Guest Room Must Haves: 15 Essentials for a Comfortable Guest Room

Are you really ready for guests? Even though I frequently have guests visit, I constantly felt like my guest room was never complete. I finally decided to sit down and make myself a complete list of all the guest room must haves I need. To be thorough, I compared my list to others and I noticed my 15 guest room must haves covered all the lists I saw. But to my surprise, almost every list was missing one crucial item. So if you really want to have a comfortable guest room, check our ultimate list of guest room must haves.

The first weekend after my honeymoon, my husband and I went yard sale shopping to furnish our new apartment. We spent $30 on a not very attractive but surprisingly comfortable purple sofa with a pull-out bed. That’s the day Hotel Rachael was born. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had people stay over. Friends and family know that Hotel Rachael is always open. I love having people stay and feel comfortable. Over the years, my guest room has evolved from that purple couch to an actual dedicated guest room. But whatever your guest room looks like, here’s a list of the guest room must haves you need so that your guests will feel at home while away from home.

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5 Guest Room Must Haves

1. Comfortable Bed

When we bought our house, my dad’s housewarming present was a new mattress … for our guest room. You can’t blame him. First of all, having a decent place to sleep when visiting is definitely at the top of my list of guest room must haves. I recommend getting as comfortable a bed as you can. This might be an actual dedicated bed, a pull-out bed, or even an air mattress. I’ve used all of these for my guests – and even all three at once.

Guest with kids:

I can’t recommend the Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed enough. A few years ago while visiting family, my in-laws provided one for my oldest son, and we loved it so much, I persuaded them to gift it to us. I own two of these and love them. They are a great value for the price and work great for the 2 to 7-year-old crowd. They pack easily and don’t take up much space. In case you are curious, they fit perfectly between the double beds in a hotel room.

2. Two Sets of Clean Linens

Providing fresh linens is just common courtesy. I recommend having a spare set of linens as well. You’ll be glad you have an extra set when your linens get a spill, when you have back-to-back guests, or when guests end up switching sleeping arrangements. It’s always best to be prepared. Immediately after a guest leaves, I like to strip the bed and just throw a clean set on right away so the bed is always ready for the next guest.

3. Pillows and Blankets

If you can, provide pillows in varying levels of firmness to accommodate different guests. My guest bed has two foam pillows, a firm pillow and a medium-firm pillow. Then when I have extra guests, I just split the pillows up to serve more people. Make sure your decorative pillows can be used to sleep on. Personally, I hate sleeping on pillows with textured patterns or with decorative buttons on the back. Additionally, having spare blankets in your guest room lets your guests sleep in comfort.

4. Empty Space to Unpack

I absolutely hate living out of a suitcase. Whenever I travel, I always like to unpack as much as feasible. If you are like me, most of the time your guest room is storage for rarely used items. Whenever guests are coming, make sure you empty some space out for your guests – a free drawer or two in the dresser, extra hangers in the closet, and shelf space in the bathroom. Your guests will notice and appreciate it.

5. Lighting

Proper lighting is definitely one of the guest room must haves my guest room lacks. Just like in your master bedroom, your guest room needs both ambient lighting and task lighting. Ambient lighting is the general overhead light that most every room comes with. On the other hand, task lighting gives you more focused lighting for activities such as reading. I almost always read before I fall asleep, so I love having a lamp on the nightstand that I can use instead of having to leave my comfortable bed to walk across the room to turn off the overhead light.

Related: How to Survive a Red-Eye Flight with Kids


laundry hamper

4 Additional Guest Room Must Haves

6. Trash can and plastic bags

Airline tickets, receipts, candy wrappers. You accumulate a lot of trash while traveling. Give your guests a waste basket so they can clean out their purses and suitcases of clutter. Also, give them easy access to some extra grocery store plastic bags. Last Christmas, the second most asked question my guests asked was: “Where do you keep your plastic bags?”

7. Laundry hamper

Before Christmas, I asked my mom what my guest room was lacking. Her response, a laundry hamper. Keeping clean clothes separate from dirty clothes can be a pain while traveling. Make your guest room more comfortable by providing a laundry hamper. I prefer a collapsible one that I can stow away when not in use. Actually, when I don’t have guests, I use it to store my thrift store donations.

8. Mirror

One must have for your guest room is a mirror, especially if your guests need to share a bathroom with anyone else. If you can manage, a full length mirror is a nice bonus. Your guests want to look their best, and it’s hard to look your best when you can’t see yourself. Let your guests fix their hair, apply their makeup or just see how well their outfit looks in the privacy of their own room.

9. Fan or Heater

No one wants to sleep in a freezing cold room or a burning oven. Trust me, I’ve done both. To keep your guest room comfortable, give guests a way to control the temperature. In the winter, provide a space heater in your guest room to ensure your guests can stay as warm as they like. In the summer, if you don’t have a ceiling fan, provide a box fan or rotating table fan.

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white bathroom

3 Guest Bathroom Must Haves

10. Towels and Hooks

My mother-in-law often tells a story of a nightmare visit where the host didn’t even think to offer towels. You probably know to give your guests towels, but do you have a spot for them to hang their towels after a shower? If your guests will be sharing a bathroom with you or your kids, make sure your family is not taking all the towel space. I have my standard towel racks in the guest bathroom, but keep an additional one on the door for whenever I have more than two guests. Another easy solution is just to hang some command hooks on the wall temporarily, especially when you have a large group of guests.

11. Extra Toiletries and a Hair Dryer

This Christmas, my sister’s family made it safe and sound to my house, but their luggage did not. Think like a hotel and make sure guests have access to extra toiletries. Between lost luggage, forgotten items, and the unexpected sleepover, keeping spares will ensure you are prepared for every eventuality. And don’t forget the kids – children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste. Also, I always get asked for a hair dryer. You think I would have learned by now. So think like a hotel and throw in a hair dryer if you can.

12. Toilet Paper

It has happened to everyone. You use the toilet and then realize that the toilet paper is completely gone. Every last scrap pulled off the cardboard tube. What now? You start looking around frantically hoping your host had the foresight to store extra toilet paper in the bathroom. Preferably somewhere within reach of where you are sitting. Don’t let this happen to your guests. Toilet paper is at the top of the guest room must haves for your guests.

Related: Tips for Your First Time at the Gym


laptop and iphone

2 Technology Guest Room Must Haves

13. Wifi password

Easily my most asked question by guests is: “What’s the wifi password?” Someone always has a new device that they didn’t have on their last visit. Then, I have to dig out my password from my filing cabinet. And to their dismay, they find I have the original undecipherable password that came with the router. Inevitably, a guest can’t read my handwriting and wastes time trying to enter the wrong letters. To help you and me alike, I made a few free editable printables for your wifi password. All you have to do is click the image below to download. Then, just throw one in a frame and save yourself the hassle.

Get your free editable WIFI password printables instantly


14. Power strip and USB charger

Take a hard look at your guest room and ask yourself, where are my guests going to charge their phones, tablets and laptops. Do you have enough power outlets and are they easy to reach? Providing a power strip is a good idea. Nowadays, everything basically runs off USB ports. I have my eye on this Sabrent 10-port USB charger. My aunt has one and I really wish I had owned one last Christmas as I was finding charging cords from everyone’s devices all over my house.

Related: Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap


grey door

1 Must Have Time Saver

15. Spare key

Last but not least on my list of guest room must haves is a spare key to your house. A spare key gives your guests flexibility to come and go as they please. You don’t have to worry about making sure your schedule perfectly aligns with theirs the entire time they are staying. Plus if they are ever out late, you don’t have to stay up late waiting for them, and they don’t have to feel guilty for keeping you up. Just make sure they give it back before they go home.

Related: An Unforgettable Thank You Card

teddy bear with cold medicine

Bonus: Most Forgotten Item

Medicine Cabinet

It sucks to get sick while traveling, but it happens all the time. The most often overlooked item on many lists of guest room must haves is an accessible medicine cabinet. I am definitely guilty of this. I keep all our medicine in our master bathroom – not very convenient for guests. My suggestion is for you to stock a basic medicine supply for guests. Not just the bandaids found in most first aid kits. Think of the most common ailments: headaches, colds, upset stomachs, coughs. Provide typical over the counter medicines for each of these. And don’t forget the kids! Children’s Tylenol, Vaporub and a thermometer will go a long way if your guest has a sick kid.

Guest Room Must Haves: 15 Essentials of a Comfortable Guest Room

Looking for a list of the essentials of a comfortable guest room? Check out our list of guest room must haves, including one item most lists forget. With Free Editable WIFI password printables! Guest Room Must Haves: 15 Essentials of a Comfortable Guest Room. guest room | home decor | house | mom life | guest bathroom | guest room essentials | guest room must haves
Looking for a list of the essentials of a comfortable guest room? Check out our list of guest room must haves, including one item most lists forget. With Free Editable WIFI password printables! Guest Room Must Haves: 15 Essentials of a Comfortable Guest Room. guest room | home decor | house | mom life | guest bathroom | guest room essentials | guest room must haves
Looking for a list of the essentials of a comfortable guest room? Check out our list of guest room must haves, including one item most lists forget. With Free Editable WIFI password printables! Guest Room Must Haves: 15 Essentials of a Comfortable Guest Room. guest room | home decor | house | mom life | guest bathroom | guest room essentials | guest room must haves


How ready is your guest room for guests?  Do you think I’m missing anything in my list of guest room must haves? 

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  • Reply Clare May 30, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    These are all such great ideas to help guests feel comfortable and welcome! My sisters will love it if I implement even a few of these before their next visit. Also, I really like the toddler cot. I hadn’t seen this before, I’m going to look at getting this for my kids when we travel, and for when we have visitors.

    • Reply Rachael June 7, 2018 at 10:02 am

      The cot is super handy. I brought two on my current road trip! Absolutely love them!

  • Reply Kim September 30, 2019 at 10:41 am

    GREAT list for making any guest feel welcome and comfortable! One other thing that I include is a water bottle near their bedside for night time thirsties and/or a handy supply for taking medications etc.

  • Reply Sandra February 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    You forgot Kleenex, chair to sit in not the bed, to tie shoes etc. , bottled water,
    Magazines, pen & paper, pretty bowl or small plate for keys & change.
    Radio, live plant, small bouquet of fresh flowers.

  • Reply Starla March 8, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Wow! These are all very appropriate and definitely something I know for a fact I’ve had to ask for at some time or another as a guest myself!!! I will definitely be saving this page and reviewing it when we get our house built. In the meantime, I’ll work to incorporate as many of these items as will fit in my current (smaller) guest bedroom. However, I unfortunately do not have a guest bathroom in their room so I will have to modify that list some. Great suggestions! Thanks!

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