Temporary guest room
April 11, 2014 10:23 AM   Subscribe

We're moving to a 2BR apartment due to the impending arrival of our first child. We're planning to keep the baby in our room, and we'd like to use the second bedroom as a guest room for visiting relatives for the first month or so. Having lived in a 1BR apartment for years, we don't have guest room furniture, of course. We also don't have the need or space for an extra bed after the visitors have gone home.

When I try to find rental options, all I come up with are "rent to own". Are there companies (in the Boston/Quincy area) that will rent a bed frame and mattress on a monthly basis?

An aerobed type thing seems obvious, but I'm doubtful of the comfort level for the grandparents. Normally, I'd just say that we'd sleep on an aerobed and let the guests have the real bed… but I'm also doubtful of its comfort for me postpartum. Any experience there? Is there some blow up or folding bed that's absolutely amazing?

I suppose buying an Ikea or other inexpensive frame and mattress is an option, but then we're left with the question of what to do with it when we want that bedroom for a nursery or other use. And even inexpensive is pretty expensive at a time when we have a lot of other new expenses.
posted by Kriesa to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What about a futon that can be used as a bed now, then as seating in any future use? Even a nursery will need seating.
posted by muddgirl at 10:26 AM on April 11, 2014 [7 favorites]

Why not a futon or fold-out couch? That way you could use the room as a combination nursery/play room/office/secondary hangout space, and have sleeping space for visitors as needed. It might actually come in handy to have a potential sleep surface in the nursery, anyway.

Rental furniture is a racket. For the price of a week of rented furniture, you could just buy furniture.

If you are really and truly dead set on flushing money down the toilet on rented furniture, I think Cort operates in the Boston metro area. You will die of sticker shock, though.
posted by Sara C. at 10:29 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cort Rentals may be the answer.

You can rent a mattress for about $180 per month.

You can probably buy one cheaper than that.

What budget did you have in mind?

The other option is that Cort will sell their stuff off of rental, so you can perhaps pick up a bed on the cheap.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:30 AM on April 11, 2014

Is there a CORT furniture rental near you? That's pretty much the go-to place.
posted by radioamy at 10:31 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

We just did this in Boston, although for a different reason. We had a gap between moving in and when the rest of our furniture arrived, so we rented from Cort. We got a queen bed with frame and headboard, side tables, dining room table and couch for I think ~ $350 / month. I think there was a 2 month minimum and also a minimum rental.

We were a bit dismayed by the cost, and yes, we could've gotten cheaper versions from Ikea for probably the same amount. But we decided that we would rather have higher quality rentals than buy and then not know what to do with the stuff when our furniture arrived. (Didn't want to chuck it, seemed like a tremendous waste, and didn't have the time or energy to deal with then reselling it.)

The furniture was quite comfortable and decently solid quality.
posted by pallas14 at 10:34 AM on April 11, 2014

Yeah, rentals will be more expensive than just buying.

For cheapness in the South Shore mattress world, you can't beat Affordable Furniture To Go in Stoughton -- they have a foam mattress plus boxspring that's under $199 out the door (full size) and works with a standard metal bedframe (these are collapsible to store and are readily available on Craigslist). However, the quality is crap. If I were in your situation, I'd go low-end IKEA instead (which is what I plan to do to replace by $199 Affordable Furniture To Go mattress).

How is the mattress that you're sleeping on? If it's due for a replacement anyway, you could get a new mattress and plan to swap it for your old one once you no longer need a second bedroom.
posted by pie ninja at 10:35 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like the idea of a fold out couch, if one is in your price range. I understand that you want the grandparents to be comfortable but, you might also appreciate them not being too comfortable. Guests can quickly become a burden when you have a new baby. I would go with an air mattress. If the grandparents don't like it, allow them to purchase furniture for the room themselves or give them a list of nearby hotels.
posted by myselfasme at 10:36 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have this great Ikea fold out bed that works beautifully as a seat when I'm not sleeping on it. I got the most expensive mattress option for it, after trying the mid-priced mattress and finding it uncomfortable. I just looked it up and it's the Lycksele Havet (the most expensive option for Lycksele @ $350.) I'm betting you'll easily be able to sell it if you don't want to keep it after a while. But it's pretty darn comfortable, and sturdy....oh, and super easy to fold out and back.
posted by ihavequestions at 10:38 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have spent many a night sleeping on this guy from IKEA, in a succession of friends' and family's spare rooms.

It's at least as comfortable as any sofa bed or futon I've ever slept on, and less than the price of a one month bed rental from Cort. If your aesthetic isn't modern, it might not be for you, but it'll get the job done and last until your nursery is no longer a nursery.
posted by Sara C. at 10:40 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding the Lycksele; I slept on that for a year with what I think was one of their less expensive mattresses with no issue. (It is low to the ground, though, which might be an issue for older people.)

I would not rent furniture, especially a bed, in this age of bedbugs. Especially with a new baby. I can't even begin to imagine the stress of having bedbugs and a newborn baby at the same time.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:43 AM on April 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

The IKEA BRIMNES is your friend. We have one in our spare bedroom / MsNMRN's office. It's a very comfortable bed that converts to a daybed/couch when you want it to. Good storage underneath, too.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:51 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about a daybed with a trundle? It could be seating for now, and a bed for the baby when he's older.

I've actually known a lot of new parents who liked having a sleeping area in the nursery, so that way both parents didn't have to lose sleep if the baby was sick, or if the mom is breast feeding.
posted by hrj at 10:52 AM on April 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Try asking your parents / potential guests what their comfort level is. We had older (retirement-age) guests when my son was born who actually brought their own aerobed.

OTOH, my MIL wanted a very particular kind of bed when she decided to stay with us for several months. We let her pick out what she wanted - and then we let her pay for it.

Generally speaking, parents are usually more than happy to pay for high-ticket items. Plus, if you don't want a big bed long-term, you can usually turn around and sell it on CL when you're done with it.

But thinking longer term, is there any way at all that you could maybe get a couple of twin beds? 'Cause it won't be all that long before you need at least one of those, and you won't have to go to the hassle of selling one big bed and then getting a smaller one.
posted by vignettist at 10:54 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Renting furniture is basically a racket. You'll end up paying for that couch 3 times over.

A twin size daybed+trundle can become the "big kid bed" when the kid is older, and sleep grandparents in the mean time. Eventually, you can ditch the trundle and gain storage under the bed too.
posted by fontophilic at 10:58 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, you could get a foldable roll-away cot. We had one for a few years, it was very comfortable, and easy to transport to boot.
posted by vignettist at 10:59 AM on April 11, 2014

"we don't actually have any furniture in the spare bedroom, so bring over your cushiest ground pad and sleeping bag."

seconding all the above "renting furniture is a racket."
posted by bruce at 11:00 AM on April 11, 2014

I have this air mattress, and it's pretty awesome. It is not cheap (though it's on sale right now), but it's comfy; this is not the air mattress where you're going to wake up in the middle of the night with your bum on the floor, freezing. It inflates super fast, and since the pump is built in, it's easy to top up the air before you go to bed. The thickness helps it feel like a real bed. I've slept on it for multiple nights running myself and been happy with it. It's been a good solution for needing extra guest space.
posted by joycehealy at 11:25 AM on April 11, 2014

We have a really nice air mattress which is great if you're one person. If you're going to have multiple people, I might actually recommend having two twin sized air mattresses instead of a queen size one, since if two people sleep on our queen, they wake up smushed together in the middle of the mattress. But if you're alone it's very comfortable, air mattresses have come a long way in the last years.

I recommend though, if your floors get cold, to put a blanket either under the air mattress or under the sheets, because sometimes the air in the mattress gets cool.

This is the one we have
posted by euphoria066 at 11:45 AM on April 11, 2014

La-Z-Boy offers pull-out sleeper sofas, in several sizes, with memory foam or an integral air-mattress topper option called the "Slumber-Air System."
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:56 AM on April 11, 2014

Do you live anywhere with a university or college? Facebook/kijiji/craigslist are all ridiculously busy and cheap as all these students finish up their exams and move on with their life. I'm talking about $50 for a barely used mattress and frame or futon, $20 desks and chairs, and tons of free random little things like hangers and the like. Get rid of this stuff, or even donate, once you're done with it!

It's a GREAT time of year to get cheap/free stuff - assuming you live near a campus of some variety. Hell, if you have a truck and know when move-out day is, you can often score plenty of free stuff.

As always, caution about bedbugs and stuff, but at least where we are, they aren't super common and many of the students take good care of their stuff.

http://cordaroys.com/ < These are kind of silly looking, but VERY comfortable to sleep on. A friend gave us his when he moved, and it's surprising. Now, with a sofabed and this thing, we can sleep a surprising amount of people in our apartment!
posted by aggyface at 12:07 PM on April 11, 2014

We bought this folding metal bed frame for a situation where we need to set up and take down the bed quite a lot, and love it. We have it topped with thin folding foam mattress, and you wouldn't think it was super comfortable, but it is. The frame makes it more like a bed, and my husband and I sleep on it weekends and two weeks in the summer when we're at a festival. Given that my husband is a big, big guy I think it could stand up to whatever you throw at it.

The frame folds almost completely flat, and while the mattress is a little bulky to store, we just have it standing (folded) on end in the back of a closet when not in use. The mattress does offgass a bit when it's right out of the package, so let it sit somewhere with an open window for 24 hours before you use it.

We also have friends who have this crazy inflatable bed with feet which they say is comfortable, but which has had some issues with punctures over time.
posted by anastasiav at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2014

Put up a Facebook post, and otherwise ask around, to make sure nobody you know locally has a bed that they're storing or don't currently need. If you could borrow a bed for a while and then give it back, that could make a lot of sense.
posted by aimedwander at 1:07 PM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have almost exactly the same issue as you, grandparents, nursery, bed etc. We bought the lyksele too, with the most expensive mattress. I used it for breast feeding at night and it has the smallest footprint of any sofa bed we could find. It's very comfortable and multiple people have slept on it now without complaint. You can also get custom made covers to suit your decor if that's important to you.
posted by Jubey at 2:58 PM on April 11, 2014

As an alternative to renting, why not buy one of those ikea couchbeds for REALLY cheap on craigslist? Used ikea furniture, even in flawless shape has basically no resale value(and anyone asking close to retail is delusional and will be quickly undercut by someone else).

I've bought several cheap bits of furniture this way when i was in a bind. A loft bed, and some other stuff. One thing i always noticed though was that the ikea couch-beds were almost always sub-$100 items.

You can put the thing up on there for free and it will be gone quickly if you don't want it later, and you'll still have undercut renting it or buying something fancy, even a decent air mattress(which are crap, and don't last anyways)
posted by emptythought at 3:35 PM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Buy something secondhand. Beds/sofa beds are hard to sell, as you need to hire a truck to collect them, but still much cheaper than new.
posted by kjs4 at 5:29 PM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another option would be to get two single mattresses. Put them side by side on the floor and you have a big bed for two. Put one on top of the other and add some pillows and you have a couch. When your kid is old enough for a bed you already have it.
posted by mareli at 6:35 PM on April 11, 2014

I live in a 2-bed house with some amount of storage but not a lot. We bought an IKEA twin bed and one if their foam mattresses. We set it up a few months before baby came and if was so handy having an extra sleeping space for us and of course when my mom stayed for 2 weeks after baby was born. Baby stayed in our room in a co-sleeper until 6 months. Then we disassembled the twin bed and rolled up the mattress. Put in the crib and, well, no overnight guests anymore.

When she turned about 2-3/4, we brought back the twin - her "big girl" bed - and gave away the crib.

I second the idea of asking your friends and borrowing. That's the best way to go. If you need a double, that can be nice top even as a kid bed - more room for snuggles. My kid's room is too small for a bigger bed.
posted by amanda at 9:15 PM on April 11, 2014

I have a double-tall queen size airbed I ordered online from Costco. I top it with something called a CuddleBed (sort of like a feather bed), purchased from Amazon. It's suuuuuuuper comfortable. Because it's tall, you roll in and out of bed without having to clamber down to floor level the way you do with a normal air bed.

I've had guests tell me it's more comfortable than their mega-expensive beds at home. And it's sturdy...we've had 420+ pounds of human (two large people) sleep happily on it.

And with Costco's return policy, if the bed doesn't suit you, or goes flat (never happened to me, but...) you can return it.

It gets delivered to your door, which is so convenient.
posted by nacho fries at 8:30 PM on April 12, 2014

My answer would be something like the double-height airbed linked above. I bought mine from Walmart a few years back for 60 bucks and it's great. Takes less than 10 minutes to set up from packed away to inflated and linens on. Super comfortable, and actually slightly taller off the ground than my regular bed, so fairly grandparent friendly. When I sublet my apartment one semester, the second tenant slept on the airbed in the office without complaint. And the best part is, it folds up nice and small. The entire bed (and linens) folds up into a trunk (which acts as a night stand when the bed is in use).

Added bonus, even when you get permanent furniture for the guestroom/nursery, the airbed can easily be set up in the living room/dining room/hallway/whatever if you need it. Yay flexibility.
posted by yggdrasil at 9:25 PM on April 16, 2014

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