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White bathroom shelf with basket containing lotions, cotton buds and toothbrushes

Top 8 Bed and Breakfast Guest Bathroom Essentials

running a bed and breakfast starting up a bed and breakfast May 25, 2022

Having a thoughtfully designed and well equipped bathroom for your bed and breakfast guests will really improve your chances of getting 5 star reviews and encouraging guests to come back.

One of the most frequent comments in my B&B guest books was “We loved all of the little extras in our room. We couldn’t think of anything that was missing”

In this blog post I’ll cover the essentials your B&B bathroom needs and also those nice to have extras that your guests are going to love!

Having a well equipped bathroom is just a small part of running a successful B&B, to find out more about creating a B&B that will wow your guests an you’ll love running, check out my complete B&B course >> Everything you need to know to run your own bed and breakfast

Note that the links to products in this blog post are affiliate links, which means I get a tiny commission if you purchase an item at no cost to you. I put this commission towards paying for this blog software so I can continue to provide you with free content.

1. Provide Enough Toilet Roll

OK, this is fairly obvious but having enough toilet roll for your guests during your stay is an essential. It can be pretty embarrassing to have to go and ask the host for more loo roll when you’re staying at a B&B.

And it can be a way of showing your generosity in a fairly inexpensive way!

In the holiday cottage we've just stayed in for a 10 days, they supply one of these toilet roll holders in each of the bathrooms and cloak rooms, filled with loo roll.

(click the photo for more details )

If you're not planning to provide one of these loo roll holders, I'd recommend you supply at least 2 full loo rolls, and replace them during your room tidies if they're emptied.

Read more about room tidies in this blog post >> Should you do a room refresh when guests are staying

 2. Give Your Guests Enough Towels

We once arrived at a rental cottage on Cape Cod at Midnight after a severely delayed flight. It was only furnished with the bare essentials and those essentials didn’t include towels apparently!

I can’t imagine there are many B&B owners who don’t put towels in their rooms, but I think getting the right mix of towels is important.

I put 2 bath sheets, 2 bath towels, a hand towel, 2 face cloths and 2 bath mats in our B&B bedrooms. 

That may seem like overkill to some people but when I get out of the shower I like to wrap myself in the bath sheet, then wrap my hair in a bath towel. The hand towel supplied by most hotels just isn’t quite big enough for wrapping round your head.

But what about the environment, Karen?

There is a real balance between providing a wonderful guest experience and also doing your bit for the environment.

To reduce your washing and help the environment, it’s best practice to encourage your guests to reuse towels rather than requesting new ones every day.

You could consider putting spare towels wrapped in a cupboard, and asking guests to only use those that they need and to leave out any they've used.

One of the best investments we made was putting a heated towel rail with a timer in our own bathroom. The towel rail comes on in the morning, ensuring the towels are dried after a shower, even in the summer when the heating isn’t on.

Read more about how to design a bathroom you can clean in 5 minutes here >> Top ten tips for creating a bathroom you can clean in 5 minutes

Should you use white or coloured towels?

My preference is for white towels, but these can get very obvious marks and stains that are difficult to get out ( though Napisan is excellent for removing marks from white towels! )

The other option is coloured towels to match your bathroom.

3. Provide Forgotten Guest Essentials in a Forget Me Not Box

Living in the middle of the countryside, it can be a real issue for guests if they find that they’ve forgotten an essential item such as a toothbrush. Even if they did want to drive out they’d be hard pressed to find a shop open round here!

The forget me not box I put in our guest bathroom was much commented on. And it has the added advantage of reducing the chance of you, as B&B owner, being disturbed by a guest at 10.30pm because they've forgotten their toothbrush.

In ours, I included:

  • Sanitary Products
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shower caps
  • Ear plugs
  • Sewing kit
  • Comb
  • Nail scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Face masks
  • Razor
  • Shaving foam
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Cotton buds

It’s up to you whether you charge your guests for these items. I’ve seen some accommodation ask for charitable donations if guests use an item.

I put in a note saying they were complimentary but requesting that guests only took what they actually needed. 

These woven baskets are similar to the ones I used.

( Click the photo for more details )

4. Supply Toiletries

Whilst many guests bring their own toiletries, others will expect these to be supplied. 

Having local toiletries is a nice added extra and you could also make some extra money selling toiletries to guests who have enjoyed using the products during their stay.

If you have a septic tank, bio digester or similar, you may also want to provide toiletries for guests that are environmentally friendly and request that they use these rather than their own.

My own bed and breakfast bathrooms were equipped with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, liquid soap and hand soap. Anywhere that provides hair conditioner as well as shampoo gets bonus points from me by the way.

Should you choose individual toiletries or the mini ones?

The mini sized toiletries provided by hotels are always very popular. And I used to leave these in the bathroom.

However I found that I was always left with half bottles of shampoo etc ( assuming the guests didn’t walk off with them all! ) and, of course, these days we are all looking to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

My solution was to provide refillable pump dispenser bottles, which I’d always ensure were full for each new set of guests.

5. Should You Provide Guests With A Toilet Brush?

Whether to supply toilet brushes for guests is a surprisingly common topic of conversation on my course.

I personally feel they should be included in a B&B or hotel bathroom. But they must be clean for newly arrived guests.

I use a Toilet Duck Fresh Brush system which uses disposable ( septic tank friendly ) pads and make cleaning the toilet a quick and hygienic task. A few guests couldn’t work out how to use them so it’s worth putting up a notice to explain how.

( Click the image for more details )

Other B&B owners opt for black brushes which they replace often. 

The silicon toilet brushes I've seen advertised seem to get good reviews! But I've never used them so I can't recommend.

6. Bath and shower mats

If you have a bath, I think a non slip bath mat is an essential to ensure guests don’t slip when getting in and out. 

A shower mat is useful for the same reason, especially if you have a wet room.

Many B&B owners don't like bath and shower mats as they can get mouldy. So choose a bath mat which is machine washable ( like the one in the image below ) and have a couple per room.

I also think having grab rails positioned for guests getting in and out of the bath is essential. As a pregnant 25 year old I once slipped badly getting out of a bath, so it will give reassurance to even able bodied guests!

( Click the image for more details )

7. Bathroom Bin and Sanitary Bags

Having a bathroom bin with a flip lid may be easier to use for some guests to use than a pedal bin. 

An obvious bin, sanitary bags and a notice are essential to ensure you don't get blocked drains or a septic tank that needs emptying too often.


( Click the image for more details )

8. Poo Pourri and Air Freshener

And to finish, this falls into the nice to have category, but Poo Pourri is an essential oil spray that you spray into the loo before you go.

I used to put essential oil sprays in the room - the expensive room sprays rather than a supermarket air freshener, but it all depends on your budget and your guests!

( Click the image for more details )


In my experience, it's often the small touches and little extras that make the biggest difference to a guest's stay. It shows you've thought about your guests and their comfort.

Having a well equipped bathroom is just a small part of running a successful B&B, to find out more about creating a B&B that will wow your guests an you’ll love running, check out my complete B&B course >> 

Everything you need to know to run your own bed and breakfast

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