Hypoallergenic bedding request from guest

Hi everyone,
Looking for advice on best way to approach. We rent out a bedroom in our home. A guest made a reservation back in April for this upcoming weekend for 3 nights. In our listing, we state that we live in a 100+ year old home, have 2 dogs and 1 cat. Yesterday, she sent me a airbnb message asking if we have 100% hypoallergenic bedding. We replied that our bedding is 100% cotton, but not technically hypoallergenic since we use detergent like Tide (as an example). I also replied back that I hope she noticed that we have 3 pets in the home that are mentioned in our listing a few times. We have reached out twice and she has not replied.

My questions -

Anything else I should do? We will try reaching out one more time, but we are too busy to make any accommodations for her.

Am I correct in my understanding of what would define, 100% hypoallergenic? Meaning - we use special detergents and cleaning solutions for sensitive skin? Or is there more to this?


You’ve done your best and replied honestly. This is one instance where I agree with another thread saying we shouldn’t cater to all our guests’ requests (or “whims” as I’d put it.) Suggest politely that she brings her own “100% hypoallergenic bedding” whatever that may consist of, if it’s a necessity for her.


Totally agree, if this is a real issue then she would have asked when booking. I would get very suspicious as some sort of angle for a cancellation and full refund and would approach the matter accordingly.


When my husband was diagnosed with environmental allergies, we had to purchase hypoallergenic bedding. You are correct that all cotton bedding washed in regular detergent is not considered hypoallergenic. We got a dust mite proof mattress cover and got rid of our down quilt and pillows and replaced them with a quilt and pillows filled with hypoallergenic materials. We also got dust mite proof coverings for our pillows.

Thanks everyone for your replies! This is very helpful.

We have no issues ourselves but do have covers like @EllenN We have only had one request of this kind. We use Tide free and gentile and Bounce free and gentile for these situations. Our guest stayed 2 weeks and left us a wonderful review.

I read about the dust mite covers for matresses and pillows and I wondered if it was a good idea (we don’;t have allergies but dust mites are not house guests one would want to have!) But can you have them over down pillows and duvets … I’d hate to get replace these …

I’m personally of the belief that you should expose yourself to as many different allergens as possible, if and only if you’re not allergic. Study after study has shown that people are less like to develop allergies and/or asthma if they are exposed to common allergens on a regular basis. That said, dust mite allergies are prevalent enough that it might be wise to get dust mite covers for mattresses and pillows. The pillow covers give the added benefit that I never have to wash the pillows. We only got rid of our down cover and pillows because my husband’s allergy tests showed that he was allergic to down. The allergist said that he would be fine using down bedding as long as he used a comforter cover and pillow covers. He prefers an abundance of caution.


Call me a hardened old cynic, but if she booked way back in April, your listing is clear about your pets and the age of your property, why is she suddenly raising this issue, just before she arrives, then failing to respond back to your very honest replies? My gut instinct is that she is looking to find a way of wiggling out of the booking without penalty. Or she may just not turn up. I totally agree that if she really needs such bedding, she should bring her own, and should have raised all this before confirming her booking.

Good luck! Do keep us posted with what happens.

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Ask her to cancel as you can not guarantee that she won’t be allergic. If she doesn’t cancel call Airbnb asap. This is a disaster ready to happen.


I contacted them again last night. Asking if she saw our other messages. So, this would be our 3rd attempt to clarify the issue. No response. Will let you know how this all resolves. Communication is definitely lacking on their end which is frustrating. But I feel like we’ve done all we can at this point. Will update when I hear back. Thanks so much for your replies!

You’re right. I recently read an article by a mother who has a phd in something and who is a highly regarded scientist and she spoke of this and said she let her son eat dirt from the woods to enhance and strengthen his immune system.
I got the point although I’m not serving dirt to my kids anytime soon :slight_smile:

When are they due to arrive? Oh I see this weekend…
I hate it when there’s no reply

But you did all you could do. If they want to stay still you’ve informed them.
Perhaps they’ll consider canceling and this it what takes some time?

I agree you should contact Airbnb and cancel the booking for very good reasons.

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I would not cancel the booking, I would want to be paid.

They will file a claim for a refund due to allergies.

They may try, they have no basis for doing so but of course who knows what AirBNb would do.

I have an aversion to giving into scammers.

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Update: They replied! Finally. They check in on Saturday (3 days from now). They thanked me for our concern and prompt communication. They stated that our bedding should be fine and they were looking forward to their stay. So, it sounds good and maybe this was a “nice to have”? Not sure. Just to play it safe, I did let Airbnb know of our exchange (which is documented in the messaging platform) and my concerns. So, I hope this was just a miscommunication. But I did learn a lot and it’s nice to know I am not alone in my thinking.