WEST PALM BEACH, FL—There are two types of people: firm-pillow sleepers and soft-pillow sleepers. With them comes a fierce divide and a host of issues for not only the hotel guest but for the hotel staff as well. This may be too rigid a categorization, but with this split does come some issues to bear, and CKI Solutions has it covered…with a zipper.
The new and first of its kind, ComforZip, has two zippers, providing the best of both worlds in one single pillow. When both zippers are closed, the pillow is firm; with one zipper open, the pillow gets softer; and with both zippers open, the pillow is plush.
This not only gives guests the convenience of adjusting the pillow to their liking, but it gives hotels more space. Different densities mean different pillows, which, ultimately, means more hotel storage space taken up. The ComforZip acts as an all-in-one solution, and will be ready to ship in Q2 of this year.
“To be competitive, hotels have begun to offer pillow menus,” said Steven Gordon, president of CKI Solutions. “To do that efficiently means storing several different densities of pillow comfort levels. Lately, we have seen hotels put several options on the bed. One bed may have a dense, firm pillow, one foam, one soft, etc.”
Multiple pillows also means more time needed for purchasing and deciding exactly which pillows to buy, but now, the choice is already made.
The pillow’s cover is 100% cotton and filled with 32 oz. of fill. With quantity purchases, hotels can specify the fillings they need to accommodate the guest and the hotel’s style, Gordon said. Additionally, the pillow comes in standard, queen and king sizes with custom densities if requested.
Born from feedback from both management and guests, the ComforZip addresses some current bedding trends, which Gordon has been noticing all across the globe.
“The trend internationally is to offer pillow menus. Now properties can offer a pillow menu without storage-space issues. Different areas of the country or in different countries around the world, cultural tastes may differ. The ComforZip can be filled with endless choices of fill to achieve this, and balance the need for different comfort levels through the zipper system,” he said.
In addition to pillow menus, another trend picking up steam is a focus on wellness. Although a good night’s sleep may be less of a trend and more of a necessity, sleep with a focus on health is gaining attention across the industry, especially now with younger guests expecting more in this realm.
“Properties are emphasizing the importance of a good night’s sleep. The two key components are the mattress and the pillows. Getting the right sleeping formula for their level of guests is key. High competition and the preponderance of guest reviews has forced hotels to put the extra emphasis on guest comfort in sleeping. The younger generations are more health conscious and educated about the importance of good sleep, and have higher expectations when traveling,” Gordon said.
Innovative from its start, CKI Solutions is a certified woman-owned and operated company that prides itself on its origins and continuing effort to diversify not only in the marketplace but within its own walls. Gordon said that diversity is a great focus for the company to level the playing field for all.
This innovation has bred solution-oriented products like the ComforZip, which Gordon said are key to differentiation in a marketplace with a multitude of choices.
“In years past, there were far fewer options; for example, take mattresses: For years, hotels bought mattresses from three main companies. The choice was often based on price and not on sleep quality. The Westin Heavenly bed changed the industry by proving that the comfort of a bed has definite impact on the guest experience,” Gordon said.
He added, “Today, there are many mattress manufacturers to choose from, as well as endless types of mattress construction components. All of these choices demand more education by the purchaser. The guest experience has evolved to the point that consumers can even buy the retail version of the hotel bed.”
Consumer input weighs heavily here, as they’re ultimately the end users. Hotels aren’t completely at the mercy of companies either—Gordon offers advice for operators in improving the sleep experience coupled with a quality product.
“Some hotels offer survey cards that allow guests to rate their sleeping experience, or they reach out to their rewards guests for feedback—this is a great way to determine tastes,” he said. “Having a bed that is clean and crisp offers peace of mind to the weary traveler. The next morning tells the real story, after a night’s sleep.” HB