It’s clear that Airbnb has changed the way people travel. The company claims that there are over 6 million listings in more than 100,000 cities worldwide. This is no small feat.

Many people are choosing to make the move to Airbnb. However, they don’t realize how much it will cost to stay, especially when you consider cleaning and service fees. Cleaning fees are a common surprise for travelers and can significantly increase the cost of their stay.

How can we avoid these fees? Let’s take an in-depth look.

Airbnb vs. Hotels

Sustainability’s 2020 survey found that Airbnb guests preferred Airbnb to traditional hotels because of their price, location, and size. That’s fair. It is not difficult to see that apartments and homes are generally larger than hotel rooms. In any given city you will find a higher ratio of home to hotel, but it is worth considering how many homes can be rented through Airbnb.

What about the cost? You can find Airbnb accommodations that are much more affordable than hotels by renting from hosts.

NerdWallet crunched all the numbers to find that while hotels might be more expensive for a two-person party, it is still possible to save money. The savings are bigger for larger parties. An Airbnb party of six was 33% less than booking three rooms in a hotel (with two adults per bed span>).

The nightly rate is not the only thing that you will be paying for when booking an Airbnb room.

Why is Airbnb’s cleaning fee so high?

When you book an Airbnb, there are three types of fees. Airbnb charges a service fee. This fee is used to maintain the platform and offer service.

Your host will set and maintain cleaning fees. These fees do not have a fixed price. Rooms with a base rate of $85 per night can be found where cleaning fees vary from property to property. Simply put, these cleaning fees are not set in stone and hosts can charge whatever they want.

Airbnb claims that only 55% of hosts charge cleaning fees and that the average cost is less than 10%.

NerdWallet’s summer 2022 analysis of 1,000 Airbnb listings revealed that the average cleaning fee was $75. Although cleaning fees can vary from property to property and even between properties, the average cleaning fee was $75. This is compared to the cost of a single-night booking. A higher base rate means a higher cleaning fee. This is not always true. In our analysis, we discovered a property that was charging $1,000 per night and had no cleaning fees.

We also found that 14% had no cleaning fees, and 34% had a fee between 20% and 29.9% of the room price.

You may need to pay an occupancy fee depending on where you are staying. This tax is determined by the local government. These fees are not controlled by Airbnb or the host.

How to find and navigate Airbnb cleaning fees

While it is understandable that cleaning fees exist, how does this impact your search? You can expect to find a range of cleaning costs for your stay, ranging from $0 up to $150, depending on the host.

To find out the exact amount of cleaning fees that you will be charged, first search for properties on Airbnb. You can search for properties on Airbnb by entering your details, including the destination, number and dates of your travel.

After you have done that, Airbnb will display an interactive map showing a range of properties.

Here you can choose from a variety of filters, such as whether you want a private bedroom or an entire house. You can also choose your preferred amenities like washer/dryer sets, pet-friendly access, and step-free entry.


When filtering by budget make sure you leave some room to accommodate fees.

Airbnb doesn’t always make it clear what fees you will be charged. We found many options for Edinburgh properties that charged $85 per night for a week. Two of these properties were compared and, despite being charged the same nightly rate for a week, their total costs differed.

This is evident when you examine the breakdown of total cost. You can find the price breakdown by clicking on the cost number for each property, or by selecting the property to see a breakdown of the price information on its page.

After discounting for the week, the nightly rate on this property was $85 per night. The total price for a week was $775 due to a $112 cleaning fee and a $67 service fee.

The second property had no cleaning fee and no weekly discount. Instead, you would pay a flat fee of $85, per night, for a total $594 per week.

Even though these properties charge the same nightly rate, you will end up paying a substantial difference over the course a week. This is something to keep in mind when you are searching for properties. You can expect to pay a lot more for cleaning fees if you’re not careful.

Don’t let Airbnb’s cleaning fees ruin your trip or your budget

Airbnbs are very popular, but be aware of any additional fees that may apply to your booking. Depending on the property, cleaning fees can increase the cost of your Airbnb. To get the best price, keep an eye on these fees and look for properties that do not charge them.

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