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You’ve got company coming, and you want them to sleep comfortably, right?
If you’ve started shopping for a guest bed mattress, you’ve already noticed that there’s a wide variety of products to choose from, and it can be challenging to distinguish which one is best for your needs.
Should you get memory foam or coils? An expensive, top-of-the-line mattress or one that’s priced to move? Or something in between (have you seen our top overall bed picks)?
In this guide, we’ll share our recommendations for the best mattress for a guest room.
We have to warn you though, we’ve chosen some really good ones, so don’t be surprised if your visitors decide they don’t want to leave!
Top 6 Beds for Guest Room Reviews
Nectar – Best Overall Value
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- OEKO-TEX® Certified
- 365-Day Trial
- Forever Warranty
Nectar has built a memory bed that provides a classic feel with updates to keep you cool, dry and nestled comfortably within the layers.
Nectar offers a versatile Medium-Firm feel that can adapt to different body shapes.
The quilted cover feels high-end, and its blend of comfort and support should be ideal for a variety of sleep preferences.
What makes it special? Though it is at a price point that is attractive for a spare room bed with a level of quality that may leave you wishing it was in your own bedroom. The incredible value is further enhanced by the company’s generous sleep trial policy that lets you keep the bed for a year before committing to keeping it.
There’s very little risk to making this purchase, and you can feel confident in the bed’s Forever warranty. Because memory foam is made to adapt to any shape, your guests should feel as if you’ve selected a bed specifically for them.
Read more: Our in-depth overview of the Nectar
DreamCloud – Affordable Luxury
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- 365-Day Trial
- Everlong Warranty
If you really want to roll out the red carpet for guests who come to stay in your home, you may consider the DreamCloud hybrid mattress.
This 15-inch mattress is built with luxury in mind, but because it comes compressed into a box, its price point remains affordable enough to furnish a guest room.
What stands out? The DreamCloud definitely makes quite an impression with its hand-tufted design and cashmere cover, and its insides are an equally impressive blend of latex, memory foam, and cooling technology. By cutting out the middlemen, DreamCloud can offer a lot of luxury for thousands less than you might find in retail stores with a generous sleep trial to help guarantee the hybrid is the right fit.
Equally important to luxury is this bed’s versatility. Most body shapes should feel comfortable stretched out in the position of their choice, which should help your guests feeling comfortable sleeping away from their own mattress. Your only problem might be convincing them to leave your guest room!
Learn more about DreamCloud in our full review here.
iPedic Sojourn 12″ Gel Memory Foam
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- OEKO-TEX® Certified
- 120-Day Trial
- 10-Year Warranty
- Made in the USA
If you want to ensure a quality sleep for your guests but you are on a tighter budget, you shouldn’t have to resort to hand-me-down mattresses or subpar quality.
Dreamfoam manufactures their mattresses in a facility in Arizona, which is shared with their sister brand Brooklyn Bedding. This allows them to pass on significant savings for the quality of Ultimate Dreams Supreme.
What is its best feature? Standing 12-inches tall and packed with high-quality and high-density memory foams, this all-foam bed should make a fantastic addition to your spare room furnishings without breaking the bank. The bed is highly durable, as well, which should help prolong its longevity and increase its value.
Though its design is more streamlined, Dreamfoam does not sacrifice quality with their memory bed. All foams in this mattress have been evaluated and certified by two different third-party laboratories that test for unsafe levels of emissions. It’s more universal feel should appeal to a variety of guests who visit your home, even if they have very different preferences.
Our Full Review: Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams Supreme 12″ Gel
DynastyMattress Cool Breeze – Under $500
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
Sleeping away from the comfort of your home can be difficult, and the potential discomfort of your guests can be further compounded if they are overheating in your guest rooms.
A cozy sleep can quickly escalate into a sweaty nightmare, especially if the foams in your guest bed are not properly temperature regulated.
The DynastyMattress Cool Breeze, a mattress popular on the internet due to its attractive price and cooling technology, may just fit the bill for your guests.
Memory foam makes a great choice for a guest room because it can adapt to different shapes, but more traditional materials can have a tendency to overheat. DynastyMattress strives to allay these concerns by using two layers of breathable foam in the center of the bed that allow hot air to escape and a comfort layer that is infused with gel to keep heat from building up on the surface.
What’s its best feature? The Cool Breeze mattress is very affordable for the quality you’ll be bringing into your guest room. The Medium-Firm feel should be able to accommodate most sleepers in the position of their choice, but you should keep in mind that the materials may soften over time.
Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea – Under $300
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
Since guest rooms go unused for long stretches of time, guest beds often carry a musty smell from going months without someone sleeping in them.
If this is a concern of yours, Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea may have a solution.
Their infusions of ingredients like castor seed oil, green tea, and charcoal can help keep your guest bed smelling fresh for whenever your guests arrive.
The Medium-Firm feel and deep memory foam hug can offer a cozy space for your guests in a material specially designed to hug to any shape that rests on it. A convoluted layer, which is structured like egg crate, allows air to flow through the mattress and keep it from overheating.
What makes it unique? This mattress is priced very competitively and delivers on its attention to detail. Many bed-in-a-box brands, especially those offered at low prices, can carry an industrial smell that may linger over time. Zinus’ approach with its foams can help counter these odors with fresher smelling features.
Read more: Zinus Green Tea Overview
Linenspa 8” – Under $200
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend are still attracted to the more balanced feel of a hybrid, you may want to check out LinenSpa.
This brand offers a streamlined 8-inch hybrid design that combines memory foam with a classic innerspring unit that could work great in your guest room.
What is its best feature? Hybrids can be priced substantially higher than simpler all-foam or innerspring designs, but this brand is priced extremely low. This is due, in part, to its online sales model that can reduce reliance on a long supply chain, and the bed’s more classic and traditional materials.
Your guests may be more familiar with a classic innerspring feel, which is what this bed provides, so you have the potential of creating a home-away-from-home experience. The bounce and airflow of this coil should work well for repositioning and help keep the mattress from overheating while the memory foam can soothe pressure points associated with travel.
What Type of Mattress is Best for a Guest Room?
The ideal mattress for your guest bedroom will, of course, heavily depend on your preferences. In this section, we’ll outline the different options you can choose. If you’re like most people who have houseguests only a handful of times per year, you may be better off buying a budget-friendly mattress, so we’ll share ideas on how you can get a great product but at a more reasonable price.
This type of material has universal appeal because the memory foam contours to the shape of a sleeper’s body. There’s a wide range of prices within this category, so here are some things to look out for:
- Temperature – Because your body sinks into the mattress, memory foam can make some people hot. To help prevent this, some brands offer infusions of gel or copper material that conduct heat away from the body. If you live in a warm climate or will have people over who might complain about this issue, look for something that has the ability to keep your guests cool.
- Support – Although memory foam gets top points for comfort, lower quality foams don’t offer necessary support. This mostly has to do with the foam’s density, so look for a product that has either a high-density support layer, or a medium density comfort layer.
Ideally, the top layer should be at least 1.8, and the support layer should be around 3.5 or higher. If you’re looking at a mattress that’s a single layer, try to stick with something that’s over a 2.5. The product description on the company’s website should readily have these specs available for you to review.
It has a look and feel similar to memory foam, but with a few notable differences.
- The manufacturing process of latex results in a greener product than memory foam. This principle only applies if you get natural latex, which is sourced from the sap of a rubber tree. It’s a bit pricier, but also more durable (though that might not be the most important thing for you).
- Though it has a similar type of pressure relief as memory foam, it feels a bit firmer.
There’s more bounce in this type of mattress, so if your guests are older or need help repositioning, this is a feature they’ll appreciate.
Also called innerspring, coil mattresses consist of springy coils as the sleeping surface. Well, there is a cover on top, of course. There are several types of coils available, but individually pocketed coils have some major benefits.
The reason is that each coil will perform independently, allowing your body to sink into the mattress where it needs to. A continuous coil system provides a flatter surface, which can feel overly firm when the bed is new and then over time, it will sag in all the wrong places. Is there a right place to sag?
Most people consider these types of beds the best of both worlds type of scenario. A hybrid will have a combination of materials, blending coils, memory foam, and latex, usually two of the three, but sometimes all of them.
Within this category, some brands even offer customization options. This means that you can list your sleeping preference, for example, you want something that’s medium-firm with some bounce and you’re a heavier individual, and the company’s automated system will build a custom bed that meets your preferences.
Hybrids can be more expensive than other models, but not always, so it is good to do your research to get the best bed at the best price.
For households on a budget or those with limited spaces, airbeds are a perfectly good choice, especially if you follow our recommendations.
As the name suggests, these inflate, but they’ve come a long way in the past several years. There are models that self-inflate by plugging them into a wall outlet, meaning you don’t need special equipment like a compressor to put the air in.
There are also brands that are thicker, so they better mimic the look and feel of a traditional mattress.
And the best part is that if your guest room serves another purpose other than housing sleeping visitors, you can deflate the air mattress when it’s not in use and store it out of sight.
Guest Bed Buying Considerations
How Often Will It Get Used?
This is the first question you should ask yourself because the answer will dictate how important quality and durability will be in your decision.
For example, you already know that more expensive products are going to be built with better materials and they’ll last longer. As beds age, they tend to sag (kind of like people), so if a bed is slept on nightly, this process is accelerated.
Many people find that bed feels comfortable the first few nights you sleep on it. So soft and cushiony, right?
However, over time low density foams and cheaply made coils lose their structural integrity and you can be left with a bed that gifts you with a sore, achy back every morning when you get up.
So, if you don’t plan on having visitors over frequently, it can be cost efficient to get a bed that has a lower price tag and immediate comfort. Yes, it can sag over time, but considering that even the cheapest mattress takes several months for this to happen, you can expect a lightly used guest bed to last for years.
Choosing a Firmness Level
Remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? She wanted a bed that was not too hard, and not too soft. She wanted something that was “just right.” Most of your guests, in fact, the vast majority of the population, feel the same way.
Choose a bed that is has a medium or medium-firm comfort level, and everyone should be happy.
Choosing the Best Size Bed
If you want more bang for your buck, consider sizing down from a Queen to a Full. If you tend to host individuals, you can even get away with a twin-size. You may be able to save $100 or more just by downsizing to a Full.
And to put things in perspective, it’s not much smaller. You’ll lose about five inches in length and seven inches across (you can learn more here). For most individuals and couples, there will be plenty of room left over. Take a moment to think about the types of guests you’re hosting and decide if it would matter if you got a smaller size.
Consider a Sleeper’s Needs
This is easy to do if you have the same guests each time, but a little more challenging if you’ve got more of a revolving door situation.
Here are some things to consider about your guests’ preferences:
- Cooling and airflow: If you live in a warmer climate or are hosting people that tend to feel hot, you’ll want a mattress that has either temperature-neutral or cooling properties. Coil and latex beds naturally sleep cool, but if you’re set on memory foam, look for a product that has either gel or copper infused in the top layer. Gel has cooling properties and copper draws heat away from the body, so both of these materials will help your guests stay comfortable.
- Motion isolation: If you’re hosting couples, opt for a bed that has excellent motion isolation, meaning that if one person moves around or gets up, their partner won’t feel disrupted.
This is an especially important feature because we don’t tend to sleep as soundly when we’re in a new or strange place. The last thing your guest needs is to be kept awake by a restless sleeping mate.
Memory foam performs best here, hands-down.
- Ease of movement: If your guests need to be able to move freely around the bed or they have health challenges that make it more difficult to get up, look for something that doesn’t cause the body to sink in. So, in short, avoid memory foam and seek out something like latex or coils.
- Support and spine alignment: If you’ve ever slept in a guest room or hotel and woken up with a stiff neck or an achy lower back, it means that the mattress didn’t provide proper support and alignment for your back.
In the world of hosting guests, this is a host fail.
The ideal bed will offer the perfect balance of comfort, pressure relief and support to allow the body to remain at a neutral. Higher density memory foams tend to perform best here.
Tips for a Better Guest Bed Experience
Consider a Great Mattress Topper
If you’ve already got a bed in the guestroom, but it’s getting kind of tired, you can revive it with a mattress topper (see our top picks here). These range from $20 to more than $100, but even if you get one that’s top of the line, it’s still way cheaper than getting a whole new bed.
Toppers can be incredibly helpful in softening up a too-firm mattress or evening out the surface of a sagging one.
Use Mattress Protectors to Increase Lifespan
Having guests, especially children, can expose your mattress to accidents, especially of the liquid variety. Having a waterproof mattress protector will create a barrier to damaging materials and help keep your mattress looking new.
Also, if you have a warranty issue, most of the time it will be voided if there are any stains on the mattress, so getting one can help create a safer investment.
Rotate the Mattress
Rotating the surface of the bed will help prolong its life. Since people tend to sleep in the same general area, that localized part of the bed experiences the most wear and tear. By flipping or rotating your mattress, you can balance the wear throughout the mattress. It’s almost like rotating your tires.
We will warn you though; rotating a mattress is a bit of a hassle. It’s not a necessary exercise for everyone, but if you’ve got an aging or heavily-used sleeping surface, you might be able to extend its life by a couple of years.
What if you do not have enough space?
Consider portable or foldable beds
If your guest room also functions as a sewing room, office, or American Ninja Warrior training ground, you might not have room for a bulky piece of furniture.
A portable mattress for guests can provide ample comfort but be stowed away when not in use. Typically, a bed that folds and has wheels at the base of the frame is especially handy, so you can roll into the closet when you don’t need it.
This type of bed is reminiscent of the cots that you get at hotels, but some are much more comfortable.
Consider using an Airbed
Airbeds can serve a variety of functions other than just a guest bed. They’re ideal for camping, too, though if you get one for outdoor use, you might need to look for different features than you would for something in the bedroom. This option is ideal as a temporary sleeping solution, is not recommended for long-term, everyday use.
Since you’re probably storing it when not in use, getting something that’s easy to inflate is probably a top priority. Choose something that has the ability to auto inflate, or at least a brand that comes with a portable compressor.
Or a Japanese Futon
Futons are the most basic form of bedding, usually consisting of just a relatively thin, no-frills mattress on a foldable base. We appreciate futons for their versatility. If you only need a temporary bed for guests and plan on using the spare room for other purposes, a Japanese futon can serve double duty as a sofa.
Over the years, companies have made a concerted effort to make them more comfortable and better simulate the experience of sleeping on a traditional bed. The only word of caution here is that these tend to be firmer than a regular mattress. If you have houseguests with medical or pain conditions, this might not be the best choice for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you keep sheets on a guest bed?
The answer to this question is a matter of preference, and it is a hotly debated issue in the online forums.
There are two schools of thought, which we’ll explain.
Some say that it makes no sense to leave a bed naked when it would look so much nicer being fully made. They reason that since no one is sleeping on the bed and it will be covered in a bedspread, the sheets won’t get dirty, dusty or musty.
Others say that the sheets do indeed collect dust and grow stale over time. They strongly believe in keeping sheets off the bed until it’s time for a guest to come over.
Sheets can get dusty and lose their feeling of freshness if they’re kept on the bed for weeks or months. Therefore, you can cover your bare mattresses with a washable bedspread, and then a day or two before guests arrive, wash the bedspread and put fresh sheets on the bed.
Regardless of preference on this topic, it can be good to make sure the bed is made when your guests arrive. It can stress your guests out to get to your home and not have any sheets on the bed, especially if they come over late at night.
How durable does it have to be?
Unless you have a permanent guest, you can save a lot of money by compromising a little bit on durability.
That being said, you should still make sure that the bed you buy is of decent quality, so your guests can get a restful night of sleep. A good rule of thumb is to buy a bed with a long, risk-free trial and warranty period of several years. Brands with generous policies like that tend to stand behind their products, and you find some reasonably priced beds with some of the best policies around.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the perfect mattress for your guest bedroom. Remember, the most important factors to consider are how often the mattress will be slept on and your individual guest’s preferences. Once you have this information in hand, you’ll be able to use our helpful tips to get the most value for your budget.
Author: Jill Thompson
I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.
I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.
When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.
I wish you the very best on your journey!