Creative Ways to Accommodate Overnight Guests

Three young girls sitting on a bed in their pajamas and talking.

Whether it’s an old college bud or a cousin who thinks you’re best friends, someone is eventually going to want to spend the night at your apartment. But even if you have a so-called “extra” room in your humble abode, it’s probably not outfitted with guest room essentials like a bed and a nightstand. No worries! There are lots of other ways to accommodate your visitors, some of which can be jerry-rigged in a pinch and others that will require home crafting skills and/or a modest monetary investment.

Oversized Floor Cushions

Often called Moroccan pillows, these huge overstuffed cushions are easy to lay out in open floor spaces and are sure to provide a good night’s sleep. Arrange them to your guest’s liking, cover them with a queen size sheet and tuck it in all around, and you’re all set. For extra comfort, throw in a couple fresh queen size bed pillows and a cozy quilt in case it gets chilly later in the night. When the guest departs, you can use the cushions as accents in various parts of your apartment. Pick a few up at your local import, home furnishings, or big-box store.

DIY Folding Mattresses

As crazy as this sounds, making an extra mattress you can easily store in a closet, trunk, or storage space is absolutely genius — and it’ll ensure that you’re always prepared for an overnight guest. All you’ll need is a sewing machine (easy to rent for $20 to $30 a day) and some really large pieces of fabric. There are many patterns available (a popular one is made by French by Design) for conventional style mattresses, but you can go with one of two eco-friendly options known as the “Original Twist” and “New Twist” mattresses. The Original requires a lot of sewing, but the New Twist requires none. Both kits produce extremely comfortable, highly compact mattresses.

Trundle Daybed

Daybeds are typically too narrow and short to comfortably accommodate a sleeping adult. If you buy a trundle daybed, however, you’ll find that a second mattress hidden underneath the top one pops up even with the top mattress, creating a comfortable double bed that’s easy to sheet and dress with a comforter and pillows.

Foam Sleeping Pad

Technology has made great and impressive strides in the world of foam sleeping pads. Not only are they thicker than ever, but the material has also been given “memory” so it can mold to your body for maximum comfort and support. Sleeping pads can also be stacked and configured to meet several different tastes. Just be sure to provide nice sheets so your guest isn’t exposed to direct foam.

Portable Wall Bed

Many people remember wall beds from old movies, where they were often used as sources of humor. What could be funnier than opening a closet door and having a full-blown bed behind it that’s instantly ready to give you a great night’s sleep? Now, you can purchase portable versions of these “Murphy beds” that come out of chests or cabinets, double as stunning décor pieces, and take up very little wall space in your apartment.

Air Mattress

Inflatable air mattresses are perfect for accommodating over guests.

Modern technology has also done wonders for these mattresses, which used to be practical for nothing more than antics in a swimming pool. Not only do the modern models self-inflate, but they also have back support incorporated into their designs and comfy soft covers that make them a top choice for overnight guest accommodations. On top of all that, they take up minimal space when deflated.

Thai Massage Mat

These inexpensive mats are widely available and surprisingly comfortable. Usually around three-and-a-half-inches thick and available in either twin or double sizes, these handy second-bed options easily roll up for trouble-free storage. Add a couple over-stuffed bed pillows and a cushy comforter, and your guest is guaranteed sweet dreams and a restful sleep.

Flip Chair

This cleverly designed furniture piece does double-duty in your apartment. By day, it appears to be an oversize stacking chair (almost as wide as a loveseat), with a supportive seat and back that let you sprawl a bit while you relax. When night falls, just unfold the chair to instantly turn it into a fetchingly wide bed.

Sectional Couch

While it’s not the ideal resting place for a large adult, smaller framed grown-ups and children can contentedly sleep on a sectional couch. Creatively arrange the sections to form a contiguous sleeping surface, buttress it with supportive chairs or tables to keep it immovable, and throw tons of pillows on top to create a perfect rest area for your visitor.

Overnight guests are fun. There’s something special about talking into the wee hours of the morning and knowing you can continue the interchange just a few hours later over a homemade breakfast. As long as you have a few creative sleeping accommodations on hand, you’ll never have to turn a loved one down again.

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