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The Sheet Scene: How and What to Buy

In this column, our experienced secret buyer has all the answers to your purchasing questions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
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We are in the process of renovating our property and our executive housekeeper is ordering new sheets. What questions should I ask her before going out to bid?

If you are buying new sheets because of a renovation, here are some questions you will want to ask:

1. Have you purchased new mattresses as a part of the renovation?

If you have purchased new mattresses, you will want to confirm the size, length, width, but most importantly the thickness of the new mattresses. Most properties today are going with either a pillow top or some type of enhanced covering on the mattress. If this is the case, the height of the mattress will increase so that the sheets you were buying before the renovation will be short, both in length and width.

As an example if you have a Simmons Beautyrest Signature mattress king size (76 x 80), you will see the height of the mattress is 9.5". If you go to a Simmons Beautyrest Signature Pillow Top king (76 x 80), the height is 12". That takes away 6" from your existing sheet, so that you have less to tuck in under the mattress.

2. Does Housekeeping intend to use a padded mattress cover or mattress topper?

Either of these applications will add height to the mattress and, if not calculated in the size of the sheet, will result in the sheets being too short.

Also, when determining the size of the sheet, ask housekeeping how much they want for the tuck under the mattress. Some housekeeping departments will request a 10" tuck. And, last but not least, keep in mind that sheets will shrink, so specify as part of your specification that shrinkage be less than 4% after 50 washings.

You may also ask housekeeping if they want different color thread used for the bottom hem to differentiate the different size sheets. This will enable the room attendant to know if the sheet is a King, Queen or Full sheet.

Once you have agreed with housekeeping on the size, have your vendor provide you with samples of the sheet you have chosen and have housekeeping make the bed with the sheets.

For pillow cases, make sure you have the sizes of the new pillows and the number of pillows on each bed. Once again, bring in samples and try them on.

Do you have a question for the Purchasing Partner? With decades of experience, this purchasing pro has all the answers. Drop him a line with your question at: questions@buyerinteractive.com
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