Part of the joy of owning a cottage is hosting friends and family—after all, you never really get to know someone until you’ve assessed their marshmallow roasting techniques and seen how they deal with four straight days of rain.
But where do your guests sleep? On that mid-fifties sofa you inherited along with the cottage? That rickety old metal cot? No one wants sleep-deprived (read: grumpy) guests, so here’s some of the best bed choices for the cottage, all of which should ensure squeaky springs won’t be what your guests remember from their visit.
This ain’t your father’s huffy puffy air mattress—most air beds these days come with built-in pumps for self-inflating, as well as a plushy surface that resist punctures and leaks. Many even come with legs, which means they’re about as close to a bed as you can get, but you can still stuff it in a closet when you’re done.
If you frequently host kids or single guests—or if you’re always running out of seating—consider a convertible bed: one that transforms into an ottoman or chair when it’s not being slept on. Many are on casters for easy moving, and most come with removable slipcovers—great for washing up after spills, or simply changing up the mood of a room.
We’ve all slept on prehistoric sofa beds—you know, the kind that’s all poky springs with no discernible mattress. Nicely, today’s sofa beds are built from better materials, including memory foam mattresses and microfibre finishes to resist stains. If you don’t feel like schlepping a heavy, traditional hide-a-bed style sofa up to the cottage, try a sofa where the seat converts to a sleeping surface.
These retro-style beds have come back in a big way, largely because of urban downsizing—but what condo-dwellers have revived, cottage-owners can take advantage of. Many wall beds aren’t just wasted wall space any more—lots come with fold-down tables or shelves to make sure you make the best of your small space.
If you have the space, a daybed with extra pillows makes a handy place to curl up and read by day, and turns into a convenient guest bed by night. Although the traditional daybed is twin-sized, many models come with trundles, making them a good choice if you’re hosting siblings or easy-going couples. Plus, lots have drawers underneath for storage, and every cottage can use more space for storage.