What is a Rollaway Bed in a Hotel?

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ve probably heard of a rollaway bed. But what exactly is it? Let’s dive deeper into what a rollaway bed is, why hotels use them, and what to expect when you request one during your stay.

What is a Rollaway Bed?

A rollaway bed, also known as a folding bed or cot, is a portable bed that hotels use to accommodate extra guests. It’s designed to be easily moved and stored when not in use. Made of lightweight materials, rollaway beds can be quickly folded up and rolled away on wheels.

Types of Rollaway Beds

There are two main types of rollaway beds: metal and wooden. Metal rollaway beds are more common and less expensive than wooden ones. They are usually made of tubular steel and have a wire mesh or spring-supported mattress. On the other hand, wooden rollaway beds are sturdier and can support more weight, but they are heavier and more expensive.

Materials Used

The materials used to make rollaway beds vary depending on the manufacturer and type. The frame is usually made of metal or wood, while the mattress can be made of foam, innerspring, or air. The cover material can be fabric, vinyl, or leather. Some rollaway beds even come with additional features like headboards, footboards, and storage compartments.

It’s important to note that rollaway beds are not suitable for long-term use. They are designed for temporary use and may not provide the same level of comfort as a regular bed. Not all hotels offer rollaway beds, so check with the hotel before booking if you need an extra bed.

Why Do Hotels Use Rollaway Beds?

Rollaway beds, also known as folding beds or cots, are used by hotels to provide extra sleeping space for guests. Here’s why hotels use them:

  • To Accommodate More Guests: Rollaway beds allow hotels to accommodate extra guests. When guests arrive with an unexpected additional person or request an extra bed, rollaway beds provide a quick and efficient solution, increasing the hotel’s occupancy rate.
  • To Increase Revenue: Hotels can also use rollaway beds as a way to generate additional income. By offering an extra bed for a fee, hotels can capitalize on peak travel seasons and high demand for hotel rooms.
  • To Provide Options for Guests: Rollaway beds give guests the option to have a separate bed instead of sharing a larger bed. They’re especially useful for families with children who need an extra bed in the room.
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Not all hotels offer rollaway beds, and there may be additional fees associated with their use. Availability may also depend on the room size and hotel policies.

How to Request a Rollaway Bed in a Hotel

Rollaway beds, also known as cots, folding beds, or guest beds, are a convenient way to accommodate extra guests in a hotel room. Here’s how to request one:

When to Request

If you’re staying in a hotel room with more guests than beds, or if you have children who prefer not to share a bed, a rollaway bed may be a good option. It can also be useful if you have specific mattress preferences or requirements due to a medical condition. Check with the hotel before requesting a rollaway bed, as some hotels have maximum occupancy per room rules.

How to Request

It’s best to request a rollaway bed as early as possible, preferably at the time of booking. This allows the hotel to prepare the room and make arrangements for the bed. You can request a rollaway bed by calling the hotel’s front desk or reservations department, or by making a note on your online reservation. Confirm your request a few days before arrival to ensure everything is in order.

Costs Associated

Remember, there may be an additional cost for requesting a rollaway bed, typically between $10 and $50 per night, varying from hotel to hotel. Some hotels have limited availability, so reserve one in advance if possible. Not all hotels offer rollaway beds, so check with the hotel before booking if it’s important for your stay.

What to Expect When Using a Rollaway Bed

When using a rollaway bed, there are a few things to keep in mind:

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Comfort and Quality

Rollaway beds are not all made equal. Some hotels offer comfortable and high-quality rollaway beds, while others may offer less comfortable options. When you check in, ask the front desk about the quality and availability of alternatives if needed. Well-known hotel chains like Marriott offer rollaway beds with thick mattresses and sturdy frames for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Safety Concerns

Safety should always be a priority when using a rollaway bed. They are not designed for long-term use and may be less stable than regular beds. Make sure the bed is set up properly and the frame is secure before sleeping on it. If you have children, be extra cautious as some rollaway beds may not be suitable for them.

Space Considerations

Rollaway beds take up a significant amount of space in a hotel room. If you’re traveling with a large group, consider booking a room with two beds or exploring other lodging options. Some hotels may charge extra for rollaway beds or have limits on the number they can provide per room. If space is a concern, or if you have questions about the hotel’s policies, contact them before booking.

Rollaway Bed Alternatives

Hotels have a few alternatives to rollaway beds when it comes to providing extra sleeping space for guests. The chosen alternative depends on available space, budget, and guests’ needs. Here are some popular alternatives:

  • Sofa Beds: Common in many hotels, sofa beds serve a dual purpose of seating and sleeping. They’re a good choice for rooms with limited space, but they may not be as comfortable as a regular bed.
  • Cots: Portable and lightweight, cots are easily stored away. They’re suitable for hotels with limited storage space but may not be as comfortable, especially for guests with back problems.
  • Air Mattresses: Cost-effective alternatives that are easy to inflate and store. However, they may not be as comfortable or durable as a regular bed.
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Some hotels may offer pull-out beds hidden in furniture, and hotel chains often have their own unique solutions for extra sleeping space.

Remember that each alternative has its advantages and disadvantages, and hotels should consider guests’ needs and available space when deciding on alternatives to rollaway beds.


In conclusion, a rollaway bed is a convenient option for hotels to provide additional sleeping space for guests. While there may be additional costs associated with requesting one, they can be a lifesaver when traveling with a larger group or family. Communicate your needs with the hotel staff and understand what to expect when using a rollaway bed. Happy traveling!

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