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Inflatable bed with pillow and duvet

Airbed, folding mattress or rollaway bed?

If you live far away from friends and family, you might want to invite them to stay over for a couple of days so you can really catch up. Get a guest room ready, and if you don't have one, dedicate a corner of the living room for a guest bed. As a hospitable host, you want to make sure that they get a good night's sleep while they visit you, so have a look at the pros and cons of airbeds, folding beds and foldable mattresses.

Inflatable beds

If you need a mattress for guests, an airbed is a very comfortable option. There are models that resemble a real bed when it comes to height and they are easy to store into a relatively small package. Some have a built-in electric pump. This allows for fast inflation and deflation. Other models are more basic and you have to use a foot pump. An airbed in a proper quality should hold air during the night.

Folding beds/rollaway beds

Folding beds are a little like regular beds, only folding into half. They are functional, convenient and can be as comfortable as a regular bed, offering your guests a good night's sleep. Keep in mind however that they are not designed for everyday use. They are easy to set up and fold. Some have wheels so it is easy to roll them to your storage space.

Before you buy, check the dimensions of the bed when unfolded. If your guests are taller or larger than average, make sure that the bed fits comfortably. Also check the dimensions of the bed when folded so that it will fit in the cupboard, guest room or wherever you plan on storing it.

Folding mattresses

Folding mattresses usually have three panels and fold in two sections. It is extremely easy to fold and unfold them and they are easy to store. For most mattresses, the thicker it is, the more comfortable it is to sleep on. Furthermore, folding mattresses are really versatile. Some models can be folded to an armchair and kids can create a fort or comfy cave out of them. 

Pros and cons

Rollaway beds

PRO: Easy to fold and put in the corner each morning of the stay
PRO: Lifted up from the ground, making it easier to get in and out of bed
CON: Takes up a lot of space when it is not in use
CON: Available mostly as single bed


PRO: Can be tucked away in a bag in between stays
PRO: Available as both single and double bed
CON: Unhandy during the stay, unless you deflate it each morning
CON: Some models require that you inflate them by foot

Foldable beds

PRO: Easy to store
PRO: Very affordable
CON: Less comfy an airbed or a rollaway bed
CON: Very close to the ground

How to make your guests feel welcome

If you want to make your guests feel welcome and at home, give them some privacy. Even if you don't have a separate guest room, you can still make them feel like they're in a private space and not in your living room. Hang curtains around their spot in the corner, and don't forget a small stool that can serve as a bedside table for their mobile phone, wallet, and a magazine.

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