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How to Deliver a Great Sleep Experience to Your Airbnb Guests

Updated: Aug 13, 2018

If your guest is unable to get a good night’s sleep in your Airbnb, there is nothing else you can do RIGHT enough to offset it.  It doesn’t matter if the rest of your listing is immaculate.

  Your guests typically spend the day outside and the evenings sleeping in your unit.  So your guests typically spend the MOST time in the bed, more than anywhere else in your listing.

If you were lazy with your bed situation, you’re likely going to hear about the uncomfortable mattress or sand paper bedsheets in poor review they’ll be leaving you.

But delivering a great sleep experience isn’t hard.  It’s something that a few thoughtful purchase decisions can easily address.

Great Sleep Experience Starts with the Right Mattress

If you start with a horrible mattress, you’ll have a very tough time delivering a great sleep experience for your guests.  If any of the following is true for the mattress in your Airbnb listing, do yourself and your guests a favor with an upgrade:

  • Is your mattress more than 10 years old? Especially if you haven’t had a protective cover on it and if it isn’t even when you’re lying on it, the mattress is outlived it’s usefulness.  It no longer has enough support.

  • Is your mattress uncomfortable? Is this the mattress you didn’t want to sleep on so you put it in your Airbnb listing instead? Do you enjoy sleeping more on your sofa or even the floor more than this mattress? Look, if you don’t enjoy sleeping on it, your guests won’t enjoy sleeping on it.  Quick test: invite an honest (and forgiving) friend who’s a frequently traveler to spend the night and ask them the next morning how their sleep was.  Did they toss and turn? Do they wake up with back

  • Is your mattress uneven? Do you feel lumps or cave-ins anywhere–the tell-tale signs of a mattress that is too old and in need of replacement? Mattresses will sag over time due to use.

  • Do you sneeze in the morning whenever you get up?  Find yourself with a stuffy nose every morning even though you have your window closed and it’s not allergy season?  Chances are good that your mattress is dirty with dust and other nasties.

  • Have you had more than one guest complain about the bed?  One might just be a picky guest. But when you get several guests making the same complaints about an uncomfortable bed, it’s time to look for mattress replacement.

So what should you get?  The best mattress in your budget.  Here’s how you should pick your next mattress:

  • One that fits your budget.  You don’t necessarily have to drop $1000 or more for a great mattress.  There are very highly rated mattress for $250 or less. Do you really need a king size mattress? If budget is an issue, it’s better to get a really good double than to get a mediocre king mattress.

  • One with medium firmness.  Get something that most of your guests will be comfortable with.  Find a mattress that is somewhere between 5 and 7 on the universal firmness scale so it will be “too soft” or “too firm” for the fewest people.  But if you’ll be using a soft mattress topper on top, get it in the 7-8 range for more support.

  • One that fits your listing.  Are you charging $500/night for your downtown loft listing? Yeah, that blow up airbed is not going to cut it. If you’re charging under $50/night for your listing, find something on the more affordable side but still with great reviews. If you’re positioned as a luxury or premium listing, you need to get something more luxurious to fit your positioning.  Recommendation: invest 5-7 nights of bookings into your mattress if you’re an affordable listing, 2-4 nights of bookings for premium listings.

Pro Tip: Make sure to protect your investment from guest accidents as well as bed bugs by getting a good mattress protective cover.

At Least Put a Mattress Topper

Don’t have the funds to invest in a mattress right now?  At least put a mattress topper on it.  This works better for mattresses that are generally firmer as a topper will soften it up.  But a topper will be unable to provide extra support that is already lacking in a mattress that is too soft.

If your mattress is otherwise in good condition but just doesn’t deliver that lush hotel like feel, adding a simple topper can completely change the sleep experience.

Don’t Skimp on Pillows and Bed Sheets

Your guests can tell right away whether they’re going to get a great sleep experience or not as soon as they lay down on the pillows.  According to Dr. Michael Breus, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-week Program to Better Sleep & Better Health, you should be replacing your less expensive pillows every 6 months your structurally more stable, premium pillows every 18-36 months.

So as long as you’re consistently using quality pillow cases, that extra $20 on the more durable, premium pillow may be well worth the investment to get 6 times the life of the pillow.

For bedsheets, getting them direct from manufacturers online can save money and give you more options.

   When choosing bedsheets, the quality of the cotton itself is more important than the thread count.

Here’s how the type of cotton stacks up:

  • Low End: 100% cotton. If it says nothing else on the label, then assume this is the lowest grade cotton.  Least expensive, but rough and least durable.

  • Mid Tier: 100% pima cotton, which is typically trademarked as “Supima”.  Much softer than regular cotton and more durable.

  • Top End: 100% Egyptian cotton.  This cotton has long and thin fibers to give the smoothest, softest feel, yet still very durable.  However, it is most expensive.

Have you upgraded a mattress, pillow, or bedsheets recently for your Airbnb listing? Did you notice any change in guest reactions?


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