Who knew there were so many things necessary to provide a great guest experience! Before I signed up to host, it took me an entire summer compiling all of these Airbnb essentials to get my new rental up and operational (well, also moving half of the things in my house into my detached garage….don’t want to forget that part).
So what are the best Airbnb Essentials For Hosts?:
We’ll go into detail on each one of our selections below. Read to learn more about our essentials picks:
Airbnb Living Room Essentials
In my opinion, a smart television is a must-have item for an Airbnb. Most guests expect to have access to their favorite on-demand shows and movies, especially when they are staying away from home. This smart television hit all the marks and gets rave reviews from guests.
If you don’t have a smart TV, and are running Amazon for their streaming movie service, you’ll want to make sure you have an Amazon Fire Stick.
You might also consider mounting the TV to a wall mount bracket like this one. This eliminates the spill factor and also reduces the risk of theft.
If you allow little ones to stay in your home, you’ll want to make sure that the TV is secured to whatever surface it sits on. These television straps will secure your TV.
I debated whether to provide a DVD player in my rental, due to the added risk of theft, but I decided that with a decent Blu-Ray DVD player running $50-$70, it was worth having this available to guests. The one I bought also has Wi-Fi capability, so it can link up to my network, allowing streaming services like Netflix.
Super Fast Wi-Fi
One of the best on the market is this amazing router. This is one of the most powerful routers you can buy and transmits a gigabit of data per second. Anti-virus protection is included, along with a 2-year warranty.
Smart thermostats are becoming more mainstream these days. They work great for short term rentals, as hosts can control the temperature from afar, through a phone app. They also allow hosts to monitor guests coming and going.
USB Charging Station
A USB charging station is a must for all of those energy-consuming devices guests use. I have one in my living room and a dual USB alarm clock in each bedroom.
I love to leave guests directions on my letter board. You can use them to remind guests of specific house rules or little quotes of inspiration.
Airbnb Bathroom Essentials
Shower Soap Dispenser
One item that I love in my Airbnb is my shower soap dispenser. It has three side by side compartments, one for body wash, one for shampoo, and one for conditioner.
This soap dispenser had great reviews on Amazon and was recommended by hosts on YouTube. I have to agree with their reviews….great dispenser!
I prefer this type over small plastic shampoo/ conditioner bottles that sit beside your sink. When I stay at hotels, or Airbnb’s, I’ll throw unused shampoo/soaps into my luggage if they are not used. This is great for guests, but an unnecessary expense as a host.
The dispenser comes with a tube of silicone that is applied to the back of the unit, with stickers holding it in place until the silicone dries. The tops easily come off for easy refills.
Getting makeup off of your pristine white washcloths is frustrating. Soon after discovering this reality, I decided to buy some black washcloths embroidered with the word “Makeup” on them.
This has drastically reduced the amount of staining on our towels and washcloths. I found these washcloths on Amazon and they work perfectly. They are holding up well, are very soft, and haven’t faded.
Quality towels are an essential part of a successful Airbnb! These towels have gotten rave reviews from some of our guests.
Walk-Off Shower Mat
Several times I have forgotten to put out a walk-off shower mat for guests. I learned very quickly that this an important item for guest comfort. Now I always lay out a white cotton walk-off mat. I like these because they are easy to launder and are reversible.
There are more plush options out there (some with non-skid on one side), but they require more room in the wash which slows down the cleaner. The non-skid also break down over time leaving little pieces of plastic all over your laundry room.
So why do hosts put the towels in the bedroom on the bed? I’ve always wondered this, and maybe there is a good reason, but I roll my towels, hand towels, and washcloths individually and stack them in the bathroom, where they rightfully belong.
At a bare minimum, you’ll want to have a large mirror with good lighting in your bathroom. In addition, you might consider a makeup mirror for more close-up applications. This internally lit circular mirror has mirrors and lights on both sides, with one side magnifying more than the other.
The mirror is sturdy and has three touch modes for light level. I have received positive feedback from a couple of guests on the mirror so far.
Shower Corner Guard
Water and floorboards don’t mix. That’s what I found out the hard way after my first guests used my shower. I quickly realized I needed a white plastic corner guard to make the water stay inside the shower.
I originally had only a single shower curtain which suited my purposes just fine. But after having to replace a portion of the baseboard next to my shower from water damage, I decided I needed to have an interior and exterior shower curtain to make it more apparent to guests that one goes on the inside and one goes on the outside.
I bought an interior liner curtain with weighted corners. This change, plus the shower corner guard pretty much eliminated the water making its grand escape from the shower.
** Oh, I’ll throw this one in too for bathrooms: Air freshener. I always have some Poo Pourri in a nearby drawer.
A toilet plunger is a very important item to have in your bathroom. You don’t want a call at 2am, saying that the guest has a plugged up toilet.
Many guests don’t bring hairdryers with them on their journey. They expect that the hotel or Airbnb will have one available, even if one is not mentioned in the listing.
A little lighting at night in the bathroom can go along way to make guests feel comfortable. You might pick one with a little local flair or personality.
Airbnb Bedroom Essentials
Quality Bed Sheets
These 100% Cotton Sheets are what I use in my rental. They have traditional 2-inch stripes with a sateen finish. At 500 thread count, they wear well and last a very long time.
If I do need to match them, they are an industry standard and can be easily found and matched. I like the blue sheets but, with white sheets, you don’t need to worry about fading. These sheets can be too warm in southern climates.
A good night’s sleep is an essential guest requirement. This topper was a great find. It is super comfortable, and an appropriate thickness to provide support.
The topper is just slightly smaller than the mattress and was fairly easy to insert into the mattress protector.
Looking back, I’m so glad I put a quality mattress protector on both of my beds. My cleaner has spared me most of the details related to what they have found, but I’ve heard enough to know that I don’t want those little nasties in my mattresses.
While researching mattress protectors, I discovered that many of the covers provide protection for dust mites, but omit any mention of bed bug protection. I had to spend a little more than I wanted, but I had to have bed bug protection.
I also wanted hypoallergenic, completely waterproof, free of vinyl, fire retardants, and other toxic chemicals. In the end, I decided to get this mattress protector.
For my king bed, I was able to get this on myself, but it would have been nice to have another set of hands. Overall, this mattress cover is great. It was wide enough to fit over the mattress and the 3″ foam toppers I have on each bed. Highly recommended.
The platform bed I bought has an upholstered headboard and sturdy wooden legs. The legs, slats, and bed frame were zippered inside of the headboard when delivered. Just unzip the back of the headboard and everything was packed neatly away ready for installation. Installation was simple, and the bed still looks as good as the day I bought it. The headboard could be a little taller in my opinion but still looks rather elegant.
Triple USB Alarm Clock
After scouring tons of alarm clocks and reviews, I selected this alarm clock for both of my bedrooms. I needed the alarm clock to have several USB chargers, a nice display, and very simple operation for a good guest experience.
I liked that the dual USB ports were located on the top of the clock. Some other models had the ports located on the side or the rear, which may not be apparent to guests looking for a charger late at night.
The clock has three modes for easy dimming of the display, and the cord is approximately 6′-0″ which is great getting behind beds. It is moderately heavy and has rubber pads under the clock that hold it firmly in place.
Since I am living in my Airbnb and renting it out part-time, my closets were off-limits to guests. This left me trying to figure out how to provide clothes hanging space to guests.
I decided to purchase a mobile clothes rack that would be located in each of the bedrooms. It had to be rather small, and not overly obnoxious looking in my small bedrooms.
This rack was perfect for my space and was rather attractive with a polished chrome frame. Wheels work well, and the rack is very stable. It has extenders at each end to provide additional clothes storage, and it had good reviews on Amazon. I have to concur, this is a quality rack.
A Place For Luggage
When a guest arrives with their luggage, they will need a place to set and open their luggage, preferably not on the floor. Provide guests with an ottoman, small desk, or foldable rack for guests so they don’t have to bend kneel down on the floor to access their clothes.
For pillow protection, I went with the same manufacturer as the mattress protector, as they both provided bed bug protection, and had great reviews on Amazon.
These pillow protectors have a nice feel, and the zipper is good quality, secure, and has very small teeth to keep bugs out.
I’ve heard to get only cotton protectors, and not plastic, as the plastic will eventually rip, and these are cotton. You’ll want to push all the air out of the pillowcase before you zip them up, as the tight zipper will retain the air in the pillowcase when zipped. I think this is typical of most pillow protectors.
Although some may argue a noisemaker is not essential, some may think otherwise. One of my family members always takes a noisemaker with them to hotels, so I know this is a necessity for some.
When you have a partner that snores, having one of these sound muting marvels in your bedroom may potentially lead to a better review.
Full Height Mirror
A full-length mirror is a must for any guest getting ready for a night on the town or a family reunion. Don’t leave them on their tiptoes peering in the small bathroom mirror from two rooms away.
For hosts that provide accommodation for infants, you may want to consider offering a crib for infants. Some guests may not want to transport a portable crib to you Airbnb. And noting this amenity in your listing may help you get the booking over someone not providing this option.
Airbnb Security & Safety Essentials
Ring Doorbell is a great option for observing who is coming and going from your property. The beauty of this system is that is connected to your existing doorbell’s low voltage wiring. Or you can just rely on the internal/ rechargeable battery and mount it to the middle of your door or the fence out front for better viewing.
The Ring doorbell just needs to have a strong Wi-Fi signal to operate. In order for the doorbell to record footage, you’ll have to have the monthly subscription. If you don’t have the subscription, you’ll only see a live view of what’s happening, when its happening (through the smartphone app), and then it disappears forever.
Security Tip: Make sure to secure and lock away your router and modem. Security does little good if a guest unplugs your internet in order to secretly let more guests in your house, etc.
One of my favorite picks is this amazing little security camera. This little camera is very inexpensive, has an app to view video, and does not have a subscription fee.
It is an indoor camera, but you can buy an exterior mount/ shroud that goes over the top of the camera. You do need to connect the camera to a power source, and a long cord is provided.
So there will be some drilling required. There are solar/ battery pack options out there, but they seemed cumbersome to me.
I debated replacing my existing front door lock with a battery-operated keypad entry system. After doing some research online, I discovered that some hosts had difficulty with the lock not engaging properly, causing the door to not lock. But others have said they just love the keypad systems.
If I do get one, it will probably be the Schlage Encode. I’ve heard great things about this Wi-Fi enabled smart lock.
For now, I’ve settled on this key storage lock box that locks down on your door handle. It is just big enough for two keys and is simple to operate.
For obvious reasons, every home should have a quality fire extinguisher. I have mine located under my sink, directly visible when opening the doors. I also note that one is included in my Airbnb listing, and provide specific directions on where guests are able to find the fire extinguisher.
First Aid Kit
This is a must-have for any Airbnb. My first aid kid is located in the top drawer of the bathroom cabinet, and the appropriate box is checked in my Airbnb listing for this feature. This is a must-have for any Airbnb.
I also call out in the listing exactly where the first aid kit is located in the home. It may also be worth putting a small label on the drawer or cabinet door where the first aid kit is located.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector with battery backup placed near the main living and sleeping areas of the home. I have an older gas furnace in my home, and if there was an issue with carbon monoxide, I want an alarm ready to notify anyone in the home.
Newer gas furnaces may have monitoring devices that automatically shut down if an elevated level of carbon monoxide is detected, but older gas furnaces probably don’t have these features. Your furnace should be regularly checked by a licensed HVAC professional to clean the furnace and check for any cracks in the combustion chamber area.
If you accommodate small children at your Airbnb, you will want to invest in electrical outlet protectors. These will reduce the risks associated with toddlers or small children and electricity. These are not expensive and your guests will appreciate the added layer of safety.
Another safety necessity is cordless blinds for your windows. I recently made the switch. The last thing you want is a small child getting tangled in one of your pull strings. You can check out my entire article on cordless blinds here.
A well-lit entry is a must if you’re renting your place out part-time or full time. When I leave on a trip before guests arrive, I hate leaving the porch light on for a day or two before the guests arrive.
I was able to locate some gorgeous exterior sconce lights with daytime/ night-time sensors. I installed them, and I just keep the light switch on all the time.
Lights will automatically come on at dusk and go off at dawn. If guests don’t like having the light on at night, they can just turn the lights off at the switch. Love it!
If your home has stairs, you might consider a stair gate to keep children from taking a tumble downstairs. These are not overly expensive and may save you some grief as a host.
Airbnb Kitchen Essentials
Coffee Machine and Coffee Supplies
This is one of the best coffee makers for an Airbnb, due to the quality of the coffee, crema option, and straight forward operation.
The pods are a little expensive, but if you’re only providing one pod/ guest per day, I feel it’s worth it to provide a really good cup of coffee. There are less expensive and compatible pod lines out there as well. For guests that stay a little longer, you might consider providing this cool pod tray with glass shelf.
I also provide Stevia, regular sugar in a bowl, creamer packets, and a couple of varieties of tea.
A clean refrigerator is a must. Some hosts prefer to leave guests some essential condiments such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, etc. If you do provide these, make sure the lids are clean and are moderately full.
I also prefer to leave guests plastic water bottles in the fridge, so the guests have some refreshments out on their journey around town.
You’ll want to note in your listing if a freezer is available, so that guests don’t buy a gallon of ice cream on their way to your Airbnb, and discover no freezer is available.
Do you have an ice maker or ice trays? This should be included in your kitchen must-have amenities.
This is one item that I couldn’t live without on a vacation, so I’m figuring most guests feel the same way. From heating up a cup of coffee to making popcorn before a movie, this is a necessity in my book. It must be impeccably clean inside and out….no crumbs allowed.
There is nothing better than a buttered piece of toast with your breakfast. A toaster is an item that every fully outfitted kitchen should have for their guests. Of course, the size of your toaster should be based on the number of guests staying in your home.
Trash & Recycling
This one is kind of a no brainer, but you will need a trash can with enough trash bags for the duration of the guest’s stay.
If you have recycling, you’ll need to have something to demarcate where the recycling goes, vs. where the trash goes. You’ll also need to have instructions on where your exterior trash can is located. I put my instructions in a laminated house manual.
Cooking Oil & Spices
I leave my guests both extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and balsamic vinegar. You’ll also need a good supply of spices since guests shouldn’t have to buy these at the store during their stay. At a bare minimum, you should have an elegant pepper mill and salt grinder.
For spices, you’ll want some glass spice containers labeled with each spice that they contain. Or you could provide a counter spice rack like this one.
Dinnerware & Silverware
If an Airbnb romantic getaway is in order, your guests will want to have a little wine to celebrate. So some elegant, yet durable and inexpensive wine glasses are a must.
I found my four-glass set at Ross, and they are perfect. I also provide four cocktail glasses, if guests decide to bring their own hard alcohol.
And don’t forget a quality wine opener. And if you want to get fancier, you can provide a wine spout, wine plug, and foil opener.
I think it’s a nice touch to have 2 or three local coffee mugs (in addition to your regular coffee mugs) showing something unique about the area. Possibly a funny saying or picture of your state. One of mine says Idahome with a picture of Idaho.
Dish Washing Supplies
In my opinion, having a dishwasher is a must-have, since washing dishes on vacation is not something most people want to do. But if you don’t have a dishwasher, you’ll want to have a dish drying rack, ample towels, washcloths, and dish soap on hand.
You’ll also need to have a decorative hand soap dispenser by the sink for handwashing. If you have a dishwasher, provide instructions, if your dishwasher is the high-tech variety.
There are two frames of thought for kitchen knives. One is to go the inexpensive route, assuming that guests will eventually abscond with one or all of your knives. This has merit! But I have decided that a quality set of knives, like this J.A. Henkels Premio knife set, provides a better guest experience.
The set came with enough knives so that if one knife disappeared, it wasn’t that noticeable. The knives feel substantial in your hand which makes them more controllable while cutting.
Food storage containers are a must-have for guests preparing and storing meals during their stay. My plastic containers have seemed to magically disappear over time, so I eventually bought glass food storage containers, and wrote numbers (and street name) on the top of the plastic caps, itemizing each one. This thankfully cut down on the disappearances.
Miscellaneous Kitchen Items
- Pots & Pans
- Salad spinner
- Leftover grocery bags
- Plastic sandwich bags
- Utility Scissors
- Mixing Bowls
- Electric Mixer
- Hot Pads
- Kitchen Cooking Spoons, Ladles, Whisks, Etc.
- Strainer for Noodles
- Wine Opener
- Meat Thermometer
- Pizza Cutter
For the guests that want to really get involved in your kitchen by baking a cake or pie, you might consider providing an electric blender. These aren’t expensive, and would definitely be an essential item for guests who are staying longer than a week.
Laundry & Utility Room Essentials
Ironing Board and Iron
Both business travelers and vacationers will need to freshen up their wardrobe after being compressed in a suitcase for many hours. Provide an ironing board, iron, and possibly a spray bottle for easy use.
I rip up old white towels into small 12″x12″ squares and place them in a bag in my utility room. The edge of the shelf is marked as “Rags”. This has helped cut down on stains on the bathroom towels and washcloths.
A retractable clothesline in your laundry room can be helpful for drying delicates. Using one of these may help keep guests from throwing their wet clothes over your beautiful antique wood chairs.
Laundry Detergent & Dryer Sheets
What Do You Need To Start an Airbnb?
If you’re just starting to think about hosting on Airbnb, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Check with your local HOA (if you have one) and city planning and zoning department to make sure you are allowed to host on Airbnb. Some municipalities don’t allow Airbnb, or only allow it if you reside on your property.
- Put together a solid set of house rules, and place them in your Airbnb listing. If you ever have a dispute with a guest, you’ll want to show the Airbnb Resolution Center that a guest broke a specific rule that you had in your listing. This improves your chances of getting compensated for any damage, etc. You can check out our house rules article here.
- Set your prices below all of your competition when starting out so that you can get at least five stays/ reviews within your first month.
- Make sure your listing is completely filled out with all of your pictures oriented horizontally. This will boost the SEO for your listing. Make sure your photos are high quality and take your photos with all the lights turned on.
- Use automated messages to save you time with your guests and cleaner. There are great automated platforms out there like iGMS that integrate right into your Airbnb account.
What to Leave for Airbnb Guests?
So you’ve got all or your Airbnb essentials bought and in place. But what do you leave for your Airbnb guests? This is an area of much contention among hosts. Do you go overboard, and leave guests all kinds of extras, or do you just provide the basic accommodations noted in your listing and nothing more.
Some hosts provide bottled water in the fridge, chocolates on pillows, a basket of goodies, welcome notes, wine (where insurance allows), free breakfast, firewood, s’mores for the fire, bicycles for guest use, robes, etc, etc. Guests are sure to love these extras, and it might help with your reviews.
But it might also not be necessary. Many hosts think that extras like these are just part of the hosting experience. Others may think these are unnecessary and just cut into their bottom line.
The choice is really up to you. You can experiment and see what really boosts your ratings, and what doesn’t. For me, I’ll just stick to a couple of bottled waters in the fridge and some coffee pods. So far, my ratings have been great, so why add more work for myself.