The 9 Best Folding Beds
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in February of 2016. Entertaining a house guest can be stressful, but providing a comfortable bed for them to sleep on ought to be the least of your worries. With any of these folding options, you'll be ready to give visitors a soft and sturdy resting surface without needing a dedicated spare room. They take up little storage space and are available in rollaway and portable designs that can go camping with you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 29, 2021:
Most of our choices for this category made it through this round of updates unscathed, but we did decide to thin our list out a bit, being as some of our selections felt a little redundant (given how closely they resembled other rankings), and noticing that some weren’t immediately available. The choices we eliminated were the Zinus Weekender Elite, SpaceMaster iBed and Malouf Structures.
We also added two new picks to this list, and it could be argued that they might have missed the mark for this category, but we feel that both models may be of interest to users shopping in this space: people looking for ways to help their home provide additional accommodations without actually investing in a full-sized bed.
The first option, the Kealive Convertible Sofa Chair, is a small armchair that transforms into a cushioned cot. It isn’t the most luxurious unit out there, and some users have questioned its durability, but we still thought it was worth including at the bottom of our list, in the interest of folks who are short on both space and funds.
The second option, the Saemoza Multi Function, is similar to our new pick from Kealive in that it’s also a convertible armchair, but more versatile because it can also be configured as an ottoman. And although it doesn’t have armrests (which is one feature that the Kealive has over it), it does look to be quite large and comfortable, and boasts a 440-pound weight capacity.
For more space-saving sleeping solutions, check out our lists of air mattresses, Murphy beds, futons and trundle beds.
December 31, 2019:
For those who'd rather not deal with the setup and regular re-pumping of an air mattress, or people who would prefer to sleep on something solid rather than inflatable, a rollaway bed is the way to go. They're easy to store and many come with luxurious memory foam mattresses that could rival a traditional bed. When outfitted with the right set of sheets and a comfy pillow and blanket, a folding bed can provide a sound night of rest to visitors. Some are even compact enough to take camping or for use in RVs.
Today's update saw the removal of the Edward Roll Away due to availability issues. We took the opportunity to recommend the SpaceMaster iBed in its stead. The SpaceMaster model is remarkably compact, yet comfortable and capable of supporting adults up to 350 pounds. It has a medium firmness and is rigorously tested during the manufacturing process to ensure its high quality.
We said goodbye to the Milliard Premium Luxurious, which suffered from a handful of quality control issues, such as poor welding. We sussed out the Milliard Diplomat as a more reliable offering from the same company that doesn't sacrifice any of the comforts of the previous listing. We also removed the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air, which, despite being a great air mattress, does not quite fall in line with the category and felt out of place on this list.
We added the Cozzzi Trifold as an ultra-simple, super portable option with a variety of uses. It's perfect for camping, music festivals, providing extra seating for friends, children's sleepovers, and even for sleeping in your car if you take long road trips.
Murphy Wall Beds Folding beds are great for those who need a simple, affordable solution for occasional use, but for people looking for larger options that are likely more comfortable, a Murphy bed might just be the way to go. They can be quite costly up front, but work wonders when it comes to making a bachelor suite more of a functional living space. murphybeds.com
SoundAsleep Air Mattresses A lot of people talk about air mattresses like they're one step up from sleeping on the floor, but in practice a quality unit can be quite comfortable, and their deflatable nature is a big plus for users with limited storage space. If it sounds like something you're willing to consider, SoundAsleep offers some of the best options on the market, available in all the standards sizes you'd expect. soundasleepproducts.com
Finding A Fantastic Folding Bed
A third category of folding beds includes those units that serve more than one purpose: the inflatable convertible couch.
Folding beds come in myriad varieties; it's a disservice to use but one term to describe the greater category of products. Let's start with the basics. All folding beds share two traits: they are intended to help a person rest in relative comfort, and they are designed to be stored when not in use. When you set out to choose the right folding bed, you therefore need to think about who will be the most frequent user of the bed, and where the bed will be stored when not in use.
Most folding beds that use a bi-fold frame and a solid mattress designed for a single sleeper can easily handle the weight and height of most adults. In fact, many folding beds can safely accommodate as much as four hundred pounds, yet they still have slender frames that make for narrow profiles when they are folded, so you can them tuck away into a closet or garage, occupying minimal space when the bed is not needed. This "standard" folding bed is often the ideal choice thanks to this balance of weight capacity and folding ability.
A queen sized inflatable bed -- not to be confused with an inflatable mattress alone; these beds have frames attached -- can be set up quickly and then packed away fast. Many such beds can be collapsed into a package as small as a roll aboard suitcase yet can accommodate two adult sleepers each weighing in excess of two hundred pounds. Inflatable folding beds are hard to beat in terms of storage convenience.
A folding bed with a standard mattress might not be able to tuck away as compactly as an inflatable option, but it is always ready to accommodate a sleeper, requiring no inflation. This makes these units a great option for the mountain cabin or lakeside lean-to where a power source might not be readily available, or for keeping on hand in the event of a power failure during a storm. (Should you have guests suddenly stranded by weather and you lose power due to the storm, you'll be pleased you made the modest investment in a folding bed with a non-inflating mattress.)
A third category of folding beds includes those units that serve more than one purpose: the inflatable convertible couch. Such sleeping and sitting solutions are perfect for the smaller home where space is at a premium -- they can provide a space for relaxation and socialization during the day, for sleeping at night, and they can be deflated and packed away when neither use is needed. A fold out inflatable couch is not going to be as comfortable as a regular couch for sitting or a purpose built folding bed for sleeping, but its versatility makes it a fine choice nonetheless.
Who Needs A Folding Bed, Anyway?
A folding bed is not a luxury item, it's simply a smart product to have on hand at your home. Many decent, cot-style folding beds are quite affordable. Even if you only use your folding bed (or rather have it used by guests) once or twice a year, the fact that it costs less than a single night in a halfway decent hotel room should help convince you of its worth.
But beyond the folding bed kept at home for use by house guests, many other locations can benefit from these convenient, compact beds.
But beyond the folding bed kept at home for use by house guests, many other locations can benefit from these convenient, compact beds. A school or daycare center should always have a folding bed on hand for helping a student, staff member, or visitor lie down in comfort and on a stable platform after an unexpected illness, injury, fainting spell, or other issue. Even a professional workplace would be wise to keep one of these units around for use in just the same type of scenario.
A health and wellness spa or a traveling masseuse can also enjoy the benefits offered by a folding bed, especially if budget is a concern. While even the least expensive massage tables can still be costly, a folding bed can offer much the same function at much less cost. While a purpose-built massage table offers more adjustment points and elevation than a foldable bed, the savings earned when you choose to use a bed instead helps make the decision easier.
And finally the campground (or summer camp) wishing to offer an elevated level of accommodation to its guests greatly benefits from using folding beds inside their cabins or large tents. Folding beds allow for easy customization of the sleeping arrangements and can be efficiently stored away when the season is over.
Ideas For Ideal Temporary Sleeping Arrangements
Human beings need many hours of uninterrupted sleep each night in order to have healthy, productive days. Regardless of the amount of sleep each individual needs, consistently getting rest is imperative for all of us.
But the environment in which the bed is set up also matters.
When away from home and outside of our normal routine, it can be markedly harder for many of us to rest. Anything you can do to create as ideal as possible a sleep setting for yourself when traveling or for your guests when they visit is time and effort well spent. A comfortable sleep space is of paramount importance, thus a good folding bed is a great start toward this goal. But the environment in which the bed is set up also matters.
Sound machines are one of the most cost effective and time tested ways to help a person relax and rest. By effectively drowning out many of the acute or sharper noises that might rouse you during your sleep, a sound machine allows you (or your guest) to stay asleep even in a room that would otherwise be filled with unfamiliar sounds.
A temporary screen, such as a trifold screen usually used for privacy while someone dresses, can help to create a private sleep spot in an otherwise open room, and this privacy can be imperative for relaxation.