If you take a pillow from a hotel room, they will charge your card extra for the stay.
In some extreme cases where you steal more items or leave the room a disaster, they may even denylist you from the hotel chain.
What Happens if You Take a Pillow?
Once the hotel staff determines there is a missing pillow from your room, they will report it to the hotel management. Then, usually, the staff will charge the card that went through the credit card authorization process when you checked in.
Overall, if the housekeeping department discovers you took the pillow after you leave, they will charge your card for the regular hotel pillow cost, usually about $60. But remember that blend pillows and other high-dollar pillows like the Dream Surrender Firm that you can find at luxury hotels like the Hilton may cost more.
If they find out you took it before you leave, however, the person at the front desk may ask you to check your bags for the pillow.
In extreme cases, the hotel may blacklist you, especially if you have taken multiple items. And if you paid in cash, so they can not charge you on a card afterward, it is more likely they will denylist you, which can mean you can’t return to any of your favorite hotels.
It is also possible for hotels to lay criminal charges on the offending guest for taking pillows. But, the most common solution is a simple extra charge since you only paid for the room night, not the objects in the room.
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Do Hotels Include Theft in Their Budget?
Most hotels actually do leave some margin of allowance in their budgets for stolen property. However, this mostly accounts for small items that they can easily replace.
Objects like slippers, body lotion, toilet seat covers, and sometimes hotel pillows are low on the unforgivable theft list. What the allowances don’t cover are expensive items like televisions and mattresses.
Similarly, other items hotels may charge you for taking include:
- Hotel towels
- Bed linen
- Mattress covers
- Appliances and fixtures, like the hotel sink
- An entire laundry detergent bottle
And, of course, they can charge you for damages, like if the sink basin fills over the top or you drop clothing clips inside the drain.
Yet, for the most part, the size of this theft margin is one factor that can affect whether they will charge you for a missing item. So, sometimes the hotel staff will let small things slide.
Nonetheless, though, bigger hotel chains are usually more forgiving.
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Which Items Can You Take?
There are some things that the hotel expects guests to take. For the most part, anything that they can not reuse for another guest, you can take home with you.
However, you can not take items that hotels wash and use again, like pillows.
Thus, it’s fine to take things like soap and most other hotel bathroom amenities because hotels throw them away when you leave. In fact, room service may give you new hotel toiletries every day, so there are plenty of unused toiletries to keep.
Also, for hotel rooms with coffee makers, you can usually take creamer and sugar for free, but check for signs saying you have to pay. Not all hotels regularly give things away for no charge, so you may even get in trouble if you try to take free breakfast items with you.
You just need to pay attention and always check hotel policies before you take anything.
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What to Do if You Want to Take a Pillow?
Whether you think you’ll get caught or not, it is usually better to ask the hotel staff if you can take a certain item like a feather pillow or their throw pillows. By asking, you will know if you can take something without any extra charges.
Additionally, many hotels can sell you most hotel-grade pillows or their own actual pillows. If they can not, though, they will know where you can get the pillows widely used in hotels or a similar alternative pillow.
Similarly, they can also tell you how they keep their pillows extra fluffy so you can take that knowledge home with you.
Overall, whether you are staying at the Hilton Kingston or the Motel 6, you likely can not take any pillows home with you without an extra charge. But, thankfully, there are some items you can take when you leave, like soap, lotion, and slippers.