WHITE PLAINS, NY—The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hotels to upgrade their cleaning regimens throughout the property. In guestrooms, everything from furniture to the bathroom sink is cleaned and sanitized thoroughly. Despite the enhanced protocols, soft surfaces such as bedding, pillows and seat cushions may not receive the proper cleaning and sanitizing that will keep them free from germs and pathogens.
According to a study by the University of Manchester, the average pillow has one million spores and as many as 16 types of fungi inside it. They can also harbor other harmful viruses (including coronaviruses and influenza), bacteria and other dangerous pathogens.
Most of the pillows available to hotels are susceptible to contamination due to their stitched seams, according to Bill Purdy, co-founder/CEO of health and wellness technology company Spry Therapeutics, headquartered here. The current method of stitching pillows enables countless pathogens to enter and accumulate within the pillow’s interior, potentially contaminating users—and those in close proximity—each time they lay down.
“Despite current protective measures and regular washing of pillowcases between guests, the core of the pillow remains a reservoir of contamination,” said Purdy. “In the post-pandemic environment, awareness around hotel cleanliness is undoubtedly heightened, and our research shows that regardless of whether protective slips and covers are used, hotel guests continue to doubt the cleanliness of pillows and bedding.”
Spry Therapeutics had developed Pneumapure, the world’s first and only soft-surface filter technology, according to the company. Pneumapure blocks even the smallest “superbugs” from entering or exiting any soft surface to which it’s applied, helping prevent the transmission of deadly diseases among users. The Pneumapure technology can be found in Spry’s suite of pillows for the hospitality industry as well as healthcare and consumers.
“Spry Therapeutics’ filter technology blocks all known viruses, bacteria and other potentially harmful pathogens from entering the pillow’s interior, preventing the accumulation and aerosolization of germs,” noted Purdy. “We offer a clean sleep solution that can be easily implemented, while reducing overall costs and improving sustainability. Our pillow is the only filtered pillow that can ensure the cleanliness of soft goods between guests.”
He added, “The filter’s efficacy has been proven in independent testing, and our filtered pillows are currently being used by major healthcare facilities in the U.S. to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While our initial response to the pandemic was healthcare-focused, we’ve since received interest from hotels and cruise lines and look forward to being part of the solution as the hospitality industry settles into the ‘new normal’ with higher standards for cleanliness.”
According to the CEO, the Pneumapure acts as a nano-barrier filter that blocks bacteria, allergens, mold and deadly viruses, while allowing sufficient breathability.
“The filter is applied to a slip that contains no stitch holes or zippers, which is then hermetically sealed around the traditional hotel pillow,” he said. “Once the Pneumapure filter technology encases the standard pillow, nothing but clean air can enter or exit its interior—protecting guests and staff from potential cross-contamination.”
The slip also provides a waterproof barrier that “allows housekeeping—as well as guests who want to guarantee cleanliness—to effectively sanitize the pillow as though it’s a hard surface by simply wiping down the exterior with a mild cleaning solution,” noted Purdy, who added that pillowcases and additional bedding can be laundered per standard protocols.
Spry Therapeutics also offers its own Spry Pure filtered pillow for those hotels that would rather have an all-in-one solution instead of using a slip applied with a Pneumapure filter inside of their own pillows.
Purdy said the main focus for the company right now is to continue to spread the word that the filter technology is available to hotels and cruise lines.
“Many companies still don’t know that our soft-surface filter exists and, therefore, are spending valuable time and resources on temporary solutions that do nothing to address the inside of soft surfaces,” he said. “While our immediate focus is on the cleanliness of pillows, Spry’s filter technology can be applied to a full bedding suite—including duvets, mattress toppers and mattresses—so we’re excited to eventually enable hotels to offer guests completely clean bedding.” HB