Hotel Beds Thrive in Harmful Bacteria; Bathrooms are the Cleanest Rooms

Do you like to eat something in your hotel bed while perhaps watching TV or reading a book? Well, you are not the only person, as many prefer to do the same thing. The bad side however is that mattresses become an incredible good environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. The simple conclusion? Beds are often the dirtiest part of a hotel room, while bathrooms are the cleanest as a new survey focused on female business travellers shows.

Check Safety First’s research revealed that 80% of the female travelers queried like to eat in bed. But in the same time, the survey showed that many surfaces in hotel rooms carry bacteria and mattresses and duvets are rarely changed, thus getting to contain bacteria.

The study used Relative Light Units (RLU) to measure dirt and bacteria on surfaces. Bigger is not better in this case, on the contrary. And that is why numbers like an average of 535 RLU for hotel bathroom sinks and an average of 277 RLU for plates, cutlery and tea-making facilities raise concerns. To have some comparison figures, just know that toilet seats had an average of 34 RLU and showers an average of 44 RLU. Other relevant figures are: 128 RLU as an average for TV remote controls, 207 RLU for telephones, 127 RLU for light switches and 63 RLU for door handles.

A concerning aspect is that the company discovered that 75% “of hotels they had audited did not meet acceptable hygiene standards.” 18% of the respondents said they got ill while in hotels.

Useful for travellers from this point of view could be the recently launched by Check Safety First website which enables customers to choose hotels based on high cleanliness scores.

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“Hotels at all levels need to increase room hygiene scrutiny as even a full team of cleaning staff can miss hazardous bacteria,” he explained. “How many of us have been ill on holiday and put it down to the food we ate when actually it could be from harmful bacteria lurking in your hotel room?”

How do you find hotel rooms? Do you think these numbers are to raise concern, or that the findings are not in fact worrying? Have you been ill after staying somewhere with no apparent cause?


I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

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