One of the Dirtiest Things In Your Hotel Room You Didn’t Think Of

Hotel rooms can seem clean, but no matter how hard they are gutted by housekeeping, there will always be germs remaining, partly due to the actions of previous guests.

When you ask most people what they believe is the filthiest thing in their room, obvious answers will point to the toilet seat and television remote, but there’s one thing most people don’t think of, and, unfortunately, it’s in the area you’ll end up putting your head down at night.

It’s the pillows on your bed.

Specifically, it’s the throw, or decorative, pillows that are placed on top of beds, against the sleeping pillows. What makes them so dirty, you ask? It’s simply, and you’ve more than likely been guilty of it before.

You check-in to your room after a long day out, and the first thing you want to do is go to bed. After seeing the throw pillows on the bed, the first thing you do is you remove them and place them on the floor, out of the way. That’s it. You just did it. You contributed to one of the dirtiest things in your hotel room.


The next day, your housekeeper comes in to tidy up the room, and what do they do? They placed the throw pillows you tossed on the floor directly back on to your bed. Not only have those pillows been on the floor, but they’ve collected the plethora of germs and dirt that’s bound to be collecting there. Now, that pillow is sitting right against the then clean pillow where you’ll end up resting your head. Bad combination.

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Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this, since even if you are careful to place them on top of a table or other surface, the next guest won’t be so friendly. It’s a never ending cycle, and is one of the most high-traffic germ spots in your hotel room.

Things You Can Do To Help

  • When removing the pillows off of the bed, placed them on a raised surface, or in the closet shelf. Be courteous to the next guest.
  • Use lysol. While it’s only a “relief,” I know plenty of frequent hotel stayers that lysol available surfaces. Unfortunately, once the pillows have touched your bed, it’s an issue, Lysol or not.
  • You probably could go so far as to request that the throw pillows not be placed on your bed prior to arrival, that way you can assure a fresh set of sheets, but I’ve never seen this done, nor tried (or really be willing to try) on my own.

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  1. Rosanne Skopp says

    The ubiquitous and disgusting throw pillows!!! I’ve complained numerous times about this to no avail.

  2. Carl Stewart says

    Why do you assume that the default position is tossing the throw pillows on the floor?

    I would never do this. I stayed in a hotel as recently as last night and when I folded down the bed, I put the throw pillow (there was one) on the armchair next to the bed. It never got anywhere near the floor.

    Don’t assume the worst in people.

  3. jennifer says

    Don’t be delusional. You may not throw the pillows on the floor but others do. Even if they are on the floor once or twice, that’s enough since they are never washed. What if someone sleeps on them, uses them as a foot rest or worse? They are NEVER cleaned so who wants them at all? Gross

    • Rosanne Skopp says

      This has long been a pet peeve of mine. I’ve written to Tripadvisor and Hilton and many hotels to no avail!

  4. jerri says

    No one is going to blame themselves, but that is how it goes. The dirty shoes, the rollerboard that has seen dirty streets and the who knows what that has spilled into overhead bins. People not washing their hands, touching everything. For 30 yrs I had a job that had me in a hotel 3 times a week. Yes, I did encounter rooms where housekeeping was asleep at the wheel. And I would turn right around ask for a room change. But who made that mess, it wasn’t the boogey man! Decontamination might work, but hotels aren’t geared for that. So wash your hands, things in a room that you really don’t need to touch, don’t touch. Use a hotel washcloth to pick up a pillow. I would travel with my own washcloth, you never know where the hotel washcloth has been !!!


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