How to Choose a Sofa Bed

March 16, 2017
How to Choose a Sofa Bed

Sofa beds are a functional, multi-purpose piece of furniture, and thanks to design improvements are now equally comfortable as both couch and bed.

Sofa beds are perfect for compact living spaces or homes that don’t have a designatd spare room for guests. They are also ideal for creating multi-purpose rooms (such as a study) that offers the design flexibility to be turned into a guest bedroom when needed.

If you are in the market for a sofa bed and not sure what you should be thinking about or how to choose, our guide can help with your sofa bed purchase. Read on to discover:

  • What do you need to consider
  • Different Sofa Bed Designs
  • Sofa Bed Mattress Options
  • Cushion Options
  • Best Fabric Options

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What do you need to consider when buying a sofa bed?

Three things are really going to influence what you end up buying – how much use your sofa bed is going to get – as both bed and sofa, the size of your space and the location in the room.

Think about how often you are going to use your sofa bed

If you regularly have house guests looking for a bed, then it would be worthwhile investing in a good quality sofa bed, particularly if they stay with you more than just a couple of nights. After all a well rested house guest, is a happy house guest. What’s more important to think about though, is the mix of use between bed and couch.
If the sofa bed you are buying is also going to be your everyday couch then you need to make sure its really comfortable as a couch, and that the frame and fabric quality are up to everyday use. And of course it needs to fold out to be a comfortable bed too. If you are regularly folding out a guest bed then a simple to use easy opening and closing mechanism will be worth investing in. If you are looking at buying a sofa bed for the spare room where it will get only occasional use as a couch, then really focus on making sure it’s a comfortable place to sleep and worry less about how comfortable it is to sit on.

Determine the best size for your space.

It sounds simple, but before you head out shopping, measure the available space to see how much you have room you have for the sofa, also taking into account the measurement for when the sofa is fully pulled out in the bed position. Tip: An easy trick is to use removable masking tape to outline the areas where the sofa bed will sit. This will help to you to visualise how it will fit the space and if there will be enough room to move around the open sofa bed, and whether you will be able to leave the other pieces of furniture in the room.

Decide on an exact location.

Some sofa bed designs have a folding mechanism which is better suited to a central position in a room, alternatively a pull out design is better option if you prefer to place the sofa bed alongside a wall.

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Sofa Bed Designs

Getting a guest bed that doubles as a couch, and looks stylish is much easier to achieve than it used to be thanks to all the new sofa bed designs on the market.

Choose from a traditional couch, a day bed, a bench, a chair or an ottoman, all of them unfolding to become an extra guest bed. Lots of these sleep sofas are so easy to use that if you want to stretch out in front of a movie, it easy to click and fold your sofa out into a welcoming flat bed.

Mattress Options

The mattress is really the key thing that’s going to determine the comfort of your sofa bed. So test it! Sit, recline, lay down, even bounce a little, and ask the sales person to run you through the mattress options for your new sofa bed. The types of mattress available include inner-spring, memory foam, air-coil, or futon.

Innerspring Mattresses

Inner-spring mattresses have coils inside and generally the more coils, the better. As inner-spring mattresses offer more support they are usually more comfortable than a regular foam mattress, yet are generally in a similar price range.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Nothing beats a Memory foam mattress. The foam moulds itself to the user’s body and while it doesn’t have coils inside, still offers a good level of support.

Air-coil Mattresses

Air-coil mattresses is in the same league as a memory foam mattress and consists of an innerspring mattress with an in-built air mattress on top.

Foam Mattress

Basic foam sofa beds are inexpensive yet may not be all that comfortable, over time they’ll definitely get less and less comfortable.

Futon Mattress

Futons can be an cost-effective and are also quite long-lasting. They are generally firmer than the other types of mattress so if you prefer a softer mattress, one of the other options will be a better choice.

Cushion Options

Now you have the comfort factor covered with your mattress choice, you want to ensure that your sofa bed looks great and stays that way too! Ask your sales person about the internal cushions.

Polyester fibre fill looks plump and comfy when new, however it is important to note that over time it can loose it's shape. Cushions that have pocket compartments are a better quality option and will help to hold the fibre in place. Another option is feather or feather combined with down. While this type of cushion will require fluffing and plumping, it will be quite long lasting and if required, additional feathers can be added over time.

When you are looking at the seat cushions, check to see if the cushions are reversible. You will get double the amount of wear out of them if they can be flipped around.

Check the internal padding by pressing along the frame and arms. If you can feel sharp or hard corners, it’s generally an indication of lesser quality that could fray over time and won’t be overly comfortable when in the seated position. If the room where you are going to be using your sofa bed is quite small, then you might want to look for a sofa bed that doesn’t have cushions that need removing when the sofa becomes a bed. Why? Because they are bulky to store and will crowd your space, right at the time when you have extra people and luggage in the house.

Fabric Options

While lots of us think of fabric choice in terms of colour, its also to be mindful of fabric quality and how much use it is designed for. This is particularly important if you are buying a sofa bed but wanting it to be your primary couch and stand up to the rigours of every day use.

Talk to retailer about the fabric quality. Is it designed for every day use? Is it stain protected? Will regular use lead to pilling and stretch? It might also be worthwhile considering getting your sofa bed treated with a stain resistant coating if its going to double duty as your main couch and guest accommodation.

To assist you on your search for the perfect sofa bed we have curated a collection of high-quality, stylish, contemporary. Get ready to relax, recline and get a good night’s rest with these well designed and compact sofa bed options.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wishlist, then be sure and check out our range of sofa beds.


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