"The number one request we get from a guest prior to their arrival is health-related, when they ask if we have allergen-free bedding," says Lisa Wiedemann, the general manager and partner of the hotel. "We are proud to use hypoallergenic mattresses and bedding, as well as mattress encasements, which allow us to assure our guests they will be able to enjoy a healthy, hygienic and allergen-free sleep environment."
After all, the number of adults and children with allergies is growing. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates that more than 60 million people in the United States live with asthma and related allergies. Dust mites, found in unprotected mattresses, can often trigger an asthma attack, so the bedroom is frequently recommended as the most important room to allergen-proof.
Sandra DiVito, vice president of the hospitality division at Protect-A-Bed, works with hotel owners and operators across the country to develop and implement a healthy sleep environment. She says hotel guests want the same healthy environment they have at home.
"In a hotel room with a high-frequency turnover, guests are sleeping on a mattress that has been used by many people before them," DiVito says. "We frequently hear from hotel clients about mattress hygiene issues - everything from spills to accidents on the bed. We counsel our hotel clients to protect the mattress from what they can see: bodily fluids, including blood, urine, and perspiration; and what they can't see: allergens such as bacteria, mold, human skin cells, pollen, pet dander and dust mites."
According to DiVito, people can lose up to two pints of moisture a day and two million skin flakes. "It's not fun to think about, but it can end up in unprotected pillows and mattresses, and be a real health concern for people," she says.
That's why hoteliers like Wiedemann use mattress encasements. "The biggest benefits of encasements are for the health of my guests and staff," she says. "I take great pride in a commitment to addressing the needs of the guest."
DiVito suggests the following basic tips to help travelers choose a hotel that will provide the healthy sleep environment they desire:
Ask if the hotel has allergen-free rooms.
Ask what allergen-proofing methods they use: do they use pillow protector and/ or mattress protectors?
Consider bringing your own pillow protectors or mattress protector, especially for people with severe allergies.
Request a room away from the indoor swimming pool to avoid mold exposure.
If the hotel is pet-friendly, make sure your room has been pet-free for a period of at least 30 days.
If the hotel uses room-fresheners, ask them to avoid spraying your room prior to check-in.
Consider checking the allergy levels (pollen count, etc.) in your destination city before arrival.
DiVito also offers several tips to consider after check-in. "Keep the bathroom door closed to minimize moisture from escaping into the bedroom and keep the fan running to reduce humidity," she says. "Check the local allergy counts and pollen level in your destination city prior to arrival when planning your outdoor activities."
Protect-A-Bed's AllerZip® mattress encasement is completely allergen escape and entry-proof. With an innovative allergen flap, it provides superior allergen protection by preventing any allergens from entering or exiting through the zipper. Double-stitched seams also add a further level of protection around the entire encasement. To learn more about Protect-A-Bed and its allergen-proofing solutions for travelers, visit www.protectabed.com.