The 10 Best Sofa Beds

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This wiki has been updated 36 times since it was first published in March of 2015. These convertible couches provide a convenient and comfortable place for guests to sleep without having to lose a whole room to a full-frame bed that rarely gets used. Some of them are lightweight and compact enough for tight quarters, such as dorm rooms, while others are elegant and durable enough to serve as the only sleeper sofa in a studio apartment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Ashley Signature Design Larkinhurst

2. Lucid Convertible

3. Nirvana Futons Stanford

Editor's Notes

December 17, 2019:

Just because you need to house overnight guests periodically and don't have the space for both a spare bed and a couch doesn't mean just any sofa bed will do. We understand that you need versatility and advanced functionality from your furniture, and found models we believe live up to those standards.

If you are working with truly limited space, or need something casual that you can easily pick up and move around, the Milliard Tri-Fold FBA_TFSB-Q and the Lucid Play Mat are both excellent options. They can be configured in a number of ways, transforming from lounger to mattress to couch, and can be stored away when you don't need them. We decided to remove the Merax Modern Leisure, which had the same foldable style, but wasn't nearly as thick or luxurious as its competitors on this list.

Should you prefer a couch that onlookers wouldn't even know doubled as a bed and looks right at home by your coffee table, the elegant Ashley Signature Design Olsberg should fit the bill, with its gorgeous upholstery, nailhead trim, and accent pillows. The Coaster Home Furnishings Samuel is another good choice, with classic leatherette upholstery that goes well with many types of decor.

For those who like a twist on the standard sofa, there is the Emily Modern Convertible Sleeper and the FDW Corner Sectional, both of which form an L-shape when the bed portion is tucked away.

We decided to replace the Langria Modern with the Better Homes and Gardens Porter Futon as the latter has wider, stronger legs, and armrests, while offering the same split-design.

Special Honors

Frontgate Wendover Sleeper Sofa While it is on the expensive side of the price scale, this is a piece of furniture you may cherish for a lifetime. It boasts a kiln-dried wood frame, four-inch-thick high-density memory foam mattress, beautiful rolled arms, and a tufted back. Its fabric resists oils, stains, and water, and its seat cushions are wrapped in feathers and down for an incredibly comfortable experience.

CB2 Una Sleeper Sofa Minimalistic and chic, this couch should only complement and never take away from your home's other decor. It features a back that folds flat to form a cozy sleeping surface, and removable cushions. Inside it boasts pocketed coil springs within its foam bottom cushion that should provide good support for two sleepers.

4. Milliard Tri-Fold FBA_TFSB-Q

5. Coaster Home Furnishings Samuel

6. FDW Corner Sectional

7. Novogratz Brittany

8. Emily Modern Convertible Sleeper

9. Mainstays WM3350-SB

10. Better Homes and Gardens Porter Futon

A Sofa With A Secret

Whatever your reason for downsizing, convertible furniture is one of the proven ways to turn a small living space into a versatile and comfortable home.

For a variety of reasons, people seem to be downsizing the footprints of their respective living spaces in urban and rural environments. One walk through the show floor at Ikea will introduce you to entire living spaces that take up less than 500 square feet. Shows like the F.Y.I. Network's Tiny Homes shine a spotlight on this style of living inside and outside of big cities.

If you happen to live in a major city, you know just how unreasonably high rent can be. Sometimes, sacrificing a little space is the best option for saving money. In more rural areas, homeowners–even if they have a lot of land–choose smaller houses as a way to keep living costs down and minimize their impact on the environment.

Whatever your reason for downsizing, convertible furniture is one of the proven ways to turn a small living space into a versatile and comfortable home. The sofa beds on our list are each designed to maximize smaller living spaces, or to simply provide you with an additional sleeping surface in the event that you host any visitors overnight.

By day, in their folded positions, they function as ordinary chairs or couches, but by night, they unfold and unfurl, revealing or transforming into comfortable sleeping surfaces. Some of the beds form up when you release a hinge that lowers the back of the sofa to a level even with the sitting surface, effectively doubling that surface area and turning it into the bed.

Other of the sofa beds on our list transition from sofas into sleepers when you simply unfold them outward, as the components of the bed lie folded and waiting within the couch. In the morning, when you've finished with the sleeping surface, these sofa beds easily fold back into the chairs as which they served just the day before.

Getting Comfortable With Discomfort

Staying anywhere away from home is an uncomfortable prospect for most people. You can give them a plush mattress with fine luxury sheets, complimentary dry cleaning, and a little mint on their pillow, and it still won't feel like home. There's simply a degree of comfort offered by sleeping in your own bed that no other experience can provide.

With that in mind, I'm going to encourage you to take a stand against the notion that whoever ends up sleeping on your sofa bed should expect to experience the heights of comfort. It's not that any of the sofa beds on our list are uncomfortable. In fact, I'd say just the opposite is true.

What I mean is that the comfort that a sofa bed provides its sleeper shouldn't be the first thing on your list of criteria for selecting a bed from our list.

What I mean is that the comfort that a sofa bed provides its sleeper shouldn't be the first thing on your list of criteria for selecting a bed from our list. Instead, you should ask yourself an arguably more important question: which one of these sofa beds will look best in your space.

You don't have to have a degree in interior design to know whether a couch looks ugly to you. You have taste and you have instincts, both of which you should follow. Then, and only then can you concern yourself with how comfortable it is for a sleeper. If a stiffer sofa ties the room together, it'll make your visitor much more comfortable than a plush monstrosity would.

Another variable worth considering is material, as the durability of certain materials, as well as their ease of maintenance, can vary widely. Faux leathers, for example, are less absorbent, so they stand up to spilled wines and colas better than another fabric would. Those materials are more prone to stretch and crack over the years, however, so even a beautifully unstained leather sofa bed could begin to come apart on you after a few years.

Try to balance the appearance of the couch against the activity of the space in which you want to use it, and see if there isn't a sofa bed on this list that will look nice, last a long while, and, if it really matters to you, rock your guests off to a comfortable sleep.

A Story Unfolds

It was an African-American inventor named Leonard C. Bailey who, in 1899, first patented a bed that could fold up into a couch. The invention very quickly caught on with the US military and with recreational campers alike for its lightweight build and its functionality. Still, these designs, when folded into the sofa position, looked a little off, and one could tell there was something different about them.

In the mid 30s, an Italian immigrant named Bernard Castro designed a sleeper sofa that, when folded into its sitting position, managed to conceal any evidence that it contained a bed within its frame. These immediately became popular with a crowd more concerned with the appearance of their living space than simply with its versatility.

Over the course of the next 80 years, the industry has modeled all of its designs after the creations of these two men, with little to no variance beyond attempts to increase comfort in the bed position and to increase the ease of use for the average consumer.

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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