The Best Resolution for Airbnb Photos (By Airbnb Photographers)

When it comes to your Airbnb photos, size does matter. We found 1920 x 1280px at 300dpi to be the optimal resolution for uploading images to Airbnb. Let’s take a…

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and/or links to our own products.

As an Airbnb host, you know that having great photos of your listing is key to getting more bookings. But if you uploaded high resolution images to your listing, you may have noticed that they look pixelated on the site. So what’s going on?!

Turns out, it’s a combination of things from the resolution you’re using to the way Airbnb compresses images for their site.

As professional Airbnb photographers, we know a thing or two about getting those photos looking sharp on the site.

(Your photography is but only one part in a larger marketing strategy.)

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about uploading high resolution photos to Airbnb.

(In case you missed it, check out our video above on the 3 most common mistakes hosts are making with their photos.)

The Best Resolution for Airbnb Photos

Airbnb recommends a minimum resolution of 1024px by 683px, at an aspect ratio of 3:2. However, this is just the bare minimum. For best results, we recommend a resolution of 1920 x 1280 at 300dpi, which will give you fantastic image quality without being too large.

The reason why your photos may look pixelated on the site is because of how Airbnb compresses images for their site. In order to save space, they compress all images that are uploaded onto their site. This compression can cause some quality loss, which is why it’s important that you aren’t uploading the full size image from your camera.

Having smaller resolution images will help your listing load faster as well, which can help increase your conversion rate.

For example, here is the original image uploaded to Airbnb at 1920 x 1280px:

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No matter what resolution and dpi you upload, Airbnb will compress the images to 1440px x 960px at 72 dpi and reduce the file size quite significantly. In our case, we’ve seen clients upload images at 1920 x 1280px and the images get compressed at a staggering 90%!

So you would think that uploading the image at the size Airbnb will compress it to will result in the best quality, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. For example, we uploaded images at both resolutions and here are the results:

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To the untrained eye, these images might look exactly the same, but there is a difference in quality between the two images.

The image on the left (1920 x 1280px at 300dpi) looks sharper and has less “chowder” than the one on the right (1440 x 960px at 72dpi) – even though they both get compressed to 1440px x 960px at 72 dpi. In fact, the 1440 x 960px at 72dpi image we uploaded was still compressed by Airbnb a further 83.4%!

The floors and lines within the image are more pixelated in the 1440 x 960px version, and the details of the wall art appears different than the original image.

Now we’ve done this experiment with different resolutions, from 72 dpi to 150 dpi, etc., and the results are always the same – uploading images at 1920 x 1280 at 300dpi will result in a better quality image after it’s been compressed by Airbnb, in our opinion.

So the moral of the story is that we believe 1920px x 1280px at 300dpi is the sweet spot when uploading images to Airbnb. However, 1440 x 960 at 150 dpi looks pretty good too.

If you’re not sure how to resize your images, there are a few free online tools that can help you with that. Let’s take a look at how to do this below.

How To Resize Your Photos for Airbnb

If you’re not a professional or in the creative field, you may not be familiar with Adobe Photoshop – which is what we use. This software costs a monthly subscription, but there are some free online tools that can help you resize your photos for Airbnb.

PIXLR is a great free online photo editor that can help you resize and crop your photos to the correct dimensions for Airbnb. Simply go to their website and upload the image you want to resize.

You can also use a free online program like Canva, which is a really popular design program that has a built in image editor.

  • Once you have your photo uploaded, simply click on the “Resize” button and enter in the dimensions we recommended earlier – 1920 x 1280 pixels.
  • After that, all you need to do is download the image to your computer and upload it onto Airbnb! And that’s it!

With Canva, you can easily change the size and aspect ratio of your images with just a few clicks.

If you’re using your smartphone, chances are that your image viewing app will have the ability to resize images as well.

Simply open up the image you want to resize, click on the “Edit” button (this will be different depending on which app you’re using), and then select the “Resize” (which may also be found under the “Crop” option).

The Difference Between Aspect ratio, Resolution, and Full Size Images

Most digital image files these days are what’s called “rectangular,” meaning the height and width of the pixels that make up the image have different aspect ratios. For example, an image that’s 2048 pixels wide by 1536 pixels tall has a 4:3 aspect ratio (the ratio of width to height).

An image that’s 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall also has a 4:3 aspect ratio. Images with a 3:2 aspect ratio are becoming more popular; they’re often used in photography. An image that’s 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels tall has a 4:3 aspect ratio. And finally, an image that’s 900 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

The most common resolutions for digital images are 72 PPI (pixels per inch), 150 PPI, 300 PPI, and 600 PPI. Higher resolutions mean higher quality images, but they also take up more disk space. Which is not good if you’re wanting your images to load fast on a webpage.

And finally, full size images are usually those that have the same dimensions as the original photograph from the camera’s sensor. So a full size image from a typical DSLR camera would be 6000 x 4000 pixels. Whereas, the full size image from your smartphone would be something like 4032 x 3024 pixels.

Tips For Taking Great Airbnb Photos

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Of course, your images are only going to be as good as the photos you’re taking. And if you don’t have much experience with photography then don’t worry – we have some tips to help you out. If you want to make sure that your photos are of the best quality possible, there are a few things you can do:

  • Check out our articles: We’ve written a few articles with tips on how to take great photos for your Airbnb listing.
  • Invest in a good camera: This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go out and buy the most expensive DSLR on the market. But a decent smartphone will definitely make a difference in the quality of your photos.
  • Use a tripod: Using a tripod (Amazon) is non-negotiable, especially if you’re using natural light, as it will help you avoid blurry pictures caused by camera shake and a slower shutter speed.
  • Set up your lighting: Good lighting can make a big difference in the quality of your photos, and you will want to make sure that your photos are well-lit and give dimension to your space. This might mean using artificial lighting or waiting for certain times of the day.
  • Take your time: Don’t try to rush through taking your photos. Take your time and make sure you’re getting the best shots possible.
  • Shoot in RAW: This file format captures all the data from your camera sensor and gives you more flexibility when editing your photos.
  • Edit your images: Rarely do you want to upload a photo straight from your camera. We recommend using some type of photo editing software to make sure your photos are looking their best before saving it as the final image.

FAQs About Airbnb Photos

What photo format does Airbnb use?

In times past, Airbnb used the .jpg file format for all photos. Now, they have started to use the .webp file format as well. This is a newer file format that offers smaller file sizes and faster loading times.

How do I take good photos for Airbnb?

Photography is a creative art that is highly subjective, so what one person might consider a good photo might not be what another person would consider a good photo. However, there are some general tips that you can follow to help you take better photos for your Airbnb listing:

  • Rule of Thirds: This is a photography composition rule that states that an image should be divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. This gives the photo more depth and makes it more visually interesting.
  • Leading Lines: Look for lines in your scene that will lead the eye of the viewer into the photo. These could be roads, pathways, fences, or anything else that creates a line.
  • Symmetry and Patterns: Both of these can create pleasing, visually appealing photos.
  • Framing: This is when you use elements in your scene to frame your subject, such as your entertainment center or bed. This could be done with doorways, windows, archways, or anything else that can act as a frame.

For more tips on taking great photos for your Airbnb listing, check out our blog.

Does Airbnb compress photos?

Yes, Airbnb does compress photos. They use a lossy compression algorithm which means that some data is lost when the photo is compressed. This can result in lower quality images, especially if the photos are compressed multiple times or the range of compression is too high (compressing from a large file size to a small file size).

Final Thoughts

Knowing the best resolution for Airbnb photos is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Investing in a good camera, setting up the right kinds of compositions and lighting, and taking the time to edit your photos will also make a big difference in how your listing looks to potential guests.!

And if you’re looking for even more tips on how to take great photos for your listing, be sure to check out our other articles! Thanks for reading!

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Welcome To Skyline STR!

We are Airbnb photographers who specialize in short term rental marketing.

Before that, we started off as Airbnb hosts and had to figure out how to stand out in a very (VERY) saturated market.

We learned a LOT, and made a lot of mistakes along the way too, but eventually figured out what works and what doesn't...

Skyline STR is the place where we share everything we've learned about Airbnb hosting and make it our mission to help hosts create better, more prosperous listings.

We're glad you're here, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

- Benjamin & Sheila

Affiliate Disclosure:

SkylineSTR.com is a participant in several affiliate programs, including the Amazon Associates program, and may be compensated for referring business to these companies at no additional cost to you. This post may contain affiliate links and/or links to our own products. We never recommend anything we don’t love or wouldn’t use ourselves.

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