Is your guest bedroom ready for visitors?

You’ve put a lot of effort and heart into decorating your home, but maybe you ran out of steam when you finally got to the guest room. Or, maybe you’ve decorated it but feel like it needs something more. Why settle for a guest room that’s only ok?

Think back to times you’ve stayed at someone else’s house (or even a hotel). There are usually some little things that would improve your stay. Do you ever tell your hosts about those things? Like most of us, you probably politely say how well you slept but secretly wish you had a different pillow that didn’t make your neck sore.

Treat your guests to a great stay by taking a few steps to transform that spare bedroom into a true getaway. Improvements can be simple and don’t have to break the bank.

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Assess Your Situation

The best way to figure out if your guest room is comfortable is to spend a couple nights sleeping there yourself.

Pay attention to the bed, lighting, storage, and where they might put their belongings. Listen for noise coming from the rest of the house as well. This will give you a good idea what and how much they hear from you after they turn in for the night.

If you find yourself crawling back to your own bedroom after the first night, improvements can probably be made for your guests.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s whip this room into shape.

Start with the Guest Bed

Although the bed is the most important part, many of us are guilty of shipping our old mattress off to the guest bedroom. If it’s still in good shape, it’s smart to reuse it, but it’s also best to avoid making your guests sleep on something you wouldn’t sleep on.

Montgomery’s Mattress 1st Manager, Clint Richards, recommends purchasing a medium to medium-firm mattress to appeal to a wide range of sleepers. A traditional coil mattress is the safest buy. If you have a regular guest, you might consider a mattress more to that single guest’s liking.

For most guest rooms with intermittent use, Clint recommends buying a mattress in a middle to low price range. However, if you end up sleeping in this room often because of a partner who snores or steals the covers, buy something closer to what you would sleep on in your master bedroom.

If you have a tight budget for guest room improvements, focus your money here. Your guests will appreciate the great night’s sleep more than anything else you do.

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Offer Bedding Options

When it comes to completing the bed, give your visitors options. The right pillows, blankets, and sheets blend together to make the secret sauce for a good night’s sleep.

Clint recommends a basic cotton sheet set for most guests. “Microfiber can sleep hot, and other materials like flannel may sound great to one guest and like a furnace to another,” he says.

If you know some of your regular guests love flannel sheets, keep a spare set ready. Always ask your guest their preference before putting anything other than cotton sheets on the bed.

Clint recommends providing medium-firm pillows or have multiple options handy. Make at least one option hypo-allergenic since some people have allergies you may not be aware of. If you can, provide two pillows per guest in case they like to sleep propped up (for those heartburn-y kind of nights).

Finish off the bed with a couple layers of lightweight blankets, a bedspread or a comforter. Layers offer your guest the ability to add more or less heat through the night, depending on their comfort level. Also, keep a couple extra blankets in the room in case they feel cold.

Now that the bed is comfy and cozy, focus on other guest room must-haves.

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Think About Organization & Electronics

You’ve arrived at your destination and you’re shown to the room you’ll be sleeping in. You notice right away the bedside table and lamp are not on your side of the bed. You like to read before going to sleep. Hard to do when the lamp is on the wrong side of the bed, especially if your spouse is traveling with you. Has this ever happened to you?

To solve this problem, put a nightstand or small table on both sides of the bed. Add lamps to each table that are tall enough to reach from the bed. Matching lamps will help tie together mismatched tables or bedroom furniture. No room for a table and lamp on both sides? Keep a clip-on reading light handy near the bed.

With tables and lighting are taken care of, give your guests options for organization so they don’t have to live out of their suitcase or keep their things on the floor. Put out a luggage rack, make space in the closet for hanging clothes, and add decorative but functional hooks to a wall or the back of the door to hang jackets, purses, or wet towels after a hot shower.

Finally, guests always come with one important little electronic: their cell phone. If you don’t have an outlet within easy reach of the bed, add an extension cord so they don’t have to crawl half under the bed to reach one.

Finish it off with Creature Comforts

For most guests, it’s the little things you do that really matter. Put a box of Kleenex along with a wastebasket in the room. Tuck a lint roller in a drawer. Add a night light for easy late-night navigation.

Add a basket filled with a couple bottles of water, a snack or two, lotion, aspirin, antacid, extra toothbrushes, and even some essentials for the ladies. I actually had a guest once with such bad heartburn in the middle of the night he went to the convenience store six blocks away for antacid because he couldn’t find where we kept it. See how great that basket of goodies would have been? I learned my lesson!

If your guest room doesn’t have a ceiling fan, offer a table-top fan for your guests to use. A lot of guests need air movement to sleep well. And the fan helps drown out household noise as well.

Guest Room Essentials Accomplished

Now that your guest bedroom is ready to make visitors feel at home, orient your guests to the room. Show them where to charge their phone and hang their towel, where the extra pillows and blankets are stashed, and how to get out if there’s a fire (especially if you have any doors or windows that are difficult to open).

After their first night, encourage them to share with you if they found a need for something that wasn’t there. And find out if they slept well or need something adjusted with the bed. Tell them you’re trying to get the guest experience just right in your home. They’ll be happy to help with recommendations if they have any.

Did we miss anything? Let us know if you have something special you do for your guests. And don’t forget to enjoy your time with them.