Sofa/Bed Harmony?
October 17, 2008 3:01 PM   Subscribe

How can I convert my full bed into a sofa temporarily?

I would like to buy some kind of device to put onto the side of my bed facing the wall that would make it into into a comfortable couch. I am kind of strapped for space, and guests seem uncomfortable sitting on my bed with my pillows behind them. Is there a pre-manufactured solution to this problem or should I simply find a huge, full-bed sized pillow as a back? I think part of the problem is that to lean back you have to lean back too far and your legs are not dangling as they would on a sofa. Anything firm enough with the right dimensions would be awesome.
posted by mayfly wake to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can get those full-length pillows for fairly cheap at places like Target. If you got a whole bunch of them, people could lay about on them on your bed and not have it feel so bed like. You might also want to consider getting a thick quilt or blanket for the top of your bed that goes all the way to the floor to make the bed look more couch-like. You can find these also in sort of bed-kits at places like Target (example). Often they don't look like anything I'd want to have as a bedspread but they can make a bed look more like ok-to-sit-on furniture.
posted by jessamyn at 3:21 PM on October 17, 2008

If you switched to a futon mattress (or, even, got a futon), you'd be able to convert it quickly. I lived in a one room apartment for a while and it made it comfortable for a few people to drop over.
posted by scabrous at 3:25 PM on October 17, 2008

Are you handy? This is what I would do - I would make a headboard on wheels (but wheels that can be locked) - or if you already have a headboard, perhaps attach casters to the bottom legs of the headboard. When you need to turn your bed into a couch, simply wheel the headboard to the appropriate place, lock the wheels and place pillows against the "headboard" (now the back of the couch). I don't know if I'm explaining this well though.
posted by Sassyfras at 3:28 PM on October 17, 2008

Cut down some thick foam and make a big, fat, back pad. You can get dense foam for this at fabric stores. It's better support than a pillow and you can layer it until it's the thickness you need. Just sew a slipcover et voila.
posted by HolyWood at 3:28 PM on October 17, 2008

It doesn't help with the proportions, but EQ3 has a bed where slats with cushions can added along the back edge.
posted by logic vs love at 3:58 PM on October 17, 2008

I hope I can explain this well enough that you might be able to Google it. (I haven't been successful so far.)

At my daughter's college, the dorm beds have a padded backrest against the wall that comes out and down to make the bed into a couch-like sitting area. When not needed, it folds back up to the wall and latches back into place. The mechanism is made of a pair of hinged steel flat bars on each end of the backrest.

OK, I'm doing a horrible job of explaining this, so I'll keep Googling, but it sounds perfect for what you need.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2008

OK, my daughter sent me a few phone pictures. My above description's vagueness is balanced by its inaccuracy.

The main mechanism is made from a board and piano-hinge. The metal bars add stability and match up with clips to keep the headboard against the wall when stored. In any event, here are the pictures. It's definitely more of a project than just buying a body pillow. And obviously, you would need to change the dimensions to match your needs.

Just an idea to add to the mix.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:31 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I would go for the foam idea but make two stacks, not one, each with its own slipcover so that they will fit under the bed when not in use. (You do vacuum under the bed, don't you?)
posted by metahawk at 5:47 PM on October 17, 2008

The headboard on wheels or the padded backrest may be the best idea.

I have a twin bed that I use as a daybed/sofa, and while it is placed lengthwise to a wall, has two firm foam daybed bolsters (from JCPenney), and has two more firm bed pillows in front of the bolsters, it never quite works well as a sofa. The mattress doesn't want to stay in place, and the whole thing is too wide to sit on comfortably.

When I have guests over, I offer them the Poang chair I got off Craigslist, or the leather recliner I got off Freecycle, and I take the daybed.
posted by apartment dweller at 6:05 PM on October 17, 2008

Cut down some thick foam and make a big, fat, back pad. You can get dense foam for this at fabric stores. It's better support than a pillow and you can layer it until it's the thickness you need. Just sew a slipcover et voila.

This idea with dense foam rubber isn't bad--in an earlier year. The price of foam rubber has exploded. I just bought a 24x24x6" piece from Army Surplus for $30--the cheapest I could find (two years ago it would have cost $5). A 6x2x1 foot piece would be wicked expensive.
posted by sourwookie at 8:09 PM on October 17, 2008

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