Two little words for one very small thing that can cause very, very big problems for the hotel industry.

It was never my intention to conquer the bed bug issue head on. All those years ago, when I was researching the science of sleep and putting hours and hours into improving the technology of FreshBed, bed bugs were the furthest thing on my mind.

Instead, my attention was focused on improving sleep, sleep quality, the sleeper, ventilation, comfort, temperature, hygiene, design. All of the characteristics of a bed and sleep that I knew would help the movers and shakers of the world get that perfect, sound sleep so that they, in turn, could excel in their day-to-day life.

Since hotels share that common goal- to provide a sound sleep for their guests- it was only natural that my research would bring me into contact with many luxury hotels. I asked everyone- from hoteliers to hotel managers to the housekeeping staff- what their role in the sleep experience was for their guests. My intention was to see what could be improved for each of these ’stakeholders’ in sleep, which of these elements could be incorporated into the bed itself, thus making their role in providing sleep easier.

And it was as these relationships with the hoteliers and hotel managers grew that I eventually became something of a confidante to them. Indeed, the issues I was chasing were important in providing a perfect sleep to their guests- comfort, mattress thickness, ventilation, hygiene, maintenance, temperature- all of this was indeed important.

But another thing that always weighed on the minds of hoteliers was that age-old issue of the bed bug. Luckily few of the hotels I spoke to ever had first-hand experience of a bed bug crisis. But that didn’t stop it from being a top concern across the entire industry.

And I completely understand that. While not strictly a hospitality industry problem, a bed bug infestation would spell disaster for any hotel in terms of guest experience, bad press, liability claims, lost revenue and reputation. Since it is not possible to completely stop bed bugs from entering a hotel, given the nature of how they are introduced (via guest luggage and/or clothing placed on room surfaces and beds), it is the prevention- and failing that, the quick treatment- of a bed bug infestation which remains a top priority for the global hospitality industry.

And so I was curious- How are bed bugs prevented? What precautions can a hotel and a hotel guest take to prevent the spread of bed bugs? What aspects of a bed can prevent bed bugs?

This spawned more research, and I found out many interesting things- the first being that to date, no one had ever made a bed that worked to prevent bed bugs. In the history of beds and bed bugs, no one had ever made that connection!

Furthermore, many of the aspects that contribute to a perfect sleep also help in the prevention of bed bugs, namely: temperature, ventilation, design.

Coincidentally I was working working on the climate control technology of the FreshBed at the time, so I decided to tweak it just a bit to include characteristics that would prevent (or cure) the issue of bed bug infestation. Because after all, if it gives a sleeper peace of mind to know that the bed that they are sleeping on works to prevent bed bugs, then that’s an issue worth considering in the quest for a perfect sleep.

In addition to the shape, build, ventilation system, climate control technology and materials of the bed, which are now specifically designed to deter bed bugs from finding a bed, climbing up, or attaching to the bed as part of the preventative measure, the most powerful technology lies in FreshBed’s Heat Treatment Device, which incubates the bed, mattress, pillows, duvet and bed linen- a 360 degree treatment- and heats it from the inside out to over 50°C (122°F), completely ending all of the life stages of a bed bug within 4 hours. So the FreshBed works as both a preventative as well as a solution. (Read more about FreshBed’s technology here).

So, it’s funny where life brings you. I wasn’t actively looking to combat the issue of bed bugs head on, but my research uncovered that concern, and once I saw the connection between a lack of bed bugs and a proper, comfortable sleep, it was hard to ignore.

I saw an opportunity to solve all of these issues at once. When that finally happened, the FreshBed was born.

Barry van Doornewaard

FreshBed CEO & Founder

For more information about how a FreshBed can help your guests have a perfect sleep and conquer the world, please contact our sales team.