US traveller survey shows that while even luxury hotel rooms can be dirtier than an Airbnb, you get what you pay for when it comes to room cleanliness

If you are paying a lot of money for a hotel room you would expect it to deliver a high level of cleanliness. Even in budget hotel rooms you would expect the room to at least be clean, similarly when you stay in an Airbnb. However, travellers are increasingly finding that the price you pay does not have any impact on how clean rooms can be on arrival. While daily visits from the hotel maid and a baked-in cleaning fee on Airbnb may paint a picture of immaculate, spotless rooms and properties, bedding review website The Sleeping Judge warns that is not necessarily the case.


  • A survey of American travellers by bedding review website The Sleeping Judge has found that price only has a real impact on room cleanliness over the USD300 price per night point;
  • Its Hotel Hygiene Habits insight shows that respondents found Airbnb accommodation to be cleaner than even the most luxurious hotel rooms;
  • Regardless of accommodation type almost nine in ten found hair in rooms, with bugs, alcohol, urine, sexual fluids, bed bugs, faeces and vomit among discoveries.

In its Hotel Hygiene Habits survey of over 1,000 Americans (74% hotel quests and 26% Airbnb quests) to learn about their property hygiene experiences they found some interesting findings. If you are shortly planning a short break away in the US you may want to look away now, as regardless of property type almost nine in ten (88% for hotel quests and 87% for Airbnb properties) found hair in their room, with bugs, alcohol, urine, sexual fluids, bed bugs, faeces and vomit among the other discoveries.

The goal of the survey was to find out whether or not star ratings make a difference and how different price points translated to different levels of cleanliness, and it appears that Airbnb properties have a greater level of cleanliness than hotels. 75% of respondents said their Airbnb’s were clean, versus 57% for hotels, while 98% described the Airbnbs as somewhat clean or clean, versus 95% for hotels. There was a clear higher level of cleanliness for both Airbnb and hotel properties over the USD300 price point but negligible differences between other price points.

CHART – The Sleeping Judge survey of over 1,000 Americans found that 18% more Airbnb guests described their room as being clean than hotel guestsSource: The Sleeping Judge Hotel Hygiene Habits Study

In terms of the offending substances that people found inside their rooms there was a pretty uniform correlation between the unwelcome visitors with hair, bugs and alcohol the three largest problem areas irrespective of the price per stay. The respondents were most suspicious of their bedding’s cleanliness across the board, again no matter the price point of their accommodation, while carpets were ranked second, except for the USD300 and over price category where the TV remote pushed them down to third.

Additionally, a high number of respondents also reported the need to replace items replaced or cleaned before use with bedding, bath towels and pillows the three most common among both Airbnb and hotel guests. While the top three items were identical across the accommodation types the percentage levels varied somewhat with guests at an Airbnb more concerned over the bath towels than guests in hotels, while hotel guests questioning the cleanliness of the bedding more than those staying at an Airbnb.

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