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Sofa Bed Guide: 7 Expert Tips for Choosing a Sofa Bed

From providing additional sleeping space for guests to providing a versatile but aesthetically pleasing solution for an open living space, the sofa bed market is growing exponentially – introducing new designs, styles, and structures with every new season and interior trend. 

Finding the right sofa bed for your home requires a balance of aesthetic focus and practical design. In our sofa bed guide we aim to help you find your perfect sofa bed.  But first – why should you invest in a sofa bed?

Why choose a sofa bed?

An effective sofa bed has the shape and structure of a standard sofa but can be reconfigured into a bed through a variety of methods – leading to a sturdy and supportive frame and mattress within minutes. Perfect for smaller homes with no spare bedroom, or for studio apartments where every inch of floor space needs to be optimised, sofa beds are versatile and tick two furniture boxes with one simple product. 

Best of all, with the modern sofa bed market offering so many options, designs, and finishes, you don’t have to forego style or comfort in your search for a sofa bed. 

When looking for your perfect sofa bed, think about a combination of style, comfort and function. Our 7 top tips will help to ensure you make the right choice…

1. How often are sofa beds used?

It is a common misconception that sofa beds are uncomfortable, lumpy, and bad for your back. In fact, modern sofa beds are built to provide comfort and support as well as style and can be used on a nightly basis without issue. 

If you do plan on using your sofa bed regularly, make sure that the mattress and bedding used are of high quality with adequate support and that the task of assembling the bed is a quick one.

2. What type of sofa beds are there?

Choosing the right sofa bed means knowing what’s available and selecting the best fit, structure, and finish for your home. Some of the most popular sofa beds on the market are those which fold out into double mattresses, while others offer more subtle features such as built-in storage and folding frames. Chair beds are another, small space-friendly option – encompassing the build of an oversized armchair that folds out into a bed, or you can opt for a corner sofa unit to help maximise your use of floor space.

3. How to measure a sofa bed

When it comes to identifying and purchasing the best sofa bed for your home, getting the right size is key to making use of your space without it feeling crowded. As part of your research, be sure to measure how the sofa bed will fit into your interior space when fully constructed, ensuring that the bed is accessible and that you can still use the space as required. 

The majority of sofa bed mattresses are short queens and when fully expanded are typically 150cm x 185cm. When in bed mode you’ll want to have at least 30-40cm on either side of the sofa bed so that guests can get in and out with ease. The more space you can leave on each side the more comfortable it will be for your guests so bear this in mind when placing your sofa bed close to other items of furniture.  

Finally, as with all pieces of large furniture make sure to consider the height and width of your doors to ensure you can fit the sofa bed into your home upon purchase.

4. Choosing the right mechanism

The sofa bed mechanism is what transforms it from a sofa into a bed, and back again. To ensure your sofa bed is as user friendly and accessible as possible, consider the mechanism and how easy it will be to operate in the space available – especially with the surrounding furniture. 
There are three types of sofa bed opening mechanisms: The pull out sofa bed, the easy open sofa bed and the click clack sofa bed.

Pull out sofa bed:
The pull out sofa bed is the most common and earliest style of sofa bed. It’s easy to set up and put away. Opening is simple, remove the sofa cushions to reveal the spring-loaded metal frame, pull the frame out from the centre and legs will come down to be folded into place. Unfold the remainder of the mattress and the other set of legs will slot out and you’re done.

Easy open sofa bed:
The key benefits of easy open sofa beds are that the cushions don’t need to be removed, sparing time and meaning less storage space is needed. The cushions are attached to the sofa and stay there when you open and close the bed. This type of sofa bed is opened from the back in a fold-over movement making the task less than ten seconds. Simply pull forward at the top of the back cushions and the bed unfolds.

Click clack sofa bed:
Click clack sofa beds are often the most affordable due to the fact that they’re technically not a sofa with an added bed function but actually a bed that doubles up as a sofa. Click clack sofa beds don’t have a mattress because the top and bottom of the sofa spread out to become a bed. To convert, fold the mattress forward until you hear a click when it will be flat. When ready to swap it back to a sofa function just release the lock and fold where you’ll hear it clack back into place letting you know it’s locked.

5. Getting the style right

A sofa bed may be a practical and versatile purchase, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritise style and aesthetic presentation as well. As part of your research and purchase decision, consider the durability of the fabric when the product is being used both for lounging and sleeping, and make sure that the colour and textures complement the surrounding space. 

Your sofa bed can easily become the focal point of your space with a little consideration into style and colour.

6. Comfort above all else

The presentation of your sofa bed may be important throughout the day and evening, but when the time comes to sleep, comfort rises to the top of the priority list. Just as you would consider and seek out the best mattress for a regular bed, finding the right mattress for your sofa bed is a case of understanding different materials and finding one which is supportive but comfortable enough for you. 

Typically, memory foam is firmer and more supportive while pocket spring mattresses come in a range of densities and firm levels. To enhance the comfort further invest in a good quality mattress topper and make use of fresh, high-thread-count bedding to give a luxurious feel to your stay.

7. Weight matters too

One of the most common questions asked is whether sofa beds have a weight limit – the answer being that it depends on the frame and structure of the bed when fully constructed. In general, a sofa bed that is of good quality and correctly assembled should be capable of holding between 90 and 120kg.

If you’re concerned about weight limits, opt for a sofa bed with a sturdier and more durable frame, such as a pull up and lift out sofa bed, or an A-frame, rather than a roll out slimline frame.

How to choose a sofa bed

Armed with these 7 expert tips, the sofa bed market becomes an opportunity to furnish your home with a functional, versatile, and infinitely stylish piece – perfect for movie nights, unexpected guests, and relaxing in your home.

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We hope our top tips have helped you to choose your perfect sofa bed. For more style inspiration to create your perfect home and garden, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest, or to search and discover over 110+ furniture retailers across the entire market, simply click here.

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