I’m an Airbnb Superhost — Here’s How I Stock My Five-Star Kitchen

published Jun 26, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

As a food writer, I take serious pride in my kitchen. I love having everything I need at my fingertips. It’s taken me years to upgrade, invest, and find the right pieces for every project, whether that’s my stand mixer or my super-sturdy sheet pans. As an Airbnb Superhost, I want to make sure that my guests get that same kind of pleasure, excitement, and utility from their kitchen, too. 

Quick Overview

What’s in an Airbnb Superhost’s Rental Kitchen?

Essentials like affordable food containers that guests can take home and a coffee machine with beans can go a long way, along with small touches like chocolates.

Of course, stocking an Airbnb kitchen isn’t the same as stocking your own. The kitchen in my Airbnb studio is pretty small, so every machine needs to work double-duty; every item needs a function. 

The biggest concern, though, is always the financial one: It costs a lot to outfit a whole kitchen! When I first got onto Airbnb almost two years ago, I scoured estate sales and Facebook Marketplace for good deals on pieces and brands I love. And as time has passed, I’ve upgraded pieces here and there to make sure the kitchen never feels like a rental; that nothing about it feels mismatched and haphazard. (People can always tell when you’re just giving them your old leftovers.)

The items below range from super-functional appliances to aesthetically pleasing accessories — all of which have helped me gain SuperHost status and provide my guests with a cooking and eating experience that feels like home. 

1 / 17

It may seem like a small thing, but having some kind of container for leftovers is essential for guests who love to cook and dine out alike. I personally love these plastic containers: They’re affordable, you can buy them in bulk, they’re dishwasher-safe, and if a guest takes a few home, it’s easy to replace. If you’re concerned about single-use plastic, you can always invest in some glass containers instead.

2 / 17
Crate & Barrel

Instead of having rolls of paper towels just hanging by the sink, make them more of a statement with an eye-catching holder. Not only is it pretty and sturdy, but it’ll keep the bottom of the roll from getting wet when guests grab a sheet. (Then the whole roll gets wet and it’s a big, annoying mess!)

3 / 17
was $28.00

Alternatively, if you want to encourage guests to cut down on paper towel usage, pick up a few pretty dish towels. These are affordable, machine-washable, and add some extra color to the kitchen.

4 / 17

You don’t need a huge set of pots and pans for your rental, let alone your own home. You just need the essentials: a non-stick pan for eggs, a stainless steel pan for searing meat, and a saucepot for soups and pasta. This is a great, affordable option that covers all the bases, and once you’re ready to upgrade, I’d suggest Made In’s stainless steel set. Want to get a little fancier? You can include a Le Creuset Dutch oven, too. They always look lovely on the stove.

5 / 17
was $40.00

If you have any heating element in the kitchen whatsoever, oven mitts are a requirement. This pair from Food52 has hidden magnets inside, which is a huge plus. I stick them right to the side of the oven, so guests can easily find them. They also provide a nice pop of color!

6 / 17

Every rental needs a coffee machine. If you’re just starting out, the classic Mr. Coffee is a nice, affordable option. If you’re looking to invest, then upgrade to this model, which I use at home. Most importantly, pay attention to the size of your rental. If you’ve got multiple bedrooms, make sure the coffee machine can accommodate 8+ cups. If it’s a studio like mine, you can easily get away with a smaller pot and a nice French press. It’s also a lovely gesture to provide beans or grounds as well. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it just helps your guests start their day right (read: caffeinated).

7 / 17

Want to go a step further and make your guests feel like they’re on vacation? Treat them to a milk frother. It makes every cup of coffee feel extra special, and saves them a coffee run, too.

8 / 17
Williams Sonoma
was $399.95

This is an investment, but the toaster oven is the ultimate functional rental appliance that pays for itself. This Breville option is perfect for frozen pizzas, toast, and even reheating leftovers — and it’s easy to clean.

9 / 17

Having a dish mat next to the sink will gently encourage guests to wash their dishes — and not leave them all in the sink for you! Senior Commerce Editor Ian Burke uses the same OXO mat as a trivet for hot pots and pans, too.

10 / 17
was $100.00

If you’ve got a whole bunch of old, scratched mismatched dishes, your guests might feel like you haven’t put a ton of thought into their dining experience. To be clear, I started out with mismatched dishes that my family didn’t need anymore! But as soon as I could, I upgraded to this nice, affordable set by Dansk. I love the rustic, creamy color and speckled glaze. I also love that they’re microwave-safe, which is a plus for folks who want to heat up leftovers.

11 / 17

I find that stemless glasses are easier to store and are also less likely to get dropped and shatter all over the place. I can’t get enough of these colorful ones — they’re reasonably priced and just fancy enough to feel a little extra celebratory, which is what every guest deserves. It is their vacation, after all.

12 / 17

Speaking of celebrations, there is nothing worse than getting a nice bottle of wine and not being able to open it. This easy-to-use corkscrew is a must!

13 / 17
was $205.00

Just like with pots and pans, you don’t need an expensive block of knives. Keep it simple with one sharp chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. I’ve been a fan of Misen for years, and love the eye-catching blue handles of these knives. This 3-piece set should cover guests for all their basic cooking needs and handle most tasks. Don’t forget that knives need occasional sharpening (not just for functionality but for safety, too). This reminds me I have some sharpening to do ...

14 / 17

I love a pair of kitchen shears because they’re massively multi-purpose. They cut through packaging and store-bought herbs, and even open the occasional package that guests order to the Airbnb. I store these on a magnetic strip with the knives.

15 / 17

You don’t need to overthink the cutting boards. This plastic set is perfect, easy to clean, and fairly indestructible. You can get fancier and pick up a wooden cutting board, but remember it should never sit in a wet sink or it’ll warp, and you’ll need to oil it occasionally to avoid cracks. That is quite a bit of maintenance for one item, but there are some handsome wooden cutting boards if you want to invest in one for guests.

16 / 17
Le Creuset

There’s something so romantic about having a lovely Le Creuset kettle sitting on the stove. And functional, too. Guests use it for everything from making French press to throwing together instant ramen.

Our news and culture editor Ni’Kesia Pannell also uses this one in her home and loves that it’s scratch- and stain-resistant, and that it works on all types of cooktops. You could use an electric kettle, but that takes up precious counter and outlet space; when it comes to outfitting your rental, there’s always a give and take.

17 / 17

If you’re going to put in all this effort to outfit your kitchen with appliances and tools, this one is a bit of a no-brainer: Provide guests with pantry basics, like olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can even get a few spices or cute chocolates, both of which I’ve done and guests have shown their appreciation for it in the comments.