“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.