There are many important decisions to be made when furnishing your vacation rental, but one key decision is what bed sizes are most appropriate.  The sizes of beds will have a significant impact on who books your property and how much they pay, it will determine not just the quantity of guest but the type of guest as well. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting bed sizes but we’ll walk you through the major ones and how they should impact your decision.

Target guest

Before furnishing your property and even before deciding to use it as a vacation rental, you should have an idea of what types of guests you want to appeal to.  Is there a specific demographic you think would be perfect for your property? Or is there a type of guest who you think you would do a better job of appealing to?  Perhaps it’s just that you know a certain segment better than others that you will be able to give a better experience.  

Now consider how your target guest travels, is it alone or in a group?  If it’s in a group you may want to maximize the number of individual beds in your unit.  For instance, if you want to appeal to young families on holiday then you’ll want to make sure you have some bunk beds in addition to a larger bed for the parents.  Obviously the bunk beds should go together and generally in the second or third bedroom while the king or queen bed would go in the master bedroom. If you are appealing to business travelers then you want to forgo bunk beds in favor of king or queen beds which would be more appealing to a business traveler.  If you are appealing to young groups of say college students then you might opt for all twin or full beds, or possibly even bunk beds so that your guests all have their own bed to sleep in.

What can your target guest afford?  If they are more budget conscious travelers then you will want to maximize the number of guests that your property can accommodate, (within the law, of course) and this will be done with your selection of beds.  Budget conscious travelers tend to favor more beds regardless of size so bunk beds are a good option. Travelers who are willing to spend more generally prefer larger beds, although it should be noted that while smaller beds are more likely to be a turn off for travelers with higher budgets, larger beds will rarely be a deal breaker for budget sensitive travelers as they are generally happy to share beds.      

Locale

Carefully consider where your property is and to what it is in close proximity and not just attractions but other cities.  If your property is in a resort town that is remote and difficult to travel to you’ll have a different type of guest than if you are within driving distance of a major city.  If your property is near a major city then account for the demographics of that city, including average household income, marital status, family size, etc. If your property is in a major city then consider what type of traveler your city draws and what type of bed they’ll need.  Is your city a tourist destination or are most travelers coming for business or are they coming to visit family? Are you near a military base and likely to host an abundance of government contractors? In which case you would likely not want to put in bunk beds and instead opt for the largest size bed you can fit into each room.

Number of rooms

For studios and one bedrooms we would never recommend putting in a bed any smaller than a Queen and when at all possible put in a king.  With a smaller unit you are generally less likely to get families and much more likely to get single business travelers and couples so the largest bed you can fit is the rule of thumb.  When your property has 2+ bedrooms then you can start to consider using smaller beds and bunk beds but we only recommend using bunk beds when a property has three or more rooms and even then use them sparingly.

Competition

Keep a close eye on your competition and what kind of sleeping arrangements are available.  If there are an abundance of properties set up to accommodate sleeping families then you should consider approaching different segments of guests traveling in your area, perhaps opting for larger beds and avoiding bunk beds.  If there are few properties that address sleeping arrangements desirable to business travelers then consider filling that void. But always be careful to check on whether that void exists or not. If you see a need to faily accommodations because there are few units with family accommodations available then do a search in your area for properties that have the type of accommodations you wish to provide, be sure not to specify dates so that you will see every property that exists, and then look at the calendars of those properties to see their availability.  If those properties have little availability over the coming four to eight weeks then you can rest assured that there is high demand and you will likely have success in helping to fill that void in the market. 

King versus queen

Whenever possible we recommend putting in a king or california king size bed.  This is because guests who prefer to sleep in a king size bed will often times eliminate those units with a queen size bed as an option, while guests who are fine with sleeping in a queen size bed will almost never eliminate a king size bed as an option.  This generally holds true with bunk beds as well where people who are OK with sleeping in bunk beds are usually OK with sharing a queen or king size bed while people who prefer a king or queen size bed are rarely OK with sleeping in bunk beds.  

The two twins trick

This is a trick used often on cruise ships and in hotels around the world that want to have a higher degree of flexibility at the cost of comfort.  A king size bed is roughly the same as two twin size beds put together (while a california king bed is roughly the same size as two twin extra long beds put together) so you can have two twin beds in a room which, when guests desire, can be combined to make a king size bed.  In order to accomplish this you’ll need to ensure that the bed frame and base are easily moved and there isn’t anything between the two beds, like a nightstand, that would make them difficult to combine. You will also need the appropriate sheet sets for both configurations which will cost you a little bit of extra money in the beginning.

Conclusion

As a general rule I recommend that whenever possible a room should be furnished with a king size bed.  When a king size bed isn’t possible then a room should be furnished with a queen size bed. When a queen size bed isn’t possible, then and only then should you consider bunk beds and trundles.  And as a last resort you may furnish rooms with a single full or twin size bed, although this should be rare and a last resort. Always keep in mind what your local building codes allow for in terms of property occupancy and be sure to follow those rules as your furnish your property.  How your furnish your unit is about more than increasing your revenue, it’s also about being a responsible vacation rental manager and that is the most important thing.