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Mattress Encasements Reduce Mattresses Winding Up In Landfill

Excerpted from Green Lodging News

WOODLAND HILLS, CALIF.—Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills is a “…lush resort-like escape located adjacent to the Highway 101 in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.” With 478 rooms, 30,000 square feet of event space, and a prime location a short drive from Hollywood, it’s a premier spot for business travelers as well as vacationers.

Problem: New Mattresses Getting Thrown Away

Hotel management strives to make their mattresses last seven years before needing replacement. But between wine spills from adults, to “accidents” from children, housekeeping staff were investing a lot in terms of time and supplies attempting to clean and deodorize mattresses. Unfortunately, if a stain or odor could not be successfully removed, the mattress (and often box spring) would need to be thrown away…even if the mattress was only a few months old.

Also, like all hotels, Werner Center Marriott works hard to protect their guests from bed bugs, which can easily find their way into a room by hitching a ride in a traveler’s luggage. As with stains and accidents, a mattress discovered with bed bugs would need to be thrown away.

In many hotels, chemically impregnated mattress covers are used as a solution for bed bugs. However, in addition to not protecting against spills, they’re not a pesticide-free, eco-friendly solution.

Solution: Mattress Encasements

Director of Housekeeping Marie Johnson installed Protect-A-Bed encasements on all mattresses and box springs in the hotel. By choosing an encasement product that is waterproof, bed bug proof, and allergen-free, the hotel was afforded maximum protection.

Result #1: Reduced Waste

In the two years since installing encasements, replacements of damaged mattresses have been virtually eliminated.

“You can clean and shampoo, but if the stains and odors are still there, you have to replace it,” Johnson said. “Now, when there’s a spill, all we have to do is wash the cover and put it back on.”

Johnson said laundering a cover is much less labor-intensive than cleaning a mattress and requires fewer cleaning supplies. More importantly, otherwise new mattresses are not getting thrown out.

“We were replacing mattresses all the time,” Johnson said. “Now, if we are regularly turning the mattresses, we can expect them to last seven years.”

Result #2: A Greener Alternative to Pesticides

Chemically-impregnated mattress covers typically utilize an insecticide called permethrin. In addition to exposing hotel guests to this chemical, these covers are only effective if a bed bug physically comes into contact with it for an extended period. Since these covers typically only cover the tops and sides (like a fitted sheet), there is a great likelihood a bed bug can avoid touching the fabric. Even then, it can take up to 72 hours to eradicate insects that do contact the material, and studies have shown that many bed bug populations are increasingly resistant to pyrethroid insecticides.*

By contrast, a mattress encasement covers the entire mattress and works by preventing any bed bug from physically entering or exiting the mattress. Since this is a chemical-free alternative, it is inherently a greener alternative.

In addition, permethrin has been shown to cause minor skin irritation in some people, whereas a Protect-A-Bed mattress encasement is hypo-allergenic.

Summary: Mattress Encasements Reduce Waste & Offer Chemical-Free Protection

Thanks to the installation of Protect-A-Bed mattress encasements, throwing out new mattresses is a thing of the past at Werner Center Marriott. Cleaning supplies are conserved, and guests can enjoy a bed bug-free bed that is also free of pesticides.

Learn how to bring proven encasements to your property at

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