Guests sleep on top of--not between--the sheets?

This is the third time that this has happened. I have beautiful full-cotton sheets, professionally cleaned and pressed, made up with a blanket and a comforter folded at the end of the bed.

These guests, who stay for a week or more, never turn down the bed. they sleep on top of the blanket, and pull up the comforter for the top covering. So the very top of the sheets, and the pillow are wrinkled up, but the sheets are never slept in. And then I have to clean the sheets as well as the blanket and the duvet cover, because they WERE slept in!

I’m not sure if this could be a cultural thing, as all the guests who slept this way were from China or Korea. One couple from Korea apparently did not sleep on the bed at all for 2 weeks, as the linens and pillowcases were as perfectly starched and creased as when they arrived. Even the baby didn’t sleep in the crib I provided–were they on the floor? with the quilt? I asked my Korean neighbor, but she couldn’t offer any explanation. The sheets were obviously very clean and pressed. It isn’t hot here either.

I wasn’t comfortable asking them, but I can’t stop wondering about this. Anyone else have this experience? I wonder if my foreign guests from Asia would be more comfortable if make the bed differently, like just a bottom sheet and a comforter?

Yes. This is a cultural thing.

I highly recommend that you consider changing the comforter to a duvet with cover, and then wash the duvet cover between every group. The number of countries that do not use a top sheet far surpasses the numbers that do.


Thanks for that information. The comforter is actually a warm duvet with a cover, but we live in the Northwest, and most people are glad to have the duvet as well as the sheets and blanket. Is it so difficult to figure out how to sleep between the sheets?

We now turn down the top sheet over the duvet to make it clear -,the extra washing was getting ridiculous

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Fold the blanket and leave it on a chair.

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Wash all sheets, blankets and duvets and shams after each guest. It really doesn’t matter if they slept on it. sat their naked private parts on it, wiped their drool on it, sneezed their flu germs on it or what. A guest of any culture or nationality could have contaminated ALL the linens. Don’t try to guess if they sleep the same way you do or not. If laundry is too tiresome or expensive, raise your price a bit to cover the cost.

Example: I wash all the towels in the guest room even if they look unused.


In the same vein, I wash all dishes, silverware and glassware between each guest. Pain in the butt, but, my peace of mind is worth it.

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Why don’t you tell them? If you see someone from different country show and tell:).
I had guest’s who never pulled the bed cover but slept on top of that . Some had sheets with them , some didn’t.

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If I had a whole place I wouldn’t/couldn’t. But I’d wash anything set out or in the dishdrainer just in case. I just returned from staying in a whole house airbnb. I washed and dried the handful of cups and glasses we used and put them back in the cabinets. I can’t imagine a host rewashing every pot, pan cup, utensil, etc. I do think it’s logical to imagine every item on the bed could have cooties, whether it looks it was used or not.

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Towels yes but comforters?

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I no longer use US style “comforters.” In summer I use a very thin layer. In cool weather I use a duvet cover, thin IKEA bedspread or thin quilt.

I understand why you can’t wash them each time. I also imagine horrible things happening on them.


@KKC. As you know, my space is within my house. I put a “full” setting of things in the rooms to equal the number of guests. And when they leave, I bring it all down and run it through the dishwasher. One of my pet peeves about whole place rentals is how much time I spend washing the kitchen items before they are usable. Not sure what the answer is, but having guests washing the dishes that they have used doesn’t work fully.

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My host had no “rules” about washing, check out, recycling, etc. I just did what I would want done at my house. But whole house/onwer off site is a whole different thing than what you or I do.

I rewash every dish, utensil, pot, pan, etc. that guests use. I’ve seen how many of them wash dishes and it’s not pretty. We had recent guests who drank glasses of milk at breakfast. They briefly ran the glasses under the faucet then put them back in the cabinet. The glasses had a mixture of milk and water in them.

I also wash all linens between every guest: comforter, sheets, pillow cases, pillow covers, towels and washcloths even if the guest tells me they haven’t used them. I figure that if the guest touched the item, they could have left hair on it which will offend the next guest.

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Yes, that seems extreme to wash comforters between each guest. Hotels don’t do that.

Many hotels are also doing away with heavy top layers. I’m sure you are right though. They don’t clean like I do.

Less laundry, yay! ;p

Confirm it is a cultural thing. The guest from China not use to this set-up. I’m Thai (Asia) When we set-up a bed we change by region ( Westerner or Asia ) You can also tell them or flip some blanket in cornet to let them know.

I just found a guest ask for a blanket because they are cold. But he sleeps on the top of a blanket I already prepare.

Yes, this has happened to me 4 or 5 times over 2 years, and there’s been no consistency in terms of culture. As others have done, I turn down the top sheet over the blanket and quilt to make the expectation clear. Still doesn’t work everytime, but I’ve decided I’m far too busy to care/worry about how other people want to sleep.

As far as bedding, I’ve switched to commercially made thin quilts. Comforters are far too bulky to wash/dry between guests. And though many seem to be able to wrestle a duvet into/out of a cover blindfoled, I end up sweaty and cursing every time. For me, quilts have been the answer. I have 2 for each bed and they fit in my washer and dryer with no trouble.

I agree with all those about dishwashing. I’ve started to wonder if I’m the only person who knows how to clean a dish! I too rewash anything in the kitchen a guest has used, as like @EllenN, I’ve found “clean” dishes put back in cupboards that are anything but.


I know you are speaking of dishes/guests but I wonder that about many things and many people. I was just in a gorgeous full house Airbnb. I gave it 5 stars but it wasn’t 100%, I’d say it was 95% perfect. I think my own perfectionism serves me very well as a host. My place is cleaner and nicer than almost every rental I’ve stayed in.

Things that I’ve found in rentals that wouldn’t happen here: Light bulbs out or fixtures that don’t work. Mineral and other stains around drains and faucets and mold/mildew stains in the shower/bath area. Chipped paint and visibly scuffed baseboards.

If a guest washes a dish or glass and doesn’t polish it dry it won’t look clean.