Should You Remove the Bedding or Make Up the Bed Before Leaving as a Houseguest?

source: AirBnb Hosts Forum

When it comes to being a houseguest, there are certain unspoken rules and etiquettes that we all try to follow. Whether it’s staying with friends or family, or crashing at an Airbnb, one question that often pops up is, “Should you strip the bed or make it up at the end of your stay?” It might not be the most pressing issue in the world, but it’s one of those little things that can make a difference in your host’s perception of you.

Should you strip the bed or make it up? Well, the answer isn’t a one-size-fits-all, and it can depend on several factors.

First and foremost, consider the relationship you have with your host. If you’re staying with close friends or family, they probably won’t mind if you leave the bed as it is. In fact, they might insist that you don’t bother with it. After all, you’re practically like family, and family should be comfortable with each other, right?

On the other hand, if you’re staying at a more formal accommodation, like a bed and breakfast or a hotel, the expectation is quite different. It’s common courtesy to tidy up your living space before checking out. This includes making the bed, so the next guest or housekeeper can easily prepare the room for the next occupant.

But what about the gray area, like crashing at your friend’s place whom you don’t know that well, or staying at an Airbnb hosted by someone you’ve just met? In these situations, it’s usually a good idea to play it safe. A nicely made bed reflects your respect for their space, and it’s unlikely to offend anyone.

However, if your host has explicitly told you that they prefer you to leave the bed unmade, then by all means, follow their wishes. It’s their home, and it’s essential to be a considerate guest.

Another factor to consider is the length of your stay. If you’re just crashing for one night, it might not be worth the effort to make the bed. Your host is likely to clean the bedding anyway. But if your stay is more extended, say, a week or more, making the bed can be a nice gesture to show your appreciation for their hospitality.

source: Christine Glade/iStock

When it comes to stripping the bed, it essentially means removing the sheets, pillowcases, and any additional bedding you may have used, such as a duvet or blanket. Some people might wonder whether this is necessary or if it’s polite to do so.

Your Relationship with the Host: If you’re staying with close friends or family, they may not expect you to strip the bed. In many cases, they might even prefer to take care of it themselves. However, it’s always considerate to offer your help or at least inquire about their preference.

Formal Accommodations: In more formal settings, like hotels or bed and breakfasts, it’s typical to strip the bed. The reason behind this is that it makes the cleaning process more efficient for housekeeping staff. If you’re staying at such a place, you should definitely strip the bed as a common courtesy.

Gray Area: When staying with acquaintances or in an Airbnb, it’s best to ask your host about their expectations. Some hosts may prefer that you strip the bed, while others may not mind doing it themselves. Communication is key in such situations.

Length of Stay: As a general guideline, for longer stays, it’s a nice gesture to strip the bed. It can make the process of preparing the room for the next guest or the host’s cleanup more straightforward.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that even if you decide to strip the bed or make it up, it’s always a good idea to check for any personal belongings you might have left behind. Nobody wants to discover a forgotten sock or phone charger under the sheets after their guest has left!

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to whether you should strip the bed or make it up as a houseguest. It depends on the relationship with your host, the formality of the accommodation, and the length of your stay. Being a considerate and respectful guest is more important than the specific choice you make.

So, the next time you find yourself in this dilemma, think about your host’s preferences, and when in doubt, a nicely made bed is always a safe bet. After all, it’s these small gestures that make the experience of being a houseguest a pleasant and memorable one for both you and your host.