How to prevent PILLOW SWITCH

It has happened to me and I was wondering if it has happened to any of you; where a guest might switch out their poor quality pillow for your Better high end pillow. I was thinking of writing on them “ please don’t take “with a sharpie or tagging them somehow
Do you guys do anything to prevent this

Seriously what? OMG Do you take a deposit? Someone told me from the start that I don’t want anyone in my home who can’t afford a deposit hold on their credit card… I guess that means they can afford pillows too :rofl:

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No I have never had this happen & I don’t purchase expensive pillows, I replace them every 6 months or so…

Would not notice if they did. I have a minor obsession with pillows, as I am typing this I am using five. So I have a wide assortment of pillows in the closets and on beds there from brand new kings and standards to super flat older ones and a range in between. If someone walked off with half of them, there would still be twice as many as they need. I consider them consumable like I do towels and sheets.


blimey, people take their tatty pillows on holiday, just to swap with the Airbnb pillows? Does it happen with duvets and bedsheets too? What gets swapped if the listing has a kitchen?


Yes, quite a while ago. However, the pillows weren’t expensive, just new. Costco often/usually have a 2 pack for under $20. I think these two were $10. My expensive pillows are, so far, intact. I have all my pillows that are in the room in a pillowcase and then a zippered cover. That second cover doesn’t get washed after every guest so if a pillow were switched and they put it inside that cover, I wouldn’t know who it is. Back when my pillow was switched I got $30 a night so it was painful. Now at an average of $50 a night I’d just write it off, not write on the pillow.

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Absolutely not. And truly, it makes me wonder what sort of ‘guests’ you get if this is something that has happened more than once.

If your prices are so low that the loss of a pillow bothers you, then it would probably be a good idea to re-do your sums and put your prices up.


Most of my guests are driving and take their tatty pillows with them to sleep in the car. However I’ve seen more than one bring in what looks like sheets and duvets. I used to travel with paranoid friends like that. It’s funny since my linens are almost certain to be cleaner than what they drag in with them.

I suspect that my guest might have drooled in their sleep in embarrasement taken the wet pillow and replaced with the dry and then dried the cover with the blow dryer.


Ooh great idea, I have been wanting a new stove…


Wine glasses. :rage:

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My 8 wine glasses were from tastings at local wineries so “free” when you pay for the tasting.

Someone apparently did their souvenir shopping and took the glasses labeled with the local winery names. My two plain glasses remained. They also took two super discounted canvas crab embellished pillows ($5 each).

They made off with $10 of used merchandise. …smh

I buy the Costco two pack of expensive pillows (retail $30 each; Costco sale $7.50 each) and a small assortment of cheap pillows from Big Lots and/or Walmart do not a huge investment.

Every fall in my beach condos, I weed out the drooly, worn out pillows left by guests and purchase a few new cheap pillows.

After talking to other hosts in my area, yep apparently people cheerfully either just take the pillows or “trade out”.

Ok I don’t have a lot of theft. It only sounds like it because 3 rentals for 3 years and 2 for 2 more years

Don’t use high end pillows. I use pillows I buy at costco and/or Amazon/Walmar/Ikea/TJMaxx/Marshalls.
I will never use a pillow that costs over 10$. There. No incentive to steal and still good quality/

Still, I’d be calling them out in a review. I was at a Cubs game at Wrigley last summer and in our group we must have had 20 plastic but perfectly reusable cups discarded at our feet. I scooped up a bunch, took them to the hotel and rinsed them. I’m using them in the Airbnb and if a guest took one I’d be annoyed. Free? Well those $8 cups came with 57 cents worth of beer in them so I wouldn’t call them free.

The other day the two cups I left in the room were missing and I found them in the trash. Reason # 14 why I sift through the Airbnb guest trash.

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I had one guest, an Italian woman in my house in Italy who went out and bought a entire set of pots although my fully fitted kitchen had every single possible appliance and utensil and at least 20 pots and pans of every kind. She didn’t like my pots. Only God knows why! She marked one one star Down, On the kitchen. I explained where everything was in the kitchen cupboards again after a couple of days. Turns out she was just too lazy to have a look around… She took her new pots with her. Guests needs everything spelled out in a while house rental… This is also not the first guest who completely rearranged the kitchen and the furniture in the house. It’s my house not yours, you’re staying here for a week… F F S! Incredible