A new study has found that five- and four-star hotel rooms often have more bacteria than three-star rooms.
Travelmath went to nine different hotels to collect 36 samples of bacteria that can cause skin infections, pneumonia, respiratory illnesses and other sicknesses.
In the study, “Hotel Hygiene Exposed,” the hotel room surfaces that usually had the most bacteria included: bathroom counters, TV remote controls, desks and phones.
In four- and three-star hotel rooms, bathroom counters had the highest concentrations of bacteria, while five-star hotels had their highest count on remote controls.
Travelmath advises travelers to wash their hands, disinfect surfaces with antibacterial cleaners and place TV remotes in clear plastic bags before use.
“We’re definitely not trying to scare anyone,” Emily Pierce, a project manager for Travelmath, told Yahoo Travel. “We wanted to know just how many bacteria we could find on common surfaces in the hotel rooms.”
Travemath was surprised that three-star hotels tended to be less bacteria-ridden than their five- and four-star counterparts.
“That was definitely kind of a surprise for us, because the five-star hotels are known for those extra amenities, the extra service, the extra luxury,” Cristina Lachowyn, Travelmath's outreach manager, added.
“So one would assume that the extra money you’re spending for those extra stars would also go into housekeeping!”
(Note: None of the hotels pictured above are mentioned in the study, which doesn't name names)