General manager Jennifer Rota knew the Distrikt Hotel’s 2010 opening near Times Square posed a challenge: “We’re in a one-block radius with every chain you can imagine, so how are we going to stand out?”
It’s the kind of dilemma that keeps you up at night. Ultimately, Rota zeroed in on the sleep experience, investing in airport-grade windows, upping the thread count to 500, and offering soft and firm pillows as well as turn down service in all 155 rooms.
Guests haven’t been shy about voicing their reactions. An analysis of user reviews across 250-plus websites—from TripAdvisor to Gogobot to Zoover—reveals that the Distrikt’s beds are the most comfortable in America. TrustYou, which specializes in online reputation management, evaluated the mentions of beds at U.S. hotels that got at least 400 reviews with at least 10 bed mentions between January 2013 and January 2014.
The top-ranking hotels are found primarily in big cities like Vegas and Chicago, with nine of the top 20 based in New York—despite or perhaps because of the city’s reputation for sleeplessness. (It also welcomed a record-breaking 54.3 million tourists in 2013.) “I think sleep is probably about 60 percent of the guest’s stay, in New York especially,” says Rota. “It may change in a tertiary market where you spend more time in your room.”
More surprising than location may be the kinds of hotels winning raves for their beds. Sure, multiple Starwood properties made the cut for the brand’s famous pillow-top Heavenly Bed, but some four- and five-star brands are notably absent.
Margaret Ady, TrustYou’s marketing director, believes it comes down to expectations: “If you look at a Howard Johnson, for example, the price is much lower than a Four Seasons, and if the bed turns out to be supercomfortable, travelers are more likely to point that out and be excited about it.”
Encouraging guests to share that excitement online may be especially important for smaller or independent hotels. Georgia’s Lodge at Sea Island did not have enough reviews to be included in TrustYou’s rankings, while the Farmhouse Inn of Forestville, CA, had enough reviews but less than 10 bed mentions.
Another takeaway is that improving guests’ quality of sleep doesn’t necessarily require a major overhaul. Michael Grandner of the University of Pennsylvania’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program encourages hotels to “think beyond the mattress,” and Rebecca Robbins, a researcher at Cornell and coauthor of Sleep for Success!, agrees that small tweaks can go a long way.
“Despite the fact that they're in the business of sleep, so often things go on at hotels that could really be improved,” says Robbins. “There’s nothing worse than having to struggle through on a short night’s sleep.”
Courtesy of Distrikt Hotel New York City
No. 1 Distrikt Hotel, New York City
All 155 rooms at the Distrikt are outfitted with 500-threat-count sheets, hypoallergenic pillows (2 soft, 2 firm), leather headboards, and Simmons Beautyrest mattresses. “It just seems to have that perfect amount of firmness and softness,” says general manager Jennifer Rota, who wound up purchasing the mattress for herself. Windows have blackout shades and airport-grade glass—and if it’s good enough to drown out plane engines, you can rest assured it will mute the chaos of Times Square, a few blocks northeast. Standard Queen rooms face south, the side of the hotel most insulated from street noise. Also factor in nightly turndown service and the use of a light lavender fragrance—little touches that can make a big impression and aid relaxation.
Sample Reviews: "Room was also excellent with the biggest and best bed we have ever slept in at a hotel." (Orbitz). “Our room was beautiful, the bed amazingly comfortable and a shower to die for!" (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 93.95
Bed Mentions: 496 out of 2,766 reviews
Average Room Rate: $325.64, according to Kayak
No. 2 The Whitehall Hotel, Chicago
The Whitehall sources its 300-count-plus Egyptian cotton linens from a private label and uses goose-down pillows and feather beds. The mattress brand Hypnos (model Highbury from the Stadia collection) has three times the average number of coils. The result is better support for you while you snooze—and some heavy lifting for housekeeping.
Sample Reviews: "And the beds are super comfy; I don't wake up the next morning wishing I had brought a pillow from home." (TripAdvisor). "The beds are sink-into perfection with a good selection of pillows and bed covers." (Orbitz).
TrustYou Bed Score: 92.69
Bed Mentions: 465 out of 2,204 reviews
Average Room Rate: $179.32, according to Kayak
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Tuscan Inn
No. 3 Best Western Plus Tuscan Inn at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
Luxurious isn't the first word that Best Western brings to mind, but Tuscan Innclearly makes guests feel pampered at bedtime. The Simmons mattresses are triple sheeted with 300-count Egyptian cotton and topped with four foam and two firm pillows. Some guests inquire about purchasing the beds, according to Lita Tulloch, executive sales assistant. "I've stayed over many times, and our beds are super comfortable—you really feel like you're sleeping on a cloud," she adds.
Sample Reviews: "The room was clean with plenty of extra towels. The bed, pillows and bedding were nice and soft." (Booking.com). "Our room was well equipped and our bed was so comfortable that we did not wish to get up in the mornings!" (Priceline.com).
TrustYou Bed Score: 91.32
Bed Mentions: 484 out of 2,308 reviews
Average Room Rate: $272.35, according to Kayak
Element New York Times Square
No. 4 Element New York Times Square West
This Starwood property prides itself on being "eco-chic," yet for most guests, the biggest selling point is its Westin Heavenly Bed, a hotel bed that's truly a household name—and in a sizable number of homes. It's made in the U.S. by Simmons with a plush custom pillow-top about 13 inches in height. There's a king-size version in each of the 411 white-and-aloe-green rooms, and you can set the lighting to three varying levels of brightness.
Sample Reviews: "The rooms were efficient, spacious and clean—quite possibly the best bed I have ever slept in too!" (TripAdvisor). "The room can be a little bit small but the bed is big, comfortable and clean." (TravBuddy). "Beds are warm, cushy, and comfortable." (Expedia).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.91
Bed Mentions: 946 out of 5,675 reviews
Average Room Rate: $315.83, according to Kayak
The Shelburne, An Affinia Hotel
No. 5 Affinia Shelburne, New York City
At this Murray Hill hotel, east of Grand Central, making the bed involves coordinating a down-filled bed pad with a goose-filled duvet that's slipped between the top and bottom sheets (250 thread count). The Sealy Posturepedic mattress is designed to eliminate the kind of pressure that causes tossing and turning. Top it all off with your preferred selections from the pillow menu.
Sample Reviews: "The bed was fab especially after a long day." (TripAdvisor). "Bedding was nice. Sheeted white comforters, bolster pillows, and a pillow menu made the beds very comfortable." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.61
Bed Mentions: 458 out of 2,119 reviews
Average Room Rate: $302.60, according to Kayak
Sofitel Luxury Hotels
No. 6 Sofitel New York
The 398-room Sofitel in midtown has its own branded experience: SoBed, introduced in 2005. "The custom-designed [Serta] mattress and box spring are acclaimed for their unique balance of sensitivity and support," explains PR rep Jamie Donovan. In the past year, hundreds of guests were inspired to go online and post their own words of praise for that sleep experience, which is embellished by 300-thread-count Yves Delorme sheets, a feather bed, and a down duvet from Pacific Coast Feather Company.
Sample Reviews: "The most comfortable bed that I have ever been on—the fluffiest pillow that I have ever slept on!" (Yelp). "Very comfortable bed." (Tablethotels.com). "The bed was amazing! It was like a huge marshmallow and super cosy!" (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.45
Bed Mentions: 534 out of 2,205 reviews
Average Room Rate: $442.09, according to Kayak
Starving Artist Productions / NY Hotel Management / Staybridge Suites Times Square
No. 7 Staybridge Suites Times Square–New York City
Staybridge promises guests "the comforts of home" and seems to be delivering in the sleep department. Pillow-top Serta mattresses are made with three sheets (250 thread count with a cotton-polyester blend) and a duvet in between. Four pillows come standard, though you can request extras and choose between down or fiber.
Sample Reviews: "The beds were extremely comfortable which was great after a long day of sight seeing." (TripAdvisor). "Best of all, it had the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in (outside my own!)." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.32
Bed Mentions: 558 out of 3,647 reviews
Average Room Rate: $330.86, according to Kayak
MGM Resorts International
No. 8 New York–New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
New York–New York has the lowest average room rate among these top 20 hotels, and the hotel website brags about its affordability: "Yes, the hotel rooms are nice. Yes, they're priced really low. No, there's no catch." Enthusiastic reviews suggest that guests agree—maybe they sleep better knowing that whatever else happens in Vegas, at least they came out ahead on the hotel bill. Prestige Suite II mattresses with 220-thread-count Sobel sheets outfit the beds, from the Park Avenue rooms up to the Penthouse Suite.
Sample Reviews: "The biggest difference were the pillow-top beds. They were fantastic. I had the flu so a nice comfortable bed was exactly what I needed after having had a long drive." (Expedia). "Nice comfy beds...clean...and not to mention the really cool rollercoaster on the roof." (Gogobot). "The beds and linens were amazing and made for a great night's sleep." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 88.98
Bed Mentions: 1,252 out of 10,516 reviews
Average Room Rate: $158.66, according to Kayak
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
No. 9 Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground, CA
Less than a 10-minute walk from Disneyland, this HoJo caters to families, with large rooms that sleep up to five (some come with bunk beds). With so many to a room, fights—pillow and otherwise—may seem inevitable and a good night's sleep elusive. Yet the hotel rises to the challenge, outfitting its beds with Simmons Beautyrest pillow-top mattresses with triple sheeting (300 count). And improvements are in the works, according to sales director William Simpson, who revealed that the hotel will be introducing a newer AirCool technology mattress. "After a long day at Disneyland, a good night's sleep is essential," he observes.
Sample Reviews: "I do have to mention how comfortable the beds were...We all slept gloriously!" (Expedia). "We slept well in the comfy beds with lots of pillows." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 88.29
Bed Mentions: 521 out of 2,229 reviews
Average Room Rate: $186.30, according to Kayak
Courtesy of InterContinental New York Times Square
No. 10 InterContinental New York Times Square
Each of the 607 rooms at this sleek high-rise hotel delivers a stimulating view of the Manhattan skyline, Hudson River, and Broadway from floor-to-ceiling windows. Yet the room interiors are designed to soothe, from the walk-in rain showers to the Simmons Beautyrest Granville Terrace pillow-top mattresses with custom 325-thread-count sheets—the color of champagne—and four pillows. Communications manager Victoria Zuffranieri notes: "InterContinental is evolving its bedding standards and later this year will roll out a specially tailored mattress."
Sample Reviews: "The beds were fantastic and it was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in!!" (TripAdvisor). "I can never sleep in but bed so comfortable we had a hard time getting up by 9:30 am each day." (IHG). "寝心地はサイコー！ (Comfort in bed is awesome!)" (4travel.jp). "Heerlijke bedden (Comfortable beds)." (Zoover).
TrustYou Bed Score: 87.96
Bed Mentions: 648 out of 3,651 reviews
Average Room Rate: $431.76, according to Kayak
Courtesy of The Westin New York Grand Central
No. 11 The Westin New York Grand Central
At the Westin New York Grand Central, each room has a headboard with built-in overhead reading lights. It's a thoughtful touch that accents the Westin Heavenly Bed. "Every detail of the Heavenly Bed's 13 pieces—right down to the hidden zipper and ribbon tie that keeps the duvet in place inside its cover—is designed to promote a restful sleep," says the hotel's general manager, Colleen Senters. "And the bed is made with love. All of our housekeepers have obtained very specific and detailed training to ensure each bed has the same heavenly feel."
Sample Reviews: "Moreover, the rooms were spacious and beds were comfortable! So comfortable that when I got home, I ordered the mattress off of Westin's website." (TripAdvisor). "Loved the dreamy beds...they are coma-inducing!" (Booking.com).
TrustYou Bed Score: 87.90
Bed Mentions: 562 out of 2,485 reviews
Average Room Rate: $312.47, according to Kayak
Courtesy of Westin New York at Times Square
No. 12 The Westin New York Times Square
This Westin offers the Heavenly Bed experience that guests know and love, with a score just shy of its Grand Central sibling. Its 873 rooms take a minimalist approach, sticking to crisp white linens—250-thread-count sheets and a down blanket—and a neutral color palette. To increase your odds of a good night's sleep, ask for a room that does not face busy 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.
Sample Reviews: "The beds were the best hotel beds we have ever slept in—extremely comfortable, a choice of pillows and lovely soft bedding." (TripAdvisor). "The beds are great, after walking all day, we just melted in the bed!" (TripAdvisor). "Good size room, bed was massive and very comfortable. Bathroom was spacious and shower was amazing." (Google+). "The beds were great, the bathroom nice, the room spacious enough and we had a lovely view of the water." (IgoUgo).
TrustYou Bed Score: 87.30
Bed Mentions: 764 out of 3,085 reviews
Average Room Rate: $385.41, according to Kayak
CityCenter Land LLC
No. 13 (tie) Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Technology is often the culprit for keeping us up too late. But at the 4,004-room Aria, it's put to work to help guests unwind. Customizable room controls for lighting, temperature, music, and wake-up signals ensure the sleep conditions are just to your liking—and when you slip into bed, a "good night" button shuts the curtains and sets out the Do Not Disturb sign. The Parsonage Lane bed is custom designed by Posturepedic with a Sealy mattress featuring a memory-foam Euro Top and 300-thread-count triple sheeting.
Sample Reviews: "The beds are what heaven must feel like." (TripAdvisor). "Love that place. Most comfy beds ever." (Expedia).
TrustYou Bed Score: 86.67
Bed Mentions: 2,453 out of 12,582 reviews
Average Room Rate: $250.62, according to Kayak
The Westin San Francisco Market Street
No. 13 (tie) The Westin San Francisco Market Street
Fresh off a renovation, this Westin offers 676 rooms with the company's pillow-top Heavenly Beds, garnished with five goose-feathered pillows. Parents can also request a Heavenly Crib—or Heavenly Dog Bed—for the littlest travelers. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out at the busy SoMa neighborhood; as at all city hotels, light sleepers should book a high floor.
Sample Reviews: "It's lucky that The Westin lives up to its reputation for having the most comfortable beds in the world, because if it weren't for the heavenly clouds of pillows and quilts that enveloped me each night and assured me of a good sleep then I might not have many nice things to say about it." (Yelp). "The bed and linens were heavenly for getting a good night's sleep." (Starwood).
TrustYou Bed Score: 86.67
Bed Mentions: 480 out of 2,697 reviews
Average Room Rate: $296.93, according to Kayak
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
No. 15 Bellagio Las Vegas
Tourists who stay elsewhere flock to theBellagio to see its dancing fountains and lavish botanical displays. But only guests are lucky enough to bed down on its exclusive Serta mattresses, triple sheeted with a 300-count Egyptian cotton sateen weave. Rooms feature pillow-tops with memory foam and temperature-regulating latex, while suites get a "hybrid" version with the perk of an individually wrapped coil-in-coil support system. Deep-soaking tubs and twice-daily housekeeping add to the sense of indulgence. Rooms start at 510 square feet and were all renovated in 2011 or 2012.
Sample Reviews: "The bed was so outstanding that it has caused me to buy a new bed for our house." (Expedia). "Bed was huge and comfy beyond belief!!" (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 86.27
Bed Mentions: 1,595 out of 14,451 reviews
Average Room Rate: $299.60, according to Kayak
Courtesy of Encore Wynn Las Vegas
No. 16 Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
With a minimum of 700 square feet, Encore's suites have plenty of space for you and your entourage. The tower opened in 2008 next door to sister property the Wynn and features floor-to-ceiling windows and three TVs per suite (one's in the bathroom). When you're ready to power down, touch-screen controls let you adjust the curtains and lighting from your bed, fluffed with two oversize and two standard pillows. Upgrade to the Panoramic Suites for Egyptian cotton and pillow-top mattresses.
Sample Reviews: "The king sized bed was like sleeping on a cloud!" (TripAdvisor). "...bed was super comfortable, and I don't usually rave about the pillows, but these were fantastic!" (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 86.19
Bed Mentions: 543 out of 4,259 reviews
Average Room Rate: $303.82, according to Kayak
Sofitel Luxury Hotels
No. 17 Sofitel Philadelphia
The Sofitel occupies the former Philadelphia Stock Exchange building near Rittenhouse Square Park and some of the city's best restaurants and museums. Its 306 rooms average 400 square feet, with the brand's signature feather-top SoBed as centerpiece. A bathrobe, slippers, and Lanvin bath products (one of many French touches) help guests begin to prep for bed.
Sample Reviews: "By the second day I couldn't believe how great my back felt in the morning after sleeping in that fantastic bed!" (Hotels.com). "The bed was a heavenly nest." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 85.88
Bed Mentions: 517 out of 1,515 reviews
Average Room Rate: $245.57, according to Kayak
Courtesy of The Venetian
No. 18 Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas
The Venetian's suites average 700 square feet, each with a sunken living room, a marble bath, and pillow-top Sealy Posturepedic beds (guests get a discount if interested in purchasing one). PR coordinator Nathaniel Gray talks up the fluffy duvets, with 300-thread-count covers and a medium-weight down insert, and the softness of the Centima sheets, 75 percent ring-spun cotton and 25 percent polyester.
Sample Reviews: "Beds, pillows and sheets were great! Slept very well." (TripAdvisor). "The beds were uber soft. I think they had a memory foam mattress pad. I got makeup on my pillow and sheets and they completely changed them the next day. I highly recommend this hotel." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 85.57
Bed Mentions: 1,483 out of 11,884 reviews
Average Room Rate: $288.86, according to Kayak
No. 19 Ameritania Hotel, New York City
Just south of Central Park and north of Times Square, the Ameritania puts guests within walking distance to many of New York's top attractions. When you're ready to rest those weary legs, retreat to one of the hotel's 219 rooms, with black-and-white Belgian bedding, leather headboards, blackout shades, and houndstooth carpeting. One TripAdvisor reviewer praises the "comfortable beds" with a caveat: "The bed base is larger than the mattress so don't stub your toes on the legs like I did!"
Sample Reviews: "The bed was also the comfiest bed I have ever slept in!!" (TripAdvisor). "Hotel was clean, bed was extremely comfortable. I gave serious thought to stealing the mattress but that would have been too much of a hassle I think." (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 85.55
Bed Mentions: 512 out of 2,309 reviews
Average Room Rate: $276.15, according to Kayak
Courtesy of the Wynn Las Vegas
No. 20 Wynn Las Vegas
The Wynn Dream Bed combines a Sealy pillow-top mattress, 310-count Egyptian cotton sheets, and a high padded headboard. Opened in 2005, the botanical-themed hotel already completed one makeover, redoing its 2,700 rooms and suites in creamy neutrals and adding the same bedside controls for curtains and lighting found at the adjacent Encore. If you're a fan, the Wynn LVNV shop at the Wynn Esplanade sells home goods inspired by the hotel, including its bed.
Sample Reviews: "Our hotel room, on a higher floor, was luxurious with a very comfortable king size bed with plenty of fluffy pillows, and a comforter set." (TripAdvisor). "The beds were fantastic. Loved the fact that they give you the option of using either hard or soft pillows. They offer both." (Yelp).
TrustYou Bed Score: 85.51
Bed Mentions: 573 out of 5,728 reviews
Average Room Rate: $314.85, according to Kayak
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