Shopping for a sofa bed?
You’ve come to the right place.
Sofa beds are great space savers. It provides a comfortable place for guests to sleep at night without you having to give up lounging space.
A good sofa bed is almost as comfortable as a bed, well made and good looking. After all, you’ll probably place in the living room.
It can be challenging to choose the right sofa bed from the myriad of styles, designs, and brands available online, not to mention the wildly varying prices.
In this in-depth buying guide, we review and compare popular and highly-rated sofa beds to help you find the best one for your needs.
Best Sofa Beds
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- Best Futon Bed: Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon
- Best Sectional Sofa Bed: FDW Sofa Bed
- Best Faux Leather Sofa Bed: Ashley Furniture Larkinhurst Sleeper Sofa
- Best Rollaway Bed: Lucid Rollaway Folding Guest Bed
- Best Sofa Bed For A Studio Apartment: Ashley Furniture Allenya Sleeper
- Best Sofa Bed Chair: Gia Tri-Fold Convertible Polyester Sofa Bed Chair
- Best Pullout Sofa Bed: Polibi 54.5” Modern Convertible Sleeper Sofa Bed
- Best Sofa Bed With Storage: Kodaik Wood Sofa Bed With Drawers
- Best Foldable Sofa Bed: Milliard Tri-Fold Foam Folding Mattress And Sofa Bed
- Best Memory Foam Sofa Bed: Alphababy Memory Foam Futon Sofa Bed
- Best Memory Foam Mattress For Sofa Bed: Milliard 4.5-Inch
- Best Daybed: Vecelo Classic Metal Daybed Frame
Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com
|Mattress||Why We Picked It||Mattress/Sleeper Size||Warranty||Price|
|Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon||Best futon bed||70.5”L x 43.5”W x 16”H||1 year||$|
|FDW Sofa Bed||Best sectional sofa bed||Queen||Not specified||$$|
|Ashley Furniture Larkinhurst Sleeper Sofa||Best faux leather sofa bed||Queen (60”W x 72”L)||3 years for unfolding mechanism and mattress, 1 year for fabric and cushions||$$|
|Lucid Rollaway Folding Guest Bed||Best rollaway bed||Cot (31”x73”), twin (36”x73”) and twin XL (36”x78”)||10 years for frame||$|
|Ashley Furniture Allenya Sleeper||Best sofa bed for a studio apartment||Queen||3 years for unfolding mechanism and mattress, 1 year for fabric and cushions||$$|
|GIA Tri-Fold||Best sofa bed chair||74.8”L x 30.7”W x 5”H||1yr warranty||$$|
|Polibi||Best pullout sofa bed||65”L x 54.5”W x 6”H||Not specified||$$|
|Kodaik||Best sofa bed with storage||Queen (60”W x 80”L x 7”H)||Not specified||$$$|
|Milliard Tri-Fold||Best foldable sofa bed||Single to King size||Not specified||$|
|AlphaBaby ||Best memory foam sofa bed||72”L x 42.5”W x 16.5”H||Not specified||$|
|Milliard||Best replacement sofa bed mattress||Twin, full, queen||Not specified||$|
|VECELO||Best daybed||Twin (78”L x 39”D x 41”H)||Not specified||$|
1. Best Futon Bed: Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon
The Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon is one of the cheapest sofa beds you’ll find.
While it’s not exactly luxurious, it’s comfortable enough for occasional use by guests and daily use as a sofa.
If you are planning to use it as your daily bed, you may need to place a foam mattress on it to make it more comfortable or find a softer sofa bed.
The Novogratz Brittany has a wooden frame that provides stability and ensures the futon can hold the weight of one or two people.
The legs are also wooden.
The filling is a combination of polyester and foam, while the upholstery is made from linen.
As for style, the futon has a mid-century modern look, with the typical low height (which can be uncomfortable for taller people), bright colors, and curved edges.
The tufted and ribbed back adds to its style.
Most customers think it looks great. You can choose the color that best fits the room you plan to use it. Options include green, gray, orange, and navy blue.
You’ll need to assemble the futon, but that takes about 10-20 minutes. Everything you need – including the tools – is provided.
Quality and Comfort
The build quality is good. The futon feels sturdy, whether you are sitting and sleeping on it. The upholstery is also good quality; it doesn’t tear easily.
Comfort, on the other hand, is just what you’d expect from a futon of this price.
As I mentioned, it’s great if you are getting it just for occasional use. One or two nights sleeping on it is not too bad.
But if you plan to sleep on it frequently, the firm filling can get uncomfortable. The upholstery is also not the softest fabric.
If you still want to get it, consider placing a soft sheet and a foam mattress on it (you cannot replace the built-in mattress).
When unfolded, the futon bed sleeps one person. Two slim people can also fit, but it will be tight.
The Novogratz Brittany futon comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty that covers the repair and replacement of defective parts.
- Great styling.
- Easy to assemble.
- Sturdy construction.
- The filling is a bit too firm.
- Uncomfortable for taller people to sit on because of the low height.
The Novogratz Brittany sofa futon is a great choice for anyone looking for a stylish, affordable sofa bed for occasional use by guests. Or for a dorm or small kid's room.
2. Best Sectional Sofa Bed: FDW Sofa Bed
This FDW sectional sofa looks more expensive than it is. It’s a great choice if you love furniture with a leather look.
The sectional expands into a large queen-sized bed, big enough for couples to sleep in. If most of your guests are couples, this sofa bed will come in handy.
Make sure you select the right type of sectional — there one where the chaise is on the right and another where it’s on the left.
The upholstery is PU leather. It gives the sofa a bold modern look accentuated by the all-black styling. It’s also easy to keep clean since you can just wipe off whatever spills on it.
The frame is solid wood, while the bed pullout mechanism is metal. The bed itself also sits on a metal frame.
The cushions consist of high-density foam and pocket coils.
The sofa comes mostly assembled. You only need to attach the legs and a couple of other parts.
Quality and Comfort
What we love most about this sleeper sectional is how much sleeping space it provides. The pullout bed expands the sleeping space to that of a queen size mattress. Individuals and couples will easily fit on it.
The PU leather upholstery and the bed cushioning are a bit uncomfortable. But a queen size foam topper or mattress should make the sofa almost as comfortable as a bed.
The seller has not provided any warranty specifics.
- Good value for money.
- Large sleeping area.
- Beautiful modern styling.
- Easy to assemble.
- Easy to clean upholstery.
- The bed is a bit firm. You may need to place a topper or mattress on it.
The FDW Sofa Bed is a great choice for anyone looking for a sectional sofa with a pullout bed. If you want a large seating and sleeping area, this sofa provides plenty of both.
3. Best Faux Leather Sofa Bed: Ashley Furniture Larkinhurst Sleeper Sofa
If you want the style and warmth of a leather sleeper sofa without the high price tag, we recommend the Larkinhurst pull out sofa from Ashley Furniture.
The sofa extends into a queen-sized bed complete with an innerspring mattress. There’s almost no difference between the pull out sofa and an actual bed.
If you want your guests to sleep in style and comfort, the Larkinhurst sleeper sofa is a great choice.
The couch has a hardwood frame while the pull out bed sits on a metal frame.
The foam cushions are wrapped in a leather-like fabric. The fabric is high-quality imitation leather. Unlike cheap leather-like fabric that feels like polyester or microfiber, this one is closer to the feel of real leather.
It even has a distressed appearance that makes leather so warm and inviting.
A nailhead trims down the rolled arms completes the traditional style of this sofa.
The pull out bed consists of a comfortable innerspring mattress. It has a nice bounce and sleeps cool, thanks to the ventilation-boosting effect of the springs.
The sofa arrives already assembled so you can enjoy it immediately it arrives. It’ll fit through any 32” or larger doorway.
Quality and Comfort
The Larkinhurst is not quite at the level of a high-end couch in terms of build quality and fine detailing. One way you can tell is that it’s much lighter than a traditional sofa.
That said, it feels very sturdy and is likely to last very long.
As for comfort, the Larkinhurst feels comfortable; however, you use it. Most customers loved that the seating height is high.
It makes it easy to sit and stand, especially for those with arthritis or mobility problems.
The cushions are firm and comfortable, as are the two decorative pillows that come with the sofa.
The innerspring mattress itself is also comfortable. It feels more luxurious than the basic memory foam mattresses you get with most pull out sofas.
But it is thin. Couples and heavier sleepers may find it more comfortable with a foam pad added.
The manufacturer warrants the mechanism and mattress for three years, and the upholstery and cushions for one year.
- Good value for your money.
- Comfortable sofa and mattress.
- No assembly required.
- Warm and welcoming styling.
- Large enough for two adults.
- The mattress is thin –it may be uncomfortable for couples and heavier sleepers.
The Ashley Furniture Larkinhurst sleeper sofa is a great choice for anyone looking for a traditional-style pull out sofa. The faux leather upholstery adds a warm touch to the room.
4. Best Rollaway Bed: Lucid Rollaway Folding Guest Bed
If you don’t have space for a sofa or even a pull-out bench, a rollaway bed is the best choice.
It provides on-demand sleeping space for guests without taking up any space when not in use.
The Lucid rollaway bed consists of a memory foam mattress on a folding frame. When you don’t need it, just fold it together with the mattress and roll it away for easy storage.
The bed is available in three sizes: twin, twin XL, and cot.
Rollaway beds don’t have as complicated a design as pull out sofa beds. The Lucid folding guest bed consists of a simple metal frame and 4” mattress.
The frame is hinged at the center so that it folds into two for easy storage. When folded, you can push it along the floor using the coasters on the frame.
As for the mattress, it has two layers: a 1” memory foam layer and a 3” poly foam support layer.
The two layers are wrapped in a soft bamboo rayon cover.
The bed does require some assembly when it’s delivered, but it takes less than 10 minutes.
Quality and Comfort
Because the mattress is thicker than the one you get in pull out sofas, it’s more comfortable. It almost feels like sleeping on an actual bed.
Because it sits on a sprung deck rather than metal struts, you won’t feel any bars pressing on your body as you sleep.
The bamboo rayon cover helps keep the mattress cool and quickly wicks away sweat.
You can use the mattress with standard size sheets that correspond to the size you picked.
As for quality, the metal frame is sturdy and well made. It holds up well under your weight without any squeaking or shaking.
The twin and cot sizes are long enough for most adults. If you are tall, get the 78” long twin XL bed.
When you are done with the bed, it folds up easily. Thanks to its lightweight design, you can fold and roll it away on your own.
The manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty for the frame. They don’t specify any warranty for the mattress.
It’s a relatively thin memory foam mattress, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have any. If you plan to use the bed daily, you’ll have to replace the mattress after a couple of years or so.
- Space-saving folding and rollaway design.
- Comfortable mattress and sprung frame base.
- Breathable and moisture-wicking bamboo rayon cover.
- Don’t expect the mattress to last long.
- Maybe a bit too low for the elderly or someone with mobility problems.
The Lucid rollaway bed is a great choice for anyone looking for a space-saving folding rollaway guest bed.
5. Best Sofa Bed For a Studio Apartment: Ashley Furniture Allenya Sleeper
This is another good quality – but affordable – sleeper sofa from Ashley Furniture.
We recommend the Allenya sleeper for studio apartments. It’s not too big, and the sofa blends in well with the modern décor of most studios.
If the charcoal gray style is not to your liking, there’s also a lighter-toned quartz alternative.
The sofa has a hardwood frame while the pull out innerspring mattress sits on a metal frame.
The upholstery is a blend of nylon and polyester. Though not as plush as luxury upholstery fabrics, it feels much better than the cheap microfiber fabrics used in some sofas.
The cushions are filled with foam, while the mattress is an innerspring design.
You’ll need to assemble the mattress, but it’s a quick process that doesn’t require a pro. All you need is an 8mm hex socket.
Quality and Comfort
If you are planning to use the sofa bed daily, the first thing you’ll want to do when you get it replaces the thin innerspring mattress with a memory foam mattress.
Alternatively, get a foam pad and place it on top of the mattress.
Beyond 1 or 2 nights, the innerspring mattress is uncomfortable to sleep on.
Some customers also suggest replacing the legs with higher legs to raise the sitting/sleeping height. This makes it easier to sit and stand.
The cushions are comfortable. You also get two decorative pillows that are comfortable to sleep on.
As for quality, the sofa feels very sturdy, even with two people sleeping on it.
The warranty is similar to other Ashley Furniture sleeper sofas: 3 years on the mattress and pulls out the mechanism and one year on the upholstery and cushions.
- Comfortable sofa.
- Large enough for two adults.
- Sturdy and durable.
- An innerspring mattress is uncomfortable for daily use. Use a topper or replace it with a memory foam mattress.
The Ashley Furniture Allenya sleeper is a great choice for studio apartment dwellers looking for a space-saving and stylish pull out sofa.
6. Best Sofa Bed Chair: GIA Tri-Fold Convertible Polyester Sofa Bed Chair
The GIA Tri-Fold sofa bed chair is a great choice for small spaces like a studio apartment or a dorm room. It takes up less space than a traditional sofa and easily converts into a one-person bed.
- Perfect for small spaces.
- Adjustable to four positions.
- Sturdy metal frame.
- Plenty of color options.
- The foam is a bit too firm.
If you don't have the space for a regular sofa bed, a sofa bed chair is a good alternative.
The GIA Tri-Fold sofa bed chair measures just 30.7 inches wide and 32.3 inches deep.
Using a click-clack mechanism, you can adjust it to three other positions for lounging, reclining or sleeping.
When flattened into a bed it’s just slightly smaller than a twin bed. It measures 30.7 inches wide and 74.8 inches long.
The high-density foam that acts as the mattress is 5 inches thick.
It’s not as comfortable as a proper mattress, but it’s good enough for occasional nights. It even comes with a pillow.
The GIA Tri-Fold chair has a metal frame, which gives it a solid and sturdy feel. It can accommodate larger sleepers without a problem.
As for style, we love the mid-century look of the GIA Tri-Fold chair. You can get it in several colors including yellow, blue, and gray.
Issues & Limitations
Note that this is a one-person sleeper sofa. It’s not even as wide as a twin mattress. If you want a sleeper sofa you can roll around on or which can sleep two, this is not it.
The other issue is that the foam is a tad too firm for most people. If you plan to sleep on the GIA Tri-Fold chair often, we highly recommend adding a memory foam topper on top.
7. Best Pullout Sofa Bed: Polibi 54.5” Modern Convertible Sleeper Sofa Bed
pullout sofas are great for those who want the closest thing to a proper bed. These types of sofa beds typically offer a wide and comfortable sleeping space.
Our most favorite pullout sofa bed is the Polibi convertible sleeper sofa.
- Wide sleeping surface – great for couples or multiple kids.
- 3-position adjustable backrest.
- Strap and wheels make it easy to pullout the bed.
- Stylish modern design.
- Heavy and takes time to assemble.
- Not suitable for tall sleepers.
To turn the Polibi sofa into a chair, there’s a section under the cushions that you pullout. There are a couple of straps to make this easy.
This section is on wheels, so it pulls out smoothly with minimal effort.
You can then flatten the backrest to create a flat sleeping surface. The backrest can also be reclined if you just want to lounge on the sofa.
As a couch, the Polibi sofa is 54.5 inches wide and 33 inches deep. As a bed, it becomes 65 inches long with a 6 inch cushion.
While not quite as wide as a Queen mattress, the Polibi sofa bed can sleep two adults. The bed can accommodate up to 250lbs on each side.
As with most sofa beds, the foam on the Polibi pullout sofa bed is comfortable for a night or two. If you plan to turn it into a frequently used bed, add a topper on top, ideally memory foam.
In terms of aesthetics, we love the modern style of the Polibi sofa bed. It’ll look great in most living rooms. You can get the sofa bed in several colors including gray and beige.
Issues & Limitations
The Polibi sofa bed is bulky and heavy. This makes it tedious to set up. Set aside at least two hours for assembly.
Oh, you’ll also need a power drill.
Another issue is the length of the sofa when it’s converted into a bed. It’s only 65 inches long, far shorter than a standard bed.
It’s not ideal for tall sleepers.
8. Best Sofa Bed With Storage: Kodaik Wood Sofa Bed With Drawers
Shopping for a sofa bed with storage? We recommend the Kodaik wood sofa bed with drawers.
The spacious drawers make the already versatile sofa bed even more useful.
- Spacious drawers.
- Spacious queen size mattress.
- Comfortable futon mattress.
- Beautiful and sturdy real wood frame.
- Plenty of color options to choose from.
The Kodaik Wood sofa bed is not only useful and versatile, it also looks great. It has an exposed wood frame that gives it a warm and cozy feel.
The wood is real solid wood. So you can be sure it’ll support you and last a long time.
The Kodaik sofa bed is available in more than a dozen styles with different colored mattresses. But the frame has the same beautiful espresso finish.
On top of the frame is one of the most comfortable futon mattresses you’ll find on a sofa bed. There’s no need to get a topper for the Kodaik sofa bed. It is super comfortable.
That’s because the mattress is not just a slab of high-density foam like in so many sofa beds. It’s a multi-layered mattress with a core of springs sandwiched between layers of CertiPUR-US certified foam.
The mattress feels firm and supportive, yet soft and contouring. The spring core is hinged to allow the mattress to fold and unfold with the frame.
As for size, this is a queen size sofa bed. When unfolded, it measures 80 inches long and 60 inches wide, exactly like a queen mattress.
Now let’s talk about the drawers. There are two of them along the width of the sofa bed and you can access them whether the couch is in sofa or bed mode.
They are spacious and sit on wheels for easy movement.
Overall, the Kodaik Wood sofa bed is one of our most favorite sofa beds. It’s stylish, it’s well built, it’s big enough for couples, and it comes with storage.
Issues & Limitation
Our only complaint is the price. The Kodaik wood sofa beds is one of the more expensive sleeper sofas.
But when you consider the materials, build quality, and versatility, it’s worth the money. But if you are shopping for a budget sofa bed, this may not be what you are looking for.
We recommend the Milliard Tri-Fold folding bed instead, which we review next.
9. Best Foldable Sofa Bed: Milliard Tri-Fold Foam Folding Mattress and Sofa Bed
The Milliard Tri-Fold sofa bed is our top pick if you are looking for a folding sofa bed or a budget sleeper sofa.
It’s perfect for guest bedrooms, camper vans, RVs, dorm rooms and other small spaces.
- Space-saving foldable sofa bed.
- Low price.
- Available in different sizes.
- Not the most comfortable mattress.
- The backrest needs to be against the wall for support.
The Milliard Tri-Fold sofa bed is quite different from other sofa beds. It lacks a frame.
Instead, it’s a high-density foam mattress with foldable sections. You can fold it into a couch complete with a backrest or lay it flat to turn it into a mattress.
This makes it easily foldable and highly portable. It’s perfect for RVs, vans, and even the back of SUVs and crossovers for car camping. It also saves space in dorm rooms, apartments and other small spaces.
The mattress is available in several sizes ranging from single to king size, so you can pick the best size that fits the available space.
By the way, the polyester mesh cover on the Milliard Tri-Fold sofa bed is removable and washable.
Issues & Limitations
The Milliard Tri-Fold sofa bed is not the most comfortable bed. It’s firm and heavy sleepers may find it too thin.
If you plan to sleep on it for a while, we highly recommend getting a topper for it. But for occasional use when camping or by guests at home, it’s good as it is.
Another issue to note is that the backrest cannot support you on its own when you are sitting on the sofa bed. You need to put it against a wall.
10. Best Memory Foam Sofa Bed: AlphaBaby Memory Foam Futon Sofa Bed
Most sofa beds come with a too-firm mattress that you cannot sleep on for more than a couple of nights. The AlphaBaby futon sofa bed is different.
Instead of firm foam, it uses memory foam to provide both support and pressure relief.
- Comfortable memory foam mattress.
- Sturdy frame that can support up to 600lbs.
- Easy to assemble.
- Compact size that’s perfect for small spaces.
- Only one size available.
If you plan to sleep on a sofa bed daily or often, the AlphaBaby memory foam futon sofa bed is a good pick.
Instead of the hard and uncomfortable cushions most sofa beds come with, this one has a softer but still supportive memory foam mattress.
It’s still not as good as a proper mattress, but it’s far more comfortable for frequent users.
To turn the AlphaBaby sofa bed into a bed, you fold the backrest onto the sitting surface. This creates a bed measuring 72 inches long and 42.5 inches wide – slightly wider than a twin mattress.
The mattress sits on a wood frame and metal legs. This sturdy frame supports up to 600lbs, so large and heavy sleepers can sleep on the AlphaBaby sofa bed without any worry.
The suede fabric upholstery is designed to be easy to clean just by wiping.
Issues & Limitations
The AlphaBaby sofa bed is available in just one size that can only fit one person. If you are looking for a two-sleeper sofa bed, this is not it.
Even color options are limited. It’s available only in a gray fabric.
11. Best Memory Foam Mattress For Sofa Bed: Milliard 4.5-Inch Memory Foam Replacement Mattress for Sleeper Sofa
If you already have a pullout sofa bed but find it uncomfortable, consider replacing the current mattress with the Milliard 4.5-Inch memory foam. It’s cheaper than buying a new sofa bed.
- Great support and pressure relief.
- Soft and breathable cover.
- Compatible with most convertible sofa beds.
- Removable and washable cover.
- Doesn't provide enough cushioning for heavy sleepers.
The Milliard memory foam mattress is a more comfortable replacement for the spring or air mattresses that come with most sofa beds.
It provides better support and deeper pressure relief. In other words, you almost feel like you are sleeping on a real bed.
Note that this is just a replacement mattress. It doesn't include a sofa bed. We recommend it only if you already have a sofa bed.
The Milliard memory foam mattress consists of two layers: a soft 1.5” memory foam layer on top for contouring and a 3” base layer of supportive foam.
Most people say they no longer feel the bar under their mattress, and they (or their guests) sleep much better on the sofa bed.
To keep you cool, the Milliard memory foam mattress comes with a breathable jacquard cover. You can remove and wash the cover.
The Milliard mattress is available in several sizes. Check the exact dimensions of the size you pick to make sure it’ll fit on your sofa bed.
Issues & Limitations
While the Milliard memory foam mattress is comfortable for most sleepers, heavy sleepers over 230lbs may find it too thin for their liking.
You may still feel the sofa bed frame bar under you.
12. Best Daybed: VECELO Classic Metal Daybed Frame
Don't want to bother unfolding or converting a sofa bed? We recommend a daybed, specifically the VECELO classic daybed frame.
It doesn't require any conversion. Just put a mattress on it and some cushions against the backrest.
- Easy to use – no folding or converting required.
- Beautiful classic design.
- Sturdy metal frame with slats.
- Plenty of underbed storage.
- Not ideal for those who want a proper couch.
- Requires a mattress.
The VECELO daybed frame is essentially a twin size bed with a backrest that allows it to also function as a sofa.
But there is no unfolding or pulling out involved. The metal frame is rigid and doesn't convert.
All you need to do is place a twin size mattress on it and some cushions against the backrest for comfort when sitting.
The metal frame comes complete with slats so you can place a mattress directly on it without using a box spring.
There’s plenty of storage space under the frame with 13 inches of clearance. This lets you store boxes, bins or totes under the daybed.
The frame is easy to assemble thanks to the clear instructions and the clearly labelled parts. It takes less than an hour to put it together.
Issues & Limitations
The VECELO daybed is more of a bed than a sofa. It may not look as good as a traditional sofa bed in your living room.
That’s why most customers use it in other areas of the house like the den, playroom, or guest bedroom.
If you want a nice-looking couch that you can put in your living room, get a regular converting sofa bed.
Also, note that this is just a frame. You’ll need to get a twin-size mattress for it. So add that to your budget.
When To Buy a Pullout / Sofa Bed
- When you need extra sleeping space for occasional guests. You can set up the sofa bed in the living room and turn it into a bed when there’s a guest.
- When you need a temporary sleeping solution, for example, if you’ve just moved into a new house or apartment.
- When you are short of space, if you have no dedicated bedroom space to put a bed, a pullout sofa provides both a sitting and sleeping area.
- If you own an RV or boat, one of the best space-saving techniques in an RV or boat is to get a sofa bed.
How To Select The Right Sofa Bed
Here’s what to consider when you are shopping for a sofa bed.
1. Sofa Bed Type
The simplest types of sofa beds. A futon consists of a cushion and upholstery over a wooden or metal frame. To turn it into a bed, you typically fold the back down. Some can also be reclined partially up to function as a lounger.
A futon is a great choice if you are looking for an inexpensive sofa bed that doesn’t take up much space. Most have a minimalist modern style that’s perfect for apartments.
Because the cushions are usually firm, sleeping on a futon can be uncomfortable.
A pull out sofa looks like a normal couch but has a mattress and frame recessed within. To turn it into a bed, you pull out the mattress and frame.
A pull out sofa is ideal if you want a comfortable full-size couch that also doubles up as a bed. It’s generally more comfortable than a futon since you have a dedicated mattress to sleep on.
A sleeper chair is great if you just need extra sleeping space for one person.
A sleeper chair expands into a twin size bed, typically using a pull out mechanism. Most sleeper chairs are large enough to seat two people – that’s why the term ‘chair and a half’ is sometimes used – but can only sleep one person comfortably.
Daybeds have no folding or pull out mechanism. You just use it as it is.
Daybeds are usually the same size as a cot or twin bed with a back to lean against (when used as a couch) and sidearms to rest your hands.
A daybed is handy if you don’t want to deal with any unfolding or pull out sofa beds. It’s also the best choice for someone elderly or disabled who may not be able to operate a normal sofa bed.
Motorized Sofa Bed
This is another good option if you don’t want or cannot fold down a futon or pull out the mattress from a sofa bed.
If you don’t want a new sofa in your living room, try a sleeper bench. Sleeper benches are upholstered with a mattress recessed inside.
Just pull out the mattress and frame to turn the bench into a twin size bed.
A sleeper bench is ideal if you don’t have space for a full-size sofa.
2. Sofa Bed Construction
Make sure the sofa bed is well made and sturdy. Most sofa beds have a hardwood or metal frame. If it is a pull-out sofa, the mattress should have its metal frame for support.
Also, check the size and make sure you can use standard sheets with the sofa bed.
If it’s a pull-out sofa, the mattress should be replaceable. This allows you to replace the mattress with one that you find more comfortable or put in a new mattress when the current one wears out.
3. Operating Mechanism
If it is a futon, it should be easy to fold down and raise back up again. If it is a pull out sofa or bench, you should have no trouble pulling out the mattress.
If you or whoever will use the sofa bed has mobility problems, look for one with a motorized mechanism.
4. Mattress Type
Memory foam: Memory foam mattresses are the best. They are plush and provide great support and pressure relief.
Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses are supportive, but some can be too firm for your comfort. If you plan to sleep on the sofa bed frequently, replace it with a memory foam mattress or lay a foam pad on it.
Fiber and polyester fill: Futons use a fiber and polyester fill to provide a relatively comfortable sleeping surface. It’s not as soft and comfortable as memory foam, but it’s good enough for occasional use by the guest. For daily use, consider laying a memory foam mattress on the futon.
Don’t forget to check the mattress thickness. Some sofa beds use an uncomfortable 2-3 inch mattress, meaning you have to add your own on top if you don’t want to feel the support bars underneath digging into your back.
Also, make sure the sofa bed can work with any mattress, not just specific mattresses from the manufacturer. This gives you the freedom to use whichever mattress you prefer.
5. Assembly & Setup
The sofa bed should be easy to set up with basic tools. Usually, it involves just attaching a few remaining parts like the arms and legs.
If you cannot manage to assemble the sofa bed yourself, look for a seller that offers in-home setup, though it may cost you more.
Alternatively, get a sofa bed that’s already assembled. Just make sure your door is wide enough to fit the fully assembled sofa.
6. Other Considerations
Mattress size: Mattresses in sofa beds range from cot size to queen size. A cot or twin size is ideal for kids or one adult. Taller adults should get a twin XL or full size. For couples, queen size is ideal.
Overall size: Check the overall size of the sofa bed both when it’s folded and unfolded to make sure it can fit where you want to set it up.
Warranty: The warranty period told you a lot about the build quality and expected durability of the sofa bed.
Sofa Beds: Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a sofa bed more comfortable?
- Place a sheet on it. This can help if the upholstery is rough or cold. It’s also good for hygiene.
- Add a mattress topper. It helps prevent the support bar from digging into you. It also makes the bed softer and more comfortable.
- Add a mattress. Works the same as a topper but with better results.
Can I use a regular mattress on a sofa bed?
Yes, you can as long as you choose a corresponding size. If you have a queen sofa bed, use a queen mattress.
Note, however, that the support bar underneath most sofa beds can damage the mattress over time. You are better off getting a sofa bed replacement mattress. You can use one from another brand as long as it is the same size as the sofa bed sleeper.
What’s the best thickness for a sofa bed mattress?
Between 4 and 5 inches, this is the best thickness to ensure proper support and prevent the support bar from causing discomfort.
Are sofa beds comfortable?
It depends on the quality and construction of the sofa bed, particularly the mattress or cushions.
Generally, most sofa beds are not as comfortable as a proper mattress. They are okay for a night or two, but can get uncomfortable if you are sleeping on them every day.
Some sofa beds, however, feature a super comfortable mattress that won’t give you back pain when you sleep on it daily.
Which sheets should I use on a sofa bed?
Use sheets that correspond to the size of the sofa bed. If you have a full-size sofa bed, get full sheets.
Note, however, that you can’t leave the sheets on the sofa bed all the time as they’ll get bunched up when you convert the bed back into a sofa. Remove them before you convert the sofa bed.
Which are the best pillows for a sofa bed?
Regular pillows are fine for use on a sofa bed. Just make sure they don't take up too much space especially if you plan to sleep two people on the bed.
Standard size pillows are usually better than queen or king size pillows for sofa beds.
How do I make a sofa bed look nice?
Dress a sofa bed the same way you would a bed. Have some nice sheets (use regular sheets or sofa bed-specific sheets), a nice blanket, and a duvet. You can even add a quilt for a cozy homely feel.
Don’t forget pillows. You can also add a few shams for decoration.
Remember, however, that you’ll need to remove all this stuff when converting the sofa bed back into a sofa.
If you sleep on the sofa bed daily and need to convert it back every morning, keep your setup simple. Maybe just a couple of sheets, a duvet, and a pillow.
Our Bottom Line
A sofa bed offers an easy, convenient, and inexpensive way to add more sleeping – and sitting – space in your home.
Whether it’s for you, a roommate, or your guests, there are many options to choose from. Hopefully, our buying guide has helped you find the right one for your needs.
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