When staying at a hotel, comfort is a top priority.
Unfortunately, hotels don’t always offer the most comfortable blankets or pillows to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes you may find yourself needing to request an additional pillow or blanket and you might be wondering if the hotel will actually honor that request?
Below, we will take a look at how hotels handle these requests and how you might be able to increase the odds of getting a hotel to agree to provide you with more blankets and pillows.
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Can you ask for extra blankets and pillows at a hotel?
Lots of nicer hotels will happily provide a guest with an extra blanket or pillow upon request.
However some properties, especially cheaper hotels or motels, may refuse your request on the basis of limited inventory or suspicion that you are bringing more people into the room than allowed.
Therefore, it helps if you have can you communicate some type of personal reason for needing the additional blanket or pillow to the staff when making a request.
Keeping below for some tips on how to get this done!
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Your pillow and blanket options
If you need an extra pillow from a hotel, here are the options you may have.
The extra pillow and blanket in the closet
Lots of hotels provide an extra blanket and possibly a pillow that can be found in the closet. Often this is up on the shelf so you have to look up in the closet and you’ll probably find it.
Sometimes these blankets are not very comfortable and you always wonder how long it’s been since the last time they were washed.
So you may not always be comfortable utilizing these but the hotel may first refer you to the extra blanket and pillow in your closet if you call in and make a request.
Basic pillow and blanket selection
The hotel may simply give you the same type of blanket or pillow that came with your room.
Full selection of pillows
If you’re staying at a full service hotel they may not only offer you an extra pillow, but they may have a full selection of different pillow types!
You could choose between a soft or firm pillow, down pillow, memory foam, or even request a special body pillow. This may even be a complimentary service.
As you would expect, you will likely only have a “pillow menu” at nicer hotels and resorts.
Why a hotel may refuse your request
If you’re staying at a cheaper hotel or motel, that property may refuse your request for extra blankets and pillows. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
First, it’s possible that because the property is so small that it has a limited inventory and they could be running low on blankets and pillows.
Perhaps they have not been running things smoothly or maybe they recently had guests steal some of the pillows or blankets so they are running extra low.
Either way, they would rather deny your request of an additional pillow than not have a pillow for a new guest.
Bad customer service
Sometimes hotels, especially limited service hotels, are just severely lacking in customer service.
It’s possible that the person working the front desk at night may not want to leave the desk since they are the only staff member on site.
So when you make your request, they may give you some type of excuse like the hotel is out of pillows or unable to accommodate your request solely because that worker does not want to leave their post.
They suspect you are up to something
Hotels always want to know exactly how many people are staying in each room.
For some hotels, it’s about generating extra revenue as they increase the price with more guests.
For other hotels, it’s more about abiding by the fire code so that other guests are not put at risk and the hotel is not in danger of getting in trouble for having too many guests in a room.
Either way, if you request additional blankets and pillows this is a sign that you could have brought additional guests into your room.
For example, let’s say that you booked a room with two queen beds for two people.
Those two queen beds should be able to accommodate four guests pretty easily in most cases. Now let’s say that you get on the phone and request an additional blanket and pillow.
At this point, it’s as if you have at least five guests in your room.
If the hotel already provided an extra blanket and pillow in the closet, then it’s like you are requesting bedding for six or more guests!
That could definitely raise a red flag for the hotel.
They may deny the request or they could possibly investigate the situation and ask you to pay more for the additional guests.
How to successfully get extra pillows and blankets
If you want to increase the odds of a hotel honoring your request for additional pillows or blankets there are certain ways you can go about asking for these.
Make a request ahead of time
If having an extra blanket or pillow is really important, you can contact the hotel ahead of time and make your request (phone or email).
If they have multiple options they may even be able to provide you with a selection to choose from.
Offer to pay extra
It’s possible that a hotel may want to charge you extra for an extra blanket or pillow. If you really need an extra blanket you can make it clear to the hotel that you are okay with paying for it if you have to.
Give a specific reason (possibly related to a medical need)
If you want an extra pillow, try to give the hotel a specific reason for your request that would make them look very bad in the event they chose to deny the request.
For example, a lot of times hotel pillows can be very thin or just not supportive for your neck. If you have an extra pillow, you can stuff it in the pillowcase of another pillow and create a much more supportive pillow.
If you have neck issues and require more support you could let the hotel know that and tell them that if you had an additional pillow it would help you properly support your neck.
Or maybe you need to place a pillow under your knees when you sleep as recommended by your doctor.
There are lots of medical related reasons why you could require an additional pillow — don’t be afraid to bring those up!
If you struggle with maintaining a warm body temperature then you could always request an additional blanket on the basis that you run very cold. This could especially be the case if the hotel does not have good temperature control in the room.
And even if the hotel room does have good temperature control, sometimes turning up the heat means getting dried out and that can be problematic for certain people who are sensitive to dry conditions.
Be aware of the “code word”
Apparently requesting an “extra pillow” with a concierge at a hotel is codeword for requesting a prostitute.
This sounds like an urban legend type of myth but there are online reports of people taking this seriously.
I’ve never personally encountered this “on-demand service” at a hotel stay but I guess if you were staying at a property known for that type of thing, you might want to think twice about how you word your pillow request.
Bring your own bedding
One of the best ways to make your hotel room more comfortable is to bring your own bedding.
There’s nothing like having your comfy blanket from home to help you feel relaxed in your hotel bed.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about the fact that your mattress probably has not been washed in a while.
I always make a point to bring my own blanket when traveling on road trips.
But when traveling via air, it’s harder to bring your pillows and blankets because of the limited amount of luggage space you have.
If being comfortable in your hotel is a high priority then it could be worth it for you to simply allocate one suitcase to holding your pillows and blankets.
It may seem a bit ridiculous and it could add to your baggage fees but ask yourself if $60 (in round trip baggage fees) is worth the additional comfort you will be able to have for several nights?
I think a lot of people would actually answer yes to this question.
If you don’t want to deal with the extra luggage or baggage fees, another option you could do is to purchase a blanket from a store like Walmart.
For $30 or under you can get a pretty comfortable blanket which could be half the cost you would pay in baggage fees.
At the end of the trip you could take the blanket with you if you have room, donate it, or even return it (although some people question the ethics of returning a used blanket).
Lots of hotels will provide you with an extra pillow or blanket in your hotel room closet so you may not have to make the request for additional bedding in the first place.
However, if you do have to make the request it’s possible that some limited service hotels will refuse to provide you with extra pillows or blankets based on a variety of reasons.
To increase the success of a hotel honoring your request, consider trying to make your request as personal as possible, and if you can, relate it to some kind of medical need.
Otherwise, just try to stay in nicer hotels and they should be more accommodating.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.