Abstract Relationships between subjective perception of indoor air quality, building characteristics, indoor exposures, and personal factors were studied in 225 female Swedish hospital workers. The prevalence of weekly complaints to do with dry air was 87% for air dryness, and 36% for static electricity. Such complaints were more common in new and well ventilated buildings. The sensation of air dryness was also more common in buildings with damp concrete slabs. In contrast, complaints about odours and stuffy air were most prevalent in old buildings with a poor outdoor air supply, and not related to building dampness. Complaints about odour were, however, more common in buildings with higher relative air humidity. Complaints of noise were related to measured noise (55 dB(A)) from the ventilation system. The high complaint rate, particularly of dry air, shows a need to improve the indoor environment in hospitals.