So, about decorative hotel pillows…

My previous biggest hotel pet peeves have always been showers and alarm clocks that have more buttons and handles than a 747 cockpit. Perhaps not a pet peeve, however I don’t “get” decorative pillows. Yes, I understand they’re supposed to make the room look nice, but what are you supposed to do with them?

When I get in my room I throw the pillows on the floor, and they stay there until the following day when housekeeping services the room. I have to assume that happens 365 days a year.

Do I really want those sitting on the (supposedly) washed pillows I’ll be sleeping on? Or am I doing something wrong? What are you actually supposed to do with the decorative pillows? And how do I “opt out” of having them? And am I the only one that has this stuff going through my head?

Decorative pillow haters unite!

(Bonus points to anyone that can guess which hotel the above picture was taken at)

Filed Under: Hotels
  1. Ben,

    Do you tip your housekeeping? Sounds to me that you are too cheap and not doing that?

  2. You are not alone. I fee the same way about the pillows. I would rather they put standard hotel pillows that I could use. By the time you pull all those off, you are left with like 2 or 3 little pillows (non decor) to sleep on.

  3. @ WorldWingedExplorer — What does tipping housekeeping have to do with decorative pillows being in the room?

  4. Great topic! Overall I find hotels do a very poor job in functional design. Seems they always use a fancy designer to ensure it looks nice, but is not at all functional.

    Some other pet peeves: Not enough horizontal space for my items, having to pull out of the closet the luggage rack (much better when built into the room), bathrooms with no space for toiletries, showers without space for toiletries, desks without power at desk level….and the list goes on….

  5. I agree, there is no point to decorative pillows, and yup, they go right on the floor for me as well.

    The carpet in the room makes me think of a “W” hotel…not sure if that’s it, but I’ll go with that as my guess!

  6. I 2nd the alarm clock issue: there is no standard design and I always spend a couple of minutes trying to figure out how to program it.

    Sounds like a good business if you can figure out how to get all hotels to use a standard, simple design.

  7. I hate decorative pillows. I never know where to put them either. And if I stuff them behind a curtain or something and then they end up on my bed again, touching my real pillows… ewww.

    I have a rule against decorative pillows in my home. The only two allowed are small ones that came with the couch.

  8. @Ed

    Hilton always has the same alarm clocks across properties. They are both very easy to program and have an 8.5mm aux cable. I wish there was a way to completely turn off the backlight though.

  9. I don’t like the pillows either, and feel really bad for the housekeeping staff that have to keep returning them to the bed.

    If you can, place the decorative pillows in the closet on arrival – I find that housekeeping will generally leave them there for the duration of the stay.

  10. This is where OCD becomes my friend. Am I the only one that packs their own pillowcase from home? I just throw it over the pillowcase that the hotel uses, and then take it off in the AM so nobody/nothing touches it (including the decorative pillows I threw on the floor the night before. Maybe I’m just weird.

    My other pet peeve…housekeeping that doesn’t make sure the alarm is off from the previous guest. Can’t list how many times I’ve been awakened in the pre-dawn hours by the alarm that the guest before me had set to catch their 6AM flight. Infuriating…

  11. @ infamousdx – That was the first thing that popped into my mind as well, hehe. So true about the amount of time wasted in shuffling pillows off…

    As for the alarm clock, I just unplug the darn things and use my laptop as one. I find the freed socket is better used for powering anyone of my numerous gizmos.

    Actually, on the topic of sockets, that’s another really big issue for me. There always seem to be too few and what’s disappointing is that this includes hotels that are new or recently renovated. Clearly, we need to provide more feedback to hotel owners.

  12. I agree on the pillows. Asfor what hotel this is, it seems to match what I remember of the Four Points by Sherraton I stayed at.

  13. As far as decorative pillows in hotel rooms are concerned that’s what housekeeping is for and it’s commonly referred to as “turn-down service”. (They come in and take them off the bed for you, give you fresh towels, & a clean bath robe…it’s great & you should try it next time!)

    Otherwise do as @Joe suggested & put them in closet or somewhere else (sofa/chair/etc.) Just don’t throw them on the floor…..that’s very inconsiderate to the next guest & tacky.

  14. The ones that really get me are those long log-shaped ones. There really is absolutely NO purpose for those, imo. And decorative pillows generally go on the sofa or easy chair, if the room is so equipped. Otherwise, the floor.

  15. I usually toss them onto the chair in the room. If there is no chair, the desk works as a storage place when I am sleeping.

  16. Ugh. This is a pet-peeve of mine, too, and I get so grossed out by them, too, figuring that they are rarely (if ever) washed. Wanna save money? Do away with the decorative pillows, please! And my guess is an aloft hotel.

  17. My current biggest hotel pet peeve is that the tiny bathroom amenity bottles have even tinier writing on them and I have bring my reading glasses into the steamy shower to figure out if I’m washing my hair with hand lotion, body wash, conditioner or shampoo. I guess this is an “over 40” problem.

  18. The striped carpet was making me think it was an Aloft hotel, but Aloft doesn’t seem to use decorative pillows other than a striped body pillow.

  19. How can I be so stupid, the answer is literally in front of my face 😉

    The Nines hotel in Portland, Oregon.

  20. My wife says that they’re not only pretty but practical for reading in bed too. So, I think our understanding is hindered by our male-ness.

  21. Yes, your maleness blocks the receptors that equate decorative pillows with comfort. I think it goes back to our monkey brains. Decorative pillows have to do with building a nice nest.

  22. I’ll buck the stereotype and say I like them. If I’m in a king bed solo, I’ll watch TV and use them to prop myself to a partial recline.

    Lucky, as you become older, you’ll realize that griping about things most women like is not a good strategy :>) (even if most men don’t like them).

  23. I stash them in the drawer. If you put them in plain sight they end up back on your bed. And the floor is dirty so why would you want that back on your bed.

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