How to Make a Bed Your Guests Won’t Want to Leave

You can’t blame them for sleeping in when their room is this comfortable.

If you have special guests coming in for the holidays, you’ll want them to feel right at home. We consulted a few experts to find out how to make the room as comfortable as possible—you may even want to steal a few of these tips for your own room.

1

Invest in the good stuff.

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Photo by Jo-Ann Richards/Getty Images

“When shopping for new sheets and duvet covers, play close attention to the material, thread count, and fabric construction,” says Karin Sun, founder of the affordable luxury bedding site, Crane and Canopy. However, don’t get too caught up in thread count, because it’s only one part of the bedding equation. Sun’s recommendation is a set of sheets made from 100 percent cotton and a thread count between 300 and 400. At the end of the day, the “hand feel” is the most important step of buying sheets, says Jessica Joyce, a spokesperson at Bed Bath & Beyond. If they feel soft to you, your guests will love them.

As far as a comforter, down ones are luxurious, but can also be pricey. You’ll get the same coziness from a down alternative comforter, says Sun. Plus, they “are not only more affordable, but also hypoallergenic and much easier to clean.”

Pillows are important, too: “The best items to ensure a good night’s sleep are a quality pillow and mattress topper to provide optimal support for your back and neck,” says Joyce.

Of course, the priciest upgrade would be to actually change your mattress. You may not have to do this, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends checking for major signs of wear or sagging spots. You don’t want guests waking up with a stiff neck. Try sleeping in the guest bed for a night to assess its comfort.

2

Craft the perfect pillow-to-bed ratio.

Having multiple pillows on the bed is both comforting and stylish. Try following a little bit of math, says Joyce. For a twin bed, stick with one Euro pillow and two standard pillows. For a full or a queen, layer two Euro pillows and four standard pillows. And for a king-sized bed, you should have two or three Euro pillows and four king pillows. Euro pillows are generally larger and more sturdy, so they sit closest to the headboard—they’re great for when guests want to prop themselves up in bed to read or watch television.

3

Pad the mattress.

“Mattress pads not only add warmth and comfort, they also protect your mattress as well,” says Sun. “This allows you to upgrade the quality of your bed without having to replace your mattress.” There are plenty of options for giving extra support for your mattress, including a fiberbed, a memory foam topper, or simply a mattress protector for a little extra cushion.



4

Do your laundry.

We know—this seems like a “duh” piece of advice. But the truth is, freshly laundered sheets just feel softer and more comfortable. Even if you recently bought a brand-new set, you should still wash them at least once. 

5

Ditch the top sheet.

“These days, the only function of the top sheet is that it ends up as a tangled mess at the foot of your bed,” says Sun. “If you use a high-quality cotton duvet cover, which protects your comforter, you can ditch the top sheet for a cozy night’s sleep and a no-fuss morning when making your bed.” Although you shouldn’t expect guests to make their bed, if it’s easy for them to do, they might just sleep better. A 2012 survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that people who made their beds in the morning were 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep. 

6

Layer, layer, layer.

After the mattress topper and sheets, layer on a duvet cover with a fluffy comforter. Tip: Put the mattress pad over the mattress enhancer to ensure nothing moves around. Then lay a quilt at the foot of the bed. “Quilts are my new obsession,” says Sun. “They’re not only super soft but also versatile in style and use. They are perfect to provide warmth in case your guests get chilly at night and need that extra layer.” Bonus: If you want a foolproof tip for changing your duvet cover, see our tutorial.



7

Go the extra mile.

A comfortable bed is the most important, but there are plenty of little things you can add to the guest room to make it more welcoming. Leave empty drawers for guests to put clothes in, magazines for them to read, and toiletries in the bathroom in case they forgot something.