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Bed Basics
Bed Basics

Find the Perfect Mattress for Your Guest Room

High angle view of happy woman laying on double bed at hotel suite.
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Whether your guest room is a revolving door of visitors, a holiday hideaway for beloved relatives or your regular escape from a snoring partner, the bed in your guest bedroom shouldn’t be an afterthought. Providing guests with a comfortable and calm sleep environment can be just as important as the next morning’s pancake breakfast. After all, happy, well-rested guests can make your whole house more pleasant.

Mattress Firm Sleep Experts® Erich Bunofsky and Sonny Carilles have years of knowledge when it comes to choosing the right mattress for every part of your house, including the guest room. uests come with different needs, so you’ll want to invest in a guest room mattress that offers wide-ranging comfort, likely at a more affordable level. You’ll also want a bed that’ll last for years to come and fits the room, in both size and decor.

Here’s everything you need to know before you shop for a guest mattress, according to the Sleep Experts® at Mattress Firm.

How To Choose the Best Mattress for a Guest Room

The first thing Bunofsky and Carilles ask when it comes to buying a guest room mattress is, “Who will be sleeping on the bed?” As with choosing a mattress for ourselves, body type, age and personal preferences can help inform which mattress will be the most comfortable for overnight guests.

“Guests come in different sizes with different preferences,” Bunofsky says. This means there’s no one mattress that’ll be best for all guests. Instead, you’ll want to shop for a mattress that’ll please most sleepers. If you know you’ll have one primary guest or set of guests, you could also shop for their preferences.

Once you have an idea of who’ll be sleeping on the bed, you’ll also want to consider the size of the guest room, which will help narrow down the size of the mattress and foundation. You’ll want to work through your budget for the mattress and accessories.

What Makes a Mattress Good for a Guest Room?

A good mattress for a guest room is one that fits the space well and provides overnight visitors with a comfortable sleeping experience. A guest mattress should use high-quality materials and be durable enough to hold up for many years of guests. It should also fit the room well, leaving guests with a few feet of clearance to maneuver around the mattress and accommodate their luggage.

When shopping for a new guest room mattress, Sleep Expert® Carilles brings up a great point. “Do you yourself think you might spend some time on the guest mattress?” he questions. “Different things might drive you out of your primary bedroom and into the guest room for a bit, whether you're sick or your partner’s sick or if they have snoring issues and it's disturbing your sleep.”

For many reasons, not all couples share the same bed or bedroom. Carilles says if you think you or your partner might use the guest room while it’s not in use by out-of-town visitors, it’s wise to shop for your own personal preferences.

He also mentions that buying a guest room mattress could be an ideal opportunity to upgrade your primary mattress. If your current mattress is still in good shape, you have the option to move that bed into the guest room and pick a new mattress for yourself.

What to Look for in a Guest Mattress

When shopping for a guest mattress, you’ll want to keep a few major points in mind. One of the most important is the comfort of your guests. Some sleepers prefer the cloud-like cushion of memory foam, while others sleep best on a medium-firm hybrid mattress. Age and body size can also play a role in how each sleeper experiences a mattress. A heavier person, for example, might sink deeper into the bed than a lightweight sleeper.

Overall, you’ll want to shop for a bed that people of many body types will find comfortable and accommodating of a good night’s rest.

Mattress Size Options for Guest Rooms

Most bedrooms in homes that were built after the 1960s can comfortably accommodate a queen-size bed, Bunofsky mentions. This makes shopping for a queen-size guest room mattress a fairly safe option.

However, if you have a larger room, your guests might prefer the extra space that comes with a king-size bed. While a queen mattress measures 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, a king is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Couples might sleep best on a king-size mattress if the bedroom can accommodate the size. Bunofsky recommends you have three feet of space around the sides and foot of the bed so guests can easily get in and out of bed.

If the room is on the small size, Bunofsky recommends shoppers opt for a full-size mattress, which saves six inches of width and five inches of length, but the drawback of a full is that it’s sometimes too short for adults, and too tight for couples, while saving little cost over a queen. For this reason, Bunofsky recommends a queen if the room can accommodate it.

Benefits of a Firm or Soft Mattress for Guests

How soft or firm a mattress feels is a major factor in how comfortably we sleep at night. Some sleepers feel best on a soft surface that cradles the body. Many memory foam mattresses are designed with softer foam in the upper comfort layer to create a body-contouring feel. Side sleepers tend to prefer a softer mattress to help relieve any pressure points in the hips and shoulders.

Other sleepers, like stomach and back sleepers, tend to feel best on a firmer bed with upper layers that maintain spinal alignment and leave you feeling like you’re sleeping on top of the mattress rather than in the mattress.

If you’re shopping for specific guests, it might help to inquire about their sleep positions and preferences for mattress feel. However, if you’re not sure who will be spending the night or their preferences, Bunofsky recommends that you opt for a mattress with a medium feel. This option is the middle ground between soft and firm and is likely to accommodate all sleepers, he explains.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for a Guest Room?

When it comes to shopping for a guest room mattress, you’ll have a choice between a memory foam, hybrid, latex or innerspring bed. Memory foam could be best for couples, while older visitors might prefer the support of a hybrid or innerspring mattress. If you choose one that feels good to you, it’ll likely please your guests, too.

Regardless of the type, Bunofsky recommends choosing a bed with a medium feel. “I recommend something that's a medium comfort with a good support system, meaning a good amount of springs or a mattress that has a dense memory foam,” he says, since those can accommodate side, stomach and back sleepers.

Creating a Comfortable Guest Experience

Your guests’ experience extends beyond how comfortable the mattress feels. The overall room environment plays a role, including the temperature and light levels.

If the space is an attic, basement or other space that can get warm or cold, plan to add a fan, window unit, fluffy duvet or other method of climate control. Blackout curtains are great for helping guests sleep soundly.

Bedding is also important, including the sheets, comforter and pillows you choose for the guest bed.

When it comes to sheets, Bunofsky recommends the Sleepy’s Supima Cotton set. These sheets are designed to sleep cool but feel extra soft with a 600 thread count. The fitted sheet in this set fits mattresses up to 19 inches deep, so it’s likely to fit whichever guest room mattress you choose. For aesthetics, the set comes in a dozen colors, which should match any room’s decor.

Pillows can also be a large part of how comfortably we sleep each night. Think of them as a bed for your head. After all, they take up about 25% of the length of the bed. Pillow preferences also vary, so it could be best to have a selection of both higher loft and low pillows available. You might also want to opt for a down-alternative fill instead of down to accommodate guests with allergies.

How To Make Your Guest Room More Comfortable

When it comes to decorating the guest room, you’ll want to consider what makes your own bedroom cozy and inviting. Soft lighting with bedside lamps can be perfect for providing guests with light that isn’t too harsh. Other special touches include guest room accessories, like a nightstand topped with fresh flowers or an adjustable base, could have your guests asking if they can move in. Don’t forget the guest room basics like fresh towels and a space for your guests to unpack their belongings. If you expect noise could be an issue, a sound machine could also be a welcome addition.

What Else Should You Consider When Choosing a Guest Mattress?

Guest Mattresses for Couples

If one partner moves around, this motion could disrupt the other’s sleep. Those couples tend to favor a mattress that isolates motion, which helps reduce the movement across the mattress. Memory foam mattresses tend to excel when it comes to motion isolation, but many hybrid mattresses also do a great job.

Guest Mattresses for Kids and Teens

If your guests will be kids or teens, you might want to consider a twin, twin XL, or full-size mattress. The smallest of these options is the twin, measuring 75 inches long and 38 inches wide. The twin XL adds five inches to the length, which could be better for older kids. A full mattress measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, which could be great for teens or two younger kids.

Guest Beds and Mattresses for Adult Visitors

As Bunofsky recommends, most adults and couples prefer to sleep on a queen-size mattress. If you have the space, a king-size bed could also be a great option, especially if your guests are beloved by kids or pets who may join them in bed.

Mattress Care Tips for Your Guest Room

Bunofksy says the most important care tip for your guest room bed is to use a mattress protector. Mattress protectors create a waterproof barrier around the mattress to help protect it from spills, moisture, dirt and dust, all of which can shorten a bed’s lifespan.

Top-Rated Mattresses for Guest Rooms in 2023

Sleepy's By Sealy ® Medium Euro Top Mattress

Sleepy's by Sealy 10.5” Medium Euro Top Mattress

The medium-firmness Sleepy’s by Sealy Euro Top could be a great all-around mattress for your guest room. Suitable for all sleeping positions, the mattress has a medium feel, which Bunofsky recommends if you expect to have a variety of guests with differing sleep preferences.

Sleepy’s Doze Mattress


The Sleepy’s Doze is an all-foam mattress with a medium feel, a great option for pleasing guests of various preferences. With a breathable circular knit cover, the Doze aims to provide pressure relief with a charcoal-infused memory foam. This could be ideal for guests who are side sleepers and like cushioned pressure relief.

Sealy Posturepedic ® Spring Bloom 12" Medium Mattress


With five layers of support, the Sealy Posturepedic Spring Bloom bed has a medium feel with a hybrid design. A layer of targeted support could be great for guests who have issues with pain or who toss and turn at night. The soft knit cover has an antibacterial treatment for a more hygienic sleep environment. The Spring Bloom mattress is also compatible with adjustable bases for a truly special guest room experience.

Sleepy’s Basic Hybrid Mattress

Basic Hybrid Mattress

If you’re opting for a hybrid mattress, the Sleepy’s Basic Hybrid is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s ideal for back, stomach and side sleepers or those dealing with pain. It’s also designed with cooling gel memory foam, which could be great for hot sleepers or if you live in a warm climate.

Frequently asked questions about guest mattresses

How often should I replace a guest mattress?

Like all mattresses, Bunofsky recommends replacing a guest room mattress about every eight years. However, a guest room bed might see less use, which can help it last longer. If the mattress is visibly sagging, has indents or gets comments from guests that it isn’t comfortable, it might be time for a new bed.

How should I store a guest mattress?

Aside from always using a mattress protector, Bunofsky says guest room mattresses should always be stored on a flat surface. Propping a mattress up could distort it. If the mattress has a coil support system, they could become misshapen if it’s not flat.

Can couples sleep on a full-size mattress?

Some couples feel comfortable sleeping on a full-size mattress, but it’s better suited for a teen or an individual. If you think the majority of your guests will be couples, it’s likely a better bet to outfit your guest room with a queen-size mattress.

Guest Bedding and Beds