry and we might as well stand at the window and throw money out to the wind.  They would not hold up to that sort of treatment (even if they said washable).

We do not wash the sofas or chairs either.  We do our best to keep everything germ free and of course provide clean sheets/pillowcases.  But like the rugs in the room, we can vacuum, we can lysol, we cannot deep clean every thing in between guests.  It is impossible.

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So I guess I didn't word my question quite right, I was actually just asking a general question about "bed covers" and changing/washing.  Sorry if there was confusion.  I have a  look I'd like to achieve and love the look from  custom linens say like Rachel Ashwell or Laura Ashley.   Not saying exactly those but you get the idea.  I understand that it's likely not possible to wash everyday.  I'm sure I'll find out down the road that my idea could be pricey if they get stained.  But it's a look I love.   So I'm wondering then...what your choice would be between bedspread, comforter or duvet? 

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So I'm wondering then...what your choice would be between bedspread, comforter or duvet? 

Quilts and coverlets

muirford's picture
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 If you really like that look, you might consider doing a variation on what the high-end hotels are doing now - a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a duvet or blanket, and then another top sheet (sandwiched for a triple-sheeting effect) with a throw across the bottom of the bed. You could use white sheets for the first set of fitted & flat, a white or pastel blanket and then a shabby chic top sheet.  You could use either a duvet or blanket depending on the season. 

We don't triple-sheet but I do use matelasse coverlets or thin cotton bedspreads in all the rooms with a quilt or duvet folded at the bottom of the bed.  They are easily washed as needed.  I use a lot of the shabby chic sheets sets from Target in the rooms on the beds - I do like the look of them, they are 100% cotton and crisp enough for me.  I don't think I would use custom or handmade quilts or comforters in my rooms - too many chances for stains.

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I do like this idea.  Easily washed and...could keep a fancier spread still at the bottom of the bed in case it's cool which I think it may tend to be in the Maritimes.  You can get some beautiful print sheets.  Thanks.

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I do what Muirford does for most of our rooms - white 320+ thread count cotton sheets, blanket (lightweight microfiber 9 months of the year & down alternative 3 months here in the South), then white or off white matelasse coverlet with a comforter folded at the bottom.  I had just a couple of nice fancy washable comforters on beds and they are STILL in my car to go to the laundry.  Obvious stains were on them quickly and too large to wash here Sad  I actually am also going to take the lightweight patterned quilts (which I can wash here) and fold them at the bottom & replace them with white/off white matelasse coverlets.  Here are my reasons:  If they're soiled, it's easy to determine that.  Then, they launder fairly quickly (you still need spares though).  I can use them on any bed that's the same size since they're white or off white & just use the folded whatever for pretty.  It's kind of like what the high end hotels are doing without the extra sheet for me to iron!

ps...please don't put the comforters on the floor when you stay at a B&B/inn - we pick up on that & then they have to go into the wash or to the dry cleaners Sad

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Samster wrote:

 

ps...please don't put the comforters on the floor when you stay at a B&B/inn - we pick up on that & then they have to go into the wash or to the dry cleaners Sad

Actually, because of all the hype about 'dirty' comforters at hotels, when I find the quilt on the floor, not 'kicked' off the bed, but dumped in the corner, I am insulted. Many guests fold the quilts up and don't use them at all, but they are neatly folded and stored, not 'thrown'.

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I guess I was trying to say the same thing!  I don't mind if they're folded up and put somewhere.  I wonder if people are expecting this new look in bed coverings that all the upscale hotels are using now? 

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Samster wrote:

I guess I was trying to say the same thing!  I don't mind if they're folded up and put somewhere.  I wonder if people are expecting this new look in bed coverings that all the upscale hotels are using now? 

My mother was not impressed with this 'new' look when I showed her my room at the Hilton Gardens. She said, and I quote, 'That's IT? That's all you get for blankets? Humph!'

I don't like how it photographs (lumpy) and how it looks in person (unmade) but it is comfy and I am certainly hoping it is the 'cleaner' option if they really change them out between guests.

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I always assume the bedcovers are clean when we stay at B&B's and we use them!  Right now here in Georgia I am still using my comforter on me when I go to bed  (husband is on the other hand not, he fold it down and sideways since I like to have my side on me!).  I guess it's because we have the AC on 24/7 and run the celing fan all night, it tends to make me a little chilly.

I like having some kind of quilt or comforter on the bed, it just doesn't feel right sleeping with just sheets and a blanket.  And I for one would not throw your quilts on the floor!  Even if I kicked it off during the night I would pick it up and lay it back on the bed or fold it up, I wouldn't just leave it on the floor.  Even if I was staying at Holiday Inn, I wouldn't leave the bedding on the floor.....TACKY!

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If you're going to launder between every guest (or very frequently) go with duvets and duvet covers. Duvet covers wash and dry nearly as quickly as sheets and should be easy to customize. You'll need as many duvet covers per bed as sheet sets (2-3). Most fabric is not intended for such frequent washing and they will wear out faster the more you wash them, so don't spend big $$$ on them.

I've replaced some comforters with duvets and covers so that they are easier to wash, and I do wash them much more frequently than the quilted comforters. Another nice thing about duvets is you can have summer-weight and winter-weight duvets for the different seasons and use the same covers all year if you want. Ikea has a good selection of duvets in all weights and various fills.

Proud Texan's picture
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We opted for a second top sheet (print) that coordinates with the fitted and cover sheet.  This serves as a bedspread, looks pretty and can be washed with the other sheets after each guest.  Blankets can be sandwiched between the two top sheets.   We put down comforters and the like in duvets that will get wash on a regular basis, but not as often.

 

egoodell's picture
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 Like the others said, you'll need two sets per room if/when you get busy. They don't have to be identical sets, just two sets. We purchase patterned ones that fit the looks of our rooms that are washable. The pillow shams get washed with every change, and the washable light comforter gets washed every two weeks. We can't afford the big front loader machines yet so run them to the laundry where they get done. 

In between I iron the wrinkles out while they are on the bed after making it.

I have all off white and ivory sheets so they go with all the cover sets, and I don't have to figure them out.

Riki

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Morticia's picture
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I think there's another thread running right now where many have answered this question. I think it was titled something like 'Overkill...'

If you are going to do 'custom' bedding, be prepared to buy backups to match. I wash all the bedding on a rotating basis every 10-14 days. Unless there is an obvious stain or smell in which case I wash the item right away.

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