Sofa beds are a great option for any homeowner, not only for small homes but also larger ones. They’re a great solution if you don’t have enough space or budget for beds and couches, and also let you receive guests who’ll stay overnight.
Whether you’re thinking of the benefits of a sofa bed for your main home or your vacation home, there are a number of things you’ll think about eventually.
This article will help you know more about sleeper sofas, and what to look for if you want to purchase one.
How to Choose a Sofa Bed
Sofa beds are a versatile furniture element for any home. Just as its name says, it fulfills a double function as a sofa and as a bed, and it results especially practical for small houses, flats and studios.
And it’s precisely because of that functionality and practicality that it has many aspects to consider before buying one, to avoid making the wrong purchase.
But choosing the perfect sofa bed for your home doesn’t depend on good luck. The main aspects you need to consider before buying one are:
Before trying to choose from all the options available, think of how much you’re willing to pay. While sofa beds can be as expensive as any other piece of furniture, a good quality sofa bed can be found in a range from $500 to $1000.
Its looks and price will not make it fit everywhere. That’s why you need to think about space and size.
Start by measuring the space where you want to put it, as well as the height of the room and the doorways. You’ll need to check that you can move it through all the hallways and doors before even entering to your home, and finally, you’ll want it to fit wherever you want to place it.
Take notes and bring the tape measure with you to the store (or check the measurements details, if you’re buying online). Typically, sofa beds have four standard sizes: chair (51 to 58 inches), twin (56 to 65 inches), full (68 to 92 inches) and queen (79 to 101 inches).
You’ll need to decide one of the most important aspects of the sofa bed: do you prefer sitting comfort or sleeping comfort?
Because sofa beds fulfill both roles, manufacturers focus on enhancing one of the two aspects, and on rarely both. You must always choose a sturdy frame, but when it comes to comfort, think of what’s the primary use you’ll give it.
In the sitting position, it will probably have better support than a regular sofa because their construction and frame are different. The sleeping position comfort and support varies depending on the mattress.
The quality of the mattress will dictate how comfortable it is, and you’ll need to try it in both positions to see what feels better.
For innerspring mattresses, the balance and support depend on the amount of coil (the more the better).
Air-coil mattresses are a combination of memory foam and innerspring mattress with an air mattress on top.
But the most comfortable option is the memory foam mattress because the foam adapts to the user’s position.
Most of them work similarly, but you still need to verify that it’s easy to operate and has no damages if it’s used. Test the mechanism to see if it’s easy to operate by yourself. Move it around a few meters and lift it to check its weight. Try it on both positions -folded as a sofa, and opened as a bed- to see if it feels as you would expect.
Different Types of Sofa Beds
The best type of sofa beds for you will depend on your personal taste as well as some functionality factors. Each one comes with some advantages and disadvantages.
The most common types of sofa beds are:
They seem to be the most common type among university students and young adults in general. Probably because their weight makes them easy to move around and transport, its folding mechanism is easy to operate, it doesn’t need a lot of space, and it’s affordable.
Unfortunately, futons are not very comfortable. If you want to keep one for a long time, you’ll probably need to change the mattress every couple of years. Its low-density foam and cotton filling hardens with time and can feel uncomfortable against the frame.
Pull-out Sofa Bed
Another type of sofa bed, although manufacturers mostly focus on the ‘sitting function’ comfort.
The sofa cushions are usually comfortable. Avoid thin mattresses as they may present the same problem as with futons: it needs to be thick enough so the frame doesn’t feel so close to the body, creating discomfort in the bed function.
Daybed / Divan
The two terms are usually used indistinctly, but they actually refer to two different things.
A divan is basically a backless sofa. Because of this, it’s placed against a wall to provide back support for the ‘sitting function’. As a bed, it only needs to be separated from the wall and cleared off from cushions.
And a daybed is something like a divan, but with back support (also, they frequently come with armrests). For this reason, a daybed can be placed at any part of the room and used as a sofa or a bed, as you can easily just bend the back.
The lack of a sturdy frame makes daybeds and divans to lose a bit of shape and support over time.
Different Folding Mechanisms
Some sofa bed types come with different folding mechanisms. Ideally, they should be easy to operate and have a good enough quality to make them respond to your everyday routine.
The usual folding mechanisms that convert a sofa bed from its sitting function to its bed function are:
Start by removing the cushions. One of the sitting ‘base’ is free, find the mechanism and pull it out until the leg is on the floor. This mechanism is the one used by the pull-out sofa bed.
It works similarly to a drawer. In this type of mechanism, the bed simply slides under the sofa.
This curious name comes from the sound it makes when it’s unfolded. It’s the simplest type of sofa bed.
This curious name comes from the sound it makes when it’s unfolded. It’s the simplest type of sofa bed. Its sofa form is obtained by folding the mattress in a sitting angle. Unfolding it effortlessly converts into a bed. It’s the common mechanism for daybeds.
While not strictly a folding mechanism, it’s how you convert a divan from a sofa type to a bed. It means to simply move it away from the wall.
A mechanism that simply folds the sofa bed in three parts, just like its name suggests.
The Importance of the Mattress
Sofa beds are especially useful for small places since they fulfill both functions in the same space. Sure, it has some downsides, but whatever the reason you chose to get one, the point is that it can be used as a primary bed, or only occasionally when hosting a guest.
However, sofa bed mattresses frequently don’t have the best quality to guarantee a good night sleep. Manufacturers often prefer to use cheap materials to lower their costs, and unfortunately, the end user is the one who suffers the consequences of a poor mattress.
It’s safe to say most people have experienced a bad night of sleep at least once in their lifetime and felt how much it affects productivity and the overall state of mind for the next day.
So, can you imagine what it would be like to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress every day? Or, would you want to be the one responsible for backaches and cranky moods of your guests?
A good night sleep is known to improve the memory, affect the weight, decrease stress levels, improve creativity, and improve your immune system and overall health. Not to mention that it obviously makes your body and mind feel well rested.
That’s why a sofa bed should be considered an important investment. Whether you’ll use the bed every day or only occasionally, you need to be informed of the different types of mattresses in order to understand what you’re getting, and what to expect.
Memory Foam Mattress
It’s in the middle between too soft and too hard, so it’s comfortable for most people, and it doesn’t transfer motion.
They retain heat, so the best ones are those which use open cell technology (and not closed cells) so that it doesn’t feel too hot. Petroleum foam may produce an unpleasant chemical smell, so you might also prefer the ones created from soybeans, which are also eco-friendly.
It’s the firmest kind of sofa bed mattress. It can be manufactured from synthetic latex or natural latex.
Synthetic latex breaks down and loses its color when it’s constantly exposed to sunlight. Natural latex is overall better and eco-friendly.
It provides a good support and reduces motion transfer while remaining comfortable, but this is only achieved by the foam density. The most common go from 1.2 lbs to 2.5 lbs. A number in between will probably be the best option, as it won’t break down too quickly as if it had a lower density, and it won’t retain heat as if it had a higher density.
Again, the foam from soybeans are eco-friendly and breathe more easily.
Air Over Coil
This type is an air mattress with coils in the base. You can adjust the firmness when you’re inflating it.
But unfortunately, they’re easily damaged. You need to beware of faulty valve systems and air bladders or micro-holes.
Also, they can be stored easily, but they take some time to set up and take down before and after use.
Coil mattresses are the least comfortable type. It’s probably because the low padding on top of the coil. This makes them the most affordable type.
Still, if you’re thinking about purchasing one, consider getting one with heat treated coils to relieve tension and lower discomfort.
Our Selection of the Top 10 Best Modern Sofa Bed Sleeper in 2017
Quality and comfort are important, but sofa beds should also be a part of your home decoration and personal style.
These different designs bring comfort and style to your modern home:
Besides fulfilling its double function, it brings under bed storage. Built with wood frames and legs. Comes in 75 x 39 x 36 inches as a sofa, and 75 x 59 x 16 inches as a bed. It’s manufactured in the USA.
The frame it’s made out of solid wood, particleboard and plywood. The mechanism is made out of steel and the foam and cushions are made of polyurethane in different densities. It’s 90.5 inches wide with 35.88 inches of depth. Its bed width is 55.13 inches, and its length is 79.75 inches.
This one is the perfect set including one sofa bed and one bench, with the addition of two cushion bolsters. It has resistant wood legs and a metal frame. It’s filled with high-density foam, and the upholstery is made of polyester and rayon.
A modern mix between a sectional sofa and a daybed, that offers a modern and stylish look. It’s made in Turkey.
With a mid-century modern look, this wide sofa bed comes with a resistant stainless steel base and dark oak wood platform. It unfolds easily to form a large bed of 76 inches long and 53 inches in depth.
A traditional looking sofa that unfolds into a futon. Its four block legs provide a good balance. Its foam filling has a density of 1.8 cubic feet, and the upholstery is made from polyester.
This is another traditional looking sofa but has more of a minimalistic design. It has removable armrests and unfolds into a futon.
Inspired in the Chesterfield sofa, but with soft Cashmere Wool and synthetic fabric upholstery, making it great for formal and informal spaces. The frame is made of hardwood and the external stainless steel base frames are fully welded and sanded.
Its clean and simple lines make it a great sofa bed for a contemporary home. The unfolding mechanism is easy to operate, and it comes with storage space. The mattress is made of comfortable memory foam with patented antibacterial and hypo-allergenic properties.
This sofa bed comes with two side tables and an easily unfolding mechanism. You can use it as a three seat sofa, as a large bed, or combine it as a two seat sofa and a chaise lounge.
To conclude, it’s safe to say that by now you know that choosing the best sofa bed for your needs is not as easy as it seems. Unlike with sofas where you just mostly consider price, style, frame, filling and upholstery, you have to also consider additional factors that influence its bed function and hence, your sleeping quality.
Again, think of a sofa bed as an investment. Whether you’re buying one for the first time or replacing mechanism or mattress, remember it needs to live up to your expectations, and your back!