Allergies – What to Bear in Mind When Buying Linen

There are many health and safety regulations that hotel owners must consider when looking at the layout of their establishment. This will include any allergies that your guests may have when it comes to providing them with linen.

Think about fillings, there are certain fillings that are a definite best avoided for allergy sufferers. This can be for two reasons:

•The filling itself may cause an allergic reaction.
•The filling may attract other life forms (i.e. dust mites) that cause allergies.

These don’t just affect people which common allergies, you must also think about people with conditions such as asthma or eczema.

Duvets filled with duck or goose down as these are most likely to trigger an allergic reaction. This is usually down to the fact that down attracts dust mites, but occasionally people are allergic to the down itself. The severity of an allergic reaction to dust mites may vary from people to people, however if the guest is allergic to the down itself, an alternative filling must be offered.

That’s not to say you can’t provide these at all, but it’s not something to supply for all your guests.

Washing detergent:
Naturally, our skin comes in very close contact with all sorts of linen, from clothing to bedding. Therefore any residue left behind by your washing detergent may aggravate some allergies affecting the skin in the forms of rashes, as well as the usual symptoms (itchy eyes, sneezing etc.).

The primary causes for these types of reactions are any perfumes or dyes that are found in the detergent.

How to fix:
Don’t worry – all of these problems can be easily fixed by making a few changes.
Not all duvets have to be filled with down, as there are a huge variety of alternative fillings to choose from.

Hypoallergenic duvets are widely available and mostly affordable too. Mulberry silk duvets, whilst being the most costly option, are the preferred alternative as they provide just as much softness as down duvets but are also hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. Synthetic fillings such as microfiber or hollofibre duvets are more affordable, and are also more practical as these can be washed and tumbled dried without compromising the quality of the filling.

Similarly, there is also a wide range of hypoallergenic washing detergents and fabric softeners that are fragrance free.

How to accommodate all your guests:
One of the main things that hotel guests want is choice. This goes for linen as well. So if you still like to provide your guests with down filled duvets (after all, these are great for softness and are very breathable, meaning you stay warm in winter, and cool in summer), then don’t worry. When guests make a reservation, it would be a good idea to ask them for any special requirements (if you’re not doing so already). This way, you can accommodate people with allergies as much as those who don’t.

However, it would be wise to ensure that all your linen is washed with hypoallergenic products.

All this won’t completely eradicate any allergies, but will definitely help. Other than these recommendations, regular washing, thorough drying, and regular cleaning of mattresses and floors will help further.