Is It Rude to Put a Houseguest on the Couch?
Don't have a spare room? An etiquette expert shares her perspective on your overnight guests' sleeping arrangements.
Live in a small house or apartment and have guests staying overnight? You have a bit of a conundrum. Where are they going to sleep? This becomes particularly problematic if you don't have a spare bedroom. So, in the absence of a guest room, what's the best way to ensure your loved ones feel welcome and comfortable? Spoiler alert: The couch is not the solution. Most sofas—even those with pull-out beds—are extremely uncomfortable for anyone hoping to get a restful night's sleep. Here, etiquette expert and Golden Rules Gal, Lisa Grotts, shares what you should do, instead.
Shuffle sleeping arrangements for the night.
Grotts advocates for a guest-first policy when it comes to hosting overnighters. "Couches are not the most comfortable options for overnight guests, who may have been traveling a long way to visit," she says. "Always prioritize your guests. Have children double up with siblings to free up a room, or offer your master bedroom to your overnight guests."
Give your guests their own space.
Overnight guests need their own space to feel comfortable—so if you're not willing to give up your bedroom, an air mattress in the living room would work. If you go this route, "make sure your guests have access to water, an outlet for their phone charger, comfortable bedding, and a place to store their belongings." You can think of this as their space for the duration of their stay, and depending on the length of the visit, you may want to use a screen or curtain to privatize the area.
Go the extra mile.
To make your guests feel welcome, you might want to consider leaving them a few goodies to enjoy during their stay. "Personalized touches always make guests feel more at home," explains Grotts. "Make a trip to your local home and gift shop and select pieces (like a scented candle, plush throw, or natural soap) that your guests would enjoy." If you're concerned about your guests being able to sleep well, you might also include a silk sleep mask, ear plugs, and a comfortable pillow.