Tips for hosting guests with mobility needs

Host Advisory Board Alumni
Keaau, HI

Tips for hosting guests with mobility needs

Hosts play an important role in making Airbnb more inclusive for guests. Pauline Aughe, a Superhost and former Host Advisory Board member in Hawaii, shares insights and suggestions for supporting guests with mobility needs. She also wrote about her personal experiences as a wheelchair user


You can become a more welcoming Host to guests with disabilities by updating your space and by communicating clearly online and in person. 


Airbnb reviews the accessibility features submitted by Hosts to help guests easily find places that meet their needs. Guests can browse the Adapted Category and filter their search results for specific features, like a step-free guest entrance.


Here are some tips for hosting guests with mobility needs :


Update your space

Guests who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids need flat surfaces and room to move around without bumping into anything. Consider these modifications.

  • Step-free access: If your home’s entrance has steps or stairs, install a permanent ramp or provide a portable one. Make sure all steps and stairs have sturdy handrails.

  • Doorway width: Measure your doorways and provide their exact widths in your listing description, so guests can determine if your place fits their needs. Consider widening doorways that aren’t at least 32 inches (or 81 centimeters) wide.*

  • Bathroom updates: Wheelchairs typically require a 5-foot turning radius. If your bathroom is small, you can make more room by putting in a pedestal sink and roll-in shower. Grab bars around the toilet and in the shower or bathtub make the bathroom more user friendly, and a shower or bath seat allows guests to sit down while bathing. The toilet seat height is important too: It should be 17 to 19 inches (or 45 to 50 centimeters) from the floor.*


Adding inexpensive items can also improve the guest’s experience in your home : 

  • Lighting: Well-lit pathways and hallways help guests navigate your space with greater ease.

  • Bath mats: Non-slip mats in the shower or bathtub can help guests prevent falls. Keep the bathroom floor clear of mats or rugs, which can create hazards. 

  • Bed risers: Adjusting the bed height so the top of the mattress is 20 to 23 inches (or 51 to 58 centimeters) from the floor can help guests transfer more easily from a wheelchair to the bed.* One option is placing a sturdy riser below each leg of the bed frame to raise the frame.

  • Amenities: Items like a shower bench, a raised toilet seat, extra blankets and pillows, and silicone or stainless steel straws can offer guests added comfort during their stay. 


Communicate clearly 

Understand that guests with disabilities might need extra time or assistance. Focus on being patient, supportive, and respectful.


  • Listing description: Let guests know from the start that your property has accessibility features. For example, “Our property is wheelchair-friendly. It has a ramp at the entrance, 32-inch-wide doorways, and a step-free shower with a bench.” Encourage guests to share any specific needs or requirements they have when booking.

  • Accessibility features: Show guests what they can expect in every room of your home by adding photos and details about its accessibility features.  Be sure to follow Airbnb’s guidelines. You can learn how to add these features on the Help Center.

  • Welcome message: Don’t make assumptions about a guest’s needs or abilities. Instead, ask open-ended questions that respect their privacy, like “What questions do you have about the space?” and “What can I do to make your stay more comfortable?” Offer to help with luggage, rearrange furniture, or put items in easier-to-reach places. Gracefully accept “no” for an answer if they decline. 

  • Replies: Respond promptly to messages, especially if a guest has questions or special requests related to their accessibility needs. 
  • Guidebooks: Create an inclusive guidebook that identifies local restaurants with ramps, lists paved hiking and biking trails, and shares information about accessible public transportation options.


What could you do to make your space or communication style more inclusive? Share your thoughts in the comments.

*Measurements are based on U.S. and international accessibility standards.

Pauline Aughe
Big Island of Hawai'i, USA
Host Advisory Board
3 Replies 3
Host Advisory Board Member
Atlanta, GA

Pauline, thanks for sharing. These are such great tips and the examples are super helpful to consider when updating our listing  and descriptions. 💙

Host Advisory Board Member
Port Severn, Canada

Thank you for the tips on communicating. I often just don't know what to say!!! Come stay with us 
Pauline!!! Miss you


Jennifer Schnier
Host Advisory Board Member
Fort Lauderdale, FL

These are fantastic tips! Thank you for sharing and helping us understand the perspective of guests with accessibility needs. Your insights are so valuable and truly eye-opening.