The Pros and Cons of White Linens in a Vacation Rental

Trying to decide what kind of bed sheets to use for your Airbnb property? You are not alone. Many of our members engage in this debate, and we thought it would be helpful to weigh in. Our HostGPO recommendation (and most of our HostGPO member purchasing through our Brooklinen and Standard Textile partnerships) tends to be white linens – but here is a quick pros and cons list to help you get to what’s right for your unit:

White Linen Pros:

  • The Hotel Effect: White sheets/duvets are the gold standard hotel bedrooms. This may be due in part to a Harvard Business Review Case Study that came out in February 2007.
  • The Fresh Effect: Simply put, white sheets give off a feeling of newness, freshness and of course cleanliness. Studies show that the color white provides a feeling of cleanliness and purity, a key component of a satisfactory stay at a rental home. 
  • The Bleach Effect:  White sheets allow you to bleach or use heavy duty cleaners on them without leaving visible spots 
  • The Design Effect: White color bed sheets will also complement any decor choice in the room. You can mix up the colors of your bed accents such as pillows and blankets because white bedsheets provide a blank canvas that doesn’t subtract from any aesthetic choice. 
  • The Luxury Effect: For thousands of years, white fabrics have been associated with luxury. It was largely a function of the fact that it was historically very difficult and costly to rid them of stains, so white garments could only be worn by the wealthy (think Roman aristocrats in togas having servants luxuriously drape so much white fabric on themselves that they constantly needed one free hand to hold it up, which was a great way to demonstrate that they were too rich to bother with manual labor). Non-aristocrats, desiring to imitate this have had to do so only on special occasions (think bridal dresses).
Toga Bridal Dress

White Linen Cons: 

  • The Hair Effect: The idea of using fresh white sheets for your rental property might not initially make sense. You might be thinking, “wouldn’t white sheets stain easier?” The main drawback to white bedsheets would be if the bedsheets at your rental property were not replaced or cleaned prior to a new guests arrival. If your unchanged white bedsheet has any stains on it, it will appear much more visible as opposed to a colored bedsheet. But because you are a good attentive host you will always deal with the stains on your sheets before a new guest arrives; and guests will, consequently, trusts that the sheets are freshly cleaned where they might have doubts with colored sheets.

Colored or Patterned Linen Pros: 

  • The Design Effect: Very talented interior designers know how to utilize the blank canvass of a bed to create a piece of art. A soft pastel tone might create a feeling of serenity when paired with some art.
  • The Cozy Effect: Are you renting out a cabin in the woods or in the snow? Sometimes a flannel or other kitchy pattern may help create a sense of coziness.

Colored or Patterned Linen Cons:

  • Colored sheets will show fading over time, requiring you to replace them much more frequently than white sheets. If a guest spills liquids or gets any stains on the bedsheets it will be much easier to remove on plain white sheets. Stains on white sheets are the easiest to clean because you can simply use a good cleaning agent or bleach. 
  • The Bleach Effect: When you do try to clean off serious stains on colored sheets, cleaning agents almost inevitably leave bleach spots of faded color.

Overall, most rentals will benefit from using a high quality white sheet set. The huge discounts HostGPO has negotiated for members through Brooklinen and Standard Textile will make providing this quality much more affordable. Feel free to reach out to let us know your thoughts!

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