How Often Do Hotels Replace Pillows

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The hospitality industry keeps a close eye on its daily cleaning and maintenance processes. Clean, sanitized pillows are necessary for a good night’s sleep and most hotels will have cyclical washing processes, depending on the make and material of the pillows. 

However, after frequent usage and depending on the material of the pillow, hotels will eventually replace them with a new batch. This ensures that guests will always get that soft, plush feel that these luxury pillows used in five star hotels are known for.

Hotels take every precaution necessary to maintain their quality and cleanliness standards for new guests. Whether it is deep cleaning, cyclical washing, or replacement of reusable items like pillows, the hotels ensure that their guests are satisfied and that their facility meets state and federal health agencies’ requirements.  

How Often Do Hotels Replace Pillows?

To maintain quality and hygiene standards, hotels will replace their reusable items such as pillows and bedding accessories after every few months or years, depending on the material and make. The CNN reported that Microtel replaces 20,000 pillows a year, meaning that it goes through almost a third of its pillows every 6-8 months. This may seem excessive to an extent, but vital for safety and cleanliness purposes, nonetheless.

Other hotels, such as the Hilton, use down and feather pillow varieties, which can last up to 2-3 years. Synthetic pillows last from 18-24 months with washing and proper care routine. How often hotels replace their pillows depends on the material of the pillow and how long it lasts with washing or cleaning techniques. If a certain variety of pillow can last for years, proper cleaning methods are used to sanitize it and keep it clean for new guests.

Do hotels wash their pillows?

The hospitality industry keeps tight scrutiny of all its cleaning and sanitization processes especially for reusable items such as pillows, bedding accessories, towels, etc. The common practice states that pillows must be thoroughly laundered, sanitized, and maintained before every guest stay. However, items that may not come in direct contact with the skin such as pillow filling, mattress pads, etc., are cleaned on a monthly, quarterly, or biannual basis.

Hotels often consist of two varieties of pillow: the natural fill or synthetic fill. Pillows with natural fill consist of a blend of feather, goose, or duck down, whereas synthetic pillows consist of manmade fibers or clusters of polyester. Neither of these can withstand daily washing.

It is impossible to wash and launder pillows after each guest as it would not only destroy the filling but may even result in high expenses and operational nightmares for the hotel management. To keep them clean and ready for use for new guests, hotels protect their pillows using two coverings including a pillow cover and a pillowcase. Pillowcases are changed after each guest, while the pillow protector is changed when visibly dirty or when it is time for a routine washing. This keeps the pillows clean and there is no need for laundering it multiple times a day or week.

How do hotels keep pillows fluffy?

The feather, down alternative, or memory foam material of a hotel pillow give it that luxuriously fluffy feel and texture. In addition to that, hotel staff take extra care of their pillows to enhance the overall experience for the guest. They periodically fluff the pillows during housekeeping hours and between guests so that it retains its shape and plump fullness.

Hotel pillows are usually encased in pillow protectors which allows the pillowcase to be properly tucked, keeping the loft firmly in place. This makes it appear fluffy and full. The housekeeping staff vertically folds a pillow in half and continues to slide it into a smooth, clean, ironed sham. Upon unfolding, the pillow fits the cover snugly and there are no empty or airy spaces left. Patting the pillow in the middle and dragging it in opposite directions pushes the excess air out and evenly distributes the filling, making it look fresher and fluffier.

Why are hotel pillows so comfy?

Hotel pillows are incredibly comfortable, plush, and luxurious because of how often they are maintained and fluffed. Most pillows in hotel rooms are also an expensive variety, like feather, goose, or down alternative. These special pillows are known to be incredibly soft to the touch and cradle your head gently.

The expensive silk pillow covers, and protectors also add to the overall comfort of the pillow and make the bed look inviting. Hotel pillows are routinely fluffed and maintained, and they are cyclically laundered to retain the freshness, making them incredible to sleep on.

Can I buy hotel pillows?

The most well-known hotels purchase their pillows in bulk directly from a designated manufacturer. Hotel pillows are often custom made to keep them unique and special, so your experience is memorable. While this may make these pillows seem unavailable to customers, you can easily purchase the same variety or ones closest to your hotel pillows on several platforms and websites.

Be it Hilton, Four Seasons, or Marriott luxury pillow that you desire, you can look up reviews, people’s experiences with them, as well as necessary details about the filling type, make, washing instructions, etc., to determine if you want to invest in it for personal use.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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