A shocking new study has uncovered some alarming revelations about the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of soft furnishings in hotel rooms. Conducted by bed and mattress retailer MattressNextDay, the research analysed several common hotel room items to expose their hidden hygiene horrors. The results may make you think twice before lounging on that inviting hotel room sofa.
According to the study, chairs and sofas are hotspots for harmful bacteria. Past research has shown these items harbour microbes like Staphylococcus aureus, which can lead to skin infections. Additionally, the nooks and crannies of chairs can provide the ideal hiding spots for bed bugs lying in wait for guests.
The hygiene situation doesn’t improve when it comes to bedding. Throws and comforters often go unwashed, only receiving a sporadic deep cleaning. When you consider that the average person sheds 9.6 million dead skin cells and sweats 15 litres over the course of a month, it’s clear how these soft furnishings can transform into bacteria breeding grounds when left unchanged between guests.
Fabric headboards also raise sanitary concerns. Not only do they tend to get cleaned less frequently than their wooden or metal counterparts, but their textured surface makes them magnets for bed bugs and their eggs. These critters can be extremely difficult to fully eliminate.
Likewise, curtains, drapes, and carpets require thorough and regular cleaning, which does not always happen in practice. Curtains, in particular, can harbour germs in their folds. One shocking finding uncovered 421,000 bacteria units on the outside of shoes on average, and just think how many have walked across those hotel room carpets.
While certainly unsettling, these hygiene hazards are manageable with the right precautions. The study recommends habits like neatly stowing unused blankets, wearing slippers in rooms, and keeping suitcases off beds. Travellers should also look for hotels using white linens that clearly reveal stains and dirt. Hotel soft furnishings crawl with bacteria and bed bugs when not properly cleaned.
Martin Seeley, CEO of MattressNextDay, noted: “While alarming, it’s vital to know about these hygiene threats in hotels. Simple actions can improve sleep quality and health while travelling.”
So next time you sink into that plush hotel armchair or rest your head on a decorative throw pillow, you may want to think twice. When it comes to hotel linens and soft furnishings, peace of mind comes from travelling with awareness and caution.