As a child what I liked best about staying at my grandparent’s house wasn’t the snacks, staying up late, watching my favorite TV shows, or being treated like a princess. What made the night special was sleeping on the sofa bed. There was something mysterious about pulling out the hidden mattress and settling in for the night, like being nestled in a cocoon.
The first piece of furniture I bought when I moved into my own apartment was a sofa bed, mainly for the convenience and the limited space, but also for the nostalgia. If you’re in the market for a combination couch/sleeping surface, let’s look at what makes a sofa bed good for everyday use.
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What is the Best Sofa Bed for Everyday Use?
What exactly is a sofa bed? Do you need one? Where would you buy it? Are they worth the money? Do you have space for one? Is a sofa bed a good fit for your living accommodations?
Sofa beds have evolved. What’s available online, and in physical stores today isn’t the sofa bed of my youth. Manufacturers have upped their game, giving consumers a vast array of sizes, shapes, and styles, mattress choices, colors and fabrics to choose from. There are sofa beds to match lavish living areas and small apartments. Convenience-wise they really are hard to beat.
Let’s Break it Down
A comfortable sleeper sofa is a space-saving, versatile, quick-change version of a superhero – a sofa by day, and a bed by night. And most are good sofa beds for everyday use.
In true now-you-see-it and now-you-don’t-fashion, this product is a sofa when you need somewhere comfortable on which to sit and relax. It’s a bed when you’re ready for a nap, or a good night’s sleep, or you have family and friends staying over.
If you have limited space to design, a one-bedroom apartment, for example, a functional sofa bed might be an option for you.
Or maybe you have a spare bedroom that doubles as a home office – while you want somewhere comfortable for out-of-town guests to sleep, you don’t want to give up all your space to a full-size bed. In both cases, a sofa bed would be a good choice.
Different Kinds of Comfortable Sofa Beds for Daily Use
Conventional pull-out frame: Remove the cushions and reach into the depths of the couch. Gently tug on the metal foundation to reveal a bed folded neatly and hidden within. The bed rests on metal legs and easily springs free of its hiding place.
The click-clack: Unfold the back cushions to create a comfortable, flat sleeping surface.
Folding: Convert your couch into a bed by revealing a mattress that can be folded out from its clever hiding space inside the couch.
A-Frame: It also requires a pull technique – the lower front panel unfolds into an A-shape, flat sleeping surface.
When shopping for a sofa bed, keep in mind the singular and plural uses of the product. Essentially, you are buying and testing two pieces of furniture, a sofa and a bed.
Both pieces are important purchases and should be carefully considered. If the couch is intended for everyday use, it should pass the sit test. It should also be durable.
Consider the functionality of the mattress. Will it be your main sleeping surface, or will it be used infrequently? Select a sofa bed with a quality mattress that works best for your body and sleep requirements.
Do you prefer:
- A firm, supportive spring foam mattress with a support system of coils and a polyurethane layer.
- A body-conforming memory foam mattress.
- A combination of the air mattress and innerspring technology.
The queen-size mattress is the most widely available sofa bed and will seat three and sleep two or more people. The queen-size mattress when open will measure 84 inches wide and about 90 inches long.
The average thickness of the sofa bed mattress is 4.5 inches, roughly half as thick as the standard size mattress.
For limited space, a twin-size bed would work. The mattress is less than five feet wide and 39-inches long.
The bed frame will take a lot of wear and tear while being converted from a sofa to a bed and vice versa. A durable frame is very important.
If you are purchasing a sofa bed from a physical location, practice converting the bed from sofa to sleeping surface. Test for firmness and ensure comfort by sitting on the sofa and laying on the mattress.
Ask yourself: Is the frame easy to pull out? Do the cushions lie flat to create a smooth surface? Does the mattress remove easily from its hiding place?
Perhaps the two most important things to consider when buying the most comfortable sleeper sofa are the size (does it fit into the intended area) and usability (what is the purpose of the purchase.)
Keep in mind where you will be putting the sofa bed. A sofa for the living room may be more of a focal point than a sofa for a den or a spare bedroom. Consider the upholstery and if the sofa matches the existing furniture.
As with any purchase, you should carefully research the product before you buy or order online. Here are some points to think about as you consider your options:
- Set a budget
- Consider the purpose of the purchase; Decide what sofa bed will work best for you, based on the size of the living area
- Measure the space available for the sofa
- Measure the space available space for the bed
- Practice converting the sofa to a bed, and vice versa
- Do the sit test on the sofa
- Do the lay test on the bed
- Talk to experts, family, and friends regarding the quality of the product
- Use online forums or chat rooms to discuss both the pros and cons of sofa beds
- Talk to retailers about warranties and return/repair policies
- Read reviews; and
- Check out the websites that offer wide ranges of brand names and product lines