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Ideal Sleeping Arrangements For Guests

Apr 29, 2008
Most of us invite guests to stay from time to time, whether they're relatives, old friends, visitors from overseas or just people whose company we enjoy.

Entertaining guests in your home can be a lot of fun but also presents a number of challenges. As well as worrying what to cook, what activities you should plan and whether everyone will get on, there's the crucial question of where your guests are going to sleep.

To a large extent, sleeping arrangements will be dictated by the size of your home and the number and ages of the guests. Students and young people are often used to 'roughing it' while travelling or crashing on the floor in a sleeping bag in shared flats, so they're less likely to be fussy about where they spend the night. Older people may be more accustomed to their traditional home comforts or have health issues which mean they require privacy and an adequate bed to get a good night's sleep.

Young children can find staying overnight in a strange place challenging. They are also prone to spilling drinks, or having other accidents in the bedroom. Find out the needs of your guests and decide whether you can accommodate them. If you really feel it won't be an enjoyable stay for all concerned, explain the situation and recommend a decent bed and breakfast in your area instead.

Arranging a spare room for guests

If you have a spare bedroom or a study that can be converted into a guest room you're unlikely to have too many problems. As well as cleaning and dusting the room and getting rid of clutter, check that the mattress on the bed is firm and not lumpy or sagging in the middle. If you're not sure, try spending a night on it yourself. If your guests have back trouble and are going to stay on a regular basis, it might be worth investing in an orthopaedic or memory foam mattress to ensure they are comfortable. A plastic mattress cover will help protect your mattress and reduce the embarrassment of your guests if they or their kids knock over a cup of coffee in bed.

Make sure the bed linen is crisp and clean and provide several pillows, preferably of different thickness so your guests can choose according to their preference. If the weather is cold or uncertain, leave extra blankets where they can easily be reached. Find out if your guests have any allergies (just as you would when preparing food), and keep pets out of the bedroom before their arrival. Remember to clear some space in a cupboard or wardrobe for your guests to hang up their clothes. A bedside lamp and a choice of reading material will help your guests relax at night, while simple decorative touches such as candles, pot pourri and fresh flowers will create a welcoming atmosphere.

Creating extra space in your home for guests

With house prices rising higher than ever, many of us nowadays don't have the luxury of a spare room for guests. However, with a little thought and planning you can make the most of your living space to create a suitable temporary sleeping arrangement. Futons and airbeds, for example, are great options for accommodating extra people in your living room or bedroom.

The futon is a Japanese invention, originally consisting of a cotton mattress placed over a tatami (straw) flooring, which was folded away during the day. Western futons are loosely based on the Japanese design, but have a configurable frame which folds in the middle to double up as a bed and a sofa. The mattress is usually filled with foam and has a removable cover. Futons are a cheap, versatile and stylish alternative to a spare bed. A futon set consists of a sofa and several chairs that can be folded out into beds - ideal for accommodating a family.

An air mattress or airbed is an inflatable mattress made of plastic or textile-reinforced plastic or rubber inflated either by blowing into a valve or by using a manual foot-powered or electric pump. The deflated mattress can easily be rolled up and stored, making it a popular choice for campers. Airbeds vary widely in their price, quality and level of comfort. A good airbed can provide a very comfortable night's sleep and some people even prefer them to a traditional bed. Make sure you inform your guests in advance that they'll be sleeping on an airbed, however, as these beds may not be to everyone's taste.
About the Author
Leigh A. Matelas is a freelance writer living in the UK. She regularly contributes articles for Taurus Beds, a leading Bed Shop in London.
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