Solutions for Sleeping a Crowd
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Solutions for Sleeping a Crowd

All the relatives sleeping over? No worries! We've got you covered.

 Photo: Cole Ciarlello / Unsplash 


After weeks of preparation, the family reunion/wedding celebration/birthday bash is over. Everyone had a blast! But now, your guests are looking to get some shut-eye. So, where do they all camp out?

Sleeping arrangements at the cabin can seem as complicated as a military maneuver. Let’s see … if Mom and Dad take the master, then Aunt Ida can bunk with little Suzy, and so on. But it doesn’t have to be a bed battle. The key is having a variety of fallback options to suit available space.

For starters, a convertible couch or futon should be standard cabin issue. In addition to seating, these pieces pull open into full- or queen-size beds.

An ottoman is another cabin essential. Closed, it’s a footrest or coffee table. Open, it’s a twin bed.

Another convertible furniture option is the Creden-ZzZ cabinet bed. It opens to a queen-size mattress, making for an attractive cabinet when closed, and a bed when opened.


See also Sleeping Bags for Guests


Bring in help

When your frontline is occupied, bring in the reserves. Here are a few good options:

  • Air mattresses: These beds have come a long way in recent years, and they inflate in seconds to twin-, full- or queen-size mattresses. Get a raised or double-high model with a built-in pump that plugs into an outlet. Slip a memory foam pad under the bedding, and your guests will forget they’re not on a real bed. Honest.

  • Folding beds: Lightweight folding beds are indispensable. Stash a few in the basement or garage, and then simply wheel into formation. (Need more? Rent from a local event company.) Since they fold in half, mattresses tend to be puny. You can bolster a foam mattress with comforters under a mattress pad. Or, buy one with an innerspring mattress, like one of Absolute Comfort’s rollaway models. (A durable metal frame with wood slats instead of wire should eliminate any squeaking.)

  • Cots: If you’re a camper, you may have a couple of cots to press into service, if not, try L.L.Bean’s Deluxe Swedish Folding Cot. It has a 2¾-inch-thick foam mattress and wood slats.


Using your space

Now, where to set up all these sleeping options? Even a small cabin has untapped potential if you look at form, not function. For example, a dining room can also serve as a guest room. So can transitional spaces like mudrooms and screened porches. A sleeping porch with a swing bed is an asset to any cabin, especially one overlooking the water. If your cabin has an open-plan layout, is it possible to rearrange furniture, or pull chairs away from the wall and slip a cot behind?

Folding screens or room dividers can offer privacy. The blank canvas is great for decorating how you’d like, or, let the kids have at it.

Last, but not least, don’t forget the great outdoors. Any enclosed outbuilding, say, a potting shed or barn, can become an impromptu mini guest cabin. Or, set up tents or tepees (you can rent these) in the yard for the kids. You could also rent a pop-up camper or RV for families. On a starry night, nothing beats sleeping bags around a bonfire on the beach.

With some advance planning and a creative approach, your guests will have pleasant cabin dreams!


See also Cabin Bedroom Design Ideas


Extra Tips

- If you’re shopping for a sleeper sofa, futon, or ottoman, look for durable construction and an innerspring mattress. Your family and friends will thank you. for other options, buy the best you can afford. Also, keep in mind guests’ ages and size. you might want an extra-long option for your 6-foot nephew.

- If children are regular cabin goers, consider space-saving bunk beds and/or trundle beds. Trundles are two beds in one frame; beneath the upper twin is a slightly smaller bed on casters. The lower bed can be rolled out. Pop-up models are also available so the beds are at equal heights.

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