Support our work by becoming our Patron! Learn More
Determining When To Change Linens in Your Hotel | Resort

How To Determine Linen Change Frequency in Hotels | Resorts?

The hotel's management must choose which policy to implement when it comes to changing linens in the guest rooms. Every day, some hotels will replace the bedding in every occupied room. Others will leave a card on the bedside table or on the doorknob for the visitor to chose. If the guest wants the sheets changed, he or she can specify this on the card. Other hotels will simply change sheets every second or third day of a visit, without informing or requesting input from guests.

In this policy issue, there are only a few advantages and cons to consider. What does the guest desire first and foremost? The initial aim of a hotel staff is to serve the guest in a way that will result in repeat business and positive word-of-mouth publicity.

Since serving the guest in a way that will create return business and positive word-of-mouth publicity is a hotel staff's first mission, it is important to measure guest feedback on this question. Although hotels that currently change sheets on alternate days report that they do have some guest complaints, the majority of their guests support the effort to limit the use of water and chemicals to save the environment.

First: Hotels must obtain feedback from their own guests.

Second: what procedures can be implemented to ensure that the room-cleaning process remains acceptable and invisible to the guest while retaining its quality controls?

Third: Will the cost savings in labor, chemicals, or energy cover any extra costs in guest complaints, labor to redo early departures, or other efforts to maintain the system? Some hotels have realised as much as a 1.8 room improvement in productivity per day, but many report no change.

 Some operational issues to consider while Changing the room linens include:

  1. Housekeeping personnel who were trained to replace bed sheets everyday must be retrained or face disciplinary action or termination. Although most room attendants prefer not to change every bed, it might be difficult to communicate which beds should be changed and which should not. Communication is considerably more difficult for hotels with personnel that speak little or no English.

  2. To keep track of which beds have been changed and which have just been put up, a method must be established. In two-bed rooms, the system must include a code that specifies the condition of each bed. Guests who were intended to stay but left early must be accommodated by this system. If the room attendant is still on the premises, he or she should return to the room and make the bed with fresh linen. Before the room can be marked as clean and vacant, someone else must remake the bed if the room attendant has left for the day. Using a room attendant sheet which can keep track of these details would be helpful for the housekeeping staff.

  3. Establish a system to make a note of the room attendant's daily assignment sheet to spot which beds to change for each stay over. Do this when the morning report taker reviews the arrival date of each visit and notes or marks which rooms need to be changed.

  4. Since some hotels provide a card for guests to indicate if they want their linens changed, the room attendant must record whether the sheets were changed on the assignment sheet. If a guest complains about the bed not being changed after business hours, the on-call staff member will have to immediately replace the bed and then examine the day's records to investigate the allegation.

  5. Room attendants have to know how to determine whether it is acceptable to change sheets when necessary but when sheets have not been satisfactorily cleaned. For instance, would they be required to change the sheets if an ink pen was drawn on the pillowcase?

  6. Many hotels want the guests to feel as though the bed has been changed after their stay, so they pull the bedspread over the pillows. An alternative approach would be to leave the bed with a down-throw look that is encouraging to guests but conveys to hotel employees that linens have not been changed.

  7. If the staff decides to let the guest select whether or not to have the sheets changed, the language used on the information card or door hanger should be carefully chosen.

  8. The average length of a stay may affect the rate expended on sheets, depending on average length of stay and guest classification. For example, if the average length of stay per stay is 2.8 days, and the policy is to change sheets every three days, in fact, the policy is to change sheets only in checkouts.

  9. General managers are curious about the financial impact of this policy shift. While room-cleaning productivity may remain basically same, some hotels anticipate a 15% increase in linen life and a 9% reduction in outside laundry expenditures. In reality, the laundry is where you save the most money. These cost factors were calculated based on hotels employing a sophisticated approach. Given that the king sheet weighs about 1.8 pounds; a double sheet 1.2 pounds; and a pillowcase .3 pounds; there is a minimal potential saving of 3 pounds or at least a dollar per room.

  10. The most critical thing is that the employees are honest with themselves and with the guests. Is environmental protection the issue? Or is it about saving money? Guests are quick to notice a hotel's rationale for policy changes, and a reduction in service may not be appreciated if there are no consistent environmental initiatives in other areas (such as light bulbs, recycling, or motion sensors to control HVAC).

Conclusion: Will customers refuse to stay at a hotel if their sheets aren't changed? Can we anticipate guests asking, "Do you change your bed sheets every day?" during reservation calls? Will we see ads with the slogan "We change bedding every day"? Most likely not. In fact, by providing sufficient training, detailed operational methods, and related environmental measures, a hotel can save thousands of gallons of water, tonnes of detergent, and enormous quantities of electricity.

Augustine's Avatar


Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.