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Part 2: How to be the Perfect Host – Sleeping Arrangements

Overnight guests need a comfortable, private (or semi-private) place to sleep, dress and relax. The ideal situation is a guest room outfitted with a comfortable bed as well as an accent chair and a place to read or simply relax. A guest-room bed should be queen size, if there’s room, and topped with a medium-firm mattress in good condition — that is, one you’d sleep on yourself, says Larry Killingbeck, national sales manager at Denver Mattress.

If you don’t have a guest room, consider a sofa bed and an attractive folding screen for privacy. The newest sofa beds sport air-bed technology, says Bruce Galbraith, national merchandise manager for Sofa Mart. After the user unfolds the bed, he or she starts an air pump that fills the mattress and shuts off automatically.

When purchasing a sofa bed with a traditional coil-spring or memory-foam mattress, make sure the mattress is at least five and a half inches thick for maximum comfort, Galbraith advises.

To add comfort, use a mattress pad; remove it and all bedding before folding the bed away.


Sleeper chairs with foam mattresses that fold out or with fold-out beds like those in sleeper sofas are a good option when space is limited. Futons’ firmness best suits them for young guests or those staying only a night.

Quality bed linens, comforters and throws go far in making guests comfortable: Use the same quality and condition as on your own bed, advises Jodi Visser, designer and buyer at Furniture Row.

Offer guests a variety of hypoallergenic pillows — soft and firm, thin and fluffy — so they can customize their comfort. Layers of bedding — a top sheet, blanket and comforter — also allow customization.

A final touch? “A light spritz of linen spray is a nice way to welcome the guest and freshen the room,” Visser advises.



• Traditional Bed, Sleeper Bed or Sleeper Chair, or Futon

• Accent Chair and Table

• Empty Dresser Drawers

• Closet Space and Hangers

• Sheets

• Two Blankets

• Duvet

• Extra Pillows

• Face & Body Towels, Washcloths

• Robes (One per guest)

• Night Table and Reading Lamp

• Alarm Clock

• Ironing Board and Iron

• Small Television with Remote

• Stamps, Writing Paper and  Envelopes; a Small Sewing Kit

• Magazines; Current Local or City Publications are especially nice for out-of-towners


For more hosting tips, check out these related articles:

Part I How to be the Perfect Host – Home Preparation

Part III How to be the Perfect Host – Minding Your Manners

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