A No Brainer List: The Best Bedding and Mattress for your Airbnb

layered bedding mattress sheets Feb 09, 2024



Whenever I talk about furnishing an Airbnb I emphasize the importance of the mattress and bedding. Comfortable guests are well-rested guests, and well-rested guests are happy guests, and happy guests leave good reviews and recommend your rental to their friends and re-book for future visits. All crucial to the overall success of your rental business! 

If you need some inspiration for the design of the bed itself, head on over to this blog. Here, we're gonna talk about the way to achieve the highest levels of comfort for your Airbnb beds with the best mattress and bedding choices!

image above: West Elm


Let's start with the mattress...

When my family is going on vacation, I'll inevitably choose the Airbnb with the cutest design, and best reviews. I don't often think about bed comfort, but some people are obsessive about this. They'll look for specific comments in your reviews about the bed, or ask what specific brand your mattress is.

We once stayed at an Airbnb that did so many design things right! Window sill full of succulents? Check! Freshly renovated bathroom with antique clawfoot tub and super fluffy white towels? Check! Eclectic and original artwork all around? Check Check!!! 

Then we checked in and found it to be even more charming and full of character than the listing photos showed. I was happy, which means my husband was happy. Which obviously means the kids were also happy. It's a spiral effect, these things.

Then later, tired and happy from a busy day exploring, we crawled into the gorgeous hotel-like crisp white sheets in the master bed, and... it felt like laying on a mattress made of many large stuffed animals and a whole lot of ill-placed metal springs. Every time we moved it felt like being punched in the side with a spring-loaded spring. I went to summer camp every year as a kid, and I would have gladly taken one of those thin tiny mattresses over this monstrosity.

We survived, as you do. But it's the one reason why I chose not to leave a review at all. The place was stunning, clean, and really well decorated, with kind and responsive hosts but I had the worst night's sleep of my life. 

So moral of that story is: An uncomfortable mattress in a gorgeous Airbnb is like Polar Bear with no snow. It just doesn't work.

Bottom line? The guests who get the best sleep are always the happiest guests with the best 5-STAR reviews!

above image: Tuft and Needle


As an easy reference, check out the shoppable board below for my top mattress choices based on my experience as an Airbnb owner, designer, and guest... 

(All prices are for a standard queen-size mattress)


Nue by Novaform from $208  |  Tuft & Needle from $596  |  Nectar from $659  |  Casper from $845


image above: Pottery Barn


Now let's talk bedding...

The best bed has layers. What does this mean? It means choices. And choices mean happiness. It means more than just a top sheet and a heavy duvet. Do any other hot sleepers out there feel me on this?

Okay, listen, I know we need to be practical. For the sake of the planet and your quick turnover time, you can leave some of the layers folded neatly in the closet if you'd like. Then you only have to wash them if they're used.  

So here's my tip for creating the perfectly layered Airbnb Bed, with ultimate cleanliness and sanitation in mind! 

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5.6.


Let's break this down a bit further. 

  1.  Mattress Protector - I've used this one personally in my home and on various STR beds including my own. It's breathable, never sleeps hot, and doesn't sound at all crinkly under the sheets. 
  2. SHEETS! - I'm going to start by saying I'm a big sheet snob. I've been searching for YEARS to find the perfect sheets and I think I've finally done it. Sheets are so important for guest happiness, but you need quality at a reasonable price.  So, check out these arguably perfect sheets from FIX LINENS.  They are made of 100% long-staple cotton, with labels for easy sorting of your different bed sizes. This company was created by a couple who own short-term rentals. They get it. The best part, by following this link you'll get an extra discount applied at the checkout! I'd suggest sticking with white sheets no matter what. It's psychological: white sheets feel cleaner and studies have proven people do actually feel this way.
  3. A breathable cotton blanket is a great addition to your Airbnb bed, in my opinion, because it adds options for hot sleepers. (That's me!) I used to keep ours folded in the closet of our Airbnb and I would say about 30% of guests got it out and added it to the bed. This kept us from washing it unnecessarily.  Better for the planet, and better for our turnover time. Win-win!
  4. Quilts and Duvets - Now you can add a quilt and a duvet or just a duvet. From a practical standpoint, just a duvet is better because the cover is easier to wash than a quilt. But if you're running a super luxury joint, a quilt is a great addition! I love Pottery Barn's options, as well as West Elm's. I prefer to keep things fairly simple when it comes to color and pattern here, again going for that super clean hotel feeling. We went with this PB Essentials White 300 TC Sateen Duvet and Shams for our Airbnb and I can highly recommend it. It is SUPER soft and easy to wash. Also, check out Fix Linens duvet covers for a quick and easy zip-on and-off design. 
  5. Throw - Adding a throw at the end of the bed is always a fun way to add a splash of color or texture to the room. Target always has a good selection at a great price. 
  6. Pillows - How many pillows are too many pillows? Honestly, I get from a practical standpoint your Airbnb bed shouldn't have a million shams to wash. I think 2 very soft breathable shams are a great addition to the 2 sleeping pillows on a Queen bed. If nothing else, just add two extra sleeping pillows with regular pillowcases, but do have at least 2 pillows per guest! We stocked up with various sizes and filling types from Walmart and scattered them around our rental. That way various types of sleepers have options. Who doesn't love options!? 
  7. Decorative Pillow - This finishing touch can add a nice splash of color and texture to the bed. Head to this blog to see my favorite pillow sources. Find your fav that works with your color scheme and call it done! (My current fave Etsy shop for ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and unique pillow covers is Bo And An Studio!

image above: Anthropologie


For more reading about gaining 5-star reviews from your guests, check out this blog: How to be like a hotel but better!

Happy Hosting! 

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