/ Home & Energy

Can a sofa ever make a good bed?

We’ve likely all had to sleep on a sofa at some point in our lives, but have you ever had one comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep?

With British houses getting smaller, and space at a premium, a sofa bed is a great addition to any house. A versatile piece, a sofa bed is great for saving space and handy to put up the occasional guest. Who wants to get out the air bed and pump it up late at night, after all?

But can a sofa bed ever make for a comfortable bed for the night? 

A sofa bed can be brilliant to have in your office or spare room, some can even include storage, or you might even have a sofa bed as the main sofa in your house. But whether a sofa bed really fits its purpose really depends on a variety of factors.

Sofa bed mechanisms

Just like with any other sofa, there is the question of style, colours, the fillings, and the available space – but you also need to have an idea in mind of how often you will use it.

Finally, there are different mechanisms to choose from, which will also impact its performance. Click-clack is one of the old favourites, whereby you just click the sofa to open, turning into a bed.

Platform (or trundle) sofa beds, where the base slides out, revealing a flat sleeping platform are also well-known. These are different to the (one or three-part) metal action frame styles. In the latter, the back needs to be removed and the bed and mattress folds out from inside.

Other popular, and simpler, models include the fold out (or A-frame) whereby unfolding the back reveals a flat surface, or the bed. 

Do you have a sofa bed?

Sofa beds come in all shapes and sizes and, recently, some even come in boxes. From the loveseat to the corner or L-shaped model, the choice is now vast. 

From dangling your feet off the mattress to a frame piercing your back, tell us, do you love your sofa bed?

What’s the worst experience you had sleeping in one? Ever had one that was comfortable enough to be a full-time bed? Share your tips on how to choose the right one for you.


Which regularly review mattresses. Perhaps they could also review sofa beds.

Roger Pittock has very recently asked about air mattresses – https://conversation.which.co.uk/discussion/off-topic-lobby-4/#comment-1639563. Perhaps they could also be included. An air bed may not be best to sleep on but could well be the economical solution for just one night. My son visited a friend at the weekend and took his own air-mattress.

Making sleeping provision for occasional visits from family and friends in today’s limited accommodation seems worth exploring.

The answer is “yes” if you buy the right one. I wanted a sofa that was comfortable to sit on and when I found that I then looked at the bed arrangement and was pleased with that too. I looked at many that were not comfortable either as a bed or as a sofa or as both. Some mechanisms were poor, some mattresses were thin and uncomfortable and some sofas were hard, or short in the seat and backrest.
I think it is a case of paying more to get a better solution. I am more than happy with my sofa and moderately happy with the bed, but it is definitely a spare bed and not anything to be used permanently.

By far the best guest bed I have seen is a double bed that folds down concealing the normal office desk. There are shelves at both sides and one above, which remain attached to the wall. I don’t have one but use this guest bed when I stay with friends. Comfortable but definitely not cheap.

Thanks to Malcolm for linking my lobby plea to this discussion. It is uncannily timely, and I would very much welcome expert opinion on air beds, both generically, and any that are “least bad” for the recognised disadvantages. I have a potential requirement to put up a married couple for perhaps 3 or 4 nights a year going forward, but without substantial rearrangement (involving disposal of furniture I’d rather keep), the options of sofa beds, Murphy beds – and even drop-from-ceiling or drop-from-wall beds are all impractical.

What’s the worst experience you had sleeping in one? Ever had one that was comfortable enough to be a full-time bed? Share your tips on how to choose the right one for you.

A good friend kindly put me up for one night. She had already erected the bed and I never thought to check it. After a couple of hours it creased over. It was sheer luck no part of me was caught up in its hinge – I still shudder when I think back to that occasion. I’m afraid I have no clue on model or manufacturer.

My daughter and her husband visit occasionally and stay for a few days. I usually give up my bed for them to use and sleep on my very uncomfortable and small sofa. Can anyone recommend a double bed settee that can be used a a regular sofa and occasional bed please? One with storage for the bedclothes would be great, but any advise would be welcome.