A new survey indicates that the only thing we all have in common when it comes to a good night’s sleep is that our needs and preferences are diverse, and for those seeking rest away from home, the demand for a personalized sleep environment is increasing. For the 92% of survey respondents who expressed distinct preferences on the firmness of a bed, there’s especially good news.

Introducing the Four Seasons Bed—a fully customizable hotel bed, offering travelers the opportunity to personalize their sleep during every hotel stay. With an innovative mattress system developed by Four Seasons in partnership with bed manufacturer Simmons, each guest can have the bed personalized to his or her unique preference in minutes. A choice of three different levels of firmness will be offered, along with a variety of pillows and bedside amenities for customized comfort.

“From the day we welcomed our very first guests for the night more than five decades ago, we have placed supreme importance on creating optimal sleep conditions, along with the intuitive service that has always been the hallmark of Four Seasons,” says Chris Hunsberger, executive vice president, product and innovation, in a release. “This new research supports what our guests have told us—everyone has different sleep needs, but the desire for a good night’s rest is a universal passion. That’s why we’re making it as easy as possible to fully customize the sleep experience when you stay with Four Seasons.”

Four Seasons has long been known for its signature beds–while, while never advertised, have been purchased by tens of thousands of happy sleepers.

Dr Carol Ash, director of Sleep Medicine for Meridian Health,  agrees with Four Seasons on the importance of a good night’s sleep: “Beyond benefits of increased productivity during business travel and maximizing enjoyment of a holiday, there are serious reasons to get the optimal 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, even when traveling,” Ash says.

Sleep Survey Highlights

The survey, conducted by Ipsos in late 2013 among travelers from the United States, Great Britain, Russia, and China who have stayed in any hotel, shared insights on what helps them sleep well on the road. Highlights include:

  • 92% of respondents expressed distinct preferences on the firmness of a bed. Only 7% of respondents had no opinion on the firmness of the mattress, with 50% saying they like medium, followed by 28% preferring firm and 14% soft.
  • 30% said they have requested a room change or taken other action—a handful even opting to sleep on the floor or in the bathtub—when their hotel bed didn’t suit their needs.
  • In general, travelers under 35 are the most likely to speak up, indicating an increasing demand for customization in the future.
  • 44% said they wished they could make their bed at home the same way it’s made in a hotel, and 31% have wanted to take home the bed or linens–a desire that Four Seasons will happily arrange upon request.
  • Pre-bedtime rituals also varied widely, with Russians and Chinese favoring a hot shower or bath, the British tucking in to bed with a good book, and more than half of Americans saying they like to watch TV before sleeping.
  • From a list of a dozen nighttime amenities, the favorites were bath salts and oils (23%), room scents (22%), and herbal tea (21%); desired bedside conveniences ranged from electrical outlets for personal devices and smartphones (56%) to a master switch for the window blinds (13%). Younger travelers were most likely to want an iPod dock.
  • The one thing just about everybody has in common? 72% said they like to sleep on the same side of the bed they are used to at home.

The Bed Is Just the Beginning

Survey respondents also indicated that bedding was just one factor in creating their idea of a perfect night’s sleep. Noise levels, the ability to adjust temperature, the availability of fresh air, the need to create a completely dark environment at any time of day, and the inevitable jet lag play key roles that vary by nationality, gender, and age.

“One of the interesting findings in the survey is that the younger the traveler, the more likely they are to have specific preferences, and to say so,” says Dana Kalczak, Four Seasons vice president, design. “As we create new hotels and continually review all our properties, we have a detailed checklist that includes everything from headboard placement to technologies that are intuitive and easy to figure out, silent light switches, and sealing doors to block light and noise from the hallway.”

Kalczak, who is also a trained architect and interior designer, notes that the development of every new Four Seasons hotel includes creation of an off-site model guest room early in the process, and every possible scenario is tested to anticipate guests’ every need.

“We lie on the bed to make sure that it’s in the best position to enjoy views and watch TV; that there’s good light for reading; and that everything a guest might need is within easy reach,” she says.

The Four Seasons Bed: Details

Features of the new Four Seasons Bed include:

  • A system of revolutionary mattress toppers engineered specifically for Four Seasons that offers guests three choices to customize their bed: Signature, Signature Firm, and Signature Plush.
  • A topper that can be switched in minutes; those returning to a Four Seasons location will find their favorite topper already in place when they arrive.
  • Gel Touch Foam Center technology that absorbs extra heat, ensuring maximum comfort throughout the sleep.

The Four Seasons Bed is already in place in several locations in the United States, and will replace beds at all Four Seasons locations over the next few years as part of the normal course of upgrade. Travelers can contact individual Four Seasons properties in advance of their next visit to inquire about the availability of the new bed.

The Four Seasons Bed will also be available for purchase along with a full array of pillows and bed linens through local Four Seasons locations as they are installed in each hotel and resort.