Setting Up an Welcoming Guest Room

Setting up an exceptionally welcoming guest room is easier than you might think! Draw inspiration from your own nightly habits, what you utilize most when you travel, or your favorite hotel amenities. Providing those few things can take your guest room from simply comfortable to positively welcoming!

NOTE: You do not need a large or fancy guest room to make it welcoming. When we have overnight guests, we transform our home office with a simple inflatable mattress on the floor, and our guests are still incredibly grateful!

Toiletries & First Aid

It’s so easy to forget your toothbrush or shampoo when you travel. Putting together a small basket of common toiletry items can be so useful if any of your guests are missing something vital. Useful items include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine products, razors, cotton swabs, body soap, hair spray, and dental floss.

BONUS: Offer less-commonly used items that are still as useful when you need them, like bandages, nail clippers, sunscreen, and pain relievers.

Snacks & Drinks

If your guests wake up hungry in the middle of the night, they might not feel comfortable digging through your kitchen for a snack or glass of water. Offering a stash of snacks and bottled beverages – especially water – is always appreciated! Refrigeration is not required, either! Include items like whole or dried fruit, chips or pretzels, beef jerky, assorted nuts or trail mix, protein bars, and treats like a chocolate bar.

BONUS IDEA: leave them an electric tea kettle/Keurig, an assortment of hot beverages, bottled water, and packets of honey or sweetener. Guests will especially appreciate caffeine-free teas to help them sleep. Don’t forget a mug and spoon!

Pillow Variety

One of the most common culprits behind headaches and poor sleep is your pillow. For that reason, I keep a variety of pillows for my guests to choose from. Some people like thinner pillows, some need firmer pillows, some get creative and use a combination. To save room between guest visits, consider storing them in vacuum-pack storage bags!

Sleep Support

Many people have trouble sleeping away from home, so every step you take to make it easier is often appreciated. Offer chamomile tea, sleep aids, or a sound machine next to the bed. Unfamiliar sounds can be wakeful, and these white noises go a long way to lulling guests to deep sleep.


One of my favorite things to offer is printed magazines on my guest room nightstand, customized to the unique interests of my guests. Imagine your guests’ glee when they find a copy of something they enjoy waiting for them! Plus, having something to read will often help with any sleep issues, as well.

Alternatively, set up a small television, or leave your guests a spare tablet for entertainment. Offer to let them sign into their own streaming accounts, or make sure to sign into your household accounts for them to use. If you have a spare DVD player, set up a small library of discs to choose from.

BONUS: If you have an old gaming console lying around, hook it up in your guest room. It can offer a unique, unexpected source of fun for your guests!

Temperature Regulation

We don’t always consider if the temperature of our home is considered too warm or too cold for our guests, especially if we have central heating in which the guest has no control. The last thing we want is for them to shiver or sweat all night. So I always offer a desk fan, a space heater, and a variety of blankets. I also make sure they know how to open/close all windows and heating vents, as well.

NOTE: If your guests are sleeping on a temporary air mattress, consider putting a lined mattress pad under the fitted sheet. The cool air inside the mattress is notorious for drawing body heat away from the sleeper, making it difficult for your guest(s) to stay warm while they’re sleeping. The pad helps with that a lot, as well as adding soft cushioning!

Seasonal Decorations

Are your guests staying with you for the holidays? Add some welcoming festive touches to their room! A small decorated tree, a string of lights, a cheerful wall sign. The welcoming cheer these items bring can be very appreciated!

BONUS: Invest in fun and festive seasonal bed sheets, blankets, and/or pillows!

That Spa Experience

If you really want to create an unforgettably welcoming guest room, include the sort of items you receive at a spa. A fuzzy bathrobe, comfy slippers, or a sleep mask can be that special touch that makes your guest feel truly special.

BONUS: If you really want to go nuts, offer a foot or neck massager!

The Practical Stuff

Don’t forget to leave them your wi-fi password. Offer an alarm clock. Include a spare cell phone charging cord. A small stash of useful items – like Scotch tape and batteries – can be greatly appreciated, as well. If you’re offering a temporary air mattress, make sure your guests have access to the pump to add more air/firmness to the mattress if they need it.

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