With many of us opting to work from home either on a hybrid or full-time basis, this has meant many guest rooms have been lost in order to accommodate home offices.
So, when we have overnight visitors, where are they going to stay?
Before you splash out on a brand-new guest set-up, we’ve done some research to make sure you don’t waste your money. We’ve surveyed over 1000 people across the UK to find out where and what type of bed people prefer to sleep on when staying over at someone’s home. Here’s what we found out.
Spare room vs living room vs sharing a room
Staying over at someone’s home means you’re able to spend some quality time with them. However, it can be even more enjoyable if you have your own private space to retreat when you want to relax and recharge. This could be why more than 50% of the people we surveyed say they typically try to accommodate guests in their spare room (a), and almost 60% said a spare room would be their preferred place to sleep when they’re a visitor in someone else’s home (b).
Although not everyone is fortunate enough to have a spare room to dedicate to guests, it does make it easier to accommodate last-minute visitors as you’ll always have a bed set up and a room ready to go whenever you need it. It also means you don’t have to compromise the rest of your home when guests visit, making it much less hassle!
If there’s no guest room, staying in someone’s living room was the second most popular place to sleep (c). A friend’s sofa can be the perfect place to crash after a night out, which could be why sleeping in the living room proved more popular amongst younger adults. Of the people we surveyed, 32% of those aged between 16 and 24 said this would be their preferred place to sleep when staying over at someone’s home (d), compared to just over 5% of adults aged 55 and above (e).
A sofa or sofa bed in a living room can be an ideal alternative to a guest room. Just make sure you have extra pillows and a duvet or warm blankets on hand to make it cosy and comfortable for your guests.
And if you think your guests won’t mind sleeping on a mattress in the same room as you – think again. Only 13% of the people we surveyed said staying in their friend or family member’s room would be their preference for an overnight stay (f).
Permanent vs temporary beds
It may not be surprising to learn that almost 42% of the people we surveyed said they would prefer a regular bed to a temporary bed when staying over at someone’s home (g).
But there are pros and cons to both, depending on your situation, the type of guest, and available space.
Permanent guest beds
Nevada Memory Divan Bed Set
If you have the room (and the budget) to accommodate a permanent bed for visitors, it can feel more like a home from home for your guests. If you have the same guest staying over frequently, you could even look at purchasing a bed that’s more tailored to their needs. For example, you could buy a mattress that’s more suited to a back or side sleeper if that’s their preferred sleeping position, or even invest in an orthopaedic mattress for additional support.
If you’d like to give your guests more storage, divan beds and ottoman beds are fantastic options. Divan beds come with a range of options including 2 or 4 drawers, while ottoman beds offer storage underneath the entire bed, giving guests ample room to store their clothes, belongings, and overnight bags.
Putting in the extra effort to make their stay as pleasant as possible can be a touching way to show you care – the only downside is your guests may be so comfortable they never want to leave!
Temporary guest beds
If you don’t have the space to accommodate a permanent guest bed, or you need your spare room to be multipurpose, a temporary bed that can be stored away or transformed into a sofa when not in use could be a better option.
Our survey results show temporary beds are much more popular amongst younger adults. More than 20% of people we surveyed aged between 16 and 24 said an air bed would be their preferred choice of bed when staying over at someone’s home (h), compared to just over 1% of those aged 55 and above (i).
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to temporary guest beds, depending on your available space and whether you want the bed to be multi-functional.
Sofa beds are an excellent option for guest rooms doubling up as home offices. For example, the Emile Sofa Bed is available in two sizes, ten colours and three different textures, including velvet, woven, and linen, so you can personalise it to suit the style and colour scheme of your workspace.
Emile Sofa Bed - available in a range of colours
Although folding beds were one of the least popular choices for guest beds amongst those we surveyed with only 29 of 1003 people choosing them as their preference (j), folding beds are a great option if you need to be able to store your bed away or use it for a different purpose when it’s not in use. For example, the Jay-Be Supreme Pocket Sprung Folding Bed is available in two sizes, has 360° for easy manoeuvrability, and can be stored vertically for optimal space-saving. Alternatively, the Jay-Be Secret Sleeper Footstool cleverly doubles up as a comfy bed and a stylish footstool. It even comes complete with a luxury hypo-allergenic knitted cover.
Jay-Be Supreme Pocket Sprung Folding Bed
What about guest beds for kids?
More than 10% of the parents we surveyed said that their children’s friends are their most frequent type of guest (k). While sleepovers are great fun for kids, it can be tricky to know how you’re going to find the room to accommodate an extra bed for the night.
Trundle beds are a brilliant option for kids. They provide a permanent place to store a mattress and a convenient way to accommodate your children’s friends. For example, the Hip Hop 3-in-1 trundle features a pull-out guest bed which can raise to the height of the main frame to make two single beds, perfect for late-night chatting! Or, the Bergamo 2 in 1 even comes with a USB charging headboard, ideal for ensuring they’ll always have enough battery life for those YouTube videos.
Mi Zone Wooden Bunk Bed
Top tips to help you create the perfect guest space
You don’t need lots of space to create the perfect place for overnight guests. Here are some quick and simple ways to make a heavenly haven for visitors (1).
Invest in a quality mattress
More than 20% of people we surveyed said sleeping on an uncomfortable bed was the worst part of staying at someone else’s house (l). So, if you have the budget, investing in a good quality mattress or mattress topper is a great way to ensure your guests enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.
Keep noise and light to a minimum
A disrupted night’s sleep was voted one of the worst parts of staying over at someone’s home (m). So, to help give your guest’s a peaceful sleep, consider asking them roughly what time they prefer to get up in a morning so that you can try and keep noise to a minimum while they’re still sleeping. And don’t forget to check the curtains in your living room or spare room to ensure they adequately block the light out, so they aren’t disturbed when the sun comes up.
Provide enough storage
Nothing is worse than arriving at a friend’s house to stay for a night or longer, only to discover there’s nowhere to store your belongings or hang your clothes. If you have the room, invest in ottoman boxes, drawers, or bedside tables or alternatively, offer them space in your wardrobe.
Penelope Upholstered Ottoman Storage Box - available in a range of colours
Add some homely touches
Lamps with soft lighting so your guest can read at night, lovely smelling diffusers, and plenty of cosy blankets are all lovely additions to any space that visitors will appreciate.
Offer a welcome basket
Providing your guests with some small toiletries, such as toothpaste, tissues, and shower gel, along with fresh towels, can help them feel at home and free up space in their overnight bag. You could even add some of their favourite magazines or sweet treats to give them a truly special welcome.
No matter what size space you have or what type of guest bed you need, you will find a bed that’s perfect for you at Bensons for Beds. We have a wide range of guest beds available in various styles and sizes.
And don’t forget, you can even personalise your bed with a selection of colours and fabrics to choose from with Bensons for Beds your bed, your way® service.
a) 306 of 605 people surveyed answered ‘spare/guest room’ when asked, ‘When you have these guests stay over, where do they usually sleep?’
b) 459 of 770 people surveyed answered ‘spare/guest room’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend or family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’
c) 129 of 605 people surveyed answered ‘in the living room’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend/family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’
d) 38 of 119 people surveyed aged 16 to 24 answered ‘in the living room’ asked ‘When you stay over at a friend/family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’
e) 14 of 249 people surveyed aged 55 and over answered ‘in the living room’ asked ‘When you stay over at a friend/family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’
f) 106 of 770 people we surveyed answered ‘in your friend/family member’s bedroom’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend/family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’
g) 421 of 1003 people surveyed answered ‘regular bed’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend/family member’s house, what type of bed, if any, would you prefer to sleep on and why?’
h) 28 of 134 people surveyed aged between 16 and 24 answered ‘air bed’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend or family member’s house, what type of bed, if any, would you prefer to sleep on and why?’
i)v people surveyed aged 55 and over answered ‘air bed’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend or family member’s house, what type of bed, if any, would you prefer to sleep on and why?’
j)29 of 1003 people surveyed answered ‘foldaway bed’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend or family member’s house, what type of bed, if any, would you prefer to sleep on and why?’
k)46 of 423 people we are surveyed who are parents answered ‘children’s friends’ when asked, ‘Which type of guest, if any, stays over at your home the most frequently?’
l) 157 of 770 people surveyed answered ‘an uncomfortable bed’ when asked ‘What is the worst part about staying over at someone else’s home, if anything?’
m) 214 of 770 people surveyed answered ‘disruption to regular routine/sleep’ when asked ‘When you stay over at a friend or family member’s house, where would you prefer to sleep and why?’