NATIONAL REPORT—Been sleeping around a lot? That is what just about every hotel mattress and box springs does every night and the results can be not only unhealthy but creepy as well. Dust mites, bed bugs, other insects, bodily fluids of one kind or another—at some point in time a mattress and box springs will experience these. Mattresses, especially, impacted by such things, often are thrown away—far short of their intended life span—not recycled, and end up in the landfill. Fortunately, hoteliers can easily extend the life of a mattress and box springs with encasements that form a protective barrier and provide a much healthier sleep experience. Sound easy? It can be, but hoteliers would be wise to know the differences between the many encasements on the market today.
One company that has been selling encasements to the lodging industry for a long time is Protect-A-Bed. According to the company, its encasements shield from stains, spills, pests and allergens. The encasements’ snug fit eliminates excess fabric which can create a breeding ground for bed bugs. Protect-A-Bed says its products feature Miracle Membrane, a protective backing that creates a waterproof, air vapor-porous layer designed to sleep cool, comfortable and quiet. Miracle Membrane blocks the passage of dust mites, allergens, pests, and human contaminants, while allowing air to flow freely. Protect-A-Bed encasements feature a three-sided micro tooth zipper system at the end point of the closure with a safety trench and cable tie lock. This assures the mattress stays both bed bug entry and escape proof.
Protect-A-Bed encasements are pesticide free and are certified Asthma & Allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), FDA Class I Medical Devices, have earned the Good Housekeeping Quality Seal of Approval, and are certified by an Entomology-Laboratory to be completely bed bug proof.
Warner Center Marriott Case Study
A case study on the Green Lodging News website describes how the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills in Woodland Hills, Calif. is benefiting from Protect-A-Bed encasements on all mattresses and box springs in the hotel. In the two years since installing encasements, replacements of damaged mattresses have been virtually eliminated.
“You can clean and shampoo, but if the stain and odor is still there, you have to replace it,” Director of Housekeeping Marie Johnson said. “Now, when there’s a spill, all we have to do is wash the cover and put it back on.” Johnson said laundering a cover is much less labor intensive than cleaning a mattress, and requires fewer cleaning supplies. More importantly, otherwise new mattresses are not getting thrown out.
Cadence Keen Innovations dba CKI Solutions offers the Easy Care 360 mattress encasement that features a removable zip off top that makes the encasement easy to take on and off. The encasement features a polyurethane film barrier tested to withstand high temperature washing and drying and is certified to protect against dust and allergens by National Allergy.
“Almost all [suppliers] want you to wash in cold water,” says Sam Montross, CEO, Cadence Keen Innovations. “You can wash ours in hot water. We make ours specific for hotels. Ours last up to 300 washes.”
The Sleep Defender Sofa Sleeper Encasement fits sofa beds and CKI Solutions also offers the Sleep Defender 2X for Box Spring. According to the company, the Sleep Defender 2X unique, double-ply, layered non-woven material adds strength and durability superior to other box spring encasements. CKI Solutions says its Sleep Supreme Mattress Protector is the only mattress protector on the market to offer full waterproof and anti-allergen protection on the top and sides of the mattress in a fitted sheet design. “Everything good about an encasement has to do with the coating,” Montross says.
Encasements Made from TENCEL Fibers
The Ultra-Tech Mattress Protector, available online from companies such as Rana Furniture, provides a barrier against dust mites and allergens with a fabric that is thermos neutral friendly and provides moisture wicking that repels stains. The TENCEL fabric provides an anti-microbial treatment that protects from the growth of odor-causing bacteria. TENCEL branded lyocell fibers from the house of Lenzing are of botanic origin, since they are extracted from the raw material wood. Textiles of TENCEL fibers are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. The Ultra-Tech Mattress Protector is not advertised to protect against bed bugs.
Titan Mattress Protectors offers the Aller Bug Mattress Encasement and Box Spring Encasements. The waterproof protectors include an anti-microbial dust mite and bed bug barrier.
Mattress Safe, Inc. fully waterproof, allergy mattress encasing products keep dust mites, mold, and bacteria from penetrating the mattress. All products, including mattress and box spring covers, are fire retardant, and are tested and certified for reliable bed bug protection. Unique to the company’s encasements is a patented “Zipper with the Hook.”
The website bedbug.com features both mattress and box spring encasements. The Premium Mattress Encasement, entomologist tested and recommended, features scientifically-tested and patent pending zipper technology. The mattress encasement and zipper technology work together to stop the penetration of bed bugs. The SecureSleep box spring encasement, also entomologist tested, is also impermeable to stop the penetration of bed bugs in fabric.
CleanBrands’ CleanRest mattress encasements, which feature a Zip-N-Click patented closure device, deny bed bugs their preferred sanctuary, and their waterproof sleep surface will also protect against stains and wetness. The Patented MicronOne fabric helps create a hygienic, allergen free sleep zone. CleanBrands’ CleanRest box spring encasements are 100 percent bed bug bite and escape proof. CleanRest box spring encasements are designed with the same patented Zip-N-Click technology that protects CleanRest mattress encasements.
Practical Encasement Advice
Cadence Keen Innovations’ Montross says most encasements you find today are going to be bed bug proof. Some are waterproof only on the top—a disadvantage if housekeepers flip the mattress. While many hotels use mattress pads on mattress tops as protection, these are not needed if you have a quality encasement that protects against fluid penetration.
When asked for encasement buying advice, Montross said, “Before making a big investment, ask for the lab reports. She adds, “Hoteliers should consider encasements for more reasons than just the bed bugs. When mattresses are encased, the room is healthier to sleep in. The CDC says that after five years that mattress is toxic. When you encase that mattress, you protect it from those dead cells.”
When purchasing encasements that have bed bug pesticides built in to the fabric, Montross says these should only be used on the box springs. And, housekeepers should use gloves when installing these.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.