Many hotels have a wide piece of thick fabric or cloth at the end of the bed. You’ve probably seen them a bajillion times, but just tossed it off in the corner, with the ornamental pillows.
It turns out that fabric is not really there to make your room look nicer; it has a name and, unlike those stupid ornamental pillows, even a purpose!
It’s called a bed scarf (although sometimes it’s called a bed runner or a partial coverlet) and its purpose is to protect the bed’s blanket.
Some, but not all, hotels have a luggage rack available in the room for you to lay your suitcase. When a luggage rack isn’t available, many people choose to unpack by putting their suitcase on the foot of the bed. The bed is a decent height for this, but your suitcase isn’t the cleanest thing out there if you think about it. It’s been rolled in the streets and possibly in puddles of who knows what. It may have been lying in the cargo of a plane or in the holding area of the hotel, where it’s come into contact with the dirty wheels of other suitcases.
Simply put, the bed scarf helps stop the dirt on the wheels and other parts of your suitcase from getting onto the bed. It goes onto the bed scarf instead.
It’s not lost on me that the blanket, the parts of the bed that are usually directly under the bed scarf, isn’t cleaned very often. I guess they reason that if the blanket isn’t visibly soiled from the suitcases, it gives the hotel more time not to wash it?
The cost of bed scarves can run the gamut from $20 to over $200, but they’re also the choice of some hotels over luggage racks (even if luggage racks are cheaper). Luggage racks could serve a purpose in a home (because people won’t put their luggage on the bed in their own home?) and therefore could be more at risk of being stolen by guests. Bed scarves can also help “refresh” a room by simply changing it out for a different color scheme.
Feature Photo: Warehouse Fabrics
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary