I’m an Airbnb Superhost — My Guests Love These 12 Bedroom Essentials

published Jun 27, 2023
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Credit: Carina Romano

It’s been just under two years since my husband and I pressed publish on our Airbnb listing, a quaint studio in a carriage house behind our home. I wasn’t sure if anyone would ever stay there: It’s in a quiet part of Highland Park, Illinois, 30 miles north of Chicago. Who is really coming here to stay? Turns out, a lot of people! 

Quick Overview

What do Airbnb guests really want during their stay?

Airbnb guests just want a great night’s sleep, which is why ear plugs and soft bedding provide peace of mind, and a smart lock provides major security.

Since then we’ve had 160+ bookings and an average of 5 stars, and we’ve been Superhosts since our first quarter. I attribute much of this success to my constantly monitoring the app for new messages and bookings (100 percent response rate is important!), our fastidious cleaning protocol, and our ability to visualize what people visiting Highland Park really want. But you know what guests really want? A good night’s sleep. 

Many of our visitors are coming from Chicago. They want a quiet weekend away from the city, to relax and unwind, and maybe spend some time at the beach. Others are visiting family and need a spot to escape from tiny children and, well, their family. The rest are road tripping across the country and truly just need a comfortable bed to recharge. 

That’s why we put so much thought into making the sleep experience as relaxing, comfortable, and luxurious as possible in our studio. Of course in the beginning, we kept things simple and cost-effective, buying a lot of our furniture and decor discounted on Facebook Marketplace and from estate sales. But we’ve asked and listened, upgraded, and invested — and here are the 12 items that keep our guests sleeping soundly.

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This sound machine is the same one we use in our house. It doubles as a night-light for wind-down time, and the sounds are much more pleasant than white noise. For those with longer stays, they can connect with the app and set an alarm if they need it. It’s also a handsome little machine and looks nice on the nightstand.

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Our studio is under a larger apartment and, because it’s an old building, you can sometimes hear the tenants above. While our guests rarely use the earplugs, it’s a nice extra for those who need complete silence and aren’t into the sound machine. We keep a big bag of earplugs in the closet and leave two out on the bedside table (still packaged) in case of emergency.

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People are always forgetting their phone chargers, so we decided to keep one plugged in by the bed. The secret to ensuring no one accidentally takes it with them? Tie it around the base of the table lamp! That’ll keep it secure while guests can still get their charge.

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It’s really hard to maintain fresh plants in an Airbnb and I don’t want guests to feel responsible for watering them or keeping them alive. That being said, flowers are a delightful addition. To meet in the middle, we keep little bouquets of dried lavender in the studio. It adds some color, nice fragrance, and no one has to worry about it dying on their watch.

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Between pet dander, seasonal allergies, and germs, it can never hurt to have an air purifier. Not only does it help clear the air, but it also signals to your guests that you go the extra mile to ensure the space is as clean as it can be.

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When we first launched the Airbnb, we didn’t have the best-quality bedding (or towels), but once we started making some money, the sheets and duvet cover were the first things we upgraded. This particular set is pricey, but remember spending (some) money toward your rental is beneficial come tax time. People can tell when sheets are nice and this set is so soft that we use the same brand at home. You want your guests to get into bed and go “ahhh.” Good sheets will do that.

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was $269.00

Because we’re in the Chicago area, nights can get cold. That’s why we invested in a nice down comforter to keep guests cozy. I also find that duvets are just so much more luxurious than a simple blanket. Plus, because we don’t use decorative pillows (it’s just too much to launder between guests), the plush duvet makes the bed look more inviting.

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While you could just throw old hangers you don’t want or those wire ones from dry cleanings past in the closet, it looks much better and more deliberate to have a set of matching hangers. (No guest wants to feel like they’re just using all your leftovers and discarded home goods!) I personally love these slim velvet hangers because they keep dresses and slippery shirts in place.

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Here’s a tip: Spend less on the bed frame and more on the mattress. We bought a very simple Zinus bed frame during a sale and a headboard from Facebook Marketplace for just $20. Then we got a heavenly Tuft & Needle mattress that guests rave about in the reviews.

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Everyone prefers different temperatures when they sleep. Make it easy for guests to adjust to a temp they want with a Nest Thermostat. I love that it allows us to remotely control the max and minimum temperature, just in case someone cranks it too high or low by mistake.

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You know what helps people sleep well at night? Feeling secure. Because we aren’t a hotel and don’t have a doorman, we use a smart lock and create a new code for each new guest. This way guests can come and go as they please, and it auto-locks after a few minutes. This particular smart lock allows us (the host!) to monitor the lock remotely, so if the door jams, we’re alerted and can reach out to help.

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Cleaning the studio is a ton of work. From bleaching the bathroom to wiping baseboards, washing dishes, laundering sheets and towels, we use all the help we can get. That means using this robot vacuum, which not only vacuums but mops, too. This is extremely helpful if four-legged guests leave muddy paw prints behind, and gives guests an extra sense of cleanliness when they see it inside the studio. As soon as we walk in to start cleaning, we turn on the robot vacuum. It does its thing while we do ours.