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One word likely comes to mind when thinking about sofa beds: uncomfortable. There’s a good reason for that. Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of sleeping – or to put it more accurately, trying to sleep – on one. Even those who haven’t spent at least one night tossing and turning on the thin mattress and hard frame of a traditional sofa bed have probably noticed that sitting on a fold-out couch can be almost as uncomfortable. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that they’re often ugly and have no place in your home except for the storage.
When you purposely avoid something, however, you’re not going to notice when it has changed; many of today’s best sofa beds are nothing like the ones we’ve tried to avoid for decades. It’s now possible to find comfortable and attractive models you’ll be proud to have in your home, and won’t be embarrassed to invite family members or guests to sleep on.
Choosing a sofa bed is one of the most confusing furniture purchases possible. There are hundreds of styles available, from chair beds to corner sofas, from larger three-seat and king foldouts to the convenient “click-clack” sofas. And deciding on the right model is a lot more complicated than picking a kitchen appliance or bicycle, because the look, size and operation of the model you choose will have an enormous impact on the room in which it’s placed.
That’s where our sofa bed reviews can be extremely valuable. We’ve checked out all of the major makes and manufacturers, to come up with a list of the top ten in the market, complete with their pros and cons. We’ll get into the details, after a look at the criteria you should remember when you go out to buy a sofa bed.
Top 10 Best Sofa Beds Comparison Table
Complete Buying Guide
Your first task when choosing a sofa bed is to realistically assess what you really need it for. There’s no sense in considering a large, beautiful piece of furniture when you’re going to cram it into a spare bedroom or a corner of the family room, in the storage, or if you have a small flat. On the other hand, you can find wonderful models which will fit perfectly with the décor and size of nearly any living space. People often use the term “size matters” flippantly, but it really does matter here – and when measuring the area, don’t forget that you’ll need to have some extra space when it’s opened.
A related concern is the number of people you’d like the sofa bed you buy to accommodate. A small chairbed should be sufficient if your child’s best friend is spending the night, or perhaps for one adult. A three-seater or king size makes more sense if you’re expecting lots of guests requiring sleeping space.
There are several different ways to categorise sofa beds but since we’ve already mentioned styles, let’s begin there. A chairbed is exactly what its name implies: a comfy chair that opens up into a single. A single sofa bed, often hidden inside a loveseat, will usually have a larger sleeping area than a chair seat but will still accommodate just one person. Larger ones normally suitable for a couple are found in two or three-seater sofas, and a king-size sofa bed is big enough to hide a queen or king mattress. A lovely variation on those larger pieces is the corner sofa bed, whose “L” shape provides lots of space for entertaining and can open up to create a very large sleeping space. Some models have integral storage areas as well, perfect for bedrooms.
The other method of categorising sofa beds is by the mechanism used to extend and retract the sofa; this is important because some mechanisms are sturdier or more convenient than others. A pullout requires you to remove the cushions, lift a metal frame out from its hiding spot and put a mattress on top, a one-piece “click-clack” sofa bed model converts directly once you tilt the seat portion back and then pull it forward, and the seating area of a fold-out model opens up in stages after the back rests are removed. There are many different mechanisms and configurations found on corner sofa beds, some quite ingenious.
We mentioned at the start of this article that the best modern sofa beds no longer require you to sacrifice comfort for convenience. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can assume any sofa in the market is going to be sturdy and comfortable; due diligence is required. The outside sofa frame should be durable (and preferably made from strong wood), since a warped or split outer frame won’t provide sufficient support for the mechanical frame. The inner frame should naturally open easily, but should also be rigid and weighty enough to fully support the number of people who will be using the bed.
High-quality sofa bed mattresses are much like those found on beds – just thinner. You can find thick mattresses for sofa beds, but they rarely are included with your purchase. 110-120mm is a good benchmark for minimum thickness. The most important consideration is the support provided by the mattress; inexpensive foam mattresses (even dense ones) will usually be uncomfortable, so if they fit your budget you may wish to opt for latex, innerspring or memory foam.
Since we’re sure we don’t have to belabour the final point that any piece you buy should fit with your room’s décor, we’ll move right along to see our top ten sofa beds. One note: we’re focusing here on relatively inexpensive yet functional models, not handcrafted and very pricey sofas.
Top 10 Sofa Bed Reviews
The animal hide may be faux on this sofa, but the quality is outstanding. This three-seat sofa bed model with stylish, polished legs will fit perfectly in any area with a modern design, folding out with a click-clack mechanism to provide a smallish double bed with plenty of space for one guest (or two children or small adults). You can use the velcro-attached arm rests as pillows. The padding is made of thick foam on springs so it’s not going to be the most sound sleep you’ve ever experienced, but it’s not bad for a single night’s stay. The dimensions are 183 x 85 x 79 cm as a sofa, 183 x 108 x 36 cm when laid flat (length x depth x height). A functional model that looks great, at a very nice price.
This is another modern-looking faux animal hide model with a solid wood frame, in the same price range as the Venice but with a twist; there’s a built-in fold down table with drink holders in the middle of the couch, so it can be either a three-seater or a very spacious two-seater for movie or game nights. The double bed is a foldout model made of thick foam, which is fine although probably not as ideal as a permanent sleeping cot. As with the Venice, the arm rests can come off to be used as pillows. Dimensions are 180 x 50 x 83 cm as a sofa, 180 x 110 x 35 cm when laid out (length x depth x height). Fashionable and functional.
If you’re looking for something simple, it doesn’t get any better than the Natalia Spzoo Fold Out Guest Chair. This sofa bed is easy to transform from sofa to bed. In fact, it won’t even take you a minute! The same thing goes for turning it back into a sofa.
The cover is a zippered microfibre polyester fabric which you can easily remove and put back on after you’ve washed it. The filling is made from foam core with a density of 22kg/m3. This can easily accommodate a full-sized adult.
You can choose from 10 different colours including red, purple, light green, and blue. This is a perfect (functional) piece to add to your bedroom or living room for a little pop of colour.
Ever noticed how comfortable cinema chairs are? Well, wonder no more because you can have one right in your living room! This Comfy Living product is a cinema-style sofa which you can transform into a bed in just one click with its Click Clack mechanism.
During the day, you can sit comfortably in front of the TV and place your refreshments on the drop down drinks table which is hidden behind the backrest of the middle seat. At night, you or an adult guest can sleep comfortably on it and even use the armrests as pillows.
The Comfy Living cinema-style sofa bed is made from high-quality materials which ensure durability and the faux leather exteriors gives it its elegant look.
This is another modern three-seater with a drop-down table in the middle, and a click-clack mechanism to unfold the single. It also has a “recline” position for those times you want to relax on the sofa without turning it into an actual bed. This is made from sturdy wood, although it can be a little unstable for someone who’s particularly heavy; it’s as comfortable as you’d expect a foam mattress to be for overnight visitors. The Sleep Design is available in attractive red, white, black and brown colours.
Here is the second offering from Sleep Design, which is the same as the product we’ve just reviewed except for one important added feature: 60-watt Bluetooth stereo speakers built right into the upper cushions for a relaxing listening experience. The sound is alright and the speakers sync up easily with your phone or other Bluetooth device. All other dimensions and specs are the same (although the list price is somewhat higher), but this might be the one you want for a game room or play area.
Very similar in appearance to the 7Star model, this lightweight, three-seat faux animal hide unit has a durable wooden frame, sponge-padded (130mm thick) pillows and a reclined position in addition to the normal couch and foldout setups. Also, like the 7star, there’s a bar that runs through the middle of the sleeping position, so extra padding would be to your advantage. The Popamazing is priced at a lower level than most of our other options, making it an option well worth considering.
The Gilda Jazz is very different than the other models we’ve looked at so far. It’s extremely attractive in a minimalist way, it sits low to the ground, it’s fabric-covered and not made of faux animal hide, and it easily unfolds to create a double-sized floor mattress that’s quite comfortable despite the fact that it’s made of foam. We should note, though, that the smaller size and low height of the couch makes it better for a gaming position rather than as a sofa for entertaining. Surprisingly, it’s also among the lowest-priced entries on our top ten list. Of the products we’ve reviewed for comfort, this is one of the top choices.
Second to the last on our list is this very stylish piece from Unmatchable. This modern style sofa bed has sleek chrome legs, a solid frame, and a charcoal fabric cover. You can easily change the position of the backrest from upright, recline, and bed because it is equipped with a Click Clack system.
As a sofa, it can sit 3 people. As a bed, it can accommodate 2 adults comfortably.
We finish with a three-seat click-clack model that combines many of the attributes we’ve seen throughout this list: solid wood frame, sponge cushion, removable armrests that can be used as pillows, chrome legs and fold-down table with cup holder. The foam is thin, making this more useful as a couch than a bed, but it’s modern-looking and convenient for occasional overnight visitors.
You Are Getting Very, Very Sleepy
Or at least very anxious to purchase one of the models listed in these sofa bed reviews. Just be sure to do a lot of careful measuring first – the old adage “measure twice, cut once” doesn’t quite fit here, but the “measure twice” part is definitely applicable. And give some thought to exactly how you’ll be using yours, since some of the units we’ve looked at might be stunning in your living space but may not be the most functional for your needs.
You’ve certainly noticed that since we’ve stuck to moderate price ranges, so these models might not be the best sofa bed you can find for elegant sitting rooms or your permanent bed at home. Most people, however, don’t buy one for regular nightly use; they’re looking for a dual-purpose sofa for everyday comfort and occasional use as sleeping accommodations for visitors. All of the options we’ve listed fit that bill quite well.