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11 Items You Should Always Have in Your Bathroom When Guests Come Over

According to experts, a well-stocked washroom says 'welcome' in a language everyone understands.

When we open our doors to guests, we're showing off our homes—and our hospitality. While they probably won't judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves, we certainly don't want to come up short in either area. In addition to where they'll be sleeping, the bathroom is the place where it's most important to find the comforts of home. Whether guests are staying overnight or just popping by for dinner, it's good to have a standard collection of these 10 items in the bathroom. Read on to hear from home design pros about the luxuries and necessities you should make sure to have in the bathroom when guests arrive.

READ THIS NEXT: The First Things Guests Notice When They Come Into Your Home, Experts Say.

Scented room spray.

Lavender spray

We've all been told that scent is one of the most important things people notice about any room, and the bathroom is no exception. Not everyone likes candles, and they can be a fire hazard when left unattended. Instead, opt for a room spray in a neutral, fresh scent, left where guests can use it, suggests Chris Alexakis, interior designer and the founder of CabinetSelect.

This will also help alleviate any discomfort your guests may feel if they've left your bathroom smelling less-than-fresh after their visit.

A collection of important toiletries.

A woven white basket filled with toiletries
TanyaJoy / Shutterstock

Laura Schmits, décor professional and senior editor at design blog Soul & Lane, suggests filling an amenity kit or basket with hygiene and self-care essentials your guests may have forgotten to bring, including q-tips, deodorant, razors, cotton balls, body lotion, combs, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

"For guests who might be staying a while—or even those visiting for a quick meal—keeping extra oral hygiene products (e.g. extra toothpaste, toothbrush, toothpicks, mouthwash) is always appreciated," adds Yasmine El Sanyoura, home designer at real estate website Opendoor.

Feminine hygiene products are another much-appreciated offering that guests may not be too excited to ask for, El Sanyoura points out. "Ideally, there are different options available, and several on hand."

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Design Mistakes You're Making in Your Bathroom, According to Experts.

Something dry for them to wipe their hands on.

A wooden tray with rolled hand towels stacked in it
Elena Rostunova / Shutterstock

"No one wants to dry their hands on a soggy towel that has been used over and over," says El Sanyoura, which is why she suggests putting out several mini hand towels instead of one single towel if you're having many guests over. Be sure to put out a little basket or bin for the dirty towels.

It can also be a nice touch to provide paper hand towels. "Especially as we've all become more germ conscious over the past few years, the thought of using a fresh towel is, well, refreshing," shares Christy Biberich, interior designer and founder of Christy B. Home. She adds that since they come in so many stylish designs, paper towels can also be a way to dress up the bathroom.

A selection of fresh towels.

Guest items in tidy bathroom
New Africa/shutterstock

If you're having overnight guests (or perhaps you're hosting a pool party and guests will need to wash up before dinner), nothing says home-away-from-home like a stack of fluffy towels.

Molly McGinness, owner of Molly McGinness Interior Design, advises providing two each of bath towels/bath sheets, hand towels, and washcloths per guest. "Make it obvious that they are available for them to use." Also, be sure they don't have any stains or frayed ends.

A bath mat.

bathroom with soaking tub, mat and grey towel
New Africa/Shutterstock

Especially in colder months, it's nice to step out of the shower and onto something other than cold tile. McGinness says a thick, absorbent, and clean bath mat makes for a more pampering experience—and helps keep the bathroom floor dry.

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Hand soap and sanitizer.

Matching bottles of hand soap and hand lotion in the bathroom

Fill a nice-looking pump dispenser with a quality liquid hand soap. McGinness suggests avoiding bar soap or decorative soaps, as they get messy very quickly and guests may feel unsure if they're supposed to use them. A matching scented lotion is also a nice touch.

Hand sanitizer gel is a staple now, and some people reach for it out of habit. '"Keep it by the sink, even if you have plenty of soap nearby," says El Sanyoura. A guest who's only popped in to fix their hair may prefer to just use a pump of sanitizer.

Extra toilet paper.

Bathroom cabinet with essentials

We don't need to explain why this one is important. To keep your guests from having to ask for more, be sure you keep a stack of rolls on a shelf or in a covered basket.

El Sanyoura emphasizes the fact that "you never know when you might run out, so having enough on hand (and within easy access for guests) will make them feel at ease and make for a more pleasant experience."

A toilet plunger.

man using plunger on toilet, property damage

Guests will definitely not want to ask for this, should they need it. So make sure it's somewhere visible. Schmits also suggests toilet bowl cleaner "so they don't have to bother you in case of an 'accident.'"

Plenty of hooks.

Modern interior of stylish bathroom with towels on hooks
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

McGinness finds that guests often don't have enough hooks in the bathroom. "Plan on how guests are going to use the bathroom and offer an adequate amount of hooks and towel bars to hang wet towels, washcloths, a bathrobe, etc."

READ THIS NEXT: The First Things Guests Notice About Your Kitchen, According to Experts.

A small stool if they're bringing kids.

child stanidng on tip toe in front of dresser
Elena Gudilina / Shutterstock

It's easy to forget the littlest guests, but Schmits says their parents will appreciate you for providing a step stool for kids to use the sink and whatever else is just out of their reach.


Man pulling a single tissue from black tissue box

A box of soft facial tissues serves a multitude of uses. "It might seem obvious, but tissues are useful year-round—not just during flu season. I love storing mine in acrylic tissue boxes for a design statement," says El Sanyoura.

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