Is it common to make the beds?

I have a small guest house on Airbnb in the prize range 45 dollars per night. It’s quite popular and made me some good cash, and pretty great reviews too.

The thing is, I hate cleaning the place up before new guests. And making beds is the worst part. Therefore my question is, would it be unusual to let the quests make their own beds? If no, should this be clear already before they make bookings?

In Sweden it’s very common that you have to bring your linen and make your bed (or pay extra for that)

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It’s certainly not common here (central California). We’re mostly weekend guests so no daily turnarounds. Our guests expect pristine, crisp linens, hotel style bed. But I also get more than $45/night.


I would say making beds is just part of hosting. It’s a pretty basic thing for guests to expect. I think if I turned up at your place I’d find it strange and probably mark you down on amenities


I don’t know anyone who likes to spend their time cleaning. Nevertheless I consider it part of my job when hosting (and our home takes 20 hours between bookings).

25 year ago when I started doing rentals we didn’t offer bedding, and that was the norm. Over the years we made it available, but charged extra for setting up the beds. These days, rentals are everywhere and I think for the vast majority of destinations it would be expected to have the place set up like a hotel upon arrival, like @CasaCadora said.

Hostels (or student housing) often require you to make your own bed. It all depends on what you want your guest experience to be. For only $45 per night you might be able to get away with it, but definitely make sure people are aware that they are required to make their own bed.


Why not add a cleaning fee and ask your cleaner to make up the beds.


The problem with not making up the bed is, they might not either. Found that out early. Our second room has a futon and in the beginning, I would leave the linens for them but not make it up. The logic was, they could use the couch as a social area, then make up the bed to go to bed. Well-- no. One group, and it was hot and muggy-- the person staying in that room didn’t make up the bed for five days. Obviously, I had to have that cover dry cleaned at the end of their stay. It was kind of nasty really. So, now I make up the bed and to date, no one has unmade it to have a couch. I would hate think of someone sleeping on your mattresses without any pads and/or linens. Would ruin them quite quickly.


Excellent point! Yuck!

We’ve had friends come to visit who I found out haven’t used the sheets provided, thinking they are doing me a favour by saving me the trouble of cleaning up after them. I told them that I’d rather wash the sheets than the comforter.


And it takes hardly any time at all to add a fitted bottom sheet, clean pillow cases and a duvet (;))

Job done.


Agree. It takes me 5 minutes to change the sheets on the bed. Now cleaning and dusting … :frowning: that takes a good deal longer.


I always have the bed made with clean sheets and pillowcases before guests arrive.

That being said I charge a $10 cleaning fee per booking, to cover my time/effort to that, plus wiping out the bathroom and making sure the other common areas are in order! It’s not a lot of square footage and I can usually get it all done in about an hour.

I charge $25/night (plus the cleaning fee). However, on stays of more than 1 night, I do NOT go in the room and make up the bed like a hotel, or change out towels and stuff that I provide. I make it clear in my listing and welcome messages that I only give clean linens on day one.

Next month I have a 3 week guest so for that person though, I will probably arrange with her to change out the linens a couple times because I tend to wash my bed linens once a week, and trade out towels and stuff every few days.

Making beds is part of the job Get over it. With a fitted bottom sheet and flat top sheet, it’s only a five minute job to make the bed.

You can’t trust guests to make the bed for themselves, let alone make it for the next guests who come along.


What is it that you hate about making up the beds? Are you ironing the sheets? How many beds? Where are you? In your locale is your price hostel-level, or not? If it’s a cheap price for where you are, and you make it very clear, I don’t know why you can’t. As long as you have the sheets washed and dried for them. Are you in the property so you can make sure they are putting the sheets on?

It may sound silly but I’m developing a system that makes the job easier. Have even thought about doing a youtube video about it. It all has to do with how you take the blankets off. If you fold them carefully - you can unfold them right into place. If making beds on your own, it’s a big time saver.

I myself sometimes think to myself “oh look! I’m folding a white towel! wow!!” in complete sarcasm.

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I don’t necessarily enjoy making up a bed either but first impressions are so important.

I wouldn’t want to walk into a bedroom and see an unmade bed with just a mattress or a topper and a stack of linen waiting for me. Why would I want to chance turning my guests off to such an important visual as the bed. I want to provide them with a ‘wow’ factor or at least a pleasant reaction when they see the tailored and color-coordinated bedding with carefully arranged pillows. It shows that they are valued as guests and care was taken to please them.


Agreed, but as he’s only charging $45 a night, it may not be important.

True. And if his place is as popular as he says, he may be a little burnt out and would like to stream-line things a bit to make it easier on himself.

At our price point, it’s not an option.

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Yes, that’s not what I’m aiming for, either. Maybe he needs to raise his rates - that might make the drudgery not so painful.

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I charge £29 a night at the moment. And I make the beds. Well I will be once I’m back home.

I can relate. I’m taking a sabbatical after 30 years in IT - I just couldn’t do it anymore… I have the time right now so I’m doing all my turnovers myself. Just the other day while changing the sheets i though to myself - ‘it’s official - I’ve become a maid’…

Not that there’s anything wrong with that! :slight_smile: (Seinfeld reference…)


Was going to say the same thing dc: charge $50 and make the beds, which always look sharp when made up and not so much when unmade.