How Much Linen To Buy For A Hotel

How Much Linen To Buy For A Hotel

When it comes to your linen needs and understanding just how much linens you need to buy for your hotel so that your customers are not left sleeping on top of a mattress cover and drying off with a hand towel instead of a full-blown bath towel it really comes down to s very simple math formula.

It’s pretty basic.

Here it is…

Multiply everything by 3

What do I mean by this?


Here is an example.

If you have a room that has 2 queen size beds and each bed uses 2 queen sheets, each bed has 2 pillows that require pillowcases for each,  and you like to have 2 full bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths and 1 bath mat then these will be your linen purchase requirements.

Multiply everything by 3 and that will give you just how much linen your hotel room will need. So, in this example, you would need to purchase 12 sheets. You need 4 for the 2 beds. You need 6 pillowcases. You need 6 bath towels, 6 hand towels, 6 wash cloths, and 3 bath mats.

The formula works great because you need on set to supply the room with fresh clean linen. You will need one set to be in the process of being washed, dried, folded, and ironed for the current day. And you need to have an entire supply stocked and loaded on your housekeeper’s laundry cart or stored in a closet in case the situation arrives when something in that room needs to be changed right away.

This formula is so simple and allows you to ALWAYS have linens ready at all times and it also allows for your linens to wear out evenly and not get beat down and needing of replacing after a short while.

Let’s break down a small hotel linen requirements like the ones over in the small towns of the Central Coast of California like Morro Bay and Cambria California. There are a large amount of small but extremely popular and constantly booked hotels and motels out in this area.

Let’s take a small hotel with 20 rooms and it’s what it will need to buy for its hotel linens

You have 15 rooms with each room having 2 queen beds and each bed needing 2 pillows. You have 5 rooms with 1 king size bed and each bed using 3 pillows. Each room has a bathroom that all use 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths, and 1 bathmat. Let’s say you use 2 sheets on each bed.

Here is that magic formula at work…

15 rooms with 2 queen beds equal 30 queen beds total. You need exactly 60 sheets to use on those beds to be able to be used. You will need to purchase 180 queen sheets. 

Those 30 queen beds each need 2 pillows thus needing 2 pillowcases which leads us needing 60 pillowcases needed for the beds. Multiply by 3 and you get 180 pillowcases.

Next, you got 5 king size beds each needing 2 king sheets. Simple enough right? You need 10 king sheets so you need to buy 30 king sheets. Now, each bed has 3 pillows which equal 3 cases. you need another 15 cases so multiply by 3, which is 45, and added to your total. You need 225 pillowcases.

Now for towels, it’s easy.

You have 20 rooms and you need 2 towels of each besides the bathmats which you need only 1. You need 40 bath towels, 40 hand towels, 40 washcloth, and 20 bathmats. You need triple that amount so the total will be…

120 Bath Towels

120 Hand Towels

120 Washcloths

and 60 Bathmats

Always remember the magic formula of 3. You need a set of linen in the rooms themselves. You need a set of linens that will need to go through the process of washing them. And, you will need a set that will need to be ready for use on the shelves or on laundry carts.

Use this formula, and you will always know how much linens to buy for your hotel.

Providing Ironed Sheets. A MUST.

If You Own A Hotel. Providing Ironed Sheets is a MUST.

Customers love ironed sheets.

They might not walk up to your front desk and straight-up tell you that, but they do.

Look, I’ll be honest right here. There are huge, 4-star and 5-star hotels that do not iron their sheets.


Well, first off, they have in-house laundry facilities that don’t have the right structure to place what is called a flatwork ironer. Second of all, the owners of these hotels don’t feel like it’s all that important to have ironed sheets on their beds so they simply wash sheets, dry sheets, and use a sheet folding stand to have their housekeepers fold the sheets straight out of the dryer.


Sure, but you can do better.

These days, (actually, they’ve been around forever) you can get yourself a compact flatwork ironer that not can dry, iron, AND fold your sheet all in one shot! These days, they come in all types of sizes and shapes to accommodate just about any laundry facility. They also vary in prices from costing you about $10,000 to close to $100,000. They do have some super-powered units that range in cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but those are used for heavy duty commercial laundry facilities that do hundreds of pounds of laundry a day!

What I’m talking about here are units designed for a single hotel.

The way these units work is that they take a clean wet sheet straight out of a washer and they are fed into a unit with largely heated rolling cylinders. This is usually done with two people, each taking a corner of a sheet and stretching it out straight then fed onto a series of rotating belts that feed it to that heated roller.

Once the sheet in inside the ironer, it is laid onto the heated roller by the rotating belts. The heated rollers rotate to cover and thoroughly iron the entire surface of the sheet. As it is rolled along on the heated roller, it will slowly roll the sheet off on the other side where it is either manually pulled off and folded, or on more pricey units, it is folded by its gravity and a series of blades that move back and forth to “catch it” as it falls. You definitely want to go with a folding unit! You’re going to waste both time and money with a flatwork ironer that does not fold. If you’re gonna spend money on something like this make sure it has a folding mechanism to it!

The entire key to all of this is to provide ironed sheets for your customer.

These flatwork ironers will not only give your customers a much more appealing look to the beds they will be sleeping in, but they will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. The upfront cost on some of these units may seem a bit out of range and almost like an expense that is not needed.

In the very beginning, I can see this to be true.


Once you see one of these units at work you will think twice. I have personally seen one of the lowest end models dry, iron, and fold about 60 sheets in an hour. When you see how long it takes to dry a load of 60 sheets in a couple 200lbs dryers, then pulling the sheets out and folding each one by hand, you can see just how much time and eventual money you will save.

There are even more advanced models that can iron sheets at an even higher rate by having multiple heated rollers on each unit to provide an even longer and more evenly distributed ironing surface. With more ironing surface, more sheets can run through it and a much faster pace.

There are even units that only require one person to operate the entire thing!

Just imagine.

Having only one housekeeper being able to iron and fold all of the sheets for the day in only a few hours.

I’m talking about folded, bundled, and stacked sheets, all done by one individual. 

It is truly remarkable what these machines can do. The majority of these machines are powered by electricity and natural gas. There are units that are powered by either steam or heated oil, which are even more efficient. However, for steam, you will need to add a boiler to your laundry facility and as for heated oil units, they are harder to find. Those work with gas powering up a flame the heats oil inside the cylinders. This creates a much more even heat on the cylinder surface.

You can find a lot of these units sold at huge discounts at commercial laundry retailers. These units will come out of old government building like prisons, some out of hospitals, others are simply from hotels that have gone out of business or upgraded their equipment and have outgrown their current demands.

So, finding one of these units at a decent price is not all that difficult to do.

You just have to make sure that you will have adequate room for you to set yours up. A lot of these units are designed to be set up against a wall to save space.

You also have to take into consideration how much volume in laundry pounds you are actually doing. If you have a 100 room hotel getting full every weekend and just pilling up your laundry room with sheets then you should really consider a unit with considerable more output to it.

All in all, a flat work ironer, in the long run, will save you a tremendous amount of money and time. I didn’t even mention how these units can also blow right through pillow covers and pillow slips. They allow you to free up your dryers to tackle the hundreds of bath towels, bath mats, hand towels and washcloths your laundry has to tackle every day.

If you got yourself a hotel and want to provide your customers a great feeling of crisp, clean, and ironed sheets than you will do yourself and them a huge favor by considering getting a flatwork ironer.