We spend a third of our lives in bed and this is the same for our vacations. In fact, for many people, a holiday is a time for spending even more time catching up on sleep, having lie-ins, and hopefully luxuriating in comfort with a morning coffee or a good book last thing at night. If your beds don't measure up to these expectations, guests will be unhappy and this can result in negative feedback and complaints.
Not only should bedrooms look supremely comfortable and inviting, the mattresses should be the best you can afford. Please don't think of buying mattresses in a yard sale or from an online ad; people are getting rid of them for a reason, usually because they are old and ready for replacement. The same goes for taking cast-offs from home. Of course if you're not planning on asking people to pay for the privilege of staying there, an old mattress is fine, but the moment you accept money for accommodation you become a provider to the tourism industry, and have a responsibility to deliver a top quality sleeping experience.
If you were to put a hidden camera in your property and watch people arrive, they would all do much the same as they looked in each bedroom — sit down on the bed and make a comment about how hard/soft/comfortable/squeaky the mattress is. What would they say about yours?
Here's a checklist to show when you need to buy a new set:
- The mattress is lumpy, bumpy, sagging or uneven.
- The mattress is more than 10 years old.
- It makes noises, squeals like a pig, or sways when you lie down.
- There's signs of wear, it's torn, has stains or smells like mold or mildew.
- You get more than one complaint about the quality of the bed.
Remember that putting a new mattress on an old foundation, pairing it with a foundation it wasn't designed to work with or adding a board between the mattress and foundation will affect comfort and reduce the useful life of your new mattress.
Buying a new bed set doesn't need to be expensive. You don't have to get the top grade tempura-posture-paedic-throw- on- a- bowling- ball- type of mattress, however I'd suggest you pay as much attention to the comfort of your new vacation rental bed set as you would if you were buying a new one for home.
If you are really not prepared to spend the money on replacing the beds, or just don't feel it is necessary, think about purchasing a good quality memory foam mattress topper. This will cost considerably less than a new mattress and will extend the life of your bed set for several more years. This won't be effective if the mattress is past redemption though.
I would think about it in terms of how many additional days or weeks you would have to rent the property for the new bed to be paid for. A couple of weekends off-season perhaps? Advertise you have new beds/mattresses and specify the make if they are well-known models. Think about how hotels have marketed the ‘Sleep Number' beds as a primary reason to select their brand. They've used millions of marketing and research dollars to decide on this as a leading campaign strategy, so it probably works. This upgrade may well pay for itself sooner than you think.
Guests comment a lot on the quality of linens in a vacation rental and are quick to point out sub-standard sheets and comforters. They expect to have crisp, clean and fresh looking bed linen and comforters that look (and smell) as though they have been laundered recently. For best results and reviews, use good quality duvets and duvet covers that can be washed after each rental use. The same goes for bedspreads and blankets. From a hygiene perspective, this is the best route to go.