By The Hospitable Team
“Effortless, stylish, clean, comfortable, and they really thought of everything”: That’s what every short-term rental host wants to hear from their happy guests in a five-star review.
And equipping your STR with the best in stylish furniture and decor, comfortable bedding and memorable amenities is one of the ultimate ways to make this a reality.
But there’s a TON of options, and if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or from where, it can quickly get overwhelming and expensive, not to mention difficult to manage, clean, and maintain when you have so many guests staying in quick succession.
That’s why we’ve rounded up our best tips to choose the ultimate supplies for your STR.
We’ve considered style, sustainability, function, and safety, as well as durability and affordability too—so it boosts the guest experience, thrills guests with your thoughtfulness, and gives them a great stay, without breaking the bank, causing cleaning delays, or making extra stress and hassle for you, the property owners.
We look at:
✔ The best furniture for short-term rentals
✔ The best decor for short-term rentals
✔ The best mattresses for short-term rentals
✔ The best bedding for short-term rentals
✔ The best amenities for short-term rentals
✔ The best cleaning supplies for short-term rentals
The best short-term rental automation
Best furniture brands for short-term rentals
When it comes to furniture for your short-term rental, you’ll want to strike the right balance between functional and stylish. The best choices will stand up well to repeated use and cleaning, but also offer the comfort level you’re looking for.
- The style. What works in a city loft won’t work in a beach house! Does it match your decor? Choose something stylish but not too polarizing—you want the maximum number of guests to like it. Some platforms such as Airbnb Plus or Luxe (see our Airbnb host checklist here) require a certain level of design to qualify, so bear that in mind too.
- Durability. Will it stand up to heavy and repeated use by busy, exuberant guests?
- Function. Does it work well? In small spaces, you might consider if it offers a dual function, such as a comfy sofa that turns into a comfy bed?
- Safety. In a space open to the public, you need to consider if any furniture could be dangerous. Could people catch their fingers or injure themselves easily? Avoid it if so.
- Easy to use. Is it immediately obvious how it works, or can you offer very easy instructions, such as a sofa bed mechanism or a folding chair? Guests will be frustrated if they arrive at your rental and they can’t immediately make use of the space.
- Easy to clean. With repeated guests comes repeated cleaning. Will your piece stand up to constant turnarounds, especially with extra sanitization?
- Affordability. You probably want to keep one-of-a-kind, super-expensive pieces for your own home, as there’s always more of a risk of damage with short-term rental furniture.
- Availability online with quick delivery. This is good for remote and/or busy hosts, who might need to order something quickly and reliably, or need a rapid replacement.
Need some brand inspiration? Try:
- Ikea – The iconic Swedish giant offers a huge range of items at super-affordable prices in a range of styles from ultra-modern to farmhouse classic. As one host, who uses Hospitable.com, told us: “Ikea is a reliable go-to for affordable basics and an uncluttered look.”
- Homesense – The budget homeware Aladdin’s cave full of one-off bargains also offers same-day delivery from stores in most US States.
- Wayfair – A veritable online cornucopia of homeware items at great prices in every style you might imagine.
Best decor for short-term rentals
Of course, there are as many decor styles as there are properties, but taking into account a few key criteria will elevate your STR and ensure it’s not a case of style over substance.
- Luxury level. Will your guests be expecting simple and straightforward, cozy and cute, or ostentatiously opulent? Make sure your decor matches your listing and pricing.
- Why do guests come to your space? Are they seeking a warm place to retreat after countryside hikes, a place to sleep in between sunbathing, or a chic crash pad to return to after a long day of city exploration? Tailor your space to enhance their experience. Think cozy blankets, beach towels, city maps, and relevant artwork.
- Light. Great light really makes a space. Brighten up dark areas, put warm lamps next to the bed, and place mirrors near windows.
- Nighttime calm. Can guests sleep well? Consider blackout curtains or blinds (as well as earplugs).
- Plants. Add life, color, style, and freshness to your space with a few well-chosen house plants (real or good fakes). If using real ones, plan for how you’ll take care of them—a dead plant is worse than no plant!—and if they’re safe for pets or kids.
- Useful touches. Decor is also about making the space easy to live in, so offering extra touches such as charging points near the bed, hooks, and cubbies will make a real impact.
- ‘Instagram moments’. Encourage guests to share and rave about your space by curating small areas or details that look great on camera, such as neon lighting, murals, humorous slogans, or eye-catching and contrasting colors.
- Smart devices. Give guests an extra layer of control by using Tado thermostats, or Philips Hue smart bulbs, to let them change temperature and lighting at will.
Need some brand inspiration? Try:
- Target – The everything-and-anything giant also excels at homeware, with bang on-trend art, soft furnishings, and artificial plants at incredibly affordable prices.
- Anthropologie – Originally a clothing brand, Anthropologie has brought its sense of style and fashion to home items, with a range of quirky and striking pieces.
- Pinterest – Not a decor brand, but a treasure trove of inspiration and shopping ideas. Pin beautiful interiors to copy, or find individual pieces linked to online retailers. And as our host told us: “We do a lot of shopping from our local thrift stores, which brings personality into the space.” Sometimes the more unexpected pieces work best!
Best mattresses for short-term rentals
A mattress might seem rather utilitarian, but after all, your guests are coming to sleep (at least, we hope…?) at your rental, which means the bed is a real priority. Mattress feel is subjective, but you can improve guest experience by choosing one that will support the widest number of people, such as a medium firmness, high-quality, hypoallergenic style that offers the best night sleep for the best price.
- The luxury level of your STR. Will your guests be expecting a luxury, super king size memory foam wonderland, or will they likely be happy with a cheap-and-cheerful standard double?
- Types of mattresses. There are a ton to choose from, but it may help to narrow it down if you know whether you want memory foam, open-cell foam, or pocket springs.
- Temperature. Is your STR in a super-warm city that merits a mattress designed for cooler sleep, or are you in a mountain town better suited to a warmer, cozier style?
- Quality vs cost. Mattresses can get expensive, quickly. In a STR, you want to balance a great night’s sleep with the cost of buying a new one more often than you might in a normal home (see below).
- Safety. Is the mattress fire resistant? Is it easy and accessible to get on (and off)? Does it have any materials or parts that could be dangerous to small children, pets, or people with mobility issues?
- Cleaning requirements. Hopefully, you won’t need to do much mattress deep-cleaning (urgh), but it will need to be cleaned regularly, so make sure you check what the manufacturer recommends and how easy it will be to do.
- Durability. Will it stand up to repeated use and use by a wide number of people? How will it stand up to accidents from children or pets?
- Affordability and availability. The Sleep Foundation recommends that mattresses be replaced every 6-8 years, and you may wish to replace it sooner in your STR. So, you’ll want to make sure your chosen mattress doesn’t cost the earth or go out of stock.
- Delivery type. We don’t need to tell you that mattresses are kind of big. Consider how you’ll get yours delivered, especially if you won’t be there in person. Some companies deliver full-size with two people, others rolled up in easy boxes.
Need some brand inspiration? Try:
- Emma – Highly-engineered mattresses by sleep scientists and experts, available at surprisingly affordable prices, with immediate shipping across the US and a 100-night trial.
- Helix Sleep – An award-winning mattress company with models that suit a range of sleepers and climates. It also offers a 100-night risk-free trial, and free US shipping.
- Casper – A dedicated mattress brand that offers a range of functions, such as temperature regulation and breathable styles, with an online quiz to help you find your ‘perfect’ mattress.
Best bedding for short-term rentals
Almost as important as the mattress is what’s on top of it—and that means bedding. Of course, here you’ll want to consider style and color, but also marry the level of luxury with the serious level of laundering it’ll need to withstand.
- Style and design. Bedding style can make or break a bedroom. Choose colors and textures that will match your decor and appeal to the widest number of people. Often, neutral and simple are best.
- Luxury and comfort. Will your guests be expecting 400 thread count, silk sheets, and hundreds of cloud-soft pillows, or does your rental have more of a rustic feel?
- Durability. No matter how luxurious your bedding, it must stand up to regular, repeated use, and washing with no fading, “pilling”, holes, stains, tears, or fraying.
Need some brand inspiration? Try:
- Bed Bath & Beyond – From affordable duvet sets in a wide variety of colors to sheets and pillows, this is a solid choice with a range of options.
- Urban Outfitters – A super-trendy, middle-higher-end brand with bold design choices from neutral to boho to quirky.
- Pottery Barn / West Elm – A wide, online selection in a host of earthy colors and classic hues, that can be searched by category, design, or fabric.
Best amenities for short-term rentals
Amenities can be the difference between a good stay and a totally excellent one. Great vacation rental amenities can inspire guests to leave glowing reviews and help them feel cared for from start to finish.
Improve guest experience while doing fewer routine tasks!
- Local expertise. Amenities are a great way to enhance the guest experience of your location by showcasing surrounding specialties. “As much as possible, I use local companies for gifts,” our host said. “I focus on the intersection of sustainable, eco-friendly, durable and local.” Perhaps your area makes famous soap, or produces world-class cheese? Whatever it is, show it off.
- Brand collaborations. Boost your local network and establish a sense of community by using and showcasing local complementary brands.
- Guest treats. Give guests a great welcome by offering them treats and/or celebratory gifts that will make their stay feel even more special.
- Personalization. Impress guests even more by offering personalized items such as their names on a welcome note, or added attention to detail such as gluten-free, alcohol-free, or dairy-free items, or special treats for their kids/pets.
- Usefulness. Providing things that guests may have forgotten—such as toothpaste, a sewing kit, hairdryer, or international plug adaptors—makes their stay even easier.
- Boring basics. Guests won’t necessarily want to spend time or money buying things such as olive oil bottles, salt and pepper, trash bags or toilet paper, but they’ll certainly appreciate finding them in your rental!
Need some brand inspiration? Local is best, but good examples include:
- Keys Coffee, Florida – A highly-recommended, cheerful coffee shop in the popular resort location. Offering guests coffee or baked goods from here would go down well.
- Levain Bakery gluten-free cookies, NYC – The legendary cookies, gluten-free style. Perfect for showing your guests with intolerances the best snacks the city can offer.
- Go Travel UK/US travel adaptor – Classic travel adaptors from reliable global brand Go. A worldwide favorite they’ll be relieved to discover when their phone is about to die.
Best cleaning supplies for short-term rentals
Cleaning might feel like an afterthought, but when you’re a host, it’s just as important as the aesthetics of your short-term rental—especially in post-Covid times, and when guests are more aware than ever of the effects of chemicals on health and the environment.
When stocking up, consider:
- Eco-friendliness. Not only is this objectively better for the environment, but guests prefer it. Highlight it in your listings and demonstrate your commitment to going green.
- Affordability vs quality. As always, it’s a balance between finding products that actually work, and ones that don’t break the bank.
- Covid sanitizing compliance and antibacterial effectiveness. Be sure to choose products that ensure lasting cleanliness, kill bacteria and disinfect surfaces effectively.
- Material-friendliness. Consider whether the materials you or your cleaners use are compatible with all surfaces in your property. Some harsh chemicals can cause unsightly marks, or worse, damage your pieces long-term.
- Ease of use. It’s all very well using a delicate mix of lemon juice and white vinegar, but can your cleaning team (or yourself, if you’re a one-person band) get that done quickly in case of a last-minute check-in or super-quick turnaround? Ease of use is a major factor.
- Portability. Do you keep your cleaning materials on-site or do your cleaners bring them with them? How will cleaners transport them easily and quickly?
- Storage safety. If your cleaning materials are kept on-site, where will you store them? How will you ensure they are safe for children or pets?
- Guest usage. Will you leave some cleaning materials at the property and request that guests use them if needed, such as in the kitchen? If so, where will you keep them and what will you provide? How and when will you replace items if guests use them all?
- Scent. First impressions are important, and you don’t want a cleaning product that is super-effective but smells like a public bathroom! Make sure your products smell great.
- Skin safety and allergens. Consider whether your cleaning materials are safe for the majority of your guests—especially for the cleaning of towels and sheets. Is there a risk of irritation or allergies?
Need some brand inspiration? Try:
- Blueland – Eco-friendly cleaning products in super-stylish reusable bottles and low-packaging refills, including everything from dish soap to toilet cleaner.
- ECOS – A wide range of green, professional-standard products made entirely from natural ingredients such as coconut, for an eco-friendly but super-effective clean.
- Pur Home – Non-toxic household cleaning materials beautifully scented with pure essential oils, with 100% recyclable,aesthetically-pleasing packaging.
The bottom line: The must-have supplies for short-term rentals
It’s clear: Equipping your short-term rental is always a balance between style, sustainability, durability, affordability, and cleaning. Whether you’re choosing furniture, decor, a mattress, bedding, amenities, or cleaning products, ensure you consider both the guests’ needs and expectations, and those of yourself and/or your team and cleaners.
With some clever searches and forward thinking, you can grab yourself some excellent deals and quirky designs that will impress guests without going way over budget.
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