What Is a Sofa Bed

If you’ve ever slept on a sofa in your home, then you know how uncomfortable it can get after long hours of sleep. While it might be quite easy to fall asleep on the couch, a sofa might not be as comfortable as a bed. A sofa has minimal space that limits your movements, making it hard for you to switch positions as you are sleeping.

Wondering what is a sofa bed?

A sofa bed is a multi-functional sofa that can be turned into a bed for everyday use. Such sofas come with a frame that can be stored under the seat cushions to save space.

If you are planning to invite your friends and guests over and do not have enough beds, a sofa bed might come in handy. It can accommodate your guests by offering them enough sleeping space.

In this post, we are going to give you an insight into what a sofa bed is. We are also going to take you through the different types of sofa beds and factors to consider while looking for a sofa bed.

How Does a Sofa Bed Work?

A sofa bed looks like any other living room sofa. However, it has various mechanisms that make it easier for you to turn it into a bed. For example, you can stretch out a frame with a mattress on it from underneath the cushions to create a comfortable sleeping surface.

An ideal furniture option for those who prefer small space living, sofa beds come in various styles to most, if not all, small homes. In the futon design, you can fold out the upper part of the sofa and flatten it out to turn it into a bed.

Benefits of Using a Sofa Bed

Space Savers

For those living in smaller-sized homes, a comfortable sofa bed might be an ideal piece of furniture. If you live in a tiny apartment, all sofa bed styles help you save on space. A 3-seater can convert into a double bed that your friends can use should they decide to stay the night. Not to mention, you can put it in your office space in case you want to sleep when you’re working overnight.


Unlike old sofa beds, most modern sofa beds are comfy pieces of furniture. They now come in styles that also offer you a large sleeping area that improves your quality of sleep.

Extra Storage

sleeper couch with extra storage Sofa beds are versatile pieces of furniture. You can now choose from a wide range of products that come with a hidden storage compartment. If you are setting up a sofa bed as a guest bed, you can conceal items that you don’t want your guests to see.

Durable Structure

A sofa cushion can lose its sturdiness and sag if you sleep on it for a long period of time. Since most sofas are designed from a soft material, they cannot handle heavy weights for a long period of time. However, you can’t say the same thing about a good quality sofa bed that you can sleep on for years without compromising on comfort and durability.

Prevents Health Problems

A large sleeping area makes it possible for you to distribute your body weight evenly when you sleep in your living room. That means you don’t need to sleep on one side and wake up frequently to switch your body position. You can avoid a future trip to the orthopaedic physician or chiropractor by using a comfy sofa bed.

Great Value

Aside from offering comfort and extra storage space, a couch bed can help you save some money. You can use it for sleeping and seating in your home. With a sofa bed, you don’t need to buy an extra bed that could be expensive.

When compared to a queen-size bed, a regular queen size sofa bed is smaller. This makes it easier for you to save on space. However, you can choose other sofa bed options—a 3 seater sofa bed and a two-seater sofa bed.

Different Types of Sofa Bed Options

Pull-Out Sofa Bed

pull-out convertible couch This is the most common type of sofa bed on the market. To set up the bed, you need to pull out the extendable frame and extend it to its full length.

A sofa bed with a pull-out mechanism could take a few minutes to set it up. Most pull-out sofa beds come with a thin mattress due to limited storage space. This might be uncomfortable for users who prefer a thick mattress.

Corner Sofa Bed

Most corner sofa beds are L-shaped with an extended leg platform. To convert it to a bed, you need to pull out the sleeper from the seats with no leg extension.

Unlike other styles, corner couch beds have more space and can accommodate two adults. However, most corner sofa beds are heavier and difficult to move than other sofa beds. Not to mention, they might be a little bit more expensive.

Easy-Open Sofa Bed

This type of couch bed is a hybrid between click-clack and a pull out sofa bed—you can pull out a frame from underneath and the cushion transforms into a mattress. In this sofa bed style, the sitting part of the cushion folds over into a mattress in a few seconds.

Since the couch cushions can be converted into a sleeping surface, various easy-open sofa beds have a thicker cushion than the mattress.

Click-Clack Sofa Bed

A click-clack sofa bed makes a “click-clack” sound when the mattress is folded and unfolded back into place. Unlike a pull-out couch, a click-clack sofa bed takes a few seconds to adjust.

Since click-clack sofa beds don’t come with extra cushions or frames, they are quite lightweight and easier to move.

Things to Consider While Buying a Sofa Bed

Sofa Bed Size

Do you have enough space in your home to accommodate a sofa bed? What are the sofa bed dimensions? How many people/guests can it accommodate? These are just some of the questions you have to answer when choosing a new sofa bed.

If you have a small living room, you can choose a single or a twin size sofa bed. For instance, most single size sofa beds, regardless of the style, are usually less than four feet wide and are ideal for one person.

On the other hand, if you have more than enough space in your room, you can choose a queen size sofa bed. Most Queen-sized sofa beds are at least 7 feet wide and 7.5 feet long—that’s big enough to fit up to three people.

A twin-size sofa bed that is about 5 feet wide might be a good option if you want something that is not too big or too small. Plus, most full-sized sleeper sofas measure about 6-foot-wide and 7.5 feet long.

Type of Mattress

The type of mattress that you choose will affect the comfort of your sofa bed. There are three types of sofa bed mattresses that are available on the market—spring, foam, and pocket coil.

Open Spring Sofa Mattress

This type of sofa bed mattress is made up of interlinked coils that are covered by a polyurethane layer. It has a sturdy and firm support that helps you relax.

Most spring sofa mattresses are cheap and durable. Not to mention, they can easily last up to 10 years. The design of a spring bed maximises airflow and doesn’t soak in a lot of sweat. A comfortable open spring sofa mattress should have a coil density of 350 and above. The higher the coil density, the better the body support and durability.

While an open spring sofa bed might be quite durable, it has coils that may exert uneven pressure on your body. This could be quite uncomfortable for some users. You can reduce some of the health risks that are posed by an open spring by opting for a stress-relief spring mattress. However, it may be expensive.

Pocket Coil Mattress

Unlike an open spring sofa mattress, coils in a pocket spring mattress are not linked together but isolated in individual pockets.

Furthermore, pocket coil mattresses are thicker and more comfortable than open spring ones. However, they’re more expensive than open spring sofa mattresses. The higher the spring density, the better the quality and durability.

Due to their unique design, most sofa beds with pocket coil mattresses don’t need to be folded and tucked. Pocket coil options are heavy and difficult to turn. Most good quality sofa bed mattresses have a thickness of 4.5 inches and above. However, it’s not unusual to find pocket coil ones that are 7 to 10 inches thick. Needless to say, the thicker the sofa bed, the more comfortable and durable it is.

Memory Foam Sofa Mattress

woman's hand on memory foam mattress Memory foam was invented by NASA to enhance the safety of spacecraft cushions.

A memory foam mattress is made from polyurethane—a synthetic material—that reacts to pressure and heat. It has an advanced mechanism that improves your comfort. If you put your hand on memory foam and press it, the material will deform by mimicking the shape of your hand. If you remove it, the foam will go back to its original shape. Similarly, the foam will become soft when exposed to body heat and stiffen when it turns cold.

Using a memory foam mattress on your sofa can help you minimise back pains and muscle aches. In short, it will distribute your weight evenly and make you sleep like a baby. However, a foam sofa bed might trap air and absorbs a lot of sweat. If you don’t use a mattress cover, sweat might accumulate in the sofa bed.

Sofa Bed Upholstery

You should consider the upholstery or the textile that covers your sofa bed. If you are looking for a material that’s easy to clean, you should opt for cotton upholstery. In addition to that, you could choose a tightly woven fabric upholstery with a high thread count to reduce wear and tear.

But if you have a pet and you don’t want too much pet hair, dust, or dirt on your furniture, synthetic blends such as faux suede fabric might be a good option for you.

Over to You

And there you have it, everything you need to know about a sofa bed – what is a sofa bed, different mattress options, and even different size options. Chair beds offer you enough space, making it easier for you to sleep peacefully, as well as sometimes additional storage options. The sleep surfaces that are available on sofa beds can also accommodate multiple guests. Since sofa beds are available in a wide variety of different options and designs, you can choose the design that suits you the most.

Not to mention, such sofas have smooth mechanisms that make it easier for you to remove the mattress or retract it in a short period of time.

What are you looking for in a sofa bed? Let us know if you prioritise size or storage in the comments below.

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