Expecting a houseful of visitors? Be prepared when family or friends come to stay at any time of year with our guest bed ideas. We’ve got solutions for spaces of all sizes, from roomy lounges to box rooms.
1. Set up the sitting room with a sofa bed
If you often have guests come to stay, but don’t have the luxury of a spare bedroom, then a sofa bed can be a great solution for creating a multifunctional living room. A sofa bed will work best in a separate sitting room - rather than an open-plan space - so that guests will have some overnight privacy, although they also work well as additional seating/sleeping space in a guest room if you are so blessed, or as a multifunctional option in a home office.
There are two main sofa bed options; a pull-out design with a separate mattress that lifts out of the sofa base, and a click clack model where the sofa's backrest folds down and the seat and backrest become the sleeping surface. A pull-out option is generally the more comfortable choice, and the closest in resemblance to a 'normal' sofa, however, they can be expensive. A click clack model is generally more affordable, but makes for a firmer sit/sleep experience. Find more buying information - plus the top sleeper sofas on the Ideal Home team's radar - in our guide to the best sofa beds.
2. Let the kids camp out with a bed-in-a-bag
If lack of space is the big issue, consider a bed that can be stowed out of sight in a cupboard or the loft when not in use. Folding mattresses are a great sleepover option for children’s rooms. Choose from unfolding foam Z-beds or cubes to roll-up mattresses that pack up into an easy-to-stow storage bag.
3. Invest in hideaway beds for the kids' rooms
If your children have friends over regularly or your guest room is on the small side, why not consider a hideaway bed or day bed? Truckle-style hideaway beds have a second bed underneath the main one which rolls out on wheels – a great choice for a child’s room.
Some hideaway beds have an underbed with folded legs that raise the second mattress to the level of the main bed – a good option for adult guests.
In the market for a mattress? Best mattress – the top choices for a perfect night’s sleep
4. Keep guests off the ground with a folding bed
Folding guest beds range from the basic camp-bed style to the more sophisticated bed-in-a-footstool design.
5. Put them up in any room – with a blow-up bed
Inflatable air beds are the ultimate space-saving solution. Many come with air pumps or self-inflation devices that take a minute or two to blow it up.
Choose one that's perfect: Best air beds – the best air mattresses for comfy camping and snug sleepovers
Whichever option you go for, be sure to layer it up with plenty of bedding. Add at least two pillows, a duvet and an extra throw so guests can get as cosy as they like. Make sure there's a light nearby, too. If you're choosing a sofa bed, it's easy enough to place it next to a side table with a lamp for reading.
But even if your guest bed is a pop-up affair, it's worth setting up a lamp next to it. Grab an adjustable lamp from your desk, or move a floor lamp and place it so guests can turn it on and off from their bed.
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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