The Sleep Council has recently undertaken some research and has looked at whether the average age of a beds life is actual shorter than as previously thought, identifying that many beds (including contract beds) lose the capability to provide adequate support after only a few years – especially if they have seen considerable use. The average life of a bed is usually about ten years, however this new research could have us looking at whether we are changing our contract beds enough. In line with National Bed Month, these new findings are helping to raise general awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep, which any hotelier knows is an essential part of good customer service.
In the hotel and leisure industry it may be difficult to assess the impact of this new information released from the Sleep Council and possibly even more difficult to know what to do. The first problem is that you may not know exactly just how old your hotel room contract beds are. For example you may have recently purchased the business and have not had access to the contract bed purchase records, or you may be a Duty Manager in charge of quality control and you were not working at the hotel when the contract beds were originally bought and furnished in the rooms. The second problem is if you find out that any of your contract beds, or perhaps even all of your contract beds, are older than seven years – how can you assess their actual quality correctly?
In today’s blog we are going to focus on how to identify these issues and give you some advice on managing your quality control.
- Firstly, take a look at all of the contract beds in the hotel / academic institution/ healthcare environment.
- Next identify the types of contract beds you have. Are they divans? Frames? Look at the edges and general stability of the contract beds and keep an eye out for:
- Beds that look old and worn.
- Mattresses that feel lumpy, as if the stuffing has moved around.
- Beds that make noises, e.g. the sound of the springs creaking.
- A mattress that sags in the middle, causing a dip that can easily be rolled into.
- Legs that are wobbly/unstable.
- Is the mattress and bed base from the same manufacturer or are they separate items used together? Sometimes to save money, people make the mistake of replacing a contract bed mattress and not the base. This is generally not a good idea as both base and mattress combine to provide support and comfort – so you may need to look at replacing both items to ensure quality and good sleep for your guests.
Once you’ve done this little check list, it’s now time to look at how you can tell just how old your contract beds really are!
- Look for any documentation pertaining to when they were purchased. If it’s over ten years ago, then you will probably need to factor some new purchases into your budget and do some fairly rigorous testing.
- Have the warranties been retained and filed somewhere?
- Are there receipts that state the date of purchase available?
- Do any of the contract beds have labels which might give additional information about the manufacturer?
Probably one of the most common ways to discover if your contract beds are past-it is if you receive any complaints from guests. If you have more than one guest make a comment about a specific contract bed being uncomfortable or a guest telling you they did not get a good night’s sleep, a bed check should be carried out. The answers to all the above questions will help you determine whether or not any of the beds are in need of replacing. For further advice on testing the suitability of a bed see our previous contract bed blog here or contact us for some help or read our previous blog.
Once you have tested and identified any and all beds that do not meet the standard of quality and comfort, and that you know or suspect have extended past the seven year replacement cycle, it is time to plan on how you will replace and refurnish these beds whilst causing as minimal disruption to the business as possible. We will look at the solutions to these problems and potential scenarios in the second part of this blog, but please see our blogs on disposing of a contract beds and take a look at our range, to see the variety of contract beds that we offer that are economical and can fulfil a number of quality levels.
Remember, changing your contract beds in the UK needn’t be a massive hassle if you choose the right supplier and plan things.
Millbrook Contract Beds offers holistic advice to a range of clients in the UK who run hotels, healthcare establishments and academic / conference styled environments so we have a lot of experience and free advice on contract beds to offer.
If you’re a hotelier preparing for spring you may have already considered a zip and link styled contract bed.
They are a good choice for a number of reasons but perhaps most notably they could end up being a major factor in increasing your ‘fill rates’ for the season ahead.
As an option they offer total flexibility of sleeping arrangements for hoteliers that need to change rooms and accommodate different numbers of people quickly and easily (especially with short-notice bookings).
The head and foot of a zip and link contract bed are linked together by bars and the mattresses are usually linked with a zip.
Suitable for Guest Houses, B & B, Hotels and even home accommodation for those that take in students over the summer months, the zip and link bed is a simple but effective solution to your contract bed needs.
There are further benefits of course with a zip and link contract bed. You are able to mix and match comfort styles for instance, so if you’re offering top end luxury accommodation to guests, you can go one step further and allow guests to request a firm mattress, while their partner can opt for a softer one.
As mentioned, they are most notably useful if you need to accommodate a short-notice booking. Therefore, you are always sure that if you get a request for a ‘twin room’ you can just as easily deliver that as you can a double or even a single and will only need a little bit of time to ‘unzip’ or ‘zip’ them.
So, if you’re looking at increasing your revenue for the spring and summer seasons, if you’re thinking about a contract bed, the zip and link option may be something to consider, especially as it needn’t cost a fortune and will last many years.
For further information on our range of beds, please view our website or contact us.
When most businesses are looking at buying contract beds, there is one consideration that affects all purchases.
Buying a contract bed for a smaller room for instance involves thinking about how much space your guests have to walk around the bed, which will also form a big part of their experience. After all, even if they are getting the best night’s sleep – if they feel that they are in a cramped space then you’ll still have complaints.
So to assist you in deciding what bed size is going to work the best for your business, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about standard contract bed sizes, as well as a few other things.
As it happens, there is no real uniform size at all – although you can buy bespoke contract beds that will fit into a variety of spaces but you can consider the following to be what are generally regarded as popular sizes:
A single – Usually 3ft x 6ft 3in
A double – 4ft 6in x 6ft 3in
A King – 5ft x 6ft 6in
A Super King – 6ft x 6ft 6in
These are only general guides and of course if you are looking for specific measurements then it may be worth speaking to us as we offer a diverse range of bespoke contract beds ourselves.
It is also always best to check the individual sizes, as this is what really counts when buying a contract bed and therefore, don’t just assume you need a King size contract bed, when for a better fit you may be better off with a double or that by opting for a double contract bed you will automatically be buying the right size bed.
We always list our contract bed sizes on each of the product pages and as are happy to provide holistic advice to those looking for their next contract bed.
If you would like help then please contact us.
For the service sector, the buying of a contract bed can often impact on what are already tight budgets. Thus, for some at least there is a certain amount of ‘mattress’ and contract bed swapping in-house, whereby a popular room’s contract bed will be exchanged with that of another, perhaps quieter or less frequently used room.
The idea being that you can ‘evenly wear’ out the beds and get more from them. But is this really just a false economy?
Although using what is really a second-hand contract bed or mattress may seem like a cost saving activity, it could in fact be a false economy, and end up causing a lot more hassle than it’s worth.
Guests sleeping on older contract bed mattresses are not likely to sleep all that well and for some key reasons.
Using an older contract bed mattress that has seen better days means that you are not serving a variety of sleeping patterns, you’re not offering the same level of comfort and more importantly you risk unhappy clients – who as we all know in hospitality means that they will tell their friends.
So, before immediately spending time swapping beds around, consider whether even the time spent doing it is really worth it.
If you need to spend time (or worse still) get staff to spend time swapping beds around, what will that actually cost you in money?
Perhaps surprisingly, buying a contract bed, needn’t be a massive expense at all and the fact that on average a new contract bed will last from 7 to 10 years, you will end up getting a lot more for your money.
You save time, you don’t have to pay your staff to do any moving and focus on the most important part of your business – running it!
For advice and information on economy contract beds, Millbrook Contract Beds is always happy to offer free, impartial advice to clients and help you purchase a contract bed that fits with your needs and your budget so do contact us if you need help.
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