Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Salmon Arm, Canada
Level 5
584 Views

Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germy throw cushions? It seems that a dozen of these nonsensical items are obligatory for a well-dressed bed or couch. I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so when I go to an Airbnb I assume they haven't been washed and are slick with people's hair grease and shampoo residue and ick them onto the floor somewhere. Does anybody out there actually use 6 pillows when they are sleeping? They just end up on the floor, ffs. I only have two throw pillows in my two-bedroom listing. But I feel the pressure to add more every time I'm in there. Laundry takes a lot of time and money, so I'm loathe to add more of either for something people aren't going to use. Waddya think? Should I buckle down to pinterest pressure?

 

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20 Replies

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Oakland, CA
Level 10

Thank you for validating me as a host, as I don't have those. 🙂 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Takoma Park, MD
Level 10

@Colette203 I agree that most throw cushions are decorative and don't serve much of a purpose other than that. I have several in my listing for my couches, because on a couch they do serve a comfort purpose. You can lean on them, use them as back support, get comfy watching a movie. 

BUT......I bought throw cushions with removable, washable covers. I would NEVER use ones that didn't have a washable cover. Indeed, without a washable cover, that IS 1-20 years worth of nastiness. 

I wash mine regularly, as I feel the same way you do. I guess most people have to take my word that my cabin is as clean as it is. 

I have extra pillows on the bed, mostly for support if a guest wants to be propped up so they can read in bed. Those pillow cases and shams get washed after each guest. 

I guess I'm just saying that there are cases in which throw pillows can be trusted, lol. 

Don't give in to Pinterest pressure, but do decorate as you see fit, with items that can be laundered. That's my two cents. Probably not that helpful........

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Colette203 

 

I am of a similar opinion to @Kia272 . I have a couple of throw cushions on each bed (not piles of them) as they not only help to dress the bed and make it look a bit luxurious, but they do help comfort wise when you are sitting in bed watching some streaming service or checking your emails. I have a couple of them on my own bed and use them pretty much daily for this purpose.

 

Of course, these have removable covers and are washed in between each guests (I have spare covers for when time is short) so there's no hair slick ick or otherwise nasty residues for guests to deal with. While I don't love it that some people chuck them on the floor, it doesn't matter too much as they are cleaned between each stay.

 

You have made me a bit concerned now though in case guests simply assume that the pillows must be dirty because maybe some people never wash theirs... I wash pretty much everything between guests, including pillow and mattress protectors, duvets (not just the covers) and even the curtains get frequently washed. 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Level 2

Totally agree, their great for aesthetics but from a utilitarian standpoint they're far more detrimental than beneficial.

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Colette203  I agree with you. Until I start hosting and saw pictures of other Airbnbs I didn't even know people use decorative pillows on the bed. It seems it's very popular in USA and UK, but not in Croatia, we prefer minimalism.

Tastes aside, I think we could all be more eco-friendly and rational about energy and water pollution.

 

I give my guests an extra cover and extra pillow but they are in the closet, not on the bed. (same with towels) This way if they don't use it, it will not end up on the floor and will not need to be washed. I was never criticized for the lack of pillows or bed decor so, obviously, it is not as important as some hosts think it is. In fact, I am pretty sure, many guests wonder where to put extra pillows when they want to sleep.

 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

 

I totally get your points and if you are going for a more minimalist look, it makes sense. Plus, it's not wise to do overkill when it comes to bed dressing. I think two throw cushions (max three) on a double, king or super king are enough, and extra pillows and duvets/throws/quilts/towels can be kept in a wardrobe or something should guests require more. I provide four pillows so there is no need for a mountain of decorative cushions as well.

 

However, I do also think it deepens on your market and what look you think is appropriate for that. My interiors are definitely more on the maximalist size, but I thin it suits the decor and that is what draws a lot of guests to my listings. The bed is usually the largest and most prominent feature in the room and also where guests will spend most of their time when in the bedroom. Guests may never complain about lack of decorative touches, but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate them (consciously or unconsciously). I find that the easiest way to create a wow factor for guests when they enter the bedroom is to have a well dressed, luxurious looking bed. Just don't go so OTT that guests are struggling to have space in the bed for themselves!

 

As for energy and water consumption. I am with you there. Perhaps because I host long term, this is not such an issue for me as I don't need to wash those cushions etc. every couple of days. Stuff like that gets cleaned in between guests. It's only the sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers and towels that need washing during their stay.

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Colette203  I'm with you on this. As a guest, I'm not a huge germophobe but I'm annoyed at having to waste precious storage space there is on these useless decorative pillows. Even if the covers are removable, I tend to assume that they aren't being washed between guests, so any effort that goes into that is lost on me. 

 

Where that cheugy Pinterest factor might truly come into play is not so much in the stay itself but rather in the listing photos. I don't think people consciously book a stay for the throw pillows, but bold color contrasts and poofy textures do help attract page views and get the ball rolling - especially if the bedroom happens to be the focal point of the listing. Personally, I don't book an Airbnb for the bed, because whatever time I spend there is going to be unconscious anyway - it's like spending your retirement fund on a golden coffin. I want the lead photos to show the features I can enjoy while awake, in daylight. But if you happen to have a uniquely beautiful bed ( @Huma0's are works of art) it does make sense to stage it and flaunt it.

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Andrew0 

 

Many of my guests seem to spend a lot of time in their beds. I find most use beds not just for sleeping but for watching films and TV, working (even though there are desks in the rooms) and just chilling out etc. etc. 

 

RE listing photos, that makes sense and I think hardly anyone books a listing based on decorative pillows, it's more that they can add to the overall aesthetic that makes people want to book. If they arrive and that aesthetic in any way looks to them considerably different, they might be disappointed, even if they don't quite know why.

 

My beds are actually dressed way nicer than in the listing photos (had long term housemates staying in the rooms when those were taken) so that's not something I worry about. However, there was the girl who insisted that she had booked a different room, the pink room to be specific. I don't have a pink room. It might have been something to do with the colours on her screen, but I'm pretty sure the lilac bedspread, which was the only vaguely pink thing in the room and had been replaced with a different coloured one, was what had caused her to think she had booked a pink room. She is not the only one to refer to it as that. 

 

The bedding can sometimes make more of an impression than we realise, if if it's subliminal.

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Colette203,

 

I have decorative pillows on the couches and chairs in my rentals, because they provide back support.  In our studio suites 've never seen where a guest has taken the pillows from the chairs to lay on them in the bed.  Some guests who rent the apartments probably may lay down on the pillows while watching TV, our apartments don't have frequent turnover (about 5 bookings per year), and we wash the sofa throw pillows between stays.  I don't put throw pillows on beds, use 3-piece duvets which usually have pillowcases instead comforter sets with pillow shams, because I expect for guests to sleep/lay on all of the bed pillows.

 

Debra300_0-1655686892757.jpeg  Debra300_2-1655687052630.jpeg

Studio                                                    Apartment

 

 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

WE have 2 in every bed and they do come in handy because they are also used in the small couch in every place we have (4) and also in the hammocks that each of them have. Their cover are washed and changed like any pillow cover between guests. True, a pile of them they start to be annoying

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Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Colette203 

 

Colette, I am with you, I have never been able to understand why interior designers feel the only way to make a bed look welcoming is to have it covered with scatter cushions.

 

Having said that I do include one scatter cushion on the bed. I have included it there because some guests like to read in bed and it gives them a firmer support against the headboard than ordinary pillows do. But I can assure you it gets the same treatment that all the pillowcases get.

 

I offer 6 regular pillows on the main bed.....3 for each guest. They vary in thickness from thin to medium density to thick density and guests can select which amount of support they feel comfortable sleeping with. I don't thing anyone has slept on all three!+

With every bed change all the pillowcases get washed, plus all the pillow protectors plus that scatter cushion zip-on cover and the mattress protector. There is no way I would want to put my head on someone else's mouth dribble, and I don't expect guests to, so everything that the previous guest has come in contact with is washed and ironed.

 

It a matter of perception, particularly since Covid struck.....things don't just have to be clean, they have to be seen to be clean. All linens must have the ironing creases in them so the guest can have confidence this bed has been prepared just for them!

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And the ridiculous part about that is, I had a guest recently who gave me a 1 star for cleanliness!

 

I justify my one scatter cushion on the bed, it is there to serve a purpose and the cover does get washed for every guest. I even have a pillow protector on the scatter cushion, but I don't wash that between guests because guests don't use it for sleeping on.

You are right Colette, they are a germ haven and, although you can't cover every base, it did make me think that Airbnb should have  set some sort of protocol for dealing with scatter cushions in their Covid cleaning rules because, almost every listing has them!

 

Cheers.........Rob

 

@Huma0  @Fred13  @Debra300  @Andrew0 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

On my own bed, I have regular pillows and the large, square continental type (60x60 cm). The latter are perfect for propping yourself up when reading/watching TV/streaming etc. The covers get treated exactly the same way as any other pillowcases.

 

I remember another thread on here a few years ago where some hosts told me I was completely OTT to iron the bed linens. Personally, I think it makes a huge difference to the appearance of the bed but, also, as you have pointed out, it allays any fears a guest might have about things not being washed. 

 

I see @Andrew0 's point though that a lot of guests are going to assume that things like decorative cushions are not washed in between guests. Hopefully the fresh smell is enough to make it obvious they have been?

 

Re storage, if there is enough space in the room, one can always have a large, attractive basket in which to put cushions and throws so guests can use them on the bed if they want to and hopefully this would prevent them chucking them on the floor. I have one in the living room for throws and small blankets and guests do use them on the sofa to get cosy. The problem I guess with the baskets in the bedrooms is that you wouldn't necessarily know if guests had used the cushions or not and would have to wash everything regardless. 

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

Level 2

Spray with microban!

Re: Anybody else tired of the tyranny of useless, germ-filled throw cushions?

in
Salmon Arm, Canada
Level 5

Are you seriously advocating just spraying pillows btw guests? Uggh

 

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