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Advice: Private room with a Sofa Bed



Our airbnb listing is for a private room with a sofa bed (which is kept open at all times). We’ve added a really plush mattress topper – I personally feel like it’s super cozy. So far we haven’t received any complaints from guest; however, it’s been on my mind to consider other ways we can make the bed firmer.

Has anyone had experience putting some sort of foundation under the mattress? Like slats? If so, did it make a difference?

Note: The reason we opted for the sofa bed vs a regular bed, is because when we are not hosting, we want to reserve the option to use this room for entertaining by folding away the bed. (This will prob happen 1-2x a quarter).

Here’s a link to your listing for reference: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29008967?


You could put a couple sheets of plywood under the mattress if there are any complaints (have them at the ready in the garage maybe) but otherwise enjoy what you have so far. It looks like it is going well as is.


A sheet of 1/2" plywood cut to size will do the trick, along with that topper.

Two things that might make your space more attractive to renters are:

  1. Go to Goodwill or another 2nd hand shop and get a small microwave for the space. I wouldn’t want to have to get special permission to nuke a muffin in the morning.
  2. Buy and then “advertise” that you have a white noise machine and earplugs to alleviate the possible upstairs noise; rather than advertising that there will be such noise…


@KenH Thanks so much for the suggestions!

Re the microwave, Great idea! We need to have an electrician come in first because the fuse would blow with a fridge, microwave, possible hair dryer, etc. We’re holding off on microwave for a few months until we can budget that in.

I’m open to suggestions on how we can make the language softer (especially since we actually don’t mind guest interaction with us)… However, due to food allergies, we can’t afford to allow folks to do full blown cooking in our kitchen.

Re potential for noise… we do have a white noise machine in the room. I usually have it on for when guests arrive.
We also have a thick rug underpad upstairs to soften any noise. We eat in our dining room vs kitchen when we have guests to minimize any noise traveling (the guest room is right downstairs from the kitchen). Because we have a little one, I didn’t want to promise hotel-like quietness. I also got great feedback from a friend that we shouldn’t do AirBnB in our home if we have to change our lives to do it… So, we are just trying it to see how it works :slight_smile:

And surprisingly, no one has complained about noise (knock on wood that I don’t jinx it for future guests, lol). We even had a playdate with my daughter and her 2 friends – I let the guest know when they were booking about the playdate and hours and I guess they were totally fine because they gave us 5-stars still.

I love the idea about earplugs!! I will go grab some and make them available to our guests.


I see you put in the small fridge already. It looks perfect there.

As for the question about the bed, they make folding sofa bed support boards called bunky boards.

Here’s an example



I have a room attached to my home with shared ventwork and walls and I board dogs in my home. I’ve only had one complaint in a review and one time of private feedback about it. Under-promise and over-deliver is the advice of most hosts here.

I see you are getting some less than five star ratings on things you should be able to control like accuracy. Also it’s hard to believe people have knocked you on value at those prices and for what you offer. That bathroom is lovely. Once summer rolls around and you get some light in there, open the blinds and take some new bright pics.


@KKC We had one negative review from our last guest and I am still reeling over it as his feedback was completely unfounded. He arrived well before check-in time and was pissed he couldn’t get in. And then, he called AirBnb on us saying the heat and wifi didn’t work – we use smart devices so I could easily pull up our echobee app and check the temperature in the room, and look at our google wifi app and see his devices were connected and getting great speeds. He never contacted us, never responded to our phone calls/airbnb messages, and because our schedules didn’t overlap, we didn’t have a face-to-face encounter after his check-in.

Can you tell I’m still pissed? :joy::joy: He gave us a 1 star for everything, yet for the public feedback he wrote “Good Person” – what??! Sorry, rant over… :joy::joy:

When I spoke with the AirBnB rep, she acknowledged that it seemed like this is just a trouble guest but said there wasn’t anything I can do but keep up with communicating via the app. She also acknowleged that the guest never responded to AirBnB – because when an incident is reported, they read through the entire communication in the airbnb app and follow up in a day or two.

I figured I can’t contest it but am just going to keep doing what I have been doing for guests and hope this guest is just an anomaly…


Ah! Ok. One thing some people believe here is that prices that are too low attract the “wrong type” of guest. Bargain hunters who complain and even manipulate the system for free stays and so on. You might consider raising your price just a little. I don’t know a lot about your location and market but it does seem a little low.

If you haven’t done so yet you should download the Chrome extension called AirReview. It lets you easily see the reviews guests have left for other hosts. Sometimes you can find clues about what you will up against and can take steps to mitigate the problems.


Thanks for this!! I am downloading this right now.

Good point about price! I am slowly starting to raise it.


I have PM’d you my listing as we have similar offerings.


I am very impressed you can “prove” the guest was connected to the Wifi. This would be useful as guests have been known to say the wifi didn’t work to ask for a discounted stay, and you have a screenshot showing otherwise.


I used the proof of a guest staying at least 6 hours beyond his check out time to get the fee I charge for failing to secure the house. It was the WiFi time log!!


I’ve also used it as another way to determine if the guest is in the room or not. I’ve had guests with no car and the Ring doorbell didn’t work and I checked the wifi to see how many devices were connected.


Well, I sent the screenshots to AirBnB and apparently it wasn’t enough to prove the guest was slanderous in his rating of us. We gave screenshots of both the ecobee temperature, as well as the historical reference to his wifi usage.

Btw, we use Google Wifi, so that’s how we are able to see what devices are connected (and when) and go back 7 or 30 days to see the wifi usage across specific devices.


I can’t offer anymore regarding the sofa bed than has already been provided.

I can offer some suggestions that you might consider (from someone who is admittedly is a minimalist who likes little clutter); they are meant as constructive to ideally present your listing in the best light.

  1. Possibly hang the ironing board either in the closet or on the back of the bathroom door

  2. Possibly hang the TV on the wall (potentially running white cables along the chair rail, and relocate or get rid of the drawer unit.

  3. add a chair … where does someone sit, if not on the bed?

  4. the bookshelves are a very nice architectural element but I’d suggest that they get cleaned up, organized / edited, so that they become a feature of the room. a few empty shelves might be a nice place for guests to place their own items

  5. Some more neutral bedding; flowered bedding may turn off some potential guests.

  6. I don’t know what that step stool is around the toilet, but I don’t think it should be there.

  7. And I realize that this might be debated, but I’m creeped out about having a refrigerator (and potentially a microwave in the bathroom). You might have no other options but, one suggestion is to use one half of the closet to make as a serving station (refrigerator, with a countertop atop it and a shelf above it with microwave.


Awesome feedback! Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

  1. Ironing Board - we actually moved the ironing board to under the bed, and put up a long mirror on that door.

  2. TV on Wall - Yes, this is our hope to put it on the wall. Its a large wall with little decor so I want to get the look just right before we put holes in the wall.

  3. Chair - We have a dinette with 2 stools - I will update pics once the current guests leave.

  4. Bookshelf - I will do a bit more organizing to make it presentable and leave the rightmost area for folks to use for their stuff.

  5. Its a squat potty :joy: I’ll move it

  6. If we get a microwave, it won’t go in the bathroom. Right now, we’re not in a rush to add it as we need to get an electrician in first.

Thank you again! Yall are helping me make my listing better :slight_smile:


When guests this past summer complained the mattress was too soft, I tried this trick for our queen bed. It didn’t work/backfired. The guests who complained said there was no discernible improvement. They left, and my long term Chinese lady and her daughter arrived shortly after. She went up one side of me and down the other and demanded the plywood be removed, from the bed, and from the house, immediately. She accused me of being careless and ignorant, and of putting her and her daughter in danger. She was incredulous and/or disbelieving that I could not know the dangers of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard).


MDF and plywood are NOT the same!

In some ways I agree with your guest and her daughter. MDF is a “chip” board made from shavings and ground up scrap wood held together with glue. MDF has been known to cause some issues because it’s made with an adhesive containing urea-formaldehyde (or urea-methanol formaldehyde), which “off-gasses” into its surroundings. It has been known to cause asthma problems and contact dermatitis.

The layers of wood in plywood are not glued with the same formaldehyde based glues as MDF. If a piece of 1/2" didn’t do the trick, use 3/4" ply. It DOES make a difference, I’ve done it and slept on it, and know the difference.


Hi Ken,

Indeed, probably the real intent of my post was to illustrate the fact that some people are flat out bat sh*t crazy.

I felt the difference in the mattress between plywood/no plywood. My guests claimed they did not, but at least thanked me for the effort.

I did attempt to explain to my Chinese lady that it was plywood and not MDF, but she was having none of it. As well, she is under the impression that the off gassing of MDF will, unequivocally, cause cancer. Though it is apparently true that unusually high or prolonged exposure might cause certain types of cancer, the amount she would have been exposed to, had there been MDF, would have only perhaps caused the respiratory irritation/contact dermatitis you spoke of.


Ditto on the plywood. It can make an amazing difference. When you have the money for it, you could install a Murphy pull-down bed on the opposite wall. And then with what looks like a cabinet above the current headboard - it could possibly house the TV. Add an arm chair, small table and reading lamp, and it would be a sweet little bedroom. Murphy beds: https://www.murphybeds.com/

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