How to host overnight guests in a tiny space

Sleepover anyone?

Pink throw pillows on bed with rattan headboard
(Image credit: @ohsorented)

One title that many of us aim to achieve at some point in life is hostess with the mostess, however, when you live in a small space, it can feel almost impossible to impress guests. 

Hosting overnight visitors can be particularly challenging when you’re working with limited square footage. But regardless of if you live in a tiny apartment, rental, or dorm room, you shouldn’t feel like you can’t entertain the people you care about. 

With ample planning ahead and some strategic hacks, you can surely land your dream title of superior host. Here are 8 tips to help you keep your friends and family coming back for more — despite tight quarters. 

1. Plan far in advance

There’s certainly something thrilling about hosting last-minute guests, but for occasions when you know someone will be paying you a visit, try to plan as far in advance for their arrival as possible. Make sure you have time to make their sleeping arrangements extra welcoming, stock up on any hosting-related items, and purchase anything that will make their stay the best it can be. If you wait too long to prepare, you’ll not only be stressing yourself out but you also run the risk of not being able to find what you need.  

2. Do some decluttering 

I don’t want to call you out but if I had to guess I would say there are some items you could donate that are currently taking up precious space. Decluttering is not exactly the most enjoyable task but it’s crucial for maintaining a functional and inviting environment. Hosting also happens to provide the ideal reason to do a little purge in your space. Doing so will simply offer up more room for you and your guests to enjoy. 

3. Invest in a quality air mattress 

If your BFF is coming to town then you might be cool with sharing your bed for the weekend, but for guests who you aren’t as close to, utilizing an air mattress is a must. One way to ensure they have the most comfortable stay possible is to do thorough research on the best air mattresses on the market. Amazon is a great place to source one, and the reviews on each product are so honest that you can’t really make the wrong choice. 

4. Make a cozy sleep area 

Consider how you would want your sleeping area to feel if you were a guest and replicate that experience for your own visitors. Picking quality sheets (even if they’re just going on an air mattress) and a super-soft comforter will make your guest feel thought of and appreciated during their stay. Also, don’t underestimate the impact of small details. Adding things like a sound machine and nightlight to their sleeping nook can go a long way. 

5. Add an accent chair to your space 

My mom taught me that every guest room should have a spot for someone to sit and put their shoes on. This is where an accent chair comes in. If you have the space, consider adding a cute little chair or bench for your own visitors to sit in as they get ready. It’s certainly useful and will also make your home feel more intentional and complete. 

6. Create privacy with a folding screen 

Regardless of how close you are to the person you’re hosting, having some level of privacy is non-negotiable. If you’re living in a dorm room or studio apartment, this can be especially crucial to incorporate. A privacy screen offers a solution that can score both of you some sense of “alone time.” Put one up to separate your sleeping areas and store it in a closet or under your bed when you don’t need to use it. 

7. Stock your place with their favorite things 

One way to make up for the lack of space your home provides is to wow guests with the details. If you have a childhood friend coming to visit, stock your fridge with their favorite snacks or buy their favorite flowers and set them on their nightstand.  

8. Make sure you have plenty of plans 

There’s nothing worse than visiting someone only to feel bored during your time together. Making plans to spend time with your guests outside of your home will not only make them feel special, but it’s also a great way to avoid being cooped up inside a small space throughout the day. 

Kara Thompson

About me: 

Kara Thompson is a Denver-based journalist with over five years of experience writing lifestyle content. She has written for a variety of publications, including,,, and Parents, where she covered all things home, food, fashion, travel, and holidays. During her time on staff at Parents, Kara launched her own home decor and organization column named Save My Space. In 2022, she left her full-time job as an editor and started her own writing, editing, and social media firm, Kara Thompson and Co.

Tennis, New York City, bourbon cocktails, and her sister's German Shepherd are a few of her favorite things.