The multipurpose guest room mattress

With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, people are turning an eye to that empty guest room with the thought that it might just need a new bed for holiday visitors. We thought it was an opportune time to discuss how to shop for a guest mattress.

If you rarely have guests and rarely use the bed yourself, it's an understandable temptation to go with the least expensive set you find. But even if you don't want your guests to stay from Thanksgiving all the way through the New Year, consider visitors at other times of year who might need a little something extra. Your mother-in-law's annual visit might just be sweeter if she has a comfortable place to rest her bones!

You will probably use your own guest room!

As with a bed you'd buy for your own use, don't just look at the price and pull the trigger. Lie down on it and give it a test run. Look for a guest bed that you find comfortable. Besides, it's not at all uncommon for people to occasionally use a spare bed in the house. Perhaps the guest room serves when:

  • You need a break from your partner's snoring
  • One person is sick
  • It's more comfortable there during hot/cold temperature extremes
  • Someone needs easy access due to an injury or other temporary physical condition

Don't shortchange your comfort and sleep by going with something that won't fit your needs just to save a few bucks.

What about firmness?

Regardless of how often you use the guest bed, you might still wonder what kind of firmness you should look for. We suggest a middle ground by going with a medium-firm to firm mattress. A super-plush or extra-rigid mattress means that some guests just won't sleep comfortably on it. Something in the middle will meet the needs of more people.

A note about box springs.

When you're trying pinch pennies, it might seem practical to put a new mattress on what seems to be a perfectly good box spring you already own. But if the box spring has any hidden issues that compromises its ability to support the mattress, your new guest bed will look and feel old far before its time.

Also, using a box spring different than what was designed to go under that particular mattress can result in decreased durability and a very different-feeling mattress than what you tested in the store. So trying to trim your budget now by putting the new mattress on an existing box spring might cost you more in the long run.

Use your own bed for the guest room.

If you're not comfortable on your own mattress, your dollars might be better spent by upgrading your master bedroom mattress and using the old set for the guest room, if your budget allows for the upgrade.