Sofa beds are not what they once were: no longer the lumpen, clunky propositions of yesteryear.
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Many of us have spent the night on a sagging sofa bed, our backs in shreds by the morning, while many more have endured the discomfort of sitting on a sofa that, in aiming to provide two services in one, fails to accomplish either.
Thankfully, modern iterations have taken a huge leap forward in design – and, consequently, comfort. And so it is now possible to purchase a stylish sofa bed that does precisely what you would hope: provides a space saving solution to how to have both a sofa, and a place for guests to sleep, in the one place.
Click-clack, or pull out sofa bed?
Sofa beds are generally available in two forms. The ‘click-clack’ sofa is one where the back cushion of the sofa folds down and clicks flat – essentially forming a futon – so you then sleep on the flattened sofa.
A ‘pull-out’ – the more traditional model – is transformed by removing the cushions to pull out the mattress and frame. ‘Click-clacks’ are simple to use and generally cheaper. ‘Pull-outs’ tend to be more comfortable.
What should I look for in a sofa bed?
What sofa bed works best for you will depend on how frequently you plan on using it (if you have lodgers, for example, or family members who visit often, say, you’ll want to opt for something pricier that has a higher-end memory foam mattress), how much space you have, the décor of your room, and how much seating/sleep space you require.
As with everything – the more you pay, the higher the comfort level, but there are still some impressive lower end options available. Here’s our favorite tried and tested sofa beds on the market.
This is one of our favorites available, a gorgeous, slightly retro and affordable option. Available in a range of colours-ways, from flame orange to pine green, this velvet-upholstered sofa will look chic in any living room or bedroom.
The double mattress measures L182 x W120 x H26 cm.
A very comfy sofa, it’s more of a temporary solve for sleeping situations – the type of sofa you may want to add into your child’s room, should they host sleep-overs, or in a loft for when guests come to stay for the weekend.
Compared to other ‘click-clacks’ we tried, it’s rather comfy (I wouldn’t recommend buying this to put up a long-term lodger, say). Easy to fold out, the legs come off no trouble and are just as simple to place back on. We like that a portion of the bed can be folded upright if you want to linger in bed idly reading.
It’s also available in a gorgeous single version – perfect for a wee one’s bedroom, for a bargainous £199.
Darlings of Chelsea Weymouth 3 Seater Sofa Bed
Is your house style elegant, do you live in a period property? You’ll love the Weymouth sofa bed, sympathetic to traditional houses.
We adore the look of the Weymouth – classic, yet modern, with sloped armrests and contrast piping – but, more than that, we love that you can tailor it to whatever specifications you desire – fabric or leather? Block coloured, or patterned? Family friendly fabric, or matte? A standard mattress, or upgraded to memory foam? Whatever you’re after, the Weymouth can be made to match it.
Comfort wise, if you take the plunge and upgrade to memory foam, the bed itself is delightfully comfy – indeed, this would be a great choice if you have a regular lodger and don’t want to throw their back out. The price tag increases, of course, as it also does depending on what specs you choose. The frame is guaranteed for ten years, so you can buy in confidence.
Made Bessie Double Sofa Bed
Another entry from Made, and back in the click-clack mode, the Bessie is a great choice if your sofa bed is going to be more frequently a sofa than bed. It’s a handsome proposition: velvet detailing, brass legs, and a contemporary frame.
It will look terrific in any lounge and it’s the work of moments to convert to a bed. Much like the Haru, you’ll be wanting to use this for occasional sleepovers, but it’s not a hardship to spend a weekend sleeping on.
Waverley Sofa Bed 3-Seater
Another sofa that you can customize to your heart’s desire is the Waverley, which is available in almost any fabric you can imagine – from herringbone, to floral, to block color velvet.
It’s a scroll arm sofa – so classic in style no one would suspect it’s dual purpose.
As a three-seater, it makes both a deliciously comfy couch and a spacious fold-out bed – indeed, similar to the Weymouth, this is as close to a standard bed in a sofa frame as you can find. Long-time guests? They’ll thank you for this sofa bed.
The frame is a traditional pull out frame. Made in Britain, it comes with a 15-year frame guarantee.
Marks and Spencer Jasper
Another click-clack option, the M&S Jasper is easy to convert, makes an unobtrusive addition to any living room, and is friendly on the wallet.
The dark gray velvet is an example of understated chic. Sleep-wise, it’s similar to other click-clacks: very good for a short spell, but not the stuff that long-term dreams are made of.
Swoon Munich Sofa Bed
Forgive us for getting over-excited here, but we loved the Munich Sofa Bed, a clean, contemporary-designed sofa bed that performs beautifully and—while not precisely cheap—is much less pricey than similarly high-spec sofa beds we tried.
Another example of a sofa bed you can customize to your heart’s desire, from color ways, to fabrics: corduroy, smart leather, smart wool, easy velvet – anything you fancy.
It’s a biggun: this is a king sized bed when converted, and with a sprung mattress it makes for a blissful night’s sleep. It’s genuinely comfortable, both as a bed and a sofa. A real winner.
Bluebell Sofa Beds
Sofa.com’s Bluebell Sofa Bed is modeled on one of their best-selling sofas, which shows, as it’s a gorgeous design that doesn’t look like a sofa bed at all.
This pull-out bed is classically designed, with turned oak legs, low-slung arms, and bronze castors. Sumptuous.
With feather-wrapped foam cushions, you’ll find it plush to sit on – feather brings luxury, foam brings a bounce-back resilience so you won’t be fluffing your pillows every second evening. Also, it is high backed – if you’re taller, you’ll love leaning on this.
Available upholstered in a choice of cotton, linen, boucle, tweed, velvet, leather and more, and with three sizes of sofa bed frame available – from loveseat to three-seater – the bed itself is another winner, comfy and resilient.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.