Do Hotels Change The Duvet And Throw Pillows Between Guests?

One Mile at a Time asks whether hotels change duvets between each guest, or just the sheets? And what about decorative bedding like throw pillows?

The answer is that it certainly varies by chain, brand, and now during Covid times. But cleaning in upscale major chain properties is better than less expensive independent hotels. For instance Marriott started changing duvet covers in 2005 and Hampton Inns started putting sticky notes on beds saying these had been changed in 2012.

As a general matter if you see something white it’s being changed, if it’s multicolored it was probably purchased specifically to avoid showing stains. Pricier chains have changed bedding more regularly than budget hotels. There was once a standard in the industry for mid-priced and below to change duvets four times a year coinciding with a deep clean of the room. Here’s how one motel industry worker put it recently,

I’ve worked for at least 5 different chains of motels. I worked as a housekeeper and the laundry worker. The only time we did the blankets or the bed speads was if something was spilled on them even if it was a smoking, or pet approved room, or the blankets and spreads were getting dingy or smelling.

I also worked as an assistant manager for house keeping and laundry where the laundry person didn’t like that I would usually send many of them to be washed for my sanitary thoughts and of course I would get spoken to about that.

Of course even where cleaning is required some hotel properties don’t follow their brand’s standards and some housekeepers don’t do everything that’s asked of them, either.

Are housekeepers cleaning the coffee pot? Were the same cleaning items used in the bathroom used anywhere else? One Beijing hotel was caught a few years ago using the toilet bowl cleaner on the room’s drinking glasses. I’ve heard over time that this is common. And do you really think TV remotes get wiped down?

Aside from the loyalty program the primary value of a chain hotel is the brand and the trust they’ve built. I went ahead and asked the major chains what their current standards are, whether it varies by brand, and whether standards have evolved during the pandemic. I’ll post an update once I’ve heard back from them all – which will take a bit, most folks are out this week. What do you think they’ll tell me?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Asking major chains their standards is irrelevant, unless you just want to publish PR spin. The reality is most of the chains do not operate a majority of their properties. Most people don’t realize Marriott doesn’t own or operate/manage its hotels. Only internationally and only among the top brands does Marriott manage most of its properties. As a result, all of the franchised managed or franchised-owned and third-party managed hotels have rapidly different standards. The idea that some housekeeper who works for Aimbridge being paid $12 an hour at the Residence Inn Sioux Falls or wherever is going to know or follow Marriott standards is crazy. Marriott can’t even get hotels to follow their breakfast benefit guaranteed in Bonvoy.

  2. I’ve stayed 347 nights at Marriott hotels and 58 nights at IHG in 2020. Yes, that’s more nights than days in the calendar year, but that’s because I had one super long Marriott reservation and I often left on weekends, etc. to go elsewhere. In all these nights I can tell you that hotels are NOT cleaner during coronavirus. I’ve had a good 10 properties, both full-service brands and limited-service brands, with rooms that featured pubic hair on the toilet seat, body hair in the shower or on the sheets, used condoms by the nightstand or food left in the fridge.

    All the brands tout new protocols. Except some but not all housekeepers wearing masks or wearing rubber gloves (the gloves aren’t being changed in-between cleaning the dirty toilet and making the bed), nothing noticeable has changed. And if you check the maid carts in hallways you will see that duvets are not on them. If the cart doesn’t have new duvets then the duvets aren’t washed and changed between guests.

    Don’t forget most hotels only give their housekeepers 20 or 25 minutes to clean a room.

  3. @FNT is on the money

    Hotels are dirty af

    Fortunately, in more upscale hotels the previous guest is more likely to be a clean person, so it’s not that bad to sleep in sheets they’ve slept in the previous night

  4. @jason
    your continuous display of stupidity is not funny anymore, it is actually rather pathetic now

  5. Well, I have my doubts. Duvet covers and thrown pillows always go in the corner when I walk in. And doesn’t Hampton Inn use a white. down comforter in between a triple sheeted bed? Are they washing a down comforter after each guest? Doubtful.

  6. Even more egregious are Air Bnb’s. They either hire companies that have little care or want to make the property clean…turn it over and get done. Or owners that are trying to do it themselves and stressed and cutting corners. I have seen some sketchy things. Catching the cleaners making the bed with the same sheets, being just one.

  7. The drinking glasses throw me off big time. I love the throw away plastic glasses in a sealed bag that you find in budget hotels. Has anyone ever seen a tray of clean glasses on a housekeeper’s cart? I always pack some paper bathroom cups. You can fold them flat easily.

  8. ZippyPam: Actually, I have. Not that common, but they do exist. I’ve seen sealed glasses at Fairfield Inns and Courtyards before the pandemic. Few and far between, however.

  9. I don’t care what Hotel, Resort, or vacation rental you stay in THEY DO NOT CHANGE DUVET COVERS, COMFORTERS, QUILTS UNLESS THEY HAVE A VISIBLE STAIN ON THEM!!!! If your hotel or vacation rental says they do THEY ARE LYING!!!! I have worked for some top notch hotels and vacation rental companies and I know for a fact it’s true. The same goes for airbnb, VRBO etc. Every now and then you will find a private owner that will change these out between rentals but the odds are probably 1 in 1000. Also I can tell you that housekeeping is not thorough when cleaning… They are on a very tight schedule. You have 17 minutes to change sheets, scrub the bathroom, vacuum and wipe down all surfaces…17 minutes is not enough time to clean a room properly especially after some of the disgusting slobs that stay in them and not to mention these people don’t get paid a decent wage to do this kind of work…it is definitely not an easy job. People NEVER leave tips just a mess

  10. I’ve had a personal maid at my house that worked for Bellagio, other MGM properties and Four Seasons.
    Although this was 15 months ago, she told me the only one that changed duvets was Four Seasons.

    I usually strip the bed throw everything on the floor and leave a note with a $10 -$20 tip. Every day.

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