How to Choose a Sofa Bed

Choosing a sofa has never been more difficult. With so many online furniture sites bombarding you with every shape, size and colour of sofa imaginable, it can be tough deciding what to go for. 

Choosing a sofa bed is even more difficult. Not only do you have to decide on the shape, size and colour of a sofa, you have the comfort of guests and the ease of conversion brought into the equation. 

You may think you don’t need to put the same amount of thought into a sofa bed as you do a sofa if it’s not going to be used that often, but even if it’s going to be put in a room you rarely use, there are still a few things to bear in mind before clicking the buy button. 

What will your sofa bed be used for?

If you’re furnishing a new home, you probably visualised what you’d do to each of the rooms while you viewed it. If you’re a countryside type and found your home through an estate agent in Essex, you might be going for a rustic look, while if you’re a total townie in inner London, sleek and minimal might be more your thing. 

Whatever your style, there’s a sofa bed for you. But before you rush out to buy the first one you see in your favourite colour, stop for a moment to ponder a few things. 

First of all, which room is it going in? 

If it’s going to be hidden away in a rarely-used guest room, you might be tempted to go for the cheapest. The downside of cheap sofa beds is that they don’t last long and usually aren’t very comfortable. You may not have guests very often but you don’t want them to be so uncomfortable they never come back. 

The chances are though, your sofa bed is going to be in a room that is used, whether that’s a home office, craft room or living room and you need to take this into consideration. 

If the sofa bed’s going in your living room, not only does it have to fit in with the rest of the decor, it needs to be robust enough to live up to daily use by people and pets. It should also be easy to clean – removable covers being the ideal option. 

If it’s not going to be used as an everyday sofa but it is going to be used often by guests, ease of conversion is a factor you need to look out for. You may not mind grappling with the mechanics of a sofa bed once in a while but if it’s every weekend, you’ll soon get fed up with it if it’s not easy to turn into a bed and back to a sofa again. 

Types of sofa bed


A futon is the most simple type of sofa bed. You can get them with metal frames but the more traditional type is simply a large mattress/cushion on a wooden frame. Futons convert into a bed by pulling the frame backwards until it lays flat on the floor. 

This type of sofa bed is popular because they’re cheap. Futons are great for occasional use and are easy to use but, on the downside, they’re not the comfiest things to sit on all day or to sleep on all night. Also, because your guests will practically be sleeping on the floor, they’re not ideal for people who might struggle getting up from the ground. 

Pull-out sofa bed

A pull-out sofa bed is so well disguised, no one would ever know it’s not just a sofa. They come in as many styles as you could possibly want, so you’ll have no trouble finding one to fit in with your decor. 

They’re easy to convert into a sofa-bed and are comfortable – for you to sit on as a sofa and as a bed for your guests to sleep on. 

One thing to remember with a pull-out sofa bed is that size can be deceptive. A three-seater sofa doesn’t necessarily convert into a king-size bed. 

Fold-out sofa bed

Fold-out sofa beds look more like sofa beds than pull-out ones do. This isn’t to say they’re not attractive and stylish – many are, they’re just not as well-disguised if well-disguised is what you want. 

Although they’re easy to fold out, they’re often not as comfortable as their pull-out cousins. 

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when choosing a sofa bed. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal taste, budget and circumstances. But if you keep the above in mind, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your perfect sofa bed. 

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