Airbnb has become synonymous with affordable and convenient lodging when traveling. But have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the name of this popular platform? Specifically, what does the ‘air’ in Airbnb stand for?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The ‘air’ in Airbnb stands for ‘air mattress’. The founders came up with the name when they first provided air mattresses for attendees of a design conference.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind Airbnb’s name and brand. We’ll look at how the company got its start, the story behind the original Air Bed and Breakfast service, and the meaning and inspiration behind the ‘air’ component of the name.

The Origins of Airbnb

When it comes to the meaning behind the name “Airbnb,” it is important to understand the origins of the company. Founded by Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb started as a solution to a problem they encountered themselves.

Founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk

Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk were three friends living in San Francisco in 2007. At the time, they were struggling to pay their rent and were looking for a way to make some extra money.

They noticed that many hotels in their area were fully booked due to a design conference, and they saw an opportunity.

Providing Lodging for a Design Conference

The trio decided to rent out their living space to conference attendees who couldn’t find accommodation. They provided guests with an air mattress, hence the “air” part of the name, and offered them breakfast in the morning.

This experience turned out to be a success, and they realized that there was a demand for alternative lodging options, especially during busy events or peak travel seasons.

Air Bed and Breakfast is Born

After their initial success, Joe, Brian, and Nathan decided to turn their temporary lodging service into a full-fledged business. They added more listings to their platform and expanded their offerings beyond air mattresses to include spare rooms, apartments, and even entire houses.

In 2008, they officially launched their platform, which they initially called “Air Bed and Breakfast.”

Over the years, the company evolved and grew, eventually dropping the “Bed and Breakfast” part of the name and simply becoming Airbnb. Today, Airbnb is a global marketplace that connects travelers with unique accommodations in over 220 countries and regions.

For more information about the history of Airbnb, you can visit their official website here.

The Story Behind the Name Airbnb

Have you ever wondered what the “Air” in Airbnb stands for? Well, let’s take a journey back in time to uncover the meaning behind this catchy and unique name.

Air Mattress + Bed and Breakfast

The founders of Airbnb, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, initially started their business by renting out air mattresses in their San Francisco apartment to make some extra cash. They came up with the idea of offering travelers a place to stay, just like a traditional bed and breakfast, but with a unique twist.

Thus, the name Airbnb was born, combining the words “air mattress” and “bed and breakfast”. This clever play on words captures the essence of their early beginnings.

The Significance of ‘Air’

While the “air” in Airbnb may have originated from the humble air mattress, it also holds a deeper meaning. The founders wanted their platform to symbolize the freedom and simplicity of travel. They wanted to create a space where people could feel like they were floating on air, experiencing the world in a new and exciting way.

The word “air” also conveys a sense of openness and accessibility, reflecting the inclusive nature of the Airbnb community.

The founders believed that by connecting travelers with unique accommodations and local hosts, they were opening up a new world of possibilities. They wanted to break free from the traditional hotel industry and provide a more personalized and authentic travel experience.

The word “air” in Airbnb encompasses this spirit of adventure and exploration.

Choosing a Memorable Brand Name

When it came to choosing a name for their company, Brian and Joe knew they needed something that would stand out and be memorable. They wanted a name that would instantly evoke the concept of travel and hospitality. After brainstorming various ideas, they settled on Airbnb.

The name Airbnb not only captures the essence of the founders’ original concept but also has a certain ring to it. It rolls off the tongue and is easy to remember. In a crowded marketplace, having a distinctive and recognizable brand name is crucial for success.

Over the years, Airbnb has become synonymous with vacation rentals and has revolutionized the way people travel. The clever and meaningful name has played a significant role in the company’s branding and success.

So, the next time you book accommodation through Airbnb, you can appreciate the story and thought that went into creating its name.

The Evolution of the Airbnb Brand

Over the years, the Airbnb brand has undergone significant changes, reflecting the company’s growth and evolution. From its early days as a simple home-sharing platform to its current status as a global hospitality giant, Airbnb’s branding has played a crucial role in shaping its identity and success.

Early Branding and Website Design

When Airbnb was first launched in 2008, its branding and website design were modest and unassuming. The focus was on creating a platform where individuals could rent out their spare rooms or properties to travelers seeking affordable accommodations.

The logo, a simple lowercase “airbnb” in a blue font, was accompanied by the tagline “Welcome Home.” This early branding conveyed a sense of warmth and hospitality, emphasizing the personal connections that could be made through the platform.

The website design was clean and user-friendly, allowing hosts to easily create listings and travelers to browse and book accommodations. The emphasis was on simplicity and ease of use, reflecting the company’s commitment to making the process of booking a stay as seamless as possible.

A Shift Towards Professionalism

As Airbnb grew in popularity and expanded its reach, the company recognized the need to evolve its branding to appeal to a wider audience. In 2014, Airbnb underwent a significant rebranding effort, introducing a new logo and a refreshed visual identity.

The new logo, known as the “Bélo,” was designed to represent the sense of belonging and connection that Airbnb aims to foster. The logo consists of a simple, stylized symbol that resembles both a heart and an “A,” symbolizing love and Airbnb’s global community.

The logo’s design and meaning were carefully crafted to evoke a sense of trust and inclusivity.

Alongside the new logo, Airbnb introduced a sleek, modern website design that showcased professional photos of listings and provided a more curated and polished user experience. This shift towards professionalism aimed to appeal to both hosts and guests, positioning Airbnb as a trusted and reliable platform for travel accommodations.

Expanding the Meaning of ‘Air’

While the “Air” in Airbnb originally referred to the idea of sharing space in the air, such as apartment rentals, the company has since expanded the meaning of “Air” to encompass a broader concept. Today, “Air” represents the idea of belonging, connecting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and fostering a sense of community.

Through various initiatives and campaigns, Airbnb has embraced this expanded meaning of “Air” and positioned itself as a platform that not only provides accommodations but also facilitates meaningful experiences and connections between hosts and guests.

This shift in meaning has allowed Airbnb to differentiate itself from traditional hotel chains and emphasize the unique and personal nature of staying in someone’s home.

Airbnb’s Brand Values


Airbnb’s brand value of belonging is all about creating a sense of community and inclusion for both hosts and guests. The company believes that everyone should have the opportunity to feel welcome and accepted, no matter where they are in the world.

With Airbnb, travelers can experience a home away from home, connecting with local hosts who open their doors and provide a unique and personal experience.


Community is at the heart of Airbnb’s brand values. The platform encourages hosts and guests to engage with each other, fostering connections and relationships that go beyond just a place to stay. By staying in an Airbnb, travelers have the chance to immerse themselves in the local community, supporting local businesses and experiencing the destination in a more authentic way.


Trust is a fundamental aspect of the Airbnb brand. The company has implemented various measures to ensure safety and reliability for both hosts and guests. This includes user reviews and ratings, as well as verified profiles and secure payment systems.

Airbnb wants its users to feel confident in their decision to book accommodations through their platform, knowing that they can trust the host and have a positive experience.


Safety is a top priority for Airbnb. The company has implemented safety measures to protect both hosts and guests. This includes a 24/7 customer support team, secure payment systems, and a host guarantee program that provides coverage for certain damages.

Additionally, Airbnb has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols and safety guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the well-being of both hosts and guests.


Airbnb aims to provide convenience for both hosts and guests. For hosts, it offers a platform to easily list and manage their properties, with tools and resources to help them succeed. For guests, Airbnb offers a seamless booking process, with a wide range of accommodations to choose from, ensuring that travelers can find the perfect place to stay for their needs and preferences.


Airbnb’s name has developed deeper meaning beyond its initial reference to air mattresses. The ‘air’ encapsulates the brand values of belonging, community, and the convenience of feeling right at home anywhere in the world.

The next time you use Airbnb, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the story behind this iconic brand name. Just as Airbnb has evolved over the years, the ‘air’ continues to take on new significance as the company grows.

But it all began with three entrepreneurs, some air mattresses, and a memorable, innovative brand name.

Similar Posts