Towels and bed linens in a cottage setting

I’m looking for advice on how to deal with towels and linens for a lakeside cottage. There is currently no washer/dryer in the unit and we’ll wash them at home. How many towels do you have on hand per guest? Does it depend on the length of their stay? Also do you ever leave extra sheets or just the ones currently on the bed?

Anyone provide beach towels as well and keep them separate?


You will routinely (read pretty much every time) need to spot treat linens when the guests leave. If you can’t launder your linens you really can’t be an Airbnb host. Can your cleaner use the nearby laundromat you mentioned?

I would get doubles of everything. This was you can clean the towels and linens at your own pace after change over. 2 towels per person works well, maybe less if you have a large occupancy rental.

We keep beach towels in a wood tote by the door to the lake. You can get cheap beach towels at walmart.

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In our lake cottage area I’m the only Airnb providing bed linens, I don’t provide towels.
I would not leave extras unless you want to do extra laundry. When I can’t line dry, I wash everything at home, then take it all to the laundromat for drying. I find it more time and cost efficient,
If you do provide towels, I’d buy separate beach towels.

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If the vast majority of your guests are local and driving from their homes, I think it’s fine to tell them to bring their own bath and beach towels. (You can provide some kitchen towels and a hand towel or two…) If the occasional guest is international or out-of-state, I’d provide them with towels.

I only do sheet changes for guests staying 2 weeks or longer so if that’s an atypical booking, I wouldn’t be concerned about it. Store extra sets of sheets someplace where guests can’t access them.

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My rental sleeps two and I provide two sets of bath, hand and washcloth towels for two guests, plus an extra set they can fight over. I also provide two pool/beach towels for each guest. Naturally, a duplicate of everything is required to exchange on turnover day. My maximum allowable days per reservation is 8. I also provide kitchen towels and retain a duplicate number for the change-over.

Vacation rentals are self-catering so I let the guests know the laundry room is at the end of the hall and the cost of the coin-operated machines. I provide detergent and a cart on wheels for their use. It’s up to them if they wish to do the towels during their stay.

Other than the linen on the bed, I provide an extra set of sheets in the closet so they can change them at will (like if they have an accident, etc.). They can just leave the soiled set in the hamper.

I’ve been at it for 7-1/2 yrs. and it’s the system that works for me.

Thank you all! This is great information. I really appreciate the advice from those who have been there.