In the latest issue of Green Hotelier, Christopher Hunter delves into the world of the hotel mattress to find out what truly lies beneath and why Naturalmat are setting a great example for other manufacturers.
Despite a growing trend towards sustainability in the hospitality industry, there is evidence to show that cheap, environmentally unfriendly mattresses with short life-spans continue to be a popular choice by hotels at both ends of the market. A standard hotel mattress is made from non-renewable resources, produces a large amount of waste, and has a significant carbon cost associated with its production and delivery.
Hoteliers, unsurprisingly, point to price as a key driver in their product selection. Yet in an environmentally-conscious industry that is supposed to be selling sleep above all else, the investment in the bed and its green credentials should be priorities. After all, given their limited lives, cheap options are not only impractical and wasteful, but they usually also represent poor value for money versus longer-lasting eco-friendly alternatives.
The concept of a natural mattress is hardly a new one. Before the market became dominated by synthetic foam and sprung products, you would have found coir, latex and wool in a mattress. Mattresses made with these constituents often last for longer whilst having a smaller carbon footprint than their modern counterparts.
There are a few sustainable mattress manufacturers in the market that make a truly green product. One of the leaders in the UK market is Naturalmat. As the hospitality industry increasingly embraces the environmental agenda, Naturalmat has a strategic opportunity to grow and develop this area of business.
Stuart Harrison, managing director of the Profitable Hotel Company and an ambassador for Naturalmat says, ‘Hotels are constantly searching for that differential to make them stand out form the run of the mill. An ethical green mattress with the added benefit of its ability to defeat bed bugs and bed mites is such a story. As a hotel marketer I would want to promote this on my website. Similarly if you are attempting to differentiate between room types within a hotel then again this works in terms of the product offering.’