14 Guest Bathroom Essentials That Make It Feel Like Home

Think touches like soft towels and plush bath mats.

November 16, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

I don’t know about you, but my hosting skills are a little rusty after a long hiatus from having houseguests. But with people traveling again, especially this holiday season, many of us will be welcoming guests into our home again (hooray!).

If you’re lucky enough to have a guest bathroom, it may have been a while since you reviewed how well it is stocked. Take the time now to assess what you’ve got and what you need before your guests descend. In our enthusiasm for full houses ahead, we’ve gathered up 14 of our favorite bath items for your guests, from the most-absorbent, quick-drying towels to a lovely room scent to brighten their stay. Outfit your bathroom with one or more of these finds and your guests will thank you!

Photo by Parachute

1. Parachute Waffle Towels, $128

Waffle-style towels feel great and dry fast, meaning they won’t get musty during your guests' stay. While pure white is the classic hospitality standard, a dark color like charcoal or Parachute’s new terracotta will make guests less fearful of getting make-up or dirt on your pristine towels.

Photo by Rocky Luten

2. Handwoven Dash & Shapes Tea Towel, $28

A fancy hand towel is the kind of thing I would never buy for myself, but when a friend sent me one of these woven hand towels from Minna, I was instantly hooked. Stylish yet durable, they wash like a dream and hang beautifully.

Photo by Brooklinen

3. Brooklinen Linen Robe, $133.20

A robe might seem like a hotel amenity, but trust me when I say that it’s a welcome essential for guests to find in your bathroom—especially if they’ll need to walk through a hallway to get back to their bedroom. We love the texture of this linen model from Brooklinen.

Photo by Amazon

4. Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Bar Soap, $25.95

There’s something SO satisfying about a fresh bar of soap! It need not be a fancy one—we love good old-fashioned Dr. Bronner’s—but leaving out a brand-new bar is a thoughtful gesture.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

5. Uncommon Goods Zig Zag Soap Dish, $20

Bar soap is a more sustainable choice than liquid hand soap that comes in a plastic bottle, but it can get slippery and soggy fast. This sculptural soap dish keeps your guests’ bar dry between washes.

Photo by Amazon

6. Vornado Mini Classic Air Circulator Fan, $39.99

Spare bathrooms often lack windows, so a small table fan can go a long way towards improving air flow.

Photo by The Laundress

7. The Laundress Home Spray, $12

A luxe room spray is a nice touch to freshen the air.

Photo by CB2

8. CB2 X Base Bath Mat, $19.95

A fluffy bathmat will give your guests a nice, cozy place for their bare feet after a shower.

Photo by Ty Mecham

9. Hawkins Simple Waffle Slippers, $28

And a pair of waffle slippers will take their feet comfortably back to their room. Opt for a pair or two in an open-back style like these ones from Hawkins New York that can be worn by people with varying shoe sizes.

Photo by Rejuvenation

10. Hyland Triple Swivel Hook, $81

Hooks are absolutely essential to a guest bathroom: they give your guests a place to hang towels, clothing, toiletry bags, and damp swimsuits or workout wear. This modern take on the swivel hook looks great and offers three hanging spots.

Photo by Amazon

11. Yamazaki Ply Over-The-Door Hook Rack, $33

An over-the-hook rack gives guests an additional place to hang towels and more in the bathroom. This streamlined design by Yamazaki Home looks chic and elevated.

Photo by Target

12. Metal Wall Accent Mirror with Shelf Bronze, $61.19

Even if your bathroom already has a mirrored medicine cabinet, an additional mirror adds visual depth and light to a space. Choose one with a built-in ledge or shelf to offer your guests an extra place to stash toiletries.

Photo by Ty Mecham

13. Blomus Essential Toilet Brush & Bathroom Accessories

Last but not least, do not forget practicalities! A good guest bathroom should have its own toilet brush. Why not make it a pretty one?

Photo by Bed Bath & Beyond

14. OXO Stainless Steel/White Toilet Plunger

You’ll also want to stock your spare bath with its own plunger, so no one has to experience the embarrassment of asking for one. We like OXO’s design which conceals the plunger in a stainless steel case.

What do you stock in your guest bathroom, if you have one? Let us know below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks affiliate, Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Laura Fenton is the No Space Too Small columnist at Food52. The author of The Little Book of Living Small, she covers home, design, and sustainability. Laura lives in Jackson Heights, Queens in a 690-square foot apartment with her husband and son. You can follow her on Instagram @laura.alice.fenton or subscribe to her newsletter Living Small.


Cindy D. October 5, 2022
So often when I sleep in in a someone's guest room, I've found the pillows to be old and inadequate. From this experience, upgraded my own guest room to have 2 sets of pillows. A firm set for side sleepers and a soft set for stomach sleepers. I want my guests to have a good night's sleep!
Laura F. October 5, 2022
Such a good tip! If I write about guest rooms again, I will include it: THank you!
rbrock1225 November 17, 2021
Years ago I ended up staying overnight unexpectedly at a friend's home. When I got up in the morning, I happily discovered an unopened toothbrush & small toothpaste in the rarely-used bathroom (which I made a point of replacing). It was a delight to not have fuzzy teeth in the morning. It had such an impact on me, I regularly keep them in my guest bathroom.

I also make sure that my guest bathroom has some shampoo, conditioner, and disposable razors. And the guest room closet has a big, fluffy terrycloth robe.

And one of my friends, whose spouse does a lot of business travel, keeps an assortment of the hotel-sized amenities in a basket in her guest bath. These include individual shampoo, conditioners, soaps, but also shower caps, mouthwash, ...
carlgutierrez336 November 16, 2021
very helpful blog! thank you so much.