When it comes to Airbnb, there's a lot of rentable spaces you can list. The one main commonality between virtually all Airbnb's is a place to sleep. In part one of this hosting guidebook, we're going to go over the principals of getting the bed setup. Mainly geared towards a spare bedroom in your living house, but most of the same guidelines apply in most places.
Keep in mind though, nothing is set in stone. One of the founders of Airbnb started it for people to sleep on his couch. So if you don't have a big enough room to fit a queen bed in the middle, or you already own something that isn't exactly ideal, just go with what works for you. Most things will end up being replaced anyway. Every situation is different, and just because it's not exactly the same doesn't mean it won't work.
Having a queen-sized bed is ideal as most of the time you'll have at least two people staying. Kings are nice, but not necessary for most people, it might be too big for the room to allow for other furniture, and bedding costs a little more. You can do a full or a twin for single travelers, but a queen gives you a lot more opportunity for guests. If your room is big enough for a king, the extra bedding costs might be offset by the few extra bookings you'll get for people that prefer king-sized beds.
You do want the bed to be comfortable. You do not need a several thousand dollar fancy mattress setup, but something that people will appreciate sleeping on. If needed, get a memory foam mattress topper.
Another accessory that's more of a preventative measure is a mattress enclosure and mattress cover to help prevent stains, bed bugs, and smells from seeping into the mattress. This isn't a requirement, but a nice long term investment.
The bedframe doesn't have to be anything fancy. At least the metal frame to hold it off the floor and support the weight of heavier guests. Having a decent headboard and footboard will get you more bookings from the appeal in your pictures. If you have a bad looking headboard, you're better off not having one at all and just having the metal frame underneath. Otherwise, don't go overboard in spending too much as the ROI won't be worth it, and it doesn't detract from the guest experience.
When putting the bed in the room, you don't want to place the side of the bed against the wall if you can avoid it. You want both sides of the bed to be accessible for people to get in and out. So you want at least 2 feet on each side of the bed, or 3 feet if it will fit. This also leaves room for a nightstand on each side. This also gives room for bigger people to maneuver.
For the sheets for the bed, you actually don't want high-end fancy sheets for two reasons. First, you will be replacing sheets more often than you're used to so that can be expensive. Second, not everyone likes the feel of those sheets, especially if they're not used to it. You also don't want a super cheap 200-thread count sheet either, because you'll be replacing them way too often and again they're not that comfortable for a lot of people. Many hosts still debate what type of material to use for their sheets. Quality cotton, Microfiber, and Fleece can all work with different trade-offs. Check our Airbnb Host Supplies collection for current recommendations and notes as it will be updated as more experience is gained.
Sheet color is important not just for cosmetics. Some say have white sheets because you can bleach them to get them clean. That doesn't always work, and they stain really easily, so I tend to instead go with a slightly darker color like tan or grey or blue. Something that won't show those stubborn stains, still come clean easily and are cosmetically appealing. Don't get a really light color sheet or sheet with a pattern that has a lot of white or light colors in it. That's the worst type in that you won't be able to bleach them to clean them, and any little stain will stick out like a sore thumb.
I've found this Oxiclean spray to work really well for getting stains out.
Having a cosmetically appealing comforter set is important for getting more guests to book. Some people go for white so they can bleach them clean. Alternatively just like the sheets, just don't get something that will easily show the stubborn stains. Get something that will stand out amongst the listings in your area. If most listings in your area are white or grey or neutral-colored, go for something a bit more colorful. If most listings in your area are really colorful, get a neutral color comforter set. Standing out in the listings will help get more guests to book with you.
You should get a comforter set that has 2 pillow shams, at least one decorative small pillow, and a bed skirt unless you have a decent bed frame that completely covers the box spring.
You'll need at least 4 pillows for the bed. 2 for general use that the sheet set pillowcases go on, and should be a little higher quality. Another 2 for the pillow shams that can be cheaper basic pillows. Having 2 spare higher quality pillows is really nice to have, and just put them in the closet. Note that depending on what sheet set you buy, you may need to buy additional pillowcases for the spare pillows.
Where to buy and cost
There's nothing wrong with a used bed as long as it's in good shape. That's exactly what people are expecting, something that is similar to what you would have your guest room even if you're not running Airbnb. So check your local classified sites, craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, second-hand stores like Goodwill, Savers, DI, or others. Make sure it's a bed you would gladly sleep in every night if you were visiting somewhere. You can also piece it together, and get the mattress from one place, the box spring from another, and the bed frame from someone else. You don't have to get it all in one place.
Getting the bed is generally the largest thing you might have to transport that you may not be used to. So as a tip, you can rent a vehicle and/or trailer from Uhaul or some local equivalent. Most vehicles can haul a small 5' x 8' trailer, and it will work perfectly for transporting a bed.
For everything else with the bed, you'll pretty much want to go new. Searching for just slightly used doesn't save you enough to make it worth your time and gas, and there's a chance you won't find what you need. You'll also be replacing most of it at some point, so being able to get replacements is easier if you get it from a regular store. You can go to a discount or liquidation store, but otherwise Walmart, Target, Amazon, Costco, and other stores like that you'll be able to find what you need. Also check out our Airbnb Host Supplies Collection, which links to Amazon products in a nice organized way for hosts.
Just keep the principals outlined above in mind, and get something that works for your situation and preference, and you should be good.
These are some new cost estimates with links to our Airbnb Host Supplies links. What you find in your area may vary for used items too.
Interested in becoming an Airbnb host?
If you'd like to get started hosting, the first thing to do is sign up as a host. Use our referral code for extra earnings on your first reservation, and get started today.
Shop From Our Airbnb Host Supplies Collection
We've created a collection of supplies for Airbnb Hosts that link to Amazon product pages. It makes it easier to find what you need for your Airbnb.
Setup Your Airbnb Guest Account Today
Not even tried Airbnb as a guest yet? Use our referral code to setup your Airbnb guest and you'll get $40 off your first booking, and $15 off your first Airbnb experience. Total of $55 off your first adventure.