Alarming Statistics for Hotel Guests and How to Protect Oneself


Almost 2,000 People Will Sleep in the Average Hotel Bed Before You Do

Experts at the Sleep Council recommend changing your mattress every seven years to prevent it from becoming uncomfortable and unhygienic. Whilst we may listen to their advice in our own homes, do the places we pay to rest our heads also take notice?

Furniture Choice examined hotel occupancy stats for the last seven years and discovered that on average 1,891 people will have drifted off to the land of nod on your hotel mattress before you’ve even checked in.

If the thought of that figure gives you a sleepless night, then don’t venture to London where an average of 2,099.56 people will have slept on your hotel mattress before you.

Furniture Choice surveyed the UK to see how many of us sleep naked. Nearly one in four (23%) respondents admitted to sleeping in the nude, that’s an average of 537 naked bodies a single sheet away from your hotel mattress.

Head of Housekeeping, at a leading UK hotel chain who opted to remain anonymous, said: “On average we change our mattresses every five to seven years depending on how busy the hotel is; but we never leave it any longer, as by then the mattresses are ruined.

“There are some instances that require us to replace a mattress immediately, such as when someone soils the bed – urine permeates through a mattress, and in some cases we have seen it leak through the base and onto the floor!”

“Dust mites can also be an issue, as they feed off dead skin cells thus making bed mattresses a prime habitat for them to live in. This is why it is important to protect a mattress with a cover to prevent infiltration.”

Furniture Choice surveyed UK residents to discover their own mattress habits. Over one fifth (21%) of respondents had not changed their mattress in over seven years. A further 43% said they’d never cleaned their mattress – with 14% of this group saying they don’t know how to.

Tom Obbard, director at Furniture Choice commented: “We often book a hotel stay for that extra little bit of luxury, but these figures give an indication of just how many people will have enjoyed that luxury before you!”

“While over a fifth of us may leave it longer than recommended before changing our mattresses, the majority of us clearly enjoy the freshness and comfort of a mattress that’s still at its best.”

The First Thing to Do When You Stay in a Hotel Room

Microbiologist Philip Tierno, when he has to stay in hotels, travels with an impervious mattress and pillow cover. Lurking in every hotel mattress are skin cells, human hair, bodily secretions, fungi, bacteria, dust, dust mites, lint, insect parts, pollen, and cosmetics.

Sleep Tite Mattress Cover

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Tierno encourages everyone to use the impervious covers developed for allergy sufferers. And he also advises that you definitely get rid of the bedspread. The first thing he does is remove the comforter and store it in the closet.

CNN Reports: “It’s certainly true that bedspreads, or the quilts inside duvet covers, don’t get thrown in with the sheets for a daily wash … Germs … tend to congregate in places touched multiple times by multiple people that may not be cleaned thoroughly, if at all.”

While it is impossible to live in a germ-free environment, using toxic chemicals to achieve this is fraught with dangers and is not at all recommended. However it is best to pay attention to some well documented sources of pathogens that can easily be avoided with simple non-chemical measures.

Travel is one area that you can make some dramatic improvements.

Cleaning a hotel room is not a glamorous or high paying job, and my guess is the hardworking people laboring away at this task are at best just applying the minimum standard of care in their daily grind. Just making the beds is hard enough!

I don’t expect them to wash every bedspread, nor do I expect management to pay for such an expense on a daily basis. This is made clear by microbiologist Philip Tierno, quoted in the article above:

“In hotel rooms that aren’t properly disinfected, some of the germiest areas tend to be the faucet and sink areas, the flusher of the toilet, the underside of the toilet seat and the shower floor.”

“Improper cleaning techniques, such as using the same rag in the bathroom and on the remote control, can spread germs around. Cleaning in a ‘cavalier manner’ doesn’t happen only in lower-end hotels.

“[But at the same time] there’s no raging problem of communicable diseases contracted in hotels. Exposure to germs in hotel rooms is generally nothing some timely and thorough hand washing can’t fix, and of the 60,000 types of germs people might encounter over the course of their lives, only one percent or two percent are capable of causing disease.”

So although hotel rooms may be germy, they really can’t be considered dangerous. There are also some sensible precautions you can take yourself when you find yourself in a hotel room. Read about those precautions here.

Hotel Statistic Source and Article Source (Sep 20th, 2016) | Protect Yourself Article Source (May 17th, 2011) |