Not all heroes wear capes: The new hotel bed that fights viruses and bacteria

Aug 10, 2020

2020 has brought about many changes in our lives this year. Amongst other adjustments, we’re all becoming more germ-conscious than ever — and this pandemic is to blame.

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As avid travelers, exposure to the general public’s germs is part of the package deal. From airport check-in kiosks to plane trays to Clear fingerprint scanners, coming in contact with a surface recently touched by someone else is well-nigh inevitable.

But coronavirus — and the accompanying conversations about social distance and contagion via viral droplets — has made the risks of traveling all the more stark.

Related: What your hotel stay will look like in a post-coronavirus world

Consumers aren’t the only ones who have had to adapt: Hospitality brands, airlines, transportation companies and other high-traffic industries have all scrambled to implement hygiene and sanitation policies to keep customers safe away from home. Marriott was the first major hotel chain to publicly announce its new cleanliness program, while TPG got an insider look at how Delta disinfects its planes between each and every flight.

Even your next hotel bed might join the fight against germs: Serta Simmons Bedding — the mattress company behind the eponymous Serta brand as well as Beautyrest and Tuft & Needle — will soon release a new mattress with antiviral technology that may soon be in major hotel chains around the world.

Image courtesy of Serta Simmons Bedding.
Image courtesy of Serta Simmons Bedding.

How does it all work, you ask? Virus particles and bacteria are invisible to the human eye, and can easily pass through protective barriers such as sheets. To combat this issue, the new mattress is woven with the same fabric designed for medical personal protective equipment (PPE). For an additional layer of protection, Serta Simmons Bedding treats the fabric with an antimicrobial product called HeiQ Viroblock, which traps microbes like a magnet using microsilver-vesicle technology, then binds and disintegrates them until they are no longer an infectious threat.

Related: How to ward off coronavirus in your hotel room

If you’re a science-tech geek, you might already know that HeiQ Viroblock was originally developed in 2014 to treat N95-grade face masks, which filter out at least 95% of airborne particles. In recent independent tests, researchers found that Viroblock-treated fabrics can neutralize 99.9% of viral particles within 30 minutes of exposure. And aging tests designed to measure Viroblock’s longevity have found that treated fabric retains antiviral qualities for three years, and antibacterial qualities for 20 years.

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When available, Serta Simmons Bedding’s new Viroblock mattress also won’t give off any odor, or feel “different” from a typical mattress. In fact, Viroblock will actually help reduce smells, since odors develop as a result of trapped bacteria. As far as you’re concerned, the antimicrobial protection is just there to give you peace of mind; you won’t actually feel its presence in any way. Nor will spot-cleaning the mattress or consistent use diminish its properties in any way — the HeiQ technology is baked in during the manufacturing process for good.

The new HeiQ Viroblock mattress won’t just be good for you; it will be good for others, too. Serta Simmons Bedding has also donated more than 10,000 mattresses in regions that were hit hardest by the pandemic to help reduce the national hospital bed shortage.

Related: Handling hotels — and the ick factor — during the coronavirus pandemic

Serta Simmons Bedding hasn’t yet announced its partner hotel brands, so stay tuned for announcements to come on where you’ll be able to try out this new bed for yourself. But if you’re the type of person who likes to buy the same beds you enjoy at hotels, you’ll also be able to purchase a HeiQ Viroblock-treated mattress sometime in the near future.

Featured photo by Shutterstock.

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