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Visitors to Sleep Sherpa often ask me where they can buy a mattress from the hotel where they recently stayed. Surprisingly, it isn’t just 5-star hotels like the Four Seasons. I also get this question about Holiday Inn and Best Western. I know for a fact that the Mandarin Oriental in Boston doesn’t have the same mattress as Red Roof in but customers often report sleeping better in a hotel than in their own mattress at home. So, why is this happening? There are a few simple reasons for this and knowing why you sleep better in a hotel will help you sleep better in your own home.
The Hotel Halo Effect
The Hotel halo effect is typically reserved for fancy hotels. What can you classify as a fancy hotel? Any hotel where the room is fancier than your bedroom. Walking into a room that smells fresh, is spotless and has crisp clean linens on the bed with a fancy view will immediately give you a sense of calm. A good hotel knows that scents have power. If it smells pleasant and clean you will make a connection that the room as a whole is pleasant and clean. Larger chains like The Westin even have their signature white tea scent that you can purchase for your own home. If you go into any Westing around the world you will notice this scent and if you are a frequent traveler this will be a welcoming smell.
The Best Night’s Sleep for Everyone
Good hotels understand that not everyone has the same needs when it comes to comfort. Fancy hotels now offer pillow menus where you can select a pillow based on your individual needs. Pillows can be thick or thin, soft, medium or firm, and you can even select the material from feathers, synthetic or natural. Even a budget hotel like a Holiday Inn Express will have 2 soft and 2 firm pillows on their beds.
Most mattresses will be a medium-firm feel. Having multiple pillow options will help accommodate the standard firmness. Fancier hotels will add a feather bet on top of the mattress to provide a little more sink without losing support. Just about all hotels still have mattresses with coils. This is because most people still sleep on coils at home and if you ask me, coils are still a great technology despite all the innovations with foam.
Travelling Makes You Tired
After a long day of waking up early to get to the airport, a long, uncomfortable flight, waiting for luggage and taking an Uber to your hotel, a nice clean hotel room is a welcome sight. Travelling is exhausting and it’s no wonder that our first night sleeping after a day of travel is going to be beneficial. You may not actually get better quality sleep in a hotel but since you are so tired, it probably seems that way. In fact, our bodies get poorer quality sleep in a new environment. It’s called the First Night Effect. This is a phenomenon where our brains our extra vigilant, even as we sleep because they act as a night watch in an unfamiliar surrounding. So while you may feel more refreshed the day after traveling, chances are you are probably just relieved to be done with it all and you can count on even better sleeping the following night.
Get the Hotel Sleep Experience at Home
So if you are craving a good night’s rest in a hotel, you may want to give your own bedroom a quick facelift. It doesn’t take much. First, clear out the clutter. Your bedroom should be as clean and welcoming as possible. This helps you let down your guard and eliminates all the visual noise so you feel some serenity. Get the clothes off the exercise bike or better yet, just get rid of the exercise bike altogether! Upgrade your bedding. It’s amazing what a white duvet cover with white sheets can do for a room. Get a diffuser and fill it with a scent that you associate with relaxation.
Hotels are mindful of lighting, if there’s too much light getting into your bedroom in the morning, you will probably wake up too early. Blackout shades or heavy curtains will do the trick.
I love traveling and the excitement of staying at a nice hotel and sleeping in is so fun. Each time you stay at a hotel where you sleep well, take note of your surroundings and see if you can take a piece of it back to your own bedroom. If you think it’s time to upgrade your mattress, check out all our mattress reviews.