Making up beds properly

I’ve looked through the forum to see if I can find something about making up beds. I am not a new host but have a question. I like the looks of made up beds but am finding that more and more guests are just sleeping on top of the beds. Sometimes they pull an extra blanket out from the closet shelf and other times I’m not sure what they use.
I’ve also been told that many of the younger generation do not like top sheets.
My son stayed at an Airbnb that only had the bottom sheet on the bed and the rest of the bedding on the closet shelf for them to use what they wanted.
My question is : is there a right and wrong way to make up beds? I’m looking forward to your kind comments and ideas.

I like making the bed because it makes the room look put together. I give them the works and they’re free to remove whatever they don’t want to use. I provide a top sheet, quilt and a thermal cotton blanket folded on the end of the bed. I also provide 4 pillows per bed. Sometimes guests will remove part of it and place on the desk or closet but other guests seem to use it all.


I make up the bed with a topsheet amd blanket or duvet on top. The only time I had a guest who was confused, was from Prague, and she said she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to sleep over and under. (In Europe apparently they don’t use topsheets, just a bottom sheet and a duvet)

I thought it was cute that she asked.

If you make the bed and then fold down the top sheet and blanket on one corner, I think that sort of helps guests to understand. You could even tuck a teddy bear in there, under the top sheet, to make it clearer.

Of course what you want to avoid is guests taking bedding from the closet, then folding it back up again and putting it back before they leave, so you can’t tell what’s been used and needs to be washed, and what hasn’t been.

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I like simplicity. Fitted sheet, four pillows, a duvet, coverlet (more for decoration than sleeping) and all in white.

There are spare sheets and pillowcases in a closet in case of an accidental spill - or worse.

As I am local, guests can ask for any extras they may require but that rarely happens.

No, every host is different!

I’ve just come back from a 5-rental road trip. In all five rentals (all booked via Airbnb) not one had adequate bedding. None had adequate pillows. I’m starting to believe that the host who takes care and pays attention to the bed comfort of their guests is going to win out.


I so don’t get the “no adequate bedding” thing. It’s not rocket science, and don’t those hosts like to sleep in a nice bed themselves?

My guest room bed is quite simple. It only has a single bed, and there’s no expensive mattress- it’s a 4 inch firm foam slab with a 2 inch softer foam on top. Then a nice thick mattress pad, and the sheet over that. There’s a thick feather pillow and a thinner down-alternative pillow. And a throw pillow. I do use a top sheet, and guests have a choice of the duvet (which is very warm) or the blanket, if the weather isn’t cold, or they are “hot” sleepers.
And there is a light bedspread, just to keep the bedding clean in my dusty and buggy area.

In the hot weather, all they need is a top sheet.

Tons of guests have mentioned how comfortable the bed was, and how well they slept, and one guest even wrote in her review that the bed was"divine". :slightly_smiling_face:

I have exactly the same mattress/ bedding configuration myself, so I guess guests find it as comfortable as I do.

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Great ideas. Thank you. I like the teddy bear idea!

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Only in one of the five rentals were there pillow protectors. And the unprotected pillows were, well, revolting.

In two of the places, the bedding was clean (sniff test) but stained.

I know that prices vary from area to area but we rarely stay anywhere that costs less than $100 per night.

And I expect better.


Hey, my nightly room rate for the solo travelers I host is about $28US. And I would never use stained bedding or disgusting pillows with no pillow protectors. Price might govern whether there were expensive 1000 thread count organic bamboo sheets, or simple 300-400 count cotton sheets, but price shouldn’t have anything to do with turn-offs like stained pillowcases and pillows.

I know you wouldn’t @muddy!

And I know that price is no indication of hosting standards.

I was just trying (badly possibly) to suggest that I would have expected more from hosts at any price bracket but especially at a higher one.


This is an interesting topic.
Ive had guests who don’t use the bedding as I would think was obvious, so Ive learned about cultural habits along the way. In winter i place a doona on top of the fitted sheet. Summer its top and bottom sheet plus blankets. 4 pillows of varying thickness. Pillow and mattress protectors.
Always natural fibres.
I like the ‘turning down of a corner’ tip and will use it in future.
Thank you!

I once read a post by a guest who stayed at a place in Europe where there was no top sheet, just a duvet. She and her husband found the duvet too hot after awhile, then threw it off, but then they got cold and pulled it back on again. This went on all night and she said they had miserable sleeps.

That’s why I think providing a top sheet is a good option.

Someone had replied to that guest why they didn’t just take the duvet cover off and use that instead of the duvet itself, but the guests were also hosts and assumed the host might be peeved if they did that, and feel they now had to wash the uncovered duvet as well.

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It is for sure very different with the all the separate cultures…
I think I’ll just continue to make up the bed. I have double of everything so that I can still make up the beds while the laundry is being done.
My friend is from Europe - while she and her husband share the bed they do not share covers. They each have their own. We are all so unique.

I have a teddy bear on each bed resting on front of the pillows just for looks but I love your idea of having it tucked under the sheets. That’s so clever. Love it!

Had that experience in France with a duvet and no top sheet in June. Frustrating too hot at that time of year and, of course no fans anywhere.

While I love the idea of the aesthetics of the teddy bear, is it not just one more thing to get thrown about and have to clean? Genuine question!

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Yes, it’s yet another thing for hosts to replace periodically and to clean and sterilise. For me, the more I add to a rental, the more I have to clean and worry about. But yes, I love the idea of the bears. :slight_smile:

I provide a fitted sheet, top sheet FOLDED over a comforter (that is washed every time with disinfect) and in the winter I have a folded quilt at the foot of the bed. I provide 2 sets of king shams (also washed each use) along with 2 twin pillows. All pillows have cotton pillow protectors that I also wash each use. The pillows are rotated (I have three sets) and at the end of the month they get washed too.

I let guests know that there is extra bedding, linens, etc in the closets and to leave out anything that they use so that I know that they have to be washed.

I also ask my guest to NOT to strip the bedding off of the bed when they leave because it is much easier to find stains on the bed and pillowcases when they are still on the bed. I carefully inspect the bedding and spot treat any stains. If the stains don’t come out, they are no longer used.

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Since this has been mentioned a couple times here, I (being a man :joy:) have a hard time understanding who needs 4 pillows to sleep?

Since I do not completely live under a rock I’ve seen the memes online, making fun of wives (or women) overloading their beds with dozens of pillows while the men have to ‘work’ their way through just to get into bed…

Anywho, here in Europe we use pillow and blanket covers (as opposed to a top sheet - at least where I come from) to keep the pillow itself clean and to easily wash the cover after every guest.

Now my question: Are you also using pillow covers for the 4 pillows for every single reservation or do you wash the entire pillow every single time? With two guests alone that would be 8 pillows to wash which would yank up the turnover time/require an additional set of 8 pillows, plus spares in case of an accident. I’m just trying to understand who you handle that.

We offer 2 pillows per bed, never had a guest asking for more, although, of course, they would get as many as they need. Using more than 3 pillows wouldn’t leave any space for the guest to sleep on the twin beds that we have anyways.

So I’m mostly curious about the washing routine when offering 4/8 pillows for a 1/2 guest situation. Thanks for clarifying.

We have a room that sleeps 2 and provide 2 pillows on the bed, and 2 extra In the room closet. They are used more often than you think they would.

They are of varying firmness etc so sometimes folks shuffle them around to get the ‘best’ one for them to sleep. Also, so many folks prop themselves up with multiple pillows to read in bed etc, and there are always the ‘pillow between the legs’ folks who need that support.

I offer 4 pillows per bed which is 2 per quest. Each guest gets one firm pillow and one soft pillow. I wash the pillow case and the cover.