The Real Reason Hotels Use White Sheets

They're easiest to stain—but that's exactly why it makes sense!

This-Is-the-Real-Reason-Why-Hotels-Use-White-Bedsheets_327603341_Joey-ChungPhoto: Joey Chung/Shutterstock

Let’s face it—hotel rooms are pretty germy places. You should avoid the hotel hair dryer at all costs, for starters, and don’t even get us started on the kettle that brews your morning coffee. But when it comes to the most germ-ridden spots in your hotel room, there’s one place you probably don’t need to be too worried about: your bedsheets.

Why? It’s all thanks to the sheets’ bright, white hue.

At first glance, using all-white bedding in a hotel might seem a bit absurd; white fabric is the easiest to stain, after all. But that’s also exactly why it makes sense. White sheets assure guests that the bed is clean and fresh. And because they look and feel so clean, they also give the impression of luxury—even if the hotel itself is rather inexpensive. (Here’s why you should think twice before sitting in a hotel chair.)

Guests expect their hotel bed to be the same, if not better, quality than their bed at home, according to Laura McKay, the Creative Director and Vice President of Interior Design of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “We use white sheets in all of our hotel rooms because it gives them a fresh, crisp, and clean feel,” she says.

Westin hotels were the first popularize the white hotel linens back in the 1990s. The all-white beds make guests think their all-white hotel bed is more luxurious, according to Les Roches, a global hospitality management school. The white sheets even gave guests a better overall experience including better sleep as well as a better perception of the hotel.

And if you haven’t noticed, the all-white colour theme often applies to towels and bathrobes, as well. This has a practical purpose: bed linens, towels, and any other dirty laundry can be washed together without any colours bleeding.

Plus, if all else fails, white sheets are just one easy bleach bath away.

Don’t miss these red flags you’re about to stay at a bad hotel.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest