It can be difficult to find the perfect bed for your guest room. You want to make sure your guests sleep well during their stay, but you also don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a bed that’s not going to get regular use.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a guest room and likable enough to have guests, you need a guest bed. But it can be difficult to pick a mattress for a guest room because you don’t have a specific sleeper to shop for. You want Grandma to be comfortable when she’s in town for the holidays, but you also want your bodybuilder friend and his tiny wife to get a good night’s sleep when they visit.
So how do you choose a bed to accommodate all of your guests? Great question. You should start by looking for an accomodating, supportive, and durable mattress. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at our top picks for the best mattress for your guest room:
In this post, we’ll go over reasonable pricing, what to look for in construction and materials, how to choose a comfort level, and more. We’ve done many mattress reviews, so we’re fairly adept at zeroing in on what makes a bed right for a certain person, but to put this list together, we thought critically about what makes a bed right for various people of varying body and sleeper types.
If you know anything about our work, you know that we diligently research and evaluate beds, and have posted dozens of in-depth reviews. In fact, below is an entire post—including mini reviews of each bed—so that you make sure you’re making the best decision.
Interestingly enough, the majority of our top picks come with free returns, so if you end up not liking them you can get 100% of your money back during the trial period. But what’s the catch? Actually, there isn’t one. When a mattress brand says “free returns” apparently they really mean it.
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Memory Foam Mattress
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|Nectar is an affordable all-foam mattress that has a dense memory foam feel. The company often throws in two free pillows with purchase, as well. If think your visitors will like memory foam, Nectar makes a great mattress for your guest room.|
Foam Mattress (Firmer)
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|Tuft & Needle just might be the most popular budget mattress in the world. It's comfortable, softer, and highly affordable—what more could you ask for in your guest room?|
Foam Mattress (Softer)
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|Nolah is a super comfortable bed-in-a-box mattress from a well known online brand that accommodates all sleeper types. If you end up getting Nolah we think your guests will really like the bed.|
|Brooklyn Signature is a durable innerspring mattress that has a neutral foam feel. But the best part is the price and the fact that it comes in three firmness options! It's just the perfect mattress for your guest room.|
|See on Amazon||Nest Bedding Flip is a two sided bed that has two different firmness levels. It also has coils and is very supportive. This is the type of bed that's great for guest rooms since you have two comfort options for you visitors, and it's really durable.|
Number of Contributors
Our team (10+ people and growing quickly) is composed of different ages, weights, heights, genders, and sleeper types, which allows us to formulate an idea of how each bed will be experienced by different people, based on their stats. For example, Matt Ross the Boss at 180 lb might think a bed is pretty soft, while our smallest team member who weighs around 100 lb soaking wet might find that same bed akin to a marble slab.
And since we’ve made beds our business, we’ve tested, reviewed, and compared dozens of them. For this post, we pulled from all of our previous tests to put together a list of what we think are some of the most all-around accommodating online and mail order mattresses.
We also make it a point to keep an eye on prices. When you’re gearing up to buy a mattress, you know it’s going to cost a bit, but we do our best to find deals, bundles, and discounts to help you save money. You can check out our Mattress Deals & Coupons page for daily discounts. Especially in the case of a guest bed—you’ve already furnished a whole house and you don’t want to break the bank on a mattress that only gets used now and then.
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Nectar makes a great mattress for people who enjoy memory foam. This bed is very comfortable for people who sleep on their back, stomach, side, or even a combination of the three. It’s also one of the few all-foam beds out there that will suffice for heavier people due to the firmness level of the mattress.
On top of that, Nectar also offers a full year trial period, so even if you don’t have a lot of guests right away, there is ample time to decide if this bed is a good option for you. One more perk of this mattress — Nectar frequently runs a promotion on their website where they give you two free pillows with the purchase of a mattress.
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Tuft & Needle makes a great budget-friendly mattress. It’s one of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses online. It’s ideal for back, stomach, and combination sleepers, but side sleepers should be fine too. It’s just a hair firmer than the Bowery mattress.
Although it’s made out of a soft foam, this bed won’t make your guests feel like they are “stuck in the mud” if they move around while sleeping. It’s also a good option for couples, because it offers good motion isolation and edge support.
Bottom line is that it’s comfortable, accommodating, and affordable. What more could you ask for?
20% Off + Gift
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Nolah is one of the most comfortable affordable beds out there. Not only does it comfortably accommodate side sleepers (most people are a side sleeper), but it also works well for couples. The bed deadens movement well so if one person moves a lot, the other person shouldn’t be disturbed.
While this mattress is ideal for petite and medium sized people, a heavier guest shouldn’t have any issues, provided they are not a long-term guest. Overall, it’s very affordably priced, especially considering it’s made in the United States. Think of the Nolah mattress as a softer version of Tuft & Needle. Nolah often runs specials on their website as well.
Brooklyn Signature is a hybrid mattress that your guests can enjoy sleeping on for years and years. But the best part is that it’s not any more expensive than the other mattresses on this list! We were shocked when we saw the retail price of the Signature. Typically, the queen size bed falls under the $850 mark when it’s all said and done.
It is the only bed on this list with a combination of coils and foam, which means it will be more comfortable for heavier sleepers, long-term.
This is the sort of mattress that you buy once and it will last for a long time, especially since a person will not be sleeping on it every night given that it’s in your guest room. We have been thrilled with the cost-to-value ratio with Brooklyn Signature. The cost is low, but the value is really high.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but need a mattress for your guest room, we recommend Nest Bedding Flip. It’s a fantastic option for the price, and will sleep most size individuals quite comfortably. It is one of the only mattresses we’ve found that sells for under $500 and yet has two different sides (i.e. a “Soft” and “Firm” side).
Like Tuft & Needle, this mattress is a fan favorite on Amazon—in fact, there’s a good chance that Nest Flip is the number one selling flippable bed on Amazon. What you need to know is that it’s comfortable, supportive, durable, well-made, and surprisingly affordable.
We’ve given our list of guest bed picks, but if you’re having trouble choosing one or if none them seemed just right and you want to look into some other options, we thought we’d break down by category just what it is we look for in a guest room mattress.
As we said before, mattresses can get expensive and that’s really not ideal for a guest bed. We think it’s perfectly reasonable to keep the cost below $1,000 for a Queen size mattress. You don’t need to splurge on a fancy, luxury mattress for a room that only gets used sometimes. Especially because mattresses that come with extravagant price tags are usually priced as such because of their specific details that are intended to cater to one specific person or couple. They don’t play well with others, you know?
Ultimately, the size of your new guest mattress depends on the size of your guest room. And in many cases, guest rooms come together based on whatever furniture was left behind when the kids went to college. You might have two twin beds, or a bunk set, or a full. There’s no wrong way—it’s a guest room. Just make sure to check what mattress sizes are available before getting your heart set on a certain mattress model. Some companies don’t make the full range of twin through Cal king. Some common omissions are twin, twin XL, and full, which are also pretty common guest bed sizes.
If you don’t already have a bed frame, you’re starting from scratch, and you’re looking for a suggestion on a good guest bed size, we’d say a full or a queen. That gives your guests enough space to fit two people in the bed, but unlike a set of twins or a bunk set-up, you only need one set of bedding. Hooray for practicality and convenience!
Most bed-in-a-box mattresses that you’ll find online are a manageable weight. You want to consider the weight of the mattress for the basic reason of making the bed. An overly heavy mattress is a pain to make. Plus, if the mattress is super heavy, that’s also an indication that it’s not the right construction for a guest bed (we’ll talk more about that later).
In terms of thickness, mattresses come in a pretty wide range. When you’re shopping for a guest mattress, you want something that offers enough support for whoever may be sleeping on it, but you don’t want something too heavy or something that requires specially-sized sheets. With that in mind, look for a bed that’s somewhere between 10″ and 12″. That will provide support to prevent even you’re heavier guests from bottoming out, but it’s also a really normal size that is easy to buy sheets for. It will also ensure that the mattress isn’t so heavy that it’s difficult to make. Most online mattresses are in that 10-12” range.
Because you want to keep the cost down, but also want to accommodate the possibility of a heavier guest (like your bodybuilder friend), you’re probably looking for a dense all-foam bed, as opposed to a hybrid bed that uses both foam and coils (those can get pricey). Usually, an all-foam bed raises the concern of longevity and durability, but a guest bed isn’t going to be slept on every night, so that’s not an issue in this situation.
Compared to coil beds, all-foam beds also come with the added benefit of leaving less space for dust mites. Dust mites are like guests—if there’s no space, they won’t come. Like, no one wants to spend a week with you in your basement 90-square-foot studio apartment.
We mentioned that you’ll probably want to look at all-foam constructions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have no material options. With these bed-in-a-box mattresses, you’ll be looking at poly foam, memory foam, and latex foam, and often a bed will have more than one. Poly foam is very affordable and comes in various densities, all with a neutral, sort of blah feel. Memory foam tends to be denser, though it softens over time and when exposed to heat (including body heat). It also retains more heat. Latex foam has a bouncier, sort of spongy feel, and allows for more airflow.
We suggest more latex foam for people who sleep hot because that extra airflow helps to keep you cool. And since some of your guests may be sweaty sleepers, we’d suggest the same for your guest bed. If whoever’s visiting doesn’t happen to be a hot sleeper, they can always add another blanket. Gel memory foam also tends to sleep cooler, especially when compared to regular memory foam. We aren’t big fans of beds that use poly foam as a top layer, but it’s fine as a support or base layer.
In terms of comfort and feel, you want something that’s going to be accommodating for various body types and sleeper types. That means you don’t want to go too soft or too firm—it’s gotta be somewhere in the middle so that heavier individuals, and back and stomach sleepers get the support they need, while your lighter guests, and those who sleep on their side, still have some give and pressure relief.
When you’re shopping for a mattress, look for the ILD (indentation load deflection) rating. You want it to be somewhere between 25 and 30 lb ILD, which translates to somewhere between medium-soft and medium-firm, depending on the weight of the sleeper.