Alongside the important questions of “How many different types of potato do we need with our dinner?” and “Do we really need to buy crackers this year?” comes the question of where you will put your guests that are coming to stay and how to make them as comfortable as possible.

If you are on Twitter, you will be familiar with the trending hashtag #DuvetKnowItsChristmas that writer and journalist Rhodri Marsden (@Rhodri) started. Each year, Twitter users share photos of the makeshift living arrangements that their loved ones have fashioned for them during the festive period.

Whether it’s camping beside the ironing board on a blow-up mattress or returning to their childhood bedroom in an all too small bed, the results are hilarious, but here are some tips to help you, just in case!

The good news is, there are now plenty of different types of beds and mattresses designed for guests staying over:

Sofa beds

If you do not have the luxury of a spare bedroom, consider fitting a sofa bed in a separate sitting room or study room. Sofa beds are available in different sizes – two-seaters or three-seaters. If space is tight, opt for the two-seater version that will comfortably sleep one person. It could be a squeeze for two people, often only providing a sleeping width of 120cm (4ft) or less.

There are generally two styles of sofa bed mechanisms. The first type has a metal frame that folds out underneath the seating area to reveal a mattress. The mattresses can vary in depth and construction – the deeper the mattress, the greater comfort and support provided. This type of sofa bed is generally the most expensive and is a good option if you regularly have guests.

The other leading type of sofa bed mechanism is known as the ‘click-clack’. It allows you to fold the back section of the sofa into a flat position to form the sleeping surface. Click-clacks are ideal for the occasional one-night sleepover and can cost as little as £200. They are not as comfortable as the traditional sofa bed, and the sleeping area can be tight due to the upright arms.


Z-beds and fold-out sofa chairs are great for single guests and do not take up as much room as a sofa bed. Cheaper models are made entirely from hinged foam cushions, and better models have a metal action. Z-beds fold neatly and can store in a large cupboard.

Hideaway beds

A good option in children’s bedrooms is the hideaway bed, often known as a trundle or truckle bed. Here, a second bed is hidden underneath the main one and simply rolls out. Better models can raise the second bed to the same level as the main bed. In most models, the under bed allows a standard UK single size mattress.

Inflatable mattresses

Inflatable air mattresses are another choice for the occasional sleepover and have become popular in the last few years. Price and quality vary considerably, with some coming with their pumps or self-inflation devices. Easy to store and simple to inflate, they can range hugely in quality, so do not expect the cheapest ones to be the most robust.

5 quick tips to help your guests settle in

  • Sweeten them up and stock up on their favourite snacks and drinks
  • Make sure there’s a plug socket or extension cable nearby
  • Make up a caddy or basket of toiletries and goodies that they can easily carry to the bathroom or stow away when the bed returns to its sofa state
  • Pop a little treat underneath their pillow – it’ll make them smile even if the sleeping situation doesn’t!
  • Write down the Wi-Fi password, you’re bound to get asked for it at least once

What do your sleeping arrangements look like this year?


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