What Is a Sofa Bed? [Including 7 Examples]

Dual-purpose furniture is convenient for many reasons, from its ability to save space to how easy it makes decorating an apartment or house. One of the most popular items you'll find on the market is the sofa bed. But what exactly is this common furniture item? We have dug in to get this answer for you.

A sofa bed is a couch that can be converted into a bed. It usually has a metal frame that holds a mattress and folds up for storage under the seat cushions.

What Is a Sofa Bed? [Including 7 Examples]

Sounds straightforward, right? Unfortunately, it rarely is when it comes to furnishing your home. Read on for more information about what a sofa bed is, whether one might be suited to your decor, and how to go about picking the right one for you.

How Does a Sofa Bed Work?

Sofa beds look like any ordinary couch. Removing the cushions will quickly prove otherwise, though. Nestled within the frame is a fold-out mattress.

Typically, you'll find these beds to be of queen size. The dimensions of a sofa bed queen vary a little from your standard mattress, though. While a typical queen measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, a sofa bed queen will usually be shorter by five or more inches.

Of course, you can also find a few different sizes on the market to fit your needs: the most common include full, twin, and single size mattresses.


Sofa Beds vs. Futons

Though they serve similar purposes, sofa beds and futons are different. As discussed, a sofa bed has a mattress tucked within the frame of the couch. It can be easily pulled out into a bed and then folded back within its nook.

Futons, on the other hand, have extending frames. You release them, and they sit flat. Presto, you have a bed.

Is a Futon Better Than a Sofa Bed?

When it comes to which type of fold-out couch you should get, the matter comes down mainly to personal preference.

Futons offer more in the way of convenience. It takes less time and effort to turn them into beds, as well as to put them back again. However, since futon surfaces serve as both the couch cushion and the mattress, they might be less supportive than sofa beds.

Conversely, sofa beds can require a bit more maintenance when it comes to deploying the mattress and putting it back. One of the pluses is that, when you're not using it as a bed, the sofa fits in comfortably as traditional living room decor.

One final thing to keep in mind when choosing between the two is that having the space is vitally important. You'll need to have enough room wherever you put a futon or sofa bed to accommodate the piece both while it's collapsed and while folded out. For more tips on fitting every bit of decor you want into your living room, check out this detailed guide on decorating to your available space.

Can a Sofa Bed be Comfortable?

Folding sofa bed of white, full-size, armrests upholstered brown leatherette

Concerns about comfort when it comes to furniture of convenience are valid. However, with so many pieces available on the market, comfort is really what you make of it. Finding a sofa bed to match your sleeping style is easier now than it ever was. You have to pay attention to the type of mattress inside.

Quick Mattress Guide

There are three main things to keep in mind when considering the mattress found inside a sofa bed: size, material, and firmness.


Size is important to consider if there's going to be more than one sleeper using the bed at a time. Say you're hosting guests, and you need to put up your aunt and uncle. They won't be too comfortable on a full-size mattress, but a queen should accommodate for the night.

If you toss and turn in your sleep and you intend to use your sofa bed regularly, you should also consider going for a larger size. This will prevent you from accidentally rolling off the mattress in the middle of the night.

Material and Firmness

Material and firmness go hand-in-hand. A firm mattress offers the most in the way of back support, and most firm mattresses are made with innerspring technology. For an airier and more cushioned night of rest, you should consider memory foams. These mattresses can provide targeted joint relief.

Of course, if you're looking for decadence, keep an eye out for sofa beds with hybrid mattresses, which use the best of both innerspring and memory foam designs.

In the end, getting the right mattress means testing it out as best you can before purchasing, as most experts will tell you.

Can Sofa Beds Be Used Every Night?

The short answer to whether you can use a sofa bed every night is yes. People living in apartments or those who are short on space keep these pieces of furniture as their regular beds and have no trouble.

The longer answer is that it depends on how well you take care of your sofa bed. Like with any piece of furniture, too much wear and tear can render it unusable. Correctly maintained, however, your sofa bed shouldn't cause you any aches or pains even if you sleep on it every night.

Is Sleeping on a Sofa Bed Bad for You?

Opening a sofa bed

If you do start to feel pains from sleeping on a sofa bed, it's probably not your sofa bed's fault. Most likely, you picked out the wrong mattress for your sleep style. That's why it's so important to be diligent when picking out your sofa bed.

How Can I Make My Sofa Bed More Comfortable?

Many products exist to make any bed cozier, and you can easily apply them to your sofa bed. Consider the following:

Mattress Toppers

Memory foam mattress toppers provide a quick and easy way to get more padding on your mattress. You place them on top of your bed, as the name implies, and then add the fitted sheet over the top to keep everything in place.

Pillows Galore

Pillows can affect the quality of our sleep, research shows. In addition to using the right amount and positioning when it comes to sleeping on them, pillows are essential for the comfort they afford us. Surrounding yourself with big fluffy pillows can create an environment of safety and coziness.

So be careful which pillows you're laying on, but spare no expense when it comes to the ones you have on hand.

Blanket Options

Depending on what you feel is missing from your nightly comfort, odds are you can find a specialized blanket that'll help you sleep better. For example, heated blankets can be great for winter months, lone sleepers, or only people who get uncomfortably cold during the night. Heavy, down comforters, and weighted blankets also serve a purpose.

Check out this extensive guide on the types of blankets regularly found around the house to get a better idea of what might work for you.

Scented Sachets

Finally, you can try using aromatherapy, a well-studied life hack, to make your sofa bed more comfortable. Scents associated with relaxation and healthy sleep, such as lavender, vanilla, and sandalwood, can be applied to pillows and sheets to help promote restfulness at bedtime.

What is the Most Comfortable Sofa Bed?

Living room interior with brown sofa bed and lovely throw pillows

As we've discussed, comfort is subjective. The sofa bed you'll find most comfortable will likely be a little different than the one your parents or friends find the most soothing. Good news, though! With so many sofa beds on the market, it's easy to find one suited to any sleeping style.

Let's go over some options.

Seville Sofa with Storage

If you're looking for something sleek, contemporary, and suited to a single sleeper, this sofa bed will suit all your needs.

Click here to get it on Amazon.

Signature Design by Ashley Sofa Bed

Turn to this sofa for a queen mattress and all the classic charm you could want.

Available here on Amazon.

Loveseat Sleeper

If you're tight on space, you can always get a loveseat instead of a sofa. This handsome piece contains a fold-out twin mattress.

Check it out on Amazon.

Signature Design by Ashley Chaise Sofa

The simple design of this chaise sleeper sofa means it fits in perfectly with most decor styles. Both the couch cushions and the mattress are plush for your comfort.

Get it here from Amazon.

Naomi Home Sofa Bed

Compact and contemporary, this sofa bed makes quite the impression.

Available on Amazon.

Loft Lyfe Velvet Sofa Bed

The vibrant blue of this sofa bed makes it as stylish as it is comfortable.

Click here to view it on Amazon.

Best Choice Products Modern Sofa Bed

Ease of use and comfort meet in this piece.

Get it here on Amazon.

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