Guest bedroom essentials for a comfortable night’s sleep – how to make guests feel welcome

These five guest room essentials are a must if you want your guests to sleep well in your home

A cozy bed in neutral colors with a large table lamp beside it, and a bench with a cup of coffee and an open magazine
(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

When it comes to planning out a guest bedroom, it is easy to pick out the basics – a bed, some storage, and good lighting, and leave it at that. 

However, if you want your guests to sleep well and be comfortable when staying in your guest bedroom, you need to go beyond offering them the best mattress and best pillows.

These are the five guest bedroom essentials you need to include to accommodate your guests comfortably. 

Guest bedroom essentials 

These five guest room essentials don't just make the space physically comfortable; they help to make a guest room feel more homey, encouraging them to relax and feel welcome in your space.  

1. A good quality mattress and pillows

Leesa x West Elm Mattress on a bed.

(Image credit: West Elm)

'The most important guest bedroom essentials to make a bed look cozy are the right mattress and pillows. While you can't pick a mattress that will perfectly suit everybody's sleeping preferences and positions, you can still invest in high-quality, breathable materials and take good care of them,' says Lauri Leadley, Founder and sleep educator at Valley Sleep Center.

‘I treat my guest room as I do my own bedroom,’ she explains. ‘I recommend starting with the mattress – buy the best one you can afford. Don’t treat the guest bed as an afterthought. Buying a quality mattress may cost more, but since it won’t sleep on every night, it’ll last longer than the eight-year “life of a mattress.” A good mattress lends support, comfort, and coolness.’

When picking out pillows, it can be helpful to offer a few different options to allow your guests to choose from. A firmer option and a softer option should help to accommodate everybody. Besides offering variety, Lauri also reminds us that washing pillows between visits is important to keep your guests comfortable. 

‘Pillows harbor a lot of gross things like dirt, saliva, oils, sweat, bacteria, mold, makeup residue, and fungi, and these only build up more and more over time,’ she warns.

Lauri Leadley

Lauri is the founder and President of Valley Sleep Center, one of the largest independent sleep diagnostics centers in Arizona with the facilities to diagnose and treat a variety of sleep-related issues such as insomnia, sleepwalking, snoring, and more. The center has five locations in the Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, and Phoenix.

2. Incorporate dimmable lighting

Rattan table lamp with cream cone shade, placed on sculptural stone side table next to bed

(Image credit: Lights & Lamps)

'When planning bedroom lighting, including dimmable options is a great way to allow guests to tailor an otherwise alien space to their needs, making them feel at home and improve their sleep,' says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and Founder of Arsight.  ‘By introducing dimmable lights, guests will be able to set the mood they want, creating a calm atmosphere ideal for unwinding just before one goes to bed.’

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.

3. Add a humidifier

humidifier in living space

(Image credit: Alamy)

One of the simplest ways to sleep better is to use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and prevent dry airways. Ideally, you should have one in both your personal and your guest bedrooms, says Lauri Leadley, sleep educator.  

‘If I were to choose one thing to equip the guestroom with that may be a little unexpected, it’s a humidifier. Moisture in the air can alleviate dryness in the skin, eyes, throat, and nasal passages, making the indoor environment more comfortable. 

‘Dry air can irritate the respiratory system, especially for individuals with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions.’

Of course, if your home suffers from high humidity levels, you may wish to skip this step and instead opt for an air purifier to improve the air quality of your guest bedroom. 

You can always pair your humidifier with lavender essential oils and calming scents. As long as you don't burn candles whilst you sleep, they can really help your guests to feel at-home. We'd recommend Eym's triple wick candle. It's called Rest and is a blend of calming camomile, soothing lavender, and warming sweet orange.

Eym Rest Candle | View at Eym

Eym Rest Candle | View at Eym

You can't beat this natural blend of essential oils and soy wax for setting a soothing tone in your guest room. Eym has blended lavender, chamomile, and sweet oil to curate a calming fragrance. It's beautiful but don't leave it unattended.

4. Invest in good quality bedding

A neutral bedroom with thick comforter

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

You shouldn't reserve your best bed sheets for just your own bed, urges Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer. ‘One should invest in high-quality bedding with breathable materials and a good thread count that promises softness and comfort. A thread count between 300 and 500 is desirable for balancing lavishness and coziness, perfect for helping your guests sleep comfortably.  

5. Consider a sound machine

'Even if bedroom soundscapes aren’t for you, offering your guests the choice of using a sound machine (especially if you live in a loud or busy area) can make them feel more comfortable when sleeping in a strange place,' suggests Jack Dell’Accio, CEO and Founder of Essentia Mattress. A sound machine will help drown out any noises you may be accustomed to that guests may find bothersome.

‘Adding a sound machine to the guest room that can offer your guests several choices such as ambient music, white noise, or pink noise is a great addition to the room and can help your guests feel more relaxed when it’s time to go to bed.’

Hatch Restore Sound Machine Sunrise Clock
View at Amazon

Hatch Restore Sound Machine Sunrise Clock
View at Amazon
This combination of a sunrise alarm clock and sound machine is one of the best ways to improve your bedroom for sleep. It is also rated one of H&G's best sunrise alarm clocks.


What do you put in a guest welcome box? 

When putting together a guest bedroom box or tray to welcome your guests into your home, it helps to put a few essentials out for their stay, such as some toiletries, towels, or a nice lavender pillow spray to help them relax. It can also be helpful to include a set of house rules or instructions for using appliances if they will be staying for a while and a copy of the wifi password.  

How do I stock my fridge for guests? 

If you are expecting guests, it can be helpful to stock your fridge with foods and drinks you know they like so that they have plenty of snacks available. This is especially important if they have dietary restrictions. If you are unsure what they like, ask them – they will appreciate the effort.  

Although not essential, it can also be helpful to include a linen or room spray to help your guests relax. Picking out a spray or candle to make your bedroom smell good for sleep will let the guest work to their preferences, so nothing is overwhelming.   

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.