I need a recommendation for a sleeper sofa.
June 9, 2013 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I need a new couch - and would like it to be a sleeper sofa. Any recommendations?

I'm moving to a new apartment in north Texas. I will regularly have family visit, and they don't want to sleep on an air mattress. I know sleeper sofas get a bad rap as not being comfortable, but I need one (so no need to convince me not to buy one, but thanks!) and would like to find one with recommendations.

I have moderately contemporary style (think West Elm meets Pottery Barn - West Elm's sleeper looks too small and has no recommendations and I don't know if Pottery Barn is worth the money?). I do not want a futon. It doesn't have to be the small apartment size couch but it can't be huge either.
posted by quodlibet to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My grandma has a LaZBoy sleeper sofa with an air mattress mattress. I sleep on it every time I visit her. It's perfectly serviceable bed, way better than her old sleeper sofa with a standard mattress.
posted by phunniemee at 7:22 AM on June 9, 2013

I bought a Castro Convertible when they still existed, and it is VERY comfortable both as a sofa and as a bed. I had mine reupholstered after 20 years and it's still great. Castros were the BEST! - too bad they're defunct. I've been told by some people that La-Z-Boy sofabeds are pretty comfy and the next best thing to Castros. I haven't tried one so can't confirm. I did sleep on a Jennifer once though and it was horrible, so I can definitely advise you not to get that.

Any store worth shopping at will let you open up and lay down on a sofabed, so you can do at least a preliminary comfort test.
posted by RRgal at 7:26 AM on June 9, 2013

No specific recommendations but when I looked into getting one myself I realised that they are sometimes classified as occasional use/regular use (as bed). The latter generally are more expensive but have better engineered moving parts and a better mattress because they are aimed at people who do not have a regular bed. As you say you'll have regular visitors it may be worth spending the extra money both for comfort and reliability.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:43 AM on June 9, 2013

I've slept on a Jennifer Convertibles one many a time, with no complaints.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:56 AM on June 9, 2013

The sleeper sofas by American Leather are the most comfortable I've experienced (and they don't only carry leather sofas, despite the name). Many of them are reasonably stylish and they come in a variety of sizes. My in-laws have had one for a few years now, and my husband and I sleep on it with some regularity. The only downside is that they're rather expensive, but they're definitely much, much, much more comfortable than any of the old bar-style sleepers I've suffered on.
posted by Diagonalize at 7:59 AM on June 9, 2013

Avoid anything with the Ashley name on it. Cheap, lightweight crap.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 AM on June 9, 2013

Not quite a sofa recommendation, but you may be able to make a typical sleeper sofa a LOT more comfortable by adding a memory foam topper to it. I got one (fairly cheap, I think 2in thick) for my random sleeper sofa from JCPenney, and all of a sudden, we no longer had that middle bar digging into hips. Mine is even able to fold up into the couch with the mattress, which I didn't expect.
posted by ktkt at 8:14 AM on June 9, 2013

I have to disagree about Jennifer Convertibles. Unsleepable for me.
posted by DMelanogaster at 8:23 AM on June 9, 2013

My experience is that the best you can hope for is that it will only function best as a sofa or a bed, not both. IKkEA have a fine range.
posted by BenPens at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2013

Jennifer Convertibles +1.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:37 AM on June 9, 2013

Our convertible sofa comes from Room and Board and rather than being a pull-out bed stashed under couch cushions, it's basically a minimalist couch that folds flat (like a futon, but without that awful futon mattress and middle-of-the-back beam).

I think it's reasonably comfortable as both, as I prefer both a firm mattress and a non-squishy couch. I wish it had arms when it's a sofa, but that wasn't an option.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:38 AM on June 9, 2013

I'll second Diagonalize and ktkt's recommendations, though I honestly have never had difficulty sleeping on an ordinary couch or even floor. I may be unusual in that regard.
posted by Sleeper at 8:54 AM on June 9, 2013

We have one similar to this, by Ligne Roset. It was pricy, but still looks good a decade later, and more importantly, it functions equally well as a sofa and a bed. The bed is European slat, I could easily sleep on it every night.
posted by nanook at 8:59 AM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jennifer convertibles aren't available in Texas - to my understanding.
posted by quodlibet at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2013

Have slept on a LaZBoy couch with the inflatable mattress and it was quite comfortable. We inherited one and our guests have been much happier with the futon we had before. I don't have a good sense of how well the inflatable portion will wear and haven't had ours for enough years to really tell but it's decent looking and comfortable as both couch and sleeper.
posted by leslies at 9:11 AM on June 9, 2013

Here is the "Best of 2013 - sleeper sofas" review extravaganza from Apartment Therapy. They have a variety of prices, and there are additional thoughts in the comments section.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 9:22 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

You might try visiting any auctions that may be in the area and see what they have. Typically auctions have cheap prices for decent product. Sorry for the non-answer.
posted by Folk at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2013

Furniture salesman here. The La-Z-Boy w/the air matt is a great pick, sets up quickly and easily, and the firmness is adjustable. It also deflates and goes away in moments. Electric pump included. Nice product (I no longer sell this, in the interest of full disclosure).
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2013

We've gotten lots of positive comments from folks who have slept on our LaZBoy (non-air) sleeper.
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:58 AM on June 9, 2013

I once visited a friend with a little IKEA loveseat that opened to a double bed. I was truly amazed at how comfortable it was as a bed. As a couch it was very firm, not cushy. But nice. Worth looking!
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:26 AM on June 9, 2013

Nthing ktkt, although my friend who employed this method used a feather bed. I seriously considered doing this for my own regular bed, it was so comfortable.
posted by emkelley at 1:42 PM on June 9, 2013

We have one of the LaZBoy air mattress beds in a regular size and a much cheaper twin size one from JCPenny. People seem to really like the one from LaZBoy and that's the one we offer first. If we have a full house, I give someone the single sized one from Penny's and no one has ever said "Wow, that was a great bed". It's fine as a small sofa though, which is what it gets used for the most, and really two people can sit on it. Both of them are sort of contemporary style/no style. I do think that the one from Penny's would be much more comfortable with some sort of a topper on it but I'm not willing to sacrifice any more space to spare bedding.
posted by jvilter at 5:38 PM on June 9, 2013

Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to check out LaZboy first - seems to be the consensus!
posted by quodlibet at 7:14 AM on June 10, 2013

Are you against something like this? I've slept on it (and sat on it) and it was actually really supportive. Very firm though, so it might not be comfy enough.
posted by barnone at 4:17 PM on June 10, 2013

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