Pull-out or fold out? Single, double or king size? Find out how which style and size will suit your needs, tastes and space with our sofa bed buying guide…
• How often will your sofa bed be used?
• Will you use it as an everyday sofa, too?
• How many people will it need to sleep?
• Which room will it live in?
Which room your sofa bed will live in will help you focus on the features that matter most. In your living room, chances are a sofa bed will be used more as a sofa than a bed, so make sure it works for you day-to-day. If you like to snuggle up, for example, look for a style with arms.
Once you understand what you need from your sofa bed, think about your budget. It’s worth going for the most durable style you can afford, so it pays you back cost-per-use.
How to measure for your sofa bed?
There should be enough room in front of the sofa for it to be pulled out fully into a bed, without getting too close to the walls or blocking doorways. Guests won’t want to battle an obstacle course when they come to stay, so check you can walk around the bed when it’s extended. And don’t forget about surrounding furniture like coffee tables and lamps.
Top tip: Remember that you’ll need to allow for enough space for your sofa bed when fully opened out (frame included) – not just the mattress dimensions of the bed area.
Which type of sofa bed is best?
Armed with your measurements and sofa bed needs, it’s time to shop – so which size and style should you choose?
Chair and single sofa beds – these are handy when you’re short on room and only need to sleep one person, e.g. for child’s bedroom when a friend stays over.
Sleeping area approx. 55-75cm
Sofa beds for one person can sometimes take the form of a small 2-seater sofa or loveseat when in chair position, so can sit more people than they can sleep. The 2-seater option might be more comfortable for an adult guest.
Sleeping area approx. 115-120cm
Double sofa beds – for two overnight guests, a large 2-seater, 3-seater or corner sofa bed is best.
Sleeping area approx. 120-140cm
King size sofa beds – if guests usually stay more than one night and you have the space, give them room to stretch out with a king-size bed.
Sleeping area approx. 150cm
When it comes to mechanism, fold out sofa beds are perfect for regular, long term use. The mattress unfolds from beneath the sofa cushions and often just once, allowing for a thick padding (up to 10cm usually), which means more comfort for your guests.
Pull out sofa beds are most commonly used for futon styles. The seat of the sofa lifts up and creates a flat platform when pulled down. Pull-outs can be useful for a spare room, where space is tight and it won’t be used as much as a sofa.
Top tip: Check the opening mechanism in the shop before you buy – you may get on better with some styles more than others.
Finally, which material do you go for? This all comes down to individual taste and budget: Choose from fabric or leather, metal or wood frames and open spring, pocket sprung or memory foam mattresses.
Start the search for your perfect sofa bed right here.