My STR is ready to be furnished, what’s the most important thing?

So I’m about ready to get furniture, beds, etc. What’s the most important thing? Where should I spend most of my money?

This will probably be a place that people rent when coming to college football games, college graduations, etc.

I would say spend it on a really big comfy sofa and comfortable mattresses.


Sturdy and easy to clean. Stay away from “sets” of things that will be expensive to replace if it gets damaged. For instance, dishware that you can replace by the piece, rather than having to buy a whole new set when dishes get broken, as they inevitably do. (such as plain white dishware from Ikea). Stainless steel pots and pans- non-stick cookware is easily scratched up, because guests will not necessarily use the appropriate utensils provided. Sheets all in the same color, or purposefully mix and match, so you don’t have to purchase a whole new set if say, the bottom sheet gets irretrievably stained but the top sheet and pillow cases are fine.


Thin ‘industrial strength’ everything.

Most hosts know that comfortable bedding and seating go a long way. If appliances are included get ones that are simple to operate. There are some important things that don’t cost a lot of money such as good reading lamps anywhere that people sit, racks or space to set luggage and places to hang things. If you are doing the cleaning invest ways to clean well and quickly with easy access to materials and equipment.

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If you want to buy any upholstered furniture, it helps to have slipcovers for them that you can throw in the wash. I’ve never had any leather furniture myself, but other hosts have said that it is worth it for ease of cleaning, as it can just be wiped down. Also keep in mind that both light and dark colors show dirt more readily than mid-range colors and patterns. If you are going to buy any throw pillows, make sure they have removable, washable covers.

Don’t think you have to buy everything new. Some perfectly good used furniture can be found on Craigslist, Marketplace, etc. It might need a bit of spruce-up, a lick of paint or new drawer pulls, but you can save a lot of money that way. Guests have no idea how much you paid for something and unless you have an expensive, luxury style listing, there’s no need to go high-end. Guests tend not to be particularly careful with things.


Blackout curtains

Bedside tables, charging outlets and reading lamps on both sides of the bed

Plenty of towels and extra pillows


the mattress is important, or at least get a type of mattress topper. and pillows, you should provide 1 hard, 1 soft, per person, with a few spares in the cupboard. new pillows, every year.

A comfy sofa is likely important and i agree with @muddy you don’t have to buy new. in fact it might be better to find a higher quality 2nd hand sofa than a new cheapo one.

where can you skimp? sadly, nowhere (apart from shopping for quality 2nd hand stuff). Guests are rough and careless, so everything they touch needs to be able to withstand that.

when i had STR years ago i used to buy wine/water glasses at the local supermarket, so i could just replace easily, for some reason my kitchen items always got mixed up (beach location and i think people take stuff down to the park). now I buy big sets from ikea, so i’ll have extra glasses in storage, with just 6 in the cottage. this may or may not work for you. you don’t need to spend a fortune on wine glasses, most people can’t tell the difference, and even in a wine region we find that to be true. In my couples luxe listing i have high end glassware, we had 2 expensive whisky glasses stolen recently (BDC guests are the worst), but i am always on the hunt for these things in op shops, I recently got 2 Spiegleu champagne flutes for $10. It’s probably a little more time consuming but i don’t have another f-t job, this is what we do, so it’s not an issue (and we love thrifting anyway).

are you cleaning? invest in quality mop and vacuum, it will make the job SO much easier. Or be sure to choose a reliable, honest cleaner and pay them well. Often your cleaner will be the key element in ensuring the property presents well.


@Cyndyrr327 It’s always a good idea to stay in your own rental overnight. It can become evident that light glares in somewhere at night, that something else in the way of furniture may be needed, or that the placement of something isn’t very convenient. Also cleaning is normally done during daylight hours and you may never realize that a ceiling light fixture is full of dead bugs and dust unless you are lying in bed reading at night with the light on.

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From time to time I have friends stay and then provide feedback. I once had a rusting shower curtain bar that I never noticed because I never take a shower in the unit.

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I agree with most of above. Easy-to-clean furniture, sturdy but not expensive. I buy two sets of bedding every time I replace. I use white sheets and towels because it’s easier to get out stains. I also provide inexpensive gray washcloths with a note about using for makeup, etc.

My furniture is all second-hand but sturdy. TVs are nice but not too nice.

As for decorative stuff - just say no to all those useless decorative pillows. You want things to be easy to clean (covid, etc) I keep the artwork on the wall, photos of scenic landscapes around town.

As for beds, I believe you go as big as you can get. I would put money into a good mattress and get mattress toppers. I have a king tempurpedic. I get rave reviews. Get a sturdy frame. I personally can not sleep with another person on a double or full bed.

I also have extra fans and blankets should folks get hot or cold. I do not allow heaters.

If you are making beds, keep in mind that bunk beds are difficult to make up.


I swear by Tuft & Needle. When we first started I went all in with unique yet chic beach artwork, throw pillows, and decor and have yet to have anyone ask about a single one, but 1 in every 5 guests will ask what the brand the mattresses and linens are.

Also, it sounds silly, but if you are planning to allow toddlers, try to acquire multiple remotes and other things that aren’t instantly replaceable but critical for same-day flips. We’ve had a few totally lost to tiny roaming hands. Not a huge expense but a huge headache.

I also agree with sleeping in the unit multiple times prior to any guests arriving, and during gaps in your calendar from time to time.

Another thing I haven’t seen mentioned – our 2nd guests ever happened to be former hosts. I asked for their critical feedback and they gave great advice I wouldn’t have thought of. (For example, our HVAC is located in a closet in the 2nd bedroom which is smaller and used for kids, and to give a heads up about the noise which some might find scary in the middle of the night). If you can get someone like that in, or even a very happy guest you build rapport with, ask for their advice for improvements, that would do wonders.


Be sure your dining area seats as many as your stated occupancy.

I agree with the others - great beds and pillows.

Anything upholstered should be leather, or high-performance fabric, or covered with a slipcover. Sunbrella and Crypton are high-performance fabrics I have great experience with. My sofa is commercial-grade construction and covered in cream-colored Crypton fabric, with the covers for the seat and back cushions removable for washing.


My guest room has always had white cotton curtains for privacy, and I live in the countryside where it was dark at night and the sun doesn’t make it over the trees until late morning.

But one night, when it got dark, my entire yard was suddenly lit up like a stage set and I realized the municipality had installed a street light on the electric pole right across from my house while I was out that day, which was quite upsetting (I like dark sky, to see the stars). And that light glared right into my guest room. Luckily I didn’t have a guest at the time, but had one arriving in a couple of days, so I raced to the fabric store, bought some black-out fabric, and as the curtains are hung with clip rings, it was pretty quick to just cut and hem the fabric and clip it in behind the existing curtains.


Loving all these tips!! Thank you!


I’d amend that slightly and say “as big as you can comfortably fit”. I’ve seen listings where a queen or king size bed is crammed in a bedroom too small for that, so the bed is pushed up against the wall. No space for a bedside table there, or to walk around, the 2nd person having to crawl over their partner, or the bottom, to get in and out of bed.
Americans and Canadians have a thing about huge beds, but that isn’t common in other parts of the world. In fact, what is called a king-size bed has quite different measurements in various areas. What is called a king in the UK, for instance, is the size of an American Queen.

After furnishing the place, stay there yourself or have a friend who will give you honest feedback stay there for a few days.

This will flag things you never thought of and may want to add or change, before your paying guests have a chance to make suggestions or complain.

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I’m in both camps on this. As an Airbnb guest, one of my biggest bugbears is trying to find places with decent sized (ie super king or bigger) beds, especially outside the USA and Northern Europe.

I continue to wish for a “size of bed” filter but it has yet to happen. But as big a bed as possible is my view

That said, I’m also with @muddy that if one side of the bed is against the wall then that completely takes away the point. And ditto if you can’t physically get down the side. But anything more than about 50cm on either side is good in my book

Here in Amsterdam we have European emperor (200cm x 200cm) and never have complaints. Aside from when people don’t read the listing and want twin beds (which we don’t offer)

Cheers all



The difference in bed sizes worldwide is what makes a size of bed filter impossible. All hosts can really do is add the dimensions of the beds in their listing info.
If there was a filter for “king size”, for instance, travelers from the US who aren’t aware of the discrepancy in dimensions between countries might book a place in the UK using a “King Size” filter, only to find the bed is what they know as Queen size. I can see a lot of complaining reviews and demands for refunds in those situations.

Not sure if there is a Dollar Store near you but that’s the best place to get glasses, plates, cups, etc. If a guest breaks a plate or glass, it’s not a big deal since it just cost a dollar. They also sell coasters, placemats, kitchen towels and oven mitts.

If you use Amazon, get their credit card to earn points towards purchases. On average I get $14 (Amazon points) a month that I use to buy coffee pods for the guests. If you’re in the USA check out Kohls for bath towels. Use their 30% coupon to buy bath towels.