Are you wondering why hotel guests put towels under their doors? You’re in the right place!

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: they do it to block light, noise, and smells from entering their room.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the reasons why people put towels under hotel room doors and explore some other useful hotel tips.

It’s important to note that while placing a towel under the door may provide some benefits, it is not foolproof and may not completely eliminate all disturbances or security concerns. Hotel security measures and locks should always be utilized for personal safety and peace of mind.

Privacy and Security

Have you ever noticed someone putting a towel under their hotel room door? This may seem odd, but it is actually a common practice among travelers looking to increase their privacy and security.

  • Preventing unwanted entry: One reason people put a towel under the hotel room door is to prevent anyone from entering their room without their knowledge. By placing a towel at the base of the door, it can make it more difficult for someone to slide a card or tool under the door to unlock it.
  • Feeling more secure: Additionally, travelers may put a towel under the hotel room door to feel more secure. While hotel rooms are generally safe, it is always a good idea to take extra precautions. By putting a towel under the door, travelers can feel more at ease knowing that they have taken a small step to increase their security.

It is worth mentioning that while a towel can provide some added security, it is not foolproof. If someone really wants to enter a hotel room, they may be able to find a way to do so. Keeping this in mind, it is still a good idea to take basic security precautions such as locking the door and using the peephole before opening the door to anyone.

On the other hand, some hotels have noticed this trend and have started offering door draft stoppers or “security strips” to guests. These items are specifically designed to provide an extra layer of security by preventing unwanted entry through the door gap. If you are concerned about hotel room security, it may be worth checking with the hotel to see if they offer any of these items.

Light and Noise Control

Have you ever wondered why some people put a towel under the hotel room door? It might seem like an odd behavior, but it actually serves a purpose. Let’s take a look at why people do it.

One of the main reasons why people put a towel under the hotel room door is to block out hallway light. Hotel room doors are often designed with a gap at the bottom, which can allow light from the hallway to seep in and disturb your sleep. By placing a towel at the bottom of the door, you can block out that light and create a darker sleep environment.

In addition to blocking light, a towel under the door can also help reduce outside noise. Hotel rooms can be noisy, especially if you’re staying in a busy part of town or near a highway. By placing a towel at the bottom of the door, you can create a barrier that helps muffle the noise and create a quieter sleep environment.

It is worth mentioning that noise and light are two of the biggest factors that can impact your sleep quality when staying in a hotel. According to a survey conducted by Sleep Foundation, over 60% of hotel guests say that noise is a significant problem that affects their sleep, while 34% say that light is a problem. Therefore, taking steps to minimize these factors can be crucial for getting a good night’s sleep.

Keep in mind, however, that not all hotel rooms will have a gap at the bottom of the door or be affected by light or noise. It’s always a good idea to assess your surroundings and determine if a towel under the door is necessary. On the other hand, if you’re a light sleeper or easily disturbed by outside stimuli, it may be worth packing a small travel towel just in case.

Odor Control

When staying at a hotel, it is not uncommon to see guests placing a towel underneath their room door. While it may seem like an odd behavior, there are good reasons for doing so. One of the main reasons is odor control.

Preventing smoke odor: Unfortunately, not all hotel guests follow the non-smoking policy, and some may choose to smoke inside their rooms. This can cause the room to have a strong smoke odor that can linger even after the guest checks out. By placing a towel under the door, the guest can prevent the smoke odor from escaping the room and spreading to the hallway or adjacent rooms. This is especially important for hotels that have strict non-smoking policies.

Reducing cooking smells: Another reason why guests may place a towel under the door is to reduce cooking smells. Some hotel rooms come with a kitchenette that allows guests to cook their meals. While this can be convenient, the smell of food can linger in the room and sometimes spread to the hallway. By placing a towel under the door, guests can reduce the smell of their cooking, ensuring that the smell does not disturb other guests.

If you are a hotel guest and you want to minimize the spread of odor from your room, it is worth mentioning that placing a towel under the door can be an effective way to do so. Keep in mind that some hotels may provide door draft stoppers or other devices that can serve the same purpose. Alternatively, you can also open a window or turn on the air conditioning to improve ventilation in the room.

Other Hotel Tips

Aside from putting a towel under the hotel room door, there are other hotel tips that are worth mentioning.

Using the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign

When staying in a hotel, it is important to use the “Do Not Disturb” sign especially when leaving the room. This indicates to hotel staff that the room should not be cleaned or entered while the guest is away. This is particularly important for those who have valuables in their rooms.

Keeping your valuables secure

It is highly recommended to keep valuable items such as passports, jewelry, and electronics in the hotel safe. Unfortunately, theft can occur in hotels, so it is important to take extra precautions to keep your valuables secure.

  • Remember to lock your door before leaving the room and when sleeping at night.
  • Use a luggage lock to secure your suitcase or bag.
  • Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.

Checking for bed bugs

Bed bugs are a common issue in hotels, especially in high-traffic areas. To prevent bringing them home with you, it is recommended to check for bed bugs before settling in. A quick inspection can save you from a lot of hassle and discomfort later on.

Signs of bed bugs How to check for them
Red or brown spots on sheets or mattress Check the seams and folds of the mattress and box spring
Live bugs or shells Check the headboard, bed frame, and nearby furniture

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By following these hotel tips, you can ensure a safe and comfortable stay during your travels.


Putting a towel under your hotel room door may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in your comfort and sense of security during your stay.

By following some of these other hotel tips, you can have a more enjoyable and stress-free experience wherever you go.

We hope this article has been helpful in answering your questions about the towel-under-the-door phenomenon!

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