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Sleeper sofas offer dual functionality in your home, providing a place to both sit and sleep. They are often found in rooms that have more than one purpose or limited space. You may find sleeper sofas in urban dwellings, a studio apartment, a second bedroom, or an office, where they can efficiently serve as both a bed and sofa for you and your guests. Their versatility has made them increasingly popular as a staple furniture choice for either primary or secondary places to sleep.
In the past, sleeper sofas tended to be heavy, difficult to move and not the place for a comfortable night’s sleep. You would pull an awkward, folded bed frame and mattress out from under your seat cushion and wrestle it into a bed. Today, intelligent design and modern materials mean that there are a wide variety of comfortable options from which to choose.
This guide will walk you our top sofa bed picks for 2020. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis. The guide will also help you understand different styles of sleeper sofas and help you choose the right one for you.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Nia Pin Sleeper. Both handsome and handy, its split back design allows for independent recline settings. That means you can adjust the sofa bed to comfortably sit up, lean back, and lay flat on it while the person next to you can choose to do the same at their leisure.
It combines thick cushioning with tufted velvet, making it both soft to touch and beautiful to look at. Its classy look feels well beyond its price point, making it a great-value buy. The bed folds out to a 73” W x 44” D mattress, making it slightly smaller than a full-size bed.
The padding is firm. Wooden legs are tucked behind zippers in the back, which keeps them out of sight when they are not being used. The legs also come with soft padding under all four feet, making the sofa easy to move around while protecting your floors.
This simple convertible model is easy to assemble, light, and easily folds down to a flat sleeping surface. Built to sit three and sleep one with a twin-bed size, it also features upright, lounge, and flat recline positions.
Great for apartment living, this convertible sofa bed weighs 53.5 lbs., making it easy to move around and tuck into smaller spaces. Despite its small size, it can hold up to 600 lbs. of weight. The Sherbrooke Memory Foam Convertible Sofa features a combination of memory foam padding with sinuous springs that makes it a comfortable bed, especially for its price. The mattress measures at 70” W x 41” D, which is comparable to a Twin XL size. Its streamlined style is a tasteful addition to modern décor spaces.
This pull-out sleeper sofa features a traditional sofa look, with three cushioned seating spaces on it. Fit on a sturdy wooden frame, it has foam cushions, rolled arms, and a full-size innerspring mattress that pulls out.
The couch measures at x 90” W x 39” D x 40” H and is spacious for sitters and sleepers alike. The mattress is thick and comfortable.
The Torin Sofa Bed is a great choice for people who want a classic sofa design, but also want a place for guests to sleep on occasion. The back cushions are non-detachable.
When it comes to finding the right sofa bed, the right sofa bed mattress is often the most important part. PlushBeds makes some of the best sofa bed mattresses, with three different types from which to choose. Each features 4.5 inches of premium padding and a dense, close-knit cell structure that combats sagging and always returns to its original shape.
Memory Foam Sofa Bed Mattress
Cool Bliss Gel Foam Sofa Bed Mattress
Natural Lates Sofa Bed Mattress
This modular loveseat sofa bed uses clever design to combat the problem of limited space. Weighing just 55 lbs., it has a maximum door width of 22 inches. That means that this convenient sofa can be squeezed into the tiniest of spaces, and easily moved by one person.
The sofa unfolds to a queen-bed size sleep area, which allows ample space for multiple, or taller sleepers. It comes in a variety of shades, including tomato, marine, and moss, lending a pop of trendy color in any space.
The ottomans can be stacked on top of the seating area to preserve more space, or broken out and used in different places in a room. Highly versatile and stylish.
A sleeper sofa is a sofa that converts into a bed. Sometimes referred to as a fold-out couch or sofa bed, the sleeper sofa has dual functionality as a place to relax and sleep. Sleeper sofas look like a traditional piece of living room furniture, but when they are folded out, rearranged, or pulled out, they provide a cozy place for you and your guests to rest.
Sleeper sofas are generally used as a guest bed or primary bed in homes with limited space. Their ability to serve multiple purposes makes them a go-to choice for urban and apartment dwellers.
Sleeper sofas are similar to other hideaway beds, like murphy beds and trundle beds. They come in many variations, ranging from futons, to pull-out sofa beds, to expandable chaise lounges. While they have always been a handy addition to a home, they have improved in style, ease-of-use, and comfort.
The original U.S. Patent for a sleeper sofa was awarded in 1885 to Sarah E. Goode, a former slave, who was also the first-ever black woman to be awarded a patent. Her “Cabinet Bed” was designed to be a bed that folded into a desk, saving space for Chicago dwellers who were cramped into urban apartments.
There most popular types of sofa bed are convertible, lift-and-pull, and daybed.
The convertible-style sleeper sofa involves folding down the back of the sofa to create a flat surface for sleep. Some convertible sleeper sofas have an extra setting that also allows for a back that leans at a 45-degree angle for comfortable lounging in addition to sleeping flat. Futons fall into the convertible style of sleeper sofa. Most convertible sleeper sofas feature a more minimalist, modern design. They tend to fit well into rooms with a contemporary or eclectic look.
Lift-and-pull sleeper sofas are the traditional type of sleeper sofa. They feature a classic sofa style with pillows that support the back and individual cushions that support the seat. In order to get to the bed, you pull the frame up and out from the well of the sofa and unfold it. Lift-and-pull sleeper sofas are considerably more comfortable than they used to be, with innovations in mattress technology to support a better night’s sleep.
The daybed is a simple sleeper sofa that is more of a twin-sized bed that sits horizontally along a wall than a true sleeper sofa. Still, there are many designs today that echo a sofa feel and therefore still fall into this general category. Daybeds sometimes feature a trundle bed, which is a second twin-sized bed that pulls out from under the frame. Trundle beds allow for two people to sleep next to one another on individual mattresses.
There are different styles of sleeper sofas. Many convertible-style sleeper sofas fit in contemporary interiors, as they tend to have minimalist design and are low to the ground. They are most often seen in starter homes, dorm rooms, in an office, or a second room. They can be dressed up with throw pillows and blankets, but they are simplistic at their core. However simple they are, they still make for a great night’s sleep thanks to advances in filler technology and furniture design. Lift-and-pull styles feature a more traditional couch look, with rolled arms and cushions both below the seat and behind the back.
Newer mattress technology has transformed the experience a sleeper has on these beds, but their conversion from sofa to bed takes some work. Still, the integrity of the sofa is not compromised in return. Often fluffy and comfortable to sit on, they are a cozy experience when in sofa mode.
There are three main features of a sleeper sofa: the frame, the mattress, and the open-close mechanism. Your needs and personal taste influence how important each feature is to you, however, they are all important to keep in mind.
It’s important that a sleeper sofa has a sturdy frame. Solid frames are among the strongest frames for any type of sofa, but furniture-grade plywood frames work well too. Sleeper sofas can also have tubular metal frames. These types of frames are largely found in the lift-and-pull variety of sleeper sofa. Whichever frame you choose, make sure that the frame is durable.
The padding that you sleep on can have the most dramatic impact on your sleep experience. Lift-and-pull sleeper sofas allow you to choose any sort of mattress you like. Memory foam mattresses squeeze and fold easily, and maintain the integrity of their shape when expanded. Air coil mattresses combine the technology of air mattresses with the coil, allowing the mattresses to tuck away more easily when folded, yet still provide a great night’s sleep.
Make sure that the mechanisms that lift your bed up and out do not squeak or stick. The same goes for any clicking mechanisms that pull the back of the sofa down. Units that have a lock-down bar to ensure proper closure and easy opening are solid bets for the longevity of the bed. The better the open-close mechanism, the less of a chance that edges are uneven and get sheets and blankets caught in the process.
Finding the right sleeper sofa is a balance between design, functionality, and cost. It’s also important to consider the reality of the types of humans that may sleep on it. Washable covers are great for pets and kids, and a longer bed is definitely necessary for taller sleepers.
Consider how the bed will be used. Do you have a long-term guest who may be sleeping on it for a few months? If so, a daybed or convertible type of sofa sleeper may be best. Comfort is a top priority for repeat and longer-term guests. If you have less frequent visitors, you may be able to sacrifice a little bed comfort in the name of a better style sofa.
Children don’t need as much space to sleep on as adults, but durability and removable covers, for cleaning, are key. Kids love to jump on beds and have a way of spilling food and drinks. If your sleeper sofa is intended for a more sensitive body, such as an elderly parent, it may be best to choose a model that is more bed than sofa. Daybeds are fantastic for such duties, as well as sleeper sofas whose bottom cushion is simply a twin mattress turned sideways along a wall.
The materials used to cover your sleeper sofa will determine how to clean its surfaces. Mild detergent or soap with water will generally do the trick. Some cushions may have detachable, machine-washable covers. As for the frames, it is possible to re-order rusted or worn frames. Make sure that mechanisms properly lock and fold as needed. Do a yearly routine yearly check to make sure that all parts are working correctly. Check the frame for any stripped bolts, creaking hinges or loose legs. Double check all folding and locking mechanisms to make sure they open and close properly. Inspect any metal framing for cracks, rust, or dents. The smallest of breaches in the integrity of your sofa sleeper’s construction can lead to falling off, or through, your sofa sleeper so it’s best to be proactive.
Your new sleeper sofa will likely be one of the hardest-working pieces of furniture in your house. Once you set your budget, be honest with yourself about your needs and how you want that piece of furniture to look and function in your home.