The most annoying things guests do when they’re staying at your home

(Photo by Kelcie Gene Papp on Unsplash)

Arriving unannounced, snooping around and breaking something are the top three no-no’s guests can commit while staying in someone’s home, according to new data.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans recently explored the concept of “guest room etiquette” and unveiled the biggest faux pas guests can commit while staying with a host.

With the holiday season just around the corner, 60 percent of Americans surveyed will be staying with family for an extended visit in a guest room.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Firm, the study found that being too loud, smoking and leaving a mess all top the list of things to avoid doing as a guest in someone’s home.

Also scoring high marks on list of annoying guest habits were coming back intoxicated, being too demanding with the host, bringing an extra guest without warning and eating food in the house without asking first.

Knowing when to say goodbye is appreciated — the average respondent said that guests are officially overstaying their welcome after three nights.

The survey found that one in five Americans (21 percent) will be hosting somebody this year. And even with the previously mentioned faux pas, 63 percent of respondents said they enjoy hosting friends and family.

If you are among those hosting, there are a few things you can do to make your guests feel at home.

The top five ways respondents say hosts can go above and beyond is simply to be helpful when guests have a question, provide extra towels for the bathroom, display the WiFi password, provide extra toiletries and have a comfy bed.

“Nothing makes guests feel more comfortable and cared for than a great night’s sleep — so why not aim to create a sleep sanctuary for your guests?” said Chassie Post, Mattress Firm’s lifestyle expert. “When refreshing a guest room, prioritize the essentials over fancy décor. Crisp, clean sheets, supportive pillows and a comfortable mattress are upgrades that make a huge impact. Your guests will appreciate a restorative sleep more far more than lavish décor.”

However, it seems a nice guest bed is a tough commodity to come by — and guests aren’t afraid to tell their hosts, according to the results.

Only 23 percent of those surveyed would call their guest bed very comfy, which makes sense as more than 40 percent of respondents said they get less sleep when sleeping in someone’s guest room than they typically get at home.

Sixty-five percent of guests say they won’t lie to their host about how they slept out of politeness.

Results also found one in four said they’d hate to spend a night on their guest bed — and 23 percent say that if their guests knew the kind of horrors their guest bed has seen, they’d think twice about sleeping in it.

“The guest room mattress is often overlooked, because as hosts, we’re not the ones sleeping on it,” Post said. “Before guests arrive, make sure you give your guest room mattress a good inspection. Does it have lumps and bumps? Is it over seven years old? If so, it may be time to replace it. Another quick way to extend the life of your mattress is by adding a mattress protector to your bed. It protects against sweat, dust mites and other allergens and ensures your mattress will remain guest-ready and in top condition.”


  1. Arrive unannounced or without an invitation 49%
  2. Snoop around 48%
  3. Break/damage host’s belongings 48%
  4. Leave a mess when departing 45%
  5. Be too loud 45%
  6. Smoke 44%
  7. Leave a mess in the bathroom 40%
  8. Stay up all night watching TV with volume up high 39%
  9. Come back drunk 39%
  10. Be too demanding 39%


  1. Be helpful if I have a question 43%
  2. Provide more than one towel 39%
  3. Have a comfy bed 35%
  4. Provide toiletries 28%
  5. Display the Wi-Fi password in the room 27%
  6. Not make too much noise in the morning 27%
  7. Make coffee every morning 24%
  8. Cook them meals 20%
  9. Provide water in the room 16%
  10. Provide snacks/food in the room 14%


  1. “Slept in the living room naked.”
  2. “Broke my couch.”
  3. “Caught them taking money out of my wife’s purse.”
  4. “Ate my leftovers from the fridge.”
  5. “Got drunk and redid my Christmas decorations.”
  6. “Left crushed Oreos all over my brand-new mattress.”
  7. “Let a pet sleep in the bed with them.”
  8. “Stole one of my Wii remotes.”
  9. “Set the room on fire.”
  10. “Punched a hole in the wall.”

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.