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7 Tips for Hosting Overnight Guests

Leesa Mattress review

Three years ago, we got our first Leesa mattress, and it was a game changer. We loved it so much that, shortly after, we decided to get another one. It lives in Anton’s bedroom, but whenever guests come, we kick him out and convert it into a guest room. No matter who stays over, they always go crazy over how comfortable the bed is. To that end, here are seven tried-and-true tips for hosting overnight guests…

Leesa Mattress review

1. Light It Up. Right before the guests show up, I’ll turn on the lights in the room, as well as the lights leading up to the room, and make sure everything is in place for their arrival. It sounds like such a small thing, but it’s so nice to walk into a warm, welcoming space.

2. Hairdryer FTW. To make the room extra comfy, we try to round up any amenities they may need. I always include towels of multiple sizes, a carafe of water (ours is from Ikea), a spare phone charger and a hairdryer. We also often leave out a white noise machine because our boys can be rowdy in the mornings!

Leesa Mattress review

3. Fresh Flowers. You know that feeling when someone gives you flowers, and whenever your eye lands on them, it makes you feel a little more loved? Placing a bunch on the bedside table adds a nice pop of color, and gives your guests that same “happy-to-have-you” feeling. We usually choose one or two kinds from the corner bodega, and eucalyptus bundles also smell great and last forever.

4. Frame It. Okay, this might sound a little nuts, but every time we’ve done this, our relatives have laughed and loved it. So, here goes: If someone close to you is visiting, find a framed photo of them around the house (we have so many of my parents and siblings, for example) and put it on the bedside table. It makes it really feel like their room!

Leesa Mattress review

5. Bedtime Reading. Consider picking out a couple different books you think your friends might enjoy and place them out in view. Essays or short stories are good choices, as they’re the perfect length to read before bed or when they have a spare moment, without committing to finishing an entire book.

6. Get Up and Go. If your guests are independent or staying for a while, you can always offer a spare key, so they can come and go as they please. Along with the Wi-Fi password, you could write down a list of nearby spots, like where to get an early morning coffee, or any personalized suggestions, like a playground or running path.

Leesa Mattress review

7. A Truly Comfortable Bed. But at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is a comfy place to lay your head. In our apartment, the Leesa mattress is the highlight. It has three layers of premium foam (for cooling, breathability and body contouring) and is designed for all types of sleepers. Our mattresses have held up amazingly well after three years of sleeping on them. They’re still as comfortable as the first night.

Plus, if you share a bed with a restless sleeper (I’m looking at you, Alex), the memory foam means that you won’t be bothered by each other’s movements. We really love these mattresses so, so much; I highly recommend them.

Leesa Mattress review

Leesa is a direct-to-consumer mattress company that is also socially conscious. For every ten mattresses sold, Leesa donates one to a shelter — with more than 30,000 donated so far. They also plant one tree for every mattress sold. You can try a Leesa mattress at home for 100 nights to see if you like it; and shipping is always free.

Bonus for all readers: Leesa is offering $160 off Leesa mattresses and $235 off Sapira mattresses when you enter code CUPOFJO using this link.

What would you add? Do you have any tips for hosting house guests? Have you ever tried a Leesa mattress?

P.S. The #1 item you need for house guests and three great gifts for hosts.

(Photos by Julian Wass and prop styling by Kate Jordan for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Leesa, whose products we’ve used in our home for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Emily says...

    Where did you find that extra wide night stand for the guest room? Trying to find one like that!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! it’s actually a children’s bookcase from land of nod (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore!)

  2. Lovely bed! Love the lamp too!

  3. Mary Allison Raper says...

    We have had a terrible experience with Leesa. Our first Leesa turned into a giant marshmellow six months after we received it. Super soft and uncomfortable. We asked to have it replaced due to its deterioration and they made us send them no less than 15 photos. The photos had measurements, pictures of us sitting on it etc. After two weeks of going back and forth I finally exchanged some tough words with our “inside” person and they replaced the mattress. Two months after it arrived we are having the same problems. We have followed their instructions to the letter and it has not worked out well. I wish we had bit the bullet and bought some thing like a Tempurpedic. Huger regret.

  4. Patricia Kaufman says...

    My guests love the luggage rack( like in hotels)I keep in their closet. Keeps the luggage off the bed and better than bending over to the floor. And, because my kids no longer live home, I’m able to give them a couple of empty drawers and closet space so their not living out of their suitcases.

  5. I like to give my guests a mug that they can take away with them as a little something to remember their stay.

  6. My aunties put tiny chocolates on the pillows before we arrive, which I love. But to be fair they also bake vanilla cake with dark chocolate icing before we get there too, so they’re consummate professionals;)

  7. Fern says...

    I have a little dish on the bedside table for jewlery, chapstick, watch, pen, whatever. Such a tiny thing, but everyone comments on it!

  8. Ellie says...

    Just finished hosting my husband’s college roommate, his wife, and their three boys under the age of 7! I think they liked the water carafes with their own glass by the bedside. Having a pack n play with a comfy extra foam mattress is great if you host little ones often. I leave several nice perfumes out in the bathroom in case ladies want to try something new. Jenga was a hit with everyone. We made a big breakfast with French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon. And took them out to lunch at the local lobster shack!

  9. Whitney Brieck says...

    Please let us know the source of that divine wallpaper!

    And thank you for this! I also leave out an iPhone charger for multiple phones/iPads. I can’t count how many times I’ve needed one myself when visiting others.

  10. Leslie says...

    My partner and I love hosting guests, but it can be tricky in our one bedroom condo in Seattle! Any tricks for making a living room/sleeper sofa situation feel more private and cozy?

  11. I LOVE all of your suggestions!!!

    Extra chargers is a genius gesture and framed photos of guests is so thoughtful.

    Thank you!

  12. Heidi says...

    Where is the great throw pillow from? I love it!

    • Stephanie Luo says...

      That’s a Block Shop Textiles pillow. They are the best! designed in LA, produced ethically in India.

  13. Abbi says...

    Love the framed photo tip!
    We have a pile of old Calvin and Hobbes anthologies on our guest room nightstand; it is amazing how many of our guests comment on them! Kids love the shenanigans, and adults have such fond memories of reading them in the newspaper (remember when?). Such a gentle way to ready to sleep.

  14. Sarah K says...

    I always make nachos when our overnight guests arrive. It is easy, quick, and it always seems to taste good to people getting off an international flight. And for picky kid guests I leave some plain tortilla chips that are not “contaminated” by cheese or beef.

  15. Louisa says...

    These tips are fantastic, and I love how gracious your readers are. I would also add fresh earplugs in a little decorative dish on the nightstand, since sometimes it is hard to sleep in an unfamiliar space, no matter how lovely. An eye mask can be nice too (if not too personal).

  16. Calla says...

    I live in a 300 square ft studio so hosting guests is a challenge (and takes up the only remaining floor space) but I love having visitors so I still try to find little ways to make it more comfortable (and easier for both of us). I make up my tiny spare mattress in advance and store it under my bed along with their towel so I can just pull the whole thing out when its time for bed (and slide it under the bed again in the morning). I also try to make sure there is a place for their stuff by putting out a folding luggage rack, a toothbrush holder and clearing some bathroom counter space. The only unavoidable thing is the necessity to go to bed and get up at the same time but we always find a way to make it work.

  17. Amanda says...

    My mom is an amazing host, and I realized that she does a lot of these things — flowers, magazines, supplies, light on. She also usually leaves a little treat like chocolates or nuts. I never lived in my parents’ current house, but “my room” always feels like just that — mine. My cousin is also a great host, with gorgeous furniture and fluffy towels, but what I like best is that her daughter (who is like a niece to me) always leaves drawings or other art for me on the dresser. So sweet!

    • Sasha L says...

      The chocolates from your mom and drawings from your niece are so sweet and thoughtful. Love these ideas.

  18. A life goal for me was to have an inviting guest room and I think I’ve done okay! I think my own extremely varied experience staying with people has fueled that desire.

    In my guest room I have a little welcome sign in a pedestal frame with wifi info on it, a spare house key, and I put a little basket stocked with snacks and a couple water bottles on the dresser. (I consider the kitchen always open to guests, but the convenience is nice.) I also have 4 varying types of pillows on the bed (fluffy, flat, etc) since everyone has their own preference for what makes a good pillow. I always leave an extra blanket at the foot of the bed since some people love layers/blanket weight and others do not. I keep a extra chargers and a couple extension cords in the nightstand drawers in case the wall outlets are too far away. I also have a guest robe on the back of the door, mostly because my mom is always wanting to borrow one when she visits. The nightstand lamps have smart lights with a few presets and a remote for easily cycling through them (our whole house has smart lights since that’s my man’s jam). There’s a nightlight in the hall bathroom, though this is as much for myself as it is for guests, haha. We have a tiny master bath so I use our hall bath as my main unless we have guests over. Then I clear out my essentials and let them have it — with shelf and counter space cleared but still stocked with shower necessities and hair tools.

    I actually have a Leesa mattress in my guest room too. It was mine and I really liked it, but my boyfriend didn’t love it, so we switched to the purple mattress when we moved in together and that has worked for us both. Leesa has been great for the guest room though.

    Also I love the idea of providing a list of nearby spots! There’s a couple great things walking distance from my house, maybe I’ll make a cute little map to add to my guest basket.

  19. Natasha says...

    Oh Jo – this is just lovely!! What an amazing host you are.

  20. Loesie says...

    Oh, how many times I’ve planned to convert my laundry room (aka ‘room with a pile of random dirty clothes all over the floor’) into a guest room!

    The only small problem is that we never have guests sleeping over (just a minor detail). Our country is so small, people just drive home after a visit.

    In my dreams, I have the prettiest, coziest and warmest guest room upstairs. But in real life, it will probably always be just a giant pile of dirty clothes.
    It’s like jumping into a big pile of leaves in the fall. But then tripping over a big pile of dirty clothes every. single. day.

    Maybe in my next life. Maybe I can come back as a big red cat and sleep on the bed in someone else’s guest room every. single. day.
    Someday.

  21. Abesha1 says...

    Nightlight in the bathroom! No one wants to turn on the light in the middle of the night. And yes to turning on the lights in the bedroom lights before they arrive, and water by the bed.
    I have a Leesa and I love it; soft but not squishy. It stank for weeks, though! It’s great for cosleeping because you can easily roll away after the nursling latches off… not that I do that …. Haha 😁

  22. Depending on the time of year, I like to either leave a few extra light blankets and/or a fan in the room in the event they’re a cold/hot sleeper.

  23. Kate says...

    Hi Joanna,
    Where is your headboard from? It’d be perfect for my daughter’s first big girl bed. Thank you!

  24. Abesha1 says...

    Nightlight in the bathroom. No one wants to turn on the light in the middle of the night! And yes to turning on the bedroom lights before they arrive, and water by the bed.

    I have a Leesa and I love it. Soft but not too squishy. It stank for weeks, though, which was awful! Great for cosleeping because it’s easier to roll away from a nursling after they latch off. 😁 not that I do that hahaha….

  25. Emma says...

    I always feel awkward *being* a guest… and like to have something to do to feel useful. I stayed with a friend in Sweden two times and she really understood this the second time around and would include me in things–like helping to make breakfast (juicing citrus, scrambling eggs, etc.). It felt great to feel like I was contributing! I try to think of things like this for other people to do when they visit–people like to feel involved!

    I also think it’s nice to set out tea/coffee supplies clearly so they don’t have to rummage around in cupboards to be able to make themselves a hot cuppa. Particularly important if you have roommates because your guests probably won’t know which stuff is yours/shared! There is a whole ‘nother post worth on how to host guests when you live in shared housing…

  26. Em says...

    I always appreciate when there is something to read in the bathroom. And some matches…

  27. Andrea says...

    coffee maker on a timer! that way you can set it up the night before and nobody has to tip-toe around the kitchen trying to figure out the all-important coffee situation :)

  28. Amanda says...

    I love having people stay at our apartment in Chicago. Mainly because we clean like crazy before and I’m not used to seeing our place so shiny :)
    I used to do more of these “flowers and pictures” things. But honestly the only things I plan now are:
    -Showing them the linen closet and the toiletries in the bathroom and saying “use whatever you want and however many towels you want”
    -Showing them the pantry, bar, and fridge, same as above-eat and drink whatever you want!
    -Trying to wake up earlier than them and make them coffee. This is easy for everyone expect my mother. She is always up before me and I have to accept that.
    -I ask them how many pillows they need to sleep with. I use 4 (I know it’s sad) and I’m always grateful when I can have more than 2 pillows!! I will sacrifice one of mine for a guest because I’m nice.

  29. KL says...

    Just a hint for anyone who has a guest staying on the couch- we bought an inexpensive (but good) twin size memory foam mattress and cut it to the size of the couch. When a guest comes over, we take the back cushions off, put the memory foam on the seat cushions and wrap the foam mattress and seat cushions in a twin size fitted sheet (it’s a little big but does the job). Then give a flat sheet, pillow, and a blanket. It makes sleeping on a couch WAY better. When we’re not using the foam mattress, we keep it folded in a bag along with the sheets under our bed until we need it.

    • Amanda says...

      SO SMART!

  30. Christine says...

    My mom always puts some bottled water in her guest room. It is a nice touch and great for a quick drink!

  31. Emily says...

    My best friend always cuts fresh flowers from her garden and leaves them in jelly jars around the room. It makes my heart swell every time.

  32. Anna says...

    Whenever I order from Sephora, I always take advantage of the free samples. I have a little crystal dish filled with samples of face wash, moisturizers, etc. for guests who might unexpectedly stay after a few too many glasses of bubbles (or expected guests who want to try something new). I also keep the free toothbrushes, floss and toothpastes we get from our dentist so we always have them on hand in case they were forgotten.

  33. JenMarie says...

    Someone once gave me great advice for transitioning a toddler into a big bed. Pool noodles! You put them under the fitted sheet on either side of the bed and the ridges they make create a cozier, safer sleep space. It can be as narrow as a crib and then you can gradually widen the noodles — and the space — as you want (and easily remove them when guests come to stay).

  34. Samantha says...

    Please tell me about that bedside table!!

    • Jax says...

      Yes, please!

    • Elysha says...

      I had this same question!!

    • Kathleen McClean says...

      Me, too! I was just coming on to see if anybody had already asked!

    • jessica says...

      I am also dying to know where I can find this item!

    • J says...

      Same!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh thank you!! it’s actually a child’s bookcase from land of nod — they’ve now merged with crate and barrell and sadly it’s not available anymore. thank you for asking! xo

  35. Mouse says...

    I put the Wifi password in a small standing frame with a pretty colored background, as if it’s a picture. It never gets lost, and makes everyone smile.
    We have a small-ish guest room; no closet. So a luggage rack and a large bookcase and a pull-down hook for hangers does the trick in the small space.

    I know everyone uses their phones now, but I still keep a small analog alarm clock: Braun is great.

  36. Great tips! But I won’t make them feel so comfy, I am afraid they will never leave! Joke! We have our relative visiting us every two months so those tips are welcome!

  37. STEFANIE FARQUHARSON says...

    i love this post; i dream of more house guests.

    do you mind me asking where the side table is from? i love it!

  38. Maggie says...

    What a sweet post! I love the picture frame idea :) And the recommendations for “get up and go” made me laugh – my bf needs coffee within .02 seconds of waking up, so if we’re traveling, we make sure to scout out Where Is Caffeine before we go to bed – sometimes that’s just setting up the kitchen, other times it’s finding a local shop! One quick q – where is that awesome bedside table from? Thanks!

  39. Sarah says...

    We just moved across the country last week with a blank slate (no furniture!). Because mattresses are so expensive, we decided to start with a Leesa, then in another couple months we will buy ourselves another mattress and this one will go into the guest room. I have to say, even though our Leesa is just on the floor right now, and it’s only been a week, it is amazingly comfortable and I can get out of bed and my partner doesn’t even stir!! I’ve been pretty impressed with it.

  40. Tory says...

    The Leesa is so good, it ruined us for other beds when we go on vacation.

  41. patricia blaettler says...

    This can work for guests, especially kids: we got a new apartment in a different city; for our first night (with no furniture) we slept on the chaise lounge cushions which we had brought from home directly on the concrete floor. With a sheet, a blanket and a pillow it was surprisingly comfy.

  42. Where is the link to the Goddard-Williams AirBnB?! :)

  43. Beth says...

    We just bought a Leesa mattress last week and I couldn’t recommend it enough! LOVE it!

  44. Elizabeth says...

    I would love to see suggestions for how you make adult furniture work well for a child’s room! We also have been thinking about how we could mindfully design our child’s room to hold guests when they visit, since we don’t have an extra space. Do you have a tour posted of his bedroom?

  45. I love to cook and bake, so especially during the colder months, I’ll bake scones fresh in the morning for breakfast. Or maybe make pancakes or waffles. All from scratch and I’ll usually seek their input to personalize the flavors for them.

  46. great thanks for this suggestion.

  47. Irene says...

    Can anyone with a Leesa talk to me about how firm the mattress is? We love our very firm high-end mattress, but may want to change from a Queen to a King, and change brands in the process. But, I do not care much for “sinking into” my bed in any way… Thanks!

    • Katie Larissa says...

      We have a King Leesa. I think it is firm, per usual with memory foam mattresses. I don’t sink in much (aside from like natural tiny sinkage that occurs when you’re lying on something besides a wooden board!) my husband of course sinks a bit more, because he is taller and heavier. But it is still minuscule. I think a lot of the bad reviews/complaints we heard about the Leesa when we were searching for a mattress was that it was too firm. So if you like firm, I think you’d like it.

    • Zee says...

      I prefer the Casper to the Leesa in terms of firmness. We got the Leesa initially but it was too soft, and swapped for the Casper.

    • Abby says...

      We bought the Leesa and then ended up returning it because it was not firm enough for our standards. We ended up going with Nest which is MUCH better.

    • Melissa says...

      We have two full sized Leesas for our kids and the mattresses do run a little warm for us. (I normally run cold but not on these mattresses). Very comfortable. Yes, they do have a smell at first but does dissapate and completely gone after a few weeks. If you like to sit on the side of your bed, know that these are not rigid like traditional mattresses. Big plus that it was delivered to our door.

    • Mary Allison Raper says...

      SUPER SOFT. It’s the worst mattress I have ever had.

  48. Christina says...

    American Leather makes very comfortable sleeper sofas. The beds don’t have any bars or springs and lay perfectly flat. They make couches under their own label and also for Room and Board (and probably others). If you buy an American Leather couch you can also customize the mattress type including Temper-Pedic or memory foam (only one option with Room and Board). In the end we went with Room and Board because of the couch style and couldn’t be happier. We have guests at least once a month so it gets lots of use and makes the cost worth it for us.

  49. May says...

    Does anyone know if the Leesa is treated with fire retardants? As I understand it all memory foam is made from polyurethane which is flammable. I feel that is important to research especially for a child to sleep on.

  50. Susan says...

    I also LOVE the smell of eucalyptus. My husband, not so much. Shortly after we got married, I put a eucalyptus wax in our scentsy. He came home, sniffed a couple times, and asked why the house smelled “like cat piss”? Hahaha.

  51. NuclearSister says...

    I love the suggestion to put a framed photo on the bedside table, that’s hilarious. Love it and will be using it!

  52. Patricia Kaufman says...

    My guests love the bathrobes I hang in their closet. Even though their bathroom is private, the robes are nice for lounging or using our hot tub.

  53. KL says...

    My mom always leaves flowers for me in her guest room when I visit her, just like her mom did for her. I can’t have flowers in the house (two cats and nearly $10,000 in vet bills taught me that really quickly), so I always get a small artisan soap and leave it on the towels. Then, the night before a guest leaves, I give them a little baggie to take the soap home in. People rarely get themselves nice soap, it costs less than flowers (usually $5), and gives a guest a small feeling of luxury/ pampering.

    • Heather says...

      This is charming!

    • Erin says...

      When we went to visit my parents recently, my mom said “We got you flowers, but they’re in the shower so the cat won’t eat them.” Sure enough, the shower stall (which has a glass door) had a huge bouquet of flowers in it. It was pretty hilarious. (And nice soap sounds like a *much* more practical solution to this problem.)

    • Jess. says...

      I love this whole thread. Giving the pretty soap away at the end of the stay is a sweet idea. Flowers in the shower stall makes me smile. xox

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      beautiful soap + flowers in the shower. yes :)

  54. SFord says...

    Definitely a set of keys so they can come and go if they wish, an open invitation to help themselves to anything to eat and drink in the fridge/kitchen, a couple of ‘coffee table’ books of photos of the local coastline (especially if they have not visited before), little lidded glass jars containing cotton buds, cotton wool pads, also a pen and paper in the bedside drawer

  55. Karen T. says...

    It’s always the little things that means so much. My best friend has a sweet little round chalkboard that sits on a tiny easel on the bedside table and she always writes a welcome message for me when I visit. I always look forward to seeing what loving (or crazy!) message is waiting for me.

  56. Biv says...

    I read years ago (possibly on your blog!) To have a plunger in plain sight in the guest bathroom. I kid you not, the one time I didn’t have one in the guest bath, our guests faced an issue (it was a new bathroom and new toilet). Borderline embarassing for all parties… now I put it next to the toilet, no matter how un-glamorous, when guests stay.

  57. Inês Calisto says...

    Hi Joanna,
    Thank you for the great tips!
    I love doing that kind of things for our guests, even for anyone who’s just spending the evening with us. Tonight we’re hosting a couple of friends with their 15-day old baby and I already prepared a nursing chair filled with pillows for the mom in our bedroom, in case she needs it :)
    I consider that kind of gestures a way of showing our love.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, a nursing chair! i would have been so grateful for that as a new mom. you sound like such a nice friend.

  58. Lindsay says...

    Maybe do a post about how to be a good guest too! One time we had a guest visit us and wow was she good, she brought me homemade bread first of all, so sweet, then after she left I found another gift and thank you card! I was so impressed and it made me want to be that kind of guest!!

    • Johanna says...

      I second that request :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that she left the gift and card instead of presenting them to you. it feels even more special.

    • TC says...

      The best guest stay in a hotel. :P I kid…but not really.

  59. Lisa says...

    A coffee and tea station with cute mugs (if you have regular guests like grandma and grandpa get photo mugs made with their photo with the grandkids on them), sugar packets, creamer, tea bags, stirrers and have the coffee set to brew!

  60. Lauren S. says...

    I do the same with frames in our guest room! My husband laughs every time we have a new guest, but they ALWAYS mention how much they love it. I’ve got a good collection going in each frame. Layers upon layers of faces. Ha!

  61. JenS says...

    A mattress is so personal. I got a Leesa and did not like it and gave it away!
    I’m all about toiletries, flowers and city guides/coupons where I live

  62. Meg Sanders says...

    I put a pretty little bowl or tray out on the nightstand or dresser for earrings, watches, loose change, lip balm, etc.

  63. Paige says...

    We have a Leesa and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. We originally had a Tuft & Needle (now our guest bed) and it was quite firm. The Leesa has been perfect for us! I can’t recommend it enough!

  64. Fay says...

    I’m so curious-and maybe you answered this in a previous post?-but do your children sleep in full size beds? We have a queen size bed in my toddler’s room and bring him in our room when we have guests. Trying to figure out what to do when it’s time to transition out of the crib…I kind of want to keep the queen size bed, and make that his bed. But I don’t know if that will be too big…just curious! (And, clearly, a pretty clueless first time mom :)). Thanks!

    • Amy P says...

      I have a 7yo, 5yo, and 3yo – I’d say keep the queen! It gives you flexibility with guests, plus letting you sleep with your toddler comfortably when the inevitable bad dreams come.

      As for too big – unless it’s so high that it’s tough for your toddler to get in and out of safely, I think a big bed is great! If one edge is against the wall (at least when your toddler is the one using it), they’ll be much less likely to fall out as well. My only hesitation would be the height of the bed.

    • Kate says...

      Keep the queen! You or Dad will inevitably find yourselves sleeping in what ever bed your child sleeps in – bad dreams, etc. etc. In our family the need for comfort from Mom and Dad in the night usually occurs when there are other stressors at work on the family… parents under pressure at work, tough times at school, etc. It is at these time that everyone (especially Mom and Dad) need a good night’s sleep to function well the next day ! A queen bed, with room for two to sleep well,goes a long way to ensuring everyone can get a good night’s sleep!

    • Loesie says...

      Hi!

      I don’t know what kind of bed you have, but if you have one with a low frame on the sides, you can screw an IKEA guardrail onto the frame right by where the head pillow is. It’s definitely given me peace of mind.
      And yes, I’d say keep the big bed.
      I’ve thrown out my old big bed and still regret it years later.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! anton sleeps in a queen, and it’s SO great for hosting guests. it’s also great for piling in for reading books at night (the whole family can fit comfortably) and for the boys to sleep together when they want to (which is usually every night) or for us to sleep with him when he’s sick or upset.

  65. these are such thoughtful tips! i also like to make sure we have easily accessible snacks that our guests would enjoy on hand – especially if they’re coming from a different time zone or have traveled a long way to get here, they may be hungry when it’s not yet a meal time, and that way they can satisfy their munchies without much trouble. would love a new mattress, but am holding out hope that in our not-so-distant future we’ll be able to upgrade to a king size bed! right now everyone likes to pile in ours and with two kids and two cats, the queen is feeling a bit snug.

  66. May says...

    Have the password to your wifi in their room.

  67. Emaly says...

    Love these! The tip about the photos cracks me up, because whenever we would visit my grandmother, the guest bedroom always had our photos proudly displayed on the dresser. We thought we were so special- turned out she had stocked a drawer in the guest bedroom with family photos of all her children and grandchildren that she switched out depending on who was in town!

    • KL says...

      Grandmas are the cutest.

  68. Ace says...

    A Luggage Rack! Guests are blown away when they walk into our guest room and see one. Luggage rack, black-out curtains, and a plunger in the guest bathroom :)

    • Rachel says...

      I brought up the luggage rack idea to my mom when she was turning my childhood bedroom into a guest room, and people have loved it! It really makes the room feel like it’s waiting for you.

      I learned firsthand how necessary the plunger was when an old boyfriend stayed over and, well…noticed that I hadn’t yet bought one for my new apartment. (I was mortified, he was mortified, it was a whole Thing.)

    • Sarah says...

      Amen.

  69. Nisha says...

    We just bought the Leesa a couple of months back when we “upgraded” to a king-sized bed (for extra long snuggles with a 6 and 3 year old who are growing too fast). This mattress is life-changing!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad you like it, too!!

  70. Chris says...

    I need to replace my daughter’s mattress and I am seriously considering the Leesa. When I order from a traditional mattress store, there is the option for them to pick up the old mattress. What do you do with your old mattress when you order one online like this?

  71. Emily says...

    Would you mind sharing a link to your house tour? I can’t find by searching and want to see the source for the bed. Thanks!

  72. Bryn says...

    Great post! Where are the bedside tables from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the white bedside table is from land of nod ages ago — now they’ve merged with crate & barrel and don’t seem to sell that one anymore, unfortunately!

  73. Rebekah says...

    I’m totally going to use these ideas! We have a good number of guests and I know if I were a guest, these would make me feel so thought-of.

  74. Amy says...

    Maybe I’m not a good hostess, because these lists for overnight guests seem kind of way over the top, over achieving hostess lists.

    • Nuzhat says...

      I agree. Sometimes the aspirational stuff gets to be a bit too much.

    • Amen!! This sounds like running a hotel, which I’m not. When I’m a guest at someone else’s house, I try to be as low maintenance as possible and bring everything I need. It also makes me feel uncomfortable to feel too fussed over in someone else’s house. I don’t like to think I’ve put someone out more than merely invading their home already does.

    • Amy says...

      I think good hostess can happen in a few different ways. In my case I’m not great at setting people at ease (my nature is too anxious). My husband is great at it.

      So I tend to be super thoughtful in the little touches where they’re staying so they’re comfortable, and my husband wouldn’t think of those things but is a great conversationalist and up for adventures. Both are great in different ways! And obviously different guests will appreciate different things, but hopefully all will be gracious with whatever you’re able to offer.

  75. Nancy says...

    Lots of empty hangers in the guest-room closet; at least one empty dresser drawer; and one of those foldable luggage racks (available from Amazon), some of which have shelves in the bottom for shoes, etc. For guests who like to explore/shop on their own, up-to-date schedules for public transportation.

    • Emmie says...

      Ooh, I always forget empty hangers!

    • Lauren E. says...

      YES empty hangers and closet space if possible! My husband and I visit his aunt every year and she is a borderline hoarder, and even her guest room closet is PACKED with stuff. We just know now not to pack anything that needs to be hung up.

  76. Ann says...

    Hi there, when does that mattress offer expire? I have my sister and brother inlaw along w their 12 and 14 yo girls visiting for Chrismas through the day afterMew Years…I was considering buying Casper Mattress es near the time of their coming. Casper had stuck in my head bc you had reccommended them a few years back..or am i going daft and imagining it? Also if any readers has tips for 2 youn girls’ activities I would be v grateful.

  77. Carol Wayne says...

    Where is the wonderful nightstand from??

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note! it’s a child’s bookcase from land of nod a few years ago xo

  78. Adel says...

    Go to Target and get a few of everything in the travel sized toiletries section. That way you have individual sized items (think mouthwash!) and whatever they may need is there…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a good idea! thanks, adel!

  79. Is there a good recommendation for a mattress that can be stored most of the time but set up as additional beds on the floor if guests arrive? (Something like the Japanese futon ones which can be stashed away during the day?) I live in a 3 bedroom house and find that when a large group of people visit, someone ends up on the floor (it is me, mostly because my dogs love it). But I would like some ideas for such mattresses that can be stored and are great for sleeping on!

    • Sally says...

      We do this with a cheap IKEA foam mattress and a memory foam topper to go on top. When not in use, we roll them up and tie them together, then store them on end in a closet. Ours are tied with extra network cables, because that’s what we have a lot of, but bungee cord would be ideal. It’s way more comfortable than an air mattress, was a similar price, and we love that it tidies away.

    • gfy says...

      An air mattress isn’t a new idea but some of the most comfortable sleeps I’ve had have been on a good air mattress. Get one that comes with an electric pump, and definitely use a mattress topper because it makes a huge difference in comfort even when the mattress is ‘flocked’ to prevent slippery sheets. Then just deflate and store. They’re tremendously great to have on hand, plus you can use them for camping!

    • Amy says...

      Ikea has a nice looking wood daybed that pulls out into a queen (or double?) bed. It has two thinnish mattresses that can be unstacked to cover the enlarged space, or stacked to fit the daybed size. It also has drawers underneath for storing extra bedding. I’ve been tempted by it for a while! If you don’t want the daybed furniture, maybe just the stacking mattresses are a good idea? We have one of their Matrand mattresses on end in our bedroom against the wall…not classy, but at least the gray underside is similar to the gray paint in our room so it sort of blends in ;)

    • Samantha Zimmerman says...

      Air mattresses! For the longest time after I bought my house, I just put an air mattress in the bed frame in my guest room because I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a mattress when I don’t have overnight guests THAT often. After I got a new mattress for my own bed, the old one went to the guest room, and now the air mattress is folded up and stored under the bed!
      (Everyone always said the air mattress was very comfy and were surprised when I told them)

    • megs283 says...

      Do you have space against the wall to install a Murphy bed? We just put one in our guest room – that way it operates as an office/sewing room when guests aren’t staying with us. Wayfair also sells Murphy beds that don’t need to be installed – but they are quite large. It would be like having a chunky armoire when closed.

  80. Love these tips!

    I live in SF and I am currently hosting my parents all the way from India. I went all out on setting up the guest room. I left out extra charges, made shelf space, put up a few of my old paintings but what I loved putting together the most was a welcome basket. It was everything I know they would love & use. From fuzzy warm socks (yes, my mom gets cold at night), Bengay ( for long hike days) face masks & books (for rest days ), finest wine for my dad and down to their favorite treats including my mother’s #1 flavour of mint.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, your parents are so lucky! so sweet of you :)

  81. Leah says...

    Love these! Last time my mom visited, I put together a little basket in our guest room with a few toiletries, her favorite hand cream and some chocolate. She loved it. Also – an empty cup by the bathroom sink & empty space in the closet.

  82. Andrea says...

    That night table! I’m in love. Where is it from?

  83. kate says...

    I think you posted the info on the comforter already but would you indulge me? I love blue stripes. I want my entire life to be just blue stripes.

  84. Such good tips. I live in SF and I am hosting my parents for 3 weeks all the way from India. I went all out when setting up the guest room. Made extra shelf space, left out extra charges and the as the final touch I put together a welcome basket of goodies on the bed. The basket had all their favorite things from warm fuzzy socks ( yes, my mom gets cold at night), wine for my dad down to their favorite brand of mints. I also left a couple of face masks by the books for their they wake up late, read and chill days.

  85. Maggie says...

    Is this Anton’s new room? I love the wall paper! We’re moving to Philly next weekend and are thinking of making our office into a spare bedroom for guests – any sleeer sofa recommendations?

    • Ashley says...

      We have the same setup – sleeper sofa in our office for guests – and swear by this brand – American Leather Comfort Sleepers. https://www.americanleather.com/comfort-sleeper Our guests are so surprised by how comfortable it is. The mechanisms are patented and unlike any other sleeper sofa I’ve ever seen or slept on. Highly recommend. Oh and we’ve had ours for 6 years now and zero issues, still in awesome condition.

    • Christina says...

      I meant to post this as a reply to you and it somehow ended up in the general comments.
      American Leather makes very comfortable sleeper sofas. The beds don’t have any bars or springs and lay perfectly flat. They make couches under their own label and also for Room and Board (and probably others). If you buy an American Leather couch you can also customize the mattress type including Temper-Pedic or memory foam (only one option with Room and Board). In the end we went with Room and Board because of the couch style and couldn’t be happier. We have guests at least once a month so it gets lots of use and makes the cost worth it for us.

  86. Marie says...

    Looooove Leesa. We have the Sapira. I was just raving about it to friends over the weekend.

  87. Carrie says...

    I love every single one of these suggestions- pinning this post for sure!! And I wish I had heard about this mattress before we got our Purple (which I am also happy with) because it sounds amazing! Maybe I will just have to look into going the extra mile and spoiling all our future guests!

  88. Allie says...

    Who makes that wallpaper?! <3

  89. Tonia says...

    We recently upgraded our old queen-sized mattress to a king, and tried a couple different direct-to-consumer mattresses (Leesa was one of them) out before landing on one by Nest. We absolutely love it and are sleeping so much better (a real treat for two tired parents of a 2 year old). At the same, time we finally retired the menagerie of old sheets we had been using for about 8-10 years (since we first moved in together! My parents gave us all their old sheets and bought new ones for themselves) and bought a few sets of new ones. It made such a huge difference to how our bed felt…our whole bedroom suddenly felt like a fancy hotel room to us. We were like, “Why did we wait this long to get new sheets???” We then went and did the same thing with our towels, which, again, were donations from my parents when we bought our first house and were pretty tattered. I am all for using things until they’re worn out because I don’t like creating unnecessary waste, but those were two little upgrades that really improved our every day quality of life. It’s all about the little things when you’re busy and exhausted new parents.

    • Hani says...

      I second and third and fourth this!!
      About three years into our (now five year) parenthood journey…we’d become as tattered as our wedding present towels.
      One day I had an epiphany, and just up and splurged on a set of luxury bedsheets, ultra lux bath sheets, and two soft cotton waffle robes for myself and my husband. Every area of our life was(is) taxed to the max with child rearing and sleep disturbance—doing these ‘hotel’ upgrades just brings a little open space and exhale into our daily lives, like being generous hosts…to ourselves!

    • Meg says...

      I second this too! We recently did a towel refresh and the local animal shelter was happy to get the stash of our old ones! I agree, new towels did make it feel like we were at a hotel.

  90. Andrea says...

    My mom lives cross country from me and she’d come to visit and I put a cute photo of her two little dogs on the night stand. She was so thrilled and touched. She’s a widow and those two little dogs are her best friends and it helped her to have that photo nearby, which she took home with her. That little touch made her visit!

  91. Amy Weber says...

    Pretty room! I’d love to visit :-)

  92. Krista says...

    Where is your night stand from? It’s so lovely!

  93. Chris says...

    It is definitely time for me to replace my daughter’s mattress, and I am seriously considering the Leesa. With traditional mattress buying and delivery, there was always an option for them to pick up your old mattress. What do you do with your old mattress when you order one this way?

  94. Lauren E. says...

    A white noise machine! A thousand times yes. I know this isn’t technically in the actual guest room but I always bake something in advance of a guest staying. I’ve stayed with people before and have been starving, but don’t want to rife through cabinets or eat food out of their fridge. A plate of muffins on the kitchen table says “please eat me.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a sweet tip, lauren!

  95. Mallory says...

    I’d love to know where the white nightstand is from!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! it’s from land of nod, but sadly not in stock anymore.

  96. I love the “get up and go” suggestion! When I have people over, I always give them a set of keys and let them know it’s cool to go out on their own if they want!

  97. elle vals says...

    Where is that lamp from? I’d love to know!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for asking! it’s from west elm: http://bit.ly/2oMsEHC

    • Emma says...

      Same!

  98. Rissie says...

    Thanks you so much for this post! A friend is coming from France and she will be staying with me for two weeks. I have a one bedroom apartment (I’ll be the one on the couch) and these suggestions will help make us both a lot more comfortable. Merci!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how sweet of you to take the couch!