Obese guest and damaging the bed

I have just had a tall and obese man check in. It’s only a single bed. I am concerned he might flatten the quality mattress. I am sympathetic, and not exactly willowy myself but this is quite extreme. Is this a diversity issue? Could I make a claim? He’s such a sweet guy but he’s here a week and he should really have booked a bigger bed.

I seem to vaguely remember a topic here many moons ago discussing this very problem. You’d think that he’d be aware of the problem himself and ask about bed sizes before booking!


I think this was the one.

This guy is nice, just addicted to food (was nibbling on loads of cookies and crisps). My listing does say it’s a single bed. He’s probably about 20 stone.

Unless and until an incident occurs resulting in damage, I would classify it as a non-issue. Your guest undoubtedly is aware of his size and you (hopefully) are aware of the weight and stress limits of your furniture and bed(ding).

You might consider contacting CS to have it noted on the record that your guest showed up and is extremely over-sized and you are concerned but other than that…

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20 stone won’t flatten a quality mattress-they know who their customers are. Dropping suddenly in a bed may damage the frame.

Your guest isn’t new to this. Have a genuine and caring conversation that some of your furniture may be fragile and not bariatric friendly. You want him to be comfortable and make sure he has roomy sturdy furniture.

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Unless he breaks the bed frame I would think it unlikely he will permanently dent or damage the mattress. Even if it was a tight fit would it bother you if you found out two 10 stone people had slept on it?

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A quality mattress oughtn’t to be damaged by a 20-stone weight sleeping on it.

Yep I definitely would object to two 10 stone people sleeping on it. It’s a single bed and room for one person! However at least the weight would be better distributed.
It’s too much weight for the bed! I can’t believe the mattress won’t be depressed by such a large weight, especially if they sit on the side. It’s well known by bed experts this flattens a mattress even with healthy weight people. I think he should have booked a double bed, to spread the weight.

If you have a 12-14 inch quality mattress it should be fine for a few nights. If you were providing a mattress for someone to sleep on for a year then you might have some concerns. As long as he doesn’t flop down on it adding many more pounds of force on a side right at the frame edge or something exceptional like that then it should be fine. If your bed frame/base shouldn’t be damaged either. They even make air mattresses that will hold 300 pound people.

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Apparently obese folks need sturdier mattresses and frames, purpose built, and they realize it:


“The best method we’ve found for meeting the mattress needs of these customers is for RSAs to use appropriate qualifying questions about the bed they sleep on now,” Shoemaker says. “Find out if they’ve had mattress failures. It’s easier to keep the conversation on the mattress and not their weight.”

Hnilicka of Sherman’s—a family-owned, full-line furniture retailer with locations in Normal, Peoria and Peru, Illinois—uses that sales tactic, too.

“During qualifying, I’ll ask how long they’ve had a mattress,” Hnilicka says. “Heavier customers will usually say they go through them pretty quickly.”

And this means that the host’s mattress and frame for regular sized folks is taking something of a beating.

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Obese folks need purpose built beds because they are sleeping on them every night. Yes, they will have to replace them more often. Obese guests shouldn’t be beating your guest bed by sleeping on it a few nights. If you are hosting obese guests every night, 365 nights a year, then you should consider upgrading your bed to accommodate them.


They can and do bend frames just by getting in bed.

Gotta disagree with this approach – the fat guest needs to find accommodation for fatties. The host is under no obligation to host the obese or get special beds for them, rebuild their stairs, install chair lifts, or toss 'em into their listing using firefighter slings.

Lol. So I wonder what Airbnb would say about this in terms of diversity! It’s a worry they wouldn’t compensate a host. I understand it’s an illness but when I see the guest tucking into cookies and crisps all I can think of is the battering my bed is going to get. A bit like hosts looking at a face with loads of make up and thinking about the linens. At least it’s not a couple! Meanwhile I am cross I find it hard to lose weight on 1500 calories a day, with mostly lean protein and vegetables and fruit.

I’d want to look up the max weight ratings for my frame and mattress and inform the guest if it seems he may be exceeding them. It’s in both your interests - if the bed fails, he could be injured. I had some inexpensive twin frames when I started Airbnb; an obese friend fell right through the slats because the bed was rated for 300lbs and he was closer to 350-400lb. Otherwise, just wait it out and see if any damage occurs.

I’m not sure how Airbnb would handle it from a “diversity” standpoint. It would be foolish for hosts to furnish their places with things that wouldn’t hold the average overweight American. I’m built like a Swedish farmer, and at 200lbs decimated one of my sister’s delicate dining chairs… It was embarrassing! Had it happened in an Airbnb listing I’d be upset that they didn’t provide sturdy furniture. I think we should be prepared to host people of “most” sizes, but clearly there are limits. Even hospitals have to send some patients elsewhere when they, for example, are too big for the MRI machine.

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Ugh. There is really no limit on the forum this week is there? The Jews, the fatties, the Indians…

Exaggeration much? No one said anything about doing these things. We are talking about beds which should hold a 400 pound weight without modification having 300 pounds on them a few nights.


I doubt an average single bed would take anywhere near 400ib! Obviously the weight is concentrated in a smaller area. The frame and slats of my bed is of thick waxed pine, with thick wooden drawers underneath, but I wouldn’t fancy my chances. I reckon anything over 240lb would be a risk.
Yes, obesity is a serious disability, and we need to be compassionate. However just as wheelchair using disabled people book special accommodation, surely obese people should too. What about individual responsibility for health? Are we just to accept the growing obesity crisis as normal and not challenge it? Just get bigger, stronger stuff?
What I find most shocking is childhood obesity which is on the increase. If the same people made a dog morbidly obese they would be prosecuted by the RSPCA for animal cruelty. It breaks my heart to see a lovely young European man so afflicted.

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You may be right. I’ve not researched weight ratings. Since people are heavier than ever and tons of single beds have held two people having sex for generations without them becoming a safety concern I supposed I assumed.

It’s really a bit pathetic, isn’t it? We are all (mostly) happy to be Airbnb hosts and therefore to not discriminate against particular groups of people and yet this forum is showing otherwise. Sad.


I thought single bed antics were historically the preserve of skinny teenagers and Bob Marley ‘sharing the shelter’ of said single bed.
Even my 30 inch waisted teenage sons have double beds, so I am sure bigger people do not have single beds. I only offer a single room on Airbnb because there’s a shortage of accommodation for single people in my expensive city. It appeals to students, professionals and grannies or grandpas visiting their grandchildren!

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