How to let hosts know about their terrible bed?

I just returned from a 3 week vacation through the American southwest. Stayed in 6 different Airbnb’s in 4 states. Most were fine, gave them 5 star reviews and enjoyed seeing how different people host. The last stop was an OK cabin with a truly terrible bed (only bed). It was hard as a rock on a huge log bedframe and it squeaked so bad that you couldn’t move at all. Not sure if it was the boxspring or the frame. The final straw was that the sheets were washed in some horrible scented detergent that smell like the fake cherry deodorizers that are in public restrooms. In ended up sleeping on the couch and my husband in the bed that I could hear with every move or breath! So what is the best way to let this host know? I don’t want to put it in a review. I really don’t want to review at all as this isn’t a place I would recommend to friends. I’m sure it is fine to some people but just not my taste. Should I message on Air or review and leave a private message about the bed? Or just tell it like it is in a public review??

There’s a private feedback section in the review process that isn’t made public.


If I had a bed that squeaked everytime I moved I would have contacted the host to see what could be done @cjmart

As hosts I am sure most of us would prefer to be given an opportunity to rectify any problem amenity within our listing rather than let it affect our guests stay.

I think you are right that if you didn’t mention this during your stay then your feedback should be on the private part of your review.


I would review them and leave the comments about the bed and detergent in the private comment section.


… and so the circle continues.

What about the ‘honest’ review here? What would you tell a friend that wants to stay at that cabin? How many previous reviews does the place have and do you really think nobody else ever mentioned it in private feedback or personally?


As a potential guest I would like to know if the bed was awful.

Perhaps soften the words in the review but let fellow guests know it was hellah firm.

In a private message I would advise the host to give the bed a try for a night if they haven’t already.


I’m all for an honest public review. I’m honest in how I review guests. I believe guests should be honest in reviewing hosts.


You can send him a private message through the platform. It’s a shame you had to sleep on the sofa.

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That is what all guests are supposed to do if they are unhappy about any (reasonable) aspect of their accommodation. @cjmart, as you’re a host, you know this and presumably contacted the host - what did he or she say?

Don’t you think that you’re obliged to do this so that other guests know? If not, why not I wonder?


Please leave an honest public review.


Could just put "that this was the firmest mattress you’ve ever laid on and you prefer something with a little more “give.”


That is what I would do.


I’m usually very laissez-faire about things that are not quite up to scratch in a place I’m staying at, but I’m sorry, a reasonably comfortable bed is a MUST. The husband and I still shudder at the memory of a bed we didn’t sleep in in a French B&B about 25 years ago … about a foot wide with a thin lumpy mattress and those springs that roll you into the middle …

It’s a shame you didn’t mention it before you left, obviously, but let’s not put this on you - it’s the Host’s duty to see that the bed is comfortable, not the guest’s to test it for them!
So I’m afraid I’m for putting it in the public review, but if you’re adamant you’re not going to leave a review, then yes, send a private message saying more or less what you have here!


Exactly! This idea that hosts have to somehow protect their fellow hosts even though they aren’t worthy of it is dismaying.


EDIT: Since I rent a room in my home, I make sure that the first thing I ask them in the morning (after handing guests coffee and muffins) is “how did you sleep? was the bed comforatble? Do you need anything?” This can also be done via Messenger. That way you know. Right then.

One couple said the bed was too soft, so I removed the memory foam topper and they were pleased. My last guest who stayed said the bed was perfect for his SO but a bit too soft for him. I offered to take off the memory foam, but he’s chivalrous and wanted her to have a wonderful holiday.

Review them, but send them a message through Air’s system telling them about the horrible bed and heavy scented smell on the linens (that would trigger an asthma attack in me). It’s not uncommon in the Southwest and Mexico to have that heavy scent used everywhere and it’s cloying. coff coff.

If you don’t address it in a public and private review, how the heck are the rest of us supposed to know we don’t want to stay there?

Time your review so they can respond publicly and let you know they’re fixing the issues.

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A firm bed isn’t necessarily hard. I would state that the bed was very hard in your public comments and in the private comments expand on the uncomfortable, noisy bed. I would also mention the detergent - more and more people have issues with scented soaps and it’s an easy fix to use unscented detergent.

Do you find unscented detergents leave the sheets smelling clean? Is it expected to use unscented detergents?

I only use unscented detergents and soaps - both at home and my rental. Yes, it smells clean and fresh. It’s not a requirement, but I think it’s a smart move.

We put a drop of essential oils (grapefruit or orange) inside the cardboard toilet paper roll to provide a fresh scent without it being overwhelming.


I don’t know if it’s expected but I use unscented detergent. Scents don’t make things “smell clean” imo. They just make them smell. Clean has no scent. As a guest I’d rather have no scent at all that one that’s disagreeable to me. Febreeze, for example, is absolutely horrible.


I only use unscented detergents and I use woolen dryer balls with a drop of lavender essential oil on one of the balls to give the sheets a subtle smell.

I do the same thing! Lemon oil for that fresh smell. I also put a drop or two in a bowl with vinegar and water when I’m airing a room. Gets rid of those cloying perfumes guests wear.