Bed - colours sheets

White Sheets in Hotels: What’s the Big Deal with Changing Them?

12 Jan 2017 | by Madison Mussio


What’s in a color?

When a hotelier is renovating or designing their hotel, the color of the bed sheets may seem insignificant compared to other aspects of their major renovation. Hoteliers have to deal with the multiple problems that arise from designing a hotel, such as staffing, budgets, hotel functions and renovation concerns. They want their hotels to be perfect and to stand out as the future of their industry. So why are they worrying about something as mundane as the color of their sheets?

A seemingly insignificant factor to guests can be a problem for the hotel’s designer. On the one hand, a hotel wants to be trendy and lead the industry in their designs, which may mean defying the modern status quo and choosing a linen color which is anything but white. On the other hand, white sheets are easier to clean and appear clean to a guest.

Does the color of your sheets matter? Does a guest care what color the sheets are? It turns out the color of the sheets is far more important than you think!

Bed - colours sheets

The magic of white

Before the 1990s, hotels commonly had colored sheets because an all-white bed was unpopular among hotels. Colored sheets were seen as more manageable and easier to clean, because they could hide stains. Then, the Westin’s hotel designers researched what a luxury bed meant to them and their guests.

They tried every color in the book to obtain their perfect bed. Finally, after trial and error, they found that an all-white bed made guests think their hotel beds were more luxurious than colored sheets and, as a result, they slept better. This fact increased the guest’s overall experience and perception of the hotel. Guests went as far as to say an entire hotel’s room had been renovated, when just the sheets had been changed to neutral white. Therefore, it turns out white bed linen matters.

Changing the linen color is a simple upgrade any hotel can make to increase their guests’ satisfaction. It changes the entire appearance of their hotel’s rooms without a renovation and can make tired rooms bright again. White sheets also contrast beautifully with neutral tones, which are still highly desirable for bedrooms in and outside the hotel industry. They are also easy to accessorize with colored pillows and extra covers that highlight the design aspects of their rooms. This style choice was a revelation in the hospitality industry in the 1990s and now, almost every modern hotel chain we see today has adopted the practice.

A timeless color

As I said before, hotels want to be industry leaders, not just another hotel in a line-up. The more hotels adopted the practice of white sheets, the more other hotels wanted to change this practice. Designers have started to slowly move away from white sheets, without considering the proven studies conducted by the Westin illustrating the benefits of white sheets.

Today, the majority of hotels have happily accepted that white beds are for every hotel. However, we are starting to see a slight trend in new hotels. Some are starting to forgo the white sheets altogether in favor of a bright and preppy display of patterns and colors at the center of their hotel rooms. Others are replacing a sheet or duvet with a color to hide their similarity to other hotels. Hotel designers are ignoring the industry status quo in order to bring their version of a new practice into the hotel design world. However, white linen is timeless and is not particular to any style of hotel.

Even though a hotelier may want to create a bold and colorful hotel, white linen can be a breath of fresh air among the patterns and vibrant colors of the hotel. White beds can fit any color scheme and style of hotel. Whether it’s ultra-modern or colorfully trendy, white linen is something that the hotel industry should never change.

Madison Mussio


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