Ready for a list of items every new Airbnb host should have for their unit?
When starting an Airbnb, it’s helpful to think of all the things you use everyday in your own home, plus what you see all time in hotel rooms. Then get those!
But here are some must-haves you won’t want to forget!
(Links to many of these items are given so you can see the exact ones I like. Where possible they are affiliate links.)
Airbnb List of Items that Every New Host Should Have
If you want to learn why each item is on the list and what I like about it, scroll down for details.
But if you just want a quick list, here you go:
- a good router for wifi
- smart lock
- Arlo Pro 4 3-camera set
- noise monitor
- smart thermostat
- Roku TV
- label maker
- smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
- blackout curtains
- sturdy bedframes
- comfy mattresses
- mattress encasements
- pillow encasements
- multiple sheet sets
- quilt sets
- portable room fans
- grey washcloths
- hair dryers
- toilet plunger
- toiletry bottles with waterproof labels
- an ozone machine
- robot vacuum
- handheld vacuum
- fabric steamer
- enough living & dining seating for the maximum number of guests you’ll have
- a decent cookware set
- a large spoon, slotted spoon, turner, spatula, whisk, & tongs
- pizza cutter
- knife set or at least a chef’s knife, serrated knife, & paring knife
- knife sharpener
- cutting board
- measuring cups & spoons
- can opener, bottle opener, and wine opener
- hard-to-break dinnerware
- drinking & wine glasses
- plastic mixing bowls
- pizza pan
- hot pads, dish towels & dish brush
- coffee maker
- electric tea kettle
- toaster or toaster oven
Want to know why these are must-haves? Read on for details on the major items, broken down by purpose or room. I would not have an Airbnb without them!
List of Smart Devices for Your Airbnb
These smart devices all make it soooo much easier to run your place and keep your guests (and neighbors!) happy.
- A good router. Unless you’re going with an “unplug from technology” vibe, having strong wifi is a must. I use a Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Network for mine.
If you have a small place with just one level a mesh network may not be needed, but it can be very helpful if you have multiple floors or things that otherwise block wifi signals. I put one box on each floor so that the wifi is great throughout the house. (And label each box so people don’t wonder what it’s for.)
- Schlage Encode. The Schlage Encode smart lock makes check-ins incredibly easy for both you and your guests, and this one is excellent.
It connects to your wifi, has an alarm, lets you open and close the lock remotely with your smart phone, and notifies you when a code is used. (It’ll say something like “Access code Jackie unlocked Front Door.”)
You can add up to 100 temporary codes at a time, and make them valid only during the time periods your guests will be there. This is super handy because you can give your guests their check-in information in advance without worrying that they’ll be able to barge in on another guest.
I’ve also found it handy to give a code to repairpersons, and of course to have one for myself. In fact I like it so much I’m tempted to get one for our own house too.
- Security cameras. Unless you live next door, having at least one security camera outside the front door is a good idea. I got the Arlo Pro 4 3-camera set and they work great the vast majority of the time.
I would get them again, but there are two things to know about them: one is that (unlike with very old Arlo cameras) you need a subscription in order to save videos to the cloud. You can save them to a memory stick, but if I understand correctly you then have to go to the house and get the stick if you want to view them. (If I’m wrong someone please tell me; I haven’t tried doublechecking with support.)
The other is that if you turn off the power to the house at the breaker, they do not always reconnect on their own. (I discovered this while installing my smart thermostat.) So that’s a bit of a pain but otherwise I’m a fan.
I like that the cameras send alerts to your phone letting you know what kind of motion it saw. For example, it’ll tell you things like “Person detected on Front Door at 9:13 PM” or “Animal detected on Back Door at 1:49 AM”. Then you can choose if you want to tap & watch the video or not.
Be sure you clearly disclose any cameras in your listing, including what they cover, that they record & can be viewed remotely, and that they’ll be on. I have sound turned off on mine for privacy (and I suspect legal) reasons.
- A noise monitor. Minut and NoiseAware are both subscription-based noise monitors that are good for short term rentals.
I use Minut, and have it labeled so people don’t wonder what it is or think it’s a camera spying on them. (Because it’s not!)
The best part is that these noise monitors don’t record any sounds or images, so there’s no privacy concerns. They just measure decibels. They can help you prevent parties and noise complaints, and protect you from false noise complaints. Of course you need to disclose it in your listing too.
If you’ll need one for outdoors, take a look at NoiseAware since they have outdoor sensors. (Minut is still working on an outdoor version.)
- Smart thermostat. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get a smart thermostat for free from your utility company. I couldn’t, so chose an Ecobee 3 Lite.
It lets you set a range of temperatures that guests can set the temperature within. So for example, you might set it to allow 65 to 80 in summer. That stops guests who don’t get how AC works from changing it to something super low like 50 in hopes of “cooling faster” and freezing up your AC. But it still allows them to pick a comfortable temp for themselves.
(On a related note, you may want to have a reminder in your house manual to please keep doors & windows closed when the AC or heat is on to avoid overworking and damaging the system. I had a LOT of people leave windows wide open until I added that.)
You can also adjust the temp remotely. I do that when I realize I forgot to change it and it doesn’t need to be 65 inside when I don’t have any guests. And it will alert you if there appears to be a problem (like if it’s been running a really long time) and remind you to change the filter. Plus you can change the temperature with your phone. We have an Ecobee at home as well and I like being able to do that from anywhere in the house.
- Roku TV. Assuming you have good wifi, using a Roku TV for your place is great. That’s because guests can login to a large number of their own streaming services if they want to watch something. (And at mine at least, it also picks up some local free channels.)
I have a model similar to this one. I got mine from Costco, because I wanted to see what the picture looked like, etc first. I’m not a big TV person myself but have had no complaints from guests! I especially like that this avoids needing to pay for cable.
- Label maker. I highly recommend a label maker.
Why? Because you can label every light switch, kitchen drawer & cabinet, and gadget. Guests really appreciate knowing:
- where everything is without having to go digging around,
- what switch controls which light,
- and what that strange gadget on the floor or ceiling is
I also use the labeler to say things like “Pantry — help yourself!” or “Feel free to take a book” if it might be unclear that something is for guest use.
(I only use it for positive notes or info like “Utensils”, not for notes like “Only flush toilet paper!”. No one wants to stay in a house full of warnings. But helpful info? Sure!)
I get many compliments on how organized everything is, when really it’s just all clearly labeled! If I could only get two “smart” devices from this list, it would be a label maker and the Schlage Encode.
- Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector
Keep your guests safe with smoke & carbon monoxide detectors on each floor.
Must-Have List of Items for Your Airbnb Bedrooms
A good, safe place to sleep matters!
- Blackout curtains. While I personally hate blackout curtains and like to sleep with the sunlight streaming in, I am an outlier. It seems that most people greatly prefer blackout curtains in the bedroom. I got mine at Big Lots, and they are the Eclipse brand. Thermal is a bonus, because it’ll help keep the room warm in winter & cool in summer.
Note that blackout curtains are NOT the same as room darkening, so be careful to get true blackout curtains. Measure to get the right size so that they extend past the window in all directions, otherwise light will still seep in.
- Good mattresses. (For king size beds if you have space! King size beds are the way to go.) Make sure you have sturdy bed frames too.
I use the Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress and have people saying it’s the best nights sleep they’ve ever gotten.
- Mattresses encasements. You’ll want waterproof, zippered mattress encasements for two pretty icky reasons: bodily fluids and pests.
These are the mattress encasements I use, and I’ve had no issues with noise. They completely enclose the mattress, which is important.
- Pillow encasements.
Same deal goes for pillows. You want to keep them encased! These sets of two pillow encasements do the trick.
- Four pillows per bed. Some people like squishy pillows. Some people like firm. Some people like both. Give them the choice by having two different kinds available per bed.
I got mine at Costco. (If you don’t already have a Costco membership, that will come in very handy as a short term rental owner, both for setting up your Airbnb and for ongoing supplies.)
- Sheets that come with 4 pillowcases. Costco’s Kirkland Signature 680 Thread Count 6 Piece Sheet Set is GREAT. They hold up well over many, many washings, are comfy, and don’t attract hairs like others may. (Hairs will be the bane of your existence.)
Get them in white so you can use hydrogen peroxide on them if need be to remove blood. And get TWO sets per bed. In addition to having a spare, that way you can quickly turn things over while the previous set is being washed.
- Easily washable coverlets. Being able to wash & dry your bedding quickly matters a lot. Plus of course it needs to be comfortable for guests. I’m very happy with these quilt sets.
They’re easy to make the beds with, not too heavy or too light, and dry in a reasonable time. I have four sets total (two for each of my king beds.) I use this pricier coverlet for my queen bed, and like it as well. But it has pros and cons, because while it’s easier to make the bed with it, it seems like it’s showing wear a little more.
I went with coverlets over duvets because duvets are a PAIN. You have to remove the cover, wash it, and put the cover back. Maybe it’s just me but that takes forever. (I have a duvet at home and hate that part of it.)
- Extra blankets. I have a throw blanket for each bed and one for the couch. They get used a lot in winter, mainly in the living room, so I should probably add a second throw for the couch.
I’ve tried 4 different kinds and am still on the fence as to which is best, so can only recommend that you have them :)
- Luggage racks. Having a luggage rack or other spot to put a suitcase in each bedroom is a must. That’s because if you don’t have one, guests will put their luggage on the dresser or the bed. (Leaving marks and increasing the possibility of transfer of unwanted things.)
I happened to find sturdy wooden TV trays at Menards that serve the same purpose, but do plan to get real metal luggage racks for next season as well.
- Nightstands for both sides of each bed. Simply put, people need somewhere to put their phone & glasses, etc.
So make sure there’s a nightstand of some kind on both sides of each bed. (Ideally there should be an outlet right there too.)
- Portable fans. Portable fans are great because sometimes there’s on person in the group that needs to be cooler than others. They’re good for white noise too. They’re especially important if you don’t have ceiling fans in the bedrooms & living room.
Make sure you either get the kind that don’t sound like you’re sleeping on a crinkly paper bag, or add a mattress topper over them. It’s easier to just get the non-crinkly kind.
Must-Have List of Items for the Bathroom
- Towels, towels, and more towels. Many people will use more towels than you can imagine. You’ll need bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.
Since I offer free use of the washer & dryer, I set out 12 sets of towels at a time. That’s 2 per guest if it’s at max occupancy. Costco has inexpensive sets and so far they seem to be holding up well.
- Makeup towels. I almost didn’t get these, but I’m glad I did because they get used almost every time! Makeup towels don’t need to be fancy or embroidered; they just need to be grey.
These grey washcloths from Target work well. I leave mine rolled up in a little container on the counter labeled “makeup towels”.
These quick-drying ones work great. I have two sets per bathroom.
- Hair dryer.
People will forget to pack (or not want to bring) their hair dryers, so make sure each bathroom has one. I like these compact Revlon hair dryers.
Nightlights aren’t just for kids! They’re for adults in an unfamiliar house, aka your Airbnb. I use dusk to dawn nightlights in each bathroom, the kitchen, and at the tops & bottoms of stairs.
- Toilet plunger & brush. It happens, sometimes you need to unclog a toilet. While you probably don’t expect guests to do it, they might prefer to rather than having to call and explain that they clogged a toilet.
So provide a toilet plunger in each bathroom. You’ll need a toilet brush for cleaning as well.
- Soap dispensers. It’s good to provide body wash, shampoo, & conditioner, in addition to hand soap.
Must-Have List of Items for Keeping Things Clean
- Ozone machine. You know how fish, curry, and smoke of all types have very strong scents? You’ll want to make those smells go away. (Especially if you’ve got a non-smoking place, because people will break the rules and smoke anyway from time to time. And then your next guests will be unhappy if they arrive to a stench.)
The one I use is no longer available, but this ozone machine is similar. Make sure there are no people, animals, or plants in the room while it’s running, because it’s bad for lungs and plants. Get one before you need it, and you’ll be glad you did.
- Robot vacuum.
If you’ll be cleaning the place yourself, a robot vacuum speeds things up. We have a Roomba at home which I like because it maps the house and gets everywhere vs. vacuuming at random.
- Mini vacuum.
These VacLife Handheld Vacuums are great for your guests to use for quick cleanups, and very helpful for getting stray hairs & doing stairs.
This Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer is nice for getting wrinkles out of your new blackout curtains, and for making pillowcases look freshly ironed. Ironing sheets is overkill, but pillowcases are a nice touch.
- Cascade gel.
Cascade Advanced Power Liquid Machine Dishwasher Detergent with Dawn works really, really well as a pre-treatment for fabric stains. Be sure you or your cleaner checks all towels & sheets before washing because there WILL be stains. A lot of stains.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
Did I mention there will be a lot of stains? Hydrogen peroxide can be used to get blood out of white sheets & towels.
- Generosity. Don’t be stingy with having cleaning supplies available for guests to use if they want to. Leave a LOT of trash bags, toilet paper, & paper towels especially. (I have a note saying that supplies are for use during their stay only, and are not to be taken home. The vast majority of people respect that.)
Being generous saves yourself, your cleaners, and your home! Why? Well, imagine you’re staying somewhere and you spill a glass of wine, or your kid smears peanut butter all over creation. Wouldn’t you like to be able to clean that up?
If there’s no way for guests to do that, they’ll either leave it a mess or use something else instead — and that something might be your good towels or a coverlet. People want to be neat & clean without having to make a run to the store while traveling. Help them do that..
Must-Have Items for Your Airbnb’s Kitchen
- Plenty of pots & pans. People will say you can pick these up at a thrift store, and while you can, don’t! Because mismatched and cheap is not the impression you want to give.
Spring for a brand new, decent set that does NOT have Teflon coating. Imagine what you’d need cook to breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home and get those things. I have a pretty copper-looking set because of my open shelving, but this Calphalon set is nice.
- Plenty of cooking utensils & miscellaneous kitchen items. At a minimum, you need a large spoon, slotted spoon, turner, spatula, whisk, pizza cutter, tongs, chef’s knife, serrated knife, paring knife, cutting board, measuring cups, measuring spoons, can opener, bottle opener, and wine opener.
Personally I would get a garlic press too since spaghetti is a common thing to cook, and a knife set vs just those few knives.
- Knife sharpener. Knives will get dull, and of course there’s no point springing for the best knives in the world for your Airbnb. But give people a way to sharpen the ones you have.
The Samurai Shark works well for a variety of knives.
- Enough seating for the max number of guests.
Don’t have your place sleep 8 with a tiny 4-person kitchen table. Either get a bigger table, or reduce the number of guests you allow. Don’t make people have to eat in shifts or sit on the couch.
- Enough dishes, silverware, and glasses for the max number of guests to have at least 3 meals a day without having to wash dishes.
Corelle dinnerware holds up well and looks nice, as do acrylic drinking & wine glasses.
People seem to prefer larger ceramic mugs for coffee, and smaller cups for tea.
- Plastic mixing bowls.
These are useful for mixing but also salads, and you can pick them up cheaply most anywhere.
- Pizza pan.
People often want to settle in with a frozen pizza, or reheat pizza in the oven vs the microwave. Give ’em a pan for that.
- Hot pads, dish towels & dish brush.
Make sure people can get pans out of the oven, wipe off the counter, and dry & clean dishes. Don’t forget dish soap as well.
- Coffee maker & tea kettle. People love their coffee & tea, so make it easy for them. At the very least, get a drip coffee maker and an electric kettle. (And provide coffee & tea.)
You can add other types of coffee makers & a grinder too if you like — especially if you’re in an area where coffee is a big thing — but at least get the drip maker.
- Toaster or toaster oven.
This toaster oven is a frequently used item at my place. Make breakfast & reheating easy for people.
Along the same lines, make sure you have a microwave. Even if people don’t cook during their stay, they will probably want to heat something up quickly and microwaves are great for that.
My Airbnb’s kitchen has a LOT more than what’s listed here, including a bunch of small appliances, bakeware, and more. But make sure you at least have the kitchen items listed above! It’s a great place to start.