What is the best sofa bed out there?
October 4, 2015 8:38 AM   Subscribe

We're looking at buying a sofa bed for a finished basement part of our home. We'd like something that is functional as a sofa, but it's much more important that it be a relatively good and comfortable bed. This will be for occasional visiting guests, so it's not critical that it's super-durable, but the more durable the better. We're willing to spend some money on this but, of course, cheaper is better. What kind of beds should we be looking at? Any specific recommendations? Wildcard recommendations (Murphy bed?!) also welcome.

Beddinge was the recommendation 2.5 years ago. Is that still the consensus? Does spending a bit more get you any more?
posted by Betelgeuse to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Wildcard suggestion: sofa +air mattress or futon.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 8:43 AM on October 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think a Murphy bed (and a separate sofa) would be ideal. I've never stayed on a sofa bed or air mattress that was really comfortable. I see used Murphy beds on Craigslist all the time in my area, so you might be able to get one relatively cheaply. Alternately, if you have room under your bed upstairs and don't mind lugging it around, you could get a Tuft and Needle mattress to pull out when needed (works well on floor without frame).
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:02 AM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just went through the same search for a spare bedroom and came back with this one from ikea. Comfortable as a couch and it opens into a pretty much queen sized bed. We had guests stay on it and they said it was comfortable, if a little firm, so I'm thinking about getting a foam topper for it or something.
posted by jourman2 at 9:02 AM on October 4, 2015

The best sofa bed I've encountered is from American Leather. Contrary to the name, they don't just make leather sofas, and their fold-out bed somehow avoids the uncomfortable "bar in the middle of the back" issue most sofa beds suffer from. The only downside is they are rather pricey, particularly compared to most futons, but it has the benefit of looking very much like a conventional sofa when not folded out, while still being quite comfortable as a bed. My in-laws have had one for several years now, and it still looks pretty good. I slept on it many times, including just a couple of nights ago, and I've always been reasonably comfortable.

My wildcard suggestion would be to get a hold of a Japanese futon, but that's not functional as a sofa, and also requires a fair amount of closet space to store.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Another set of recommendations, also from two years ago.
posted by pitrified at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2015

That IKEA sofa couch is miserable, at least the one I tried to sleep on. Costco used to sell this couch that the back goes up and the ends even click up like couch arms. It was comfortable. A thin memory foam can roll up into a decorative cover/ pillow to smooth out surface transitions. The Costco couch bed was leather and about $400.
posted by Oyéah at 9:29 AM on October 4, 2015

I agree with Diagonalize; the American Leather sofa beds are pricey, but everyone who has slept on ours has commented on how comfortable, and how non-sofa-bed like it is. I don't regret the purchase at all. (and ours is cloth, not leather, covering).
posted by blob at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2015

There was an Apartment Therapy article on this topic and one recommendation they had was a La-Z-Boy pull-out couch with air mattress. That's my plan for our second bedroom.
posted by kat518 at 9:52 AM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Our friends have this different Ikea sofa bed (the Skiftbo fabric is nice, and $100 off) which is very comfortable as a couch and other friends of ours have all said it's comfortable to sleep on as well. Also on the firm side.
posted by serelliya at 10:05 AM on October 4, 2015

There was an Apartment Therapy article on this topic and one recommendation they had was a La-Z-Boy pull-out couch with air mattress. That's my plan for our second bedroom.

My grandma has one of these and it's what I sleep on every time I visit. It's actually pretty comfortable. My 20lb dog with his little toenails sleeps with me (and jumps on and off the bed) and the air mattress handles it just fine, so it's not some delicate flower.
posted by phunniemee at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2015

The apartment I stayed in during the summer had one of these Ikea beds in the office; I found it comfy enough to sleep on occasionally, but I prefer firm mattresses, so YMMV.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2015

I used to have a thick futon (with springs inside, maybe? more like a mattress). It was much thicker than a regular futon, and it was very comfy as a bed. I had it for 12 or 15 years as a spare bed.
posted by bentley at 10:51 AM on October 4, 2015

Thirding the American Leather recommendation. If you want something your guests will get a good night's sleep on, an AL couch is worth the money.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:25 AM on October 4, 2015

Fourth-ing American Leather. They really are the most comfortable fold-outs I've ever encountered; I feel no qualms about having elderly relatives stay on ours because I know it's probably more comfortable than our normal bed.

FYI, we actually got ours on Craigslist at a significant discount (but it was still $800). They wear well and we couldn't be happier with the comfort and quality of it. We had time and no firm decorating scheme in that room, so we just made a point to check Craigslist every week (we're in LA with family in Carlsbad, so we'd review LA, OC and San Diego Craigslist pages) and it still took us a few months persistence for a model to pop up, but we're really happy with it.
posted by samthemander at 12:02 PM on October 4, 2015

We also have an American Leather sofabed. It is comfortable, on the firm side, but so far our guests have said they slept well. We got the standard mattress but they offer three types. It was also the only queen sofabed that was narrow enough to fit in the space we had (74").
posted by oneirodynia at 12:34 PM on October 4, 2015

I love my IKEA Friheten.
posted by Carravanquelo at 12:36 PM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

We have the several-years-ago version of this sleeper from Room and Board and which I recommended in the prior thread. It's armless, which some people hate in a couch, but I've slept on it a couple more times since the last time I recommended it and I still think it's pretty comfortable for a spare bed.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:42 PM on October 4, 2015

My kids actually bought this one from Crate and Barrel and I find it both very comfortable to sleep on as well as sit on. This one is the king sized sleeper (which my kids bought), but it comes in queen size as well.

posted by OkTwigs at 3:47 PM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

We have the Karnes sleeper sofa in the twin size, and it is a pretty comfy bed, especially if you add a cheap egg crate foam topper. It's a little high for a sofa, and it's firm but comfortable to sit on. If you sign up for Crate & Barrel's mailing list you can get 15% off coupons, which really make a difference if you want something big like this.

It looks like it has the same sort of mattress as the American Leather options.
posted by that girl at 8:07 PM on October 4, 2015

We have two BoConcept sleeper ottomans ($370/each without a fancy slipcover) so we can make up one or two single beds or a double bed as needed. Over each one, we layer a 2" memory foam topper (cut to size), and we get loads of compliments on how comfortable the setup is.
posted by evoque at 8:35 AM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Came in to recommend American Leather as well. We actually got ours from Room and Board several years ago--it looks like R&B is now calling them them "Day and Night" sleeper sofas, but I'm not completely sure it's the same company. It is a great bed (firm mattress, no bars or springs) and a great couch. I've slept on an air-mattress sleeper sofa from Room and Board and didn't like it nearly as much, fwiw.
If you're not familiar with R&B, note that they have a big sale once a year right around New Years, and many items can be had at a discount--we were able to get our couch for at least $1,000 less than list price.
posted by Jemstar at 8:52 AM on October 5, 2015

American Leather is an awesome sofa, but their customer service is incredibly sub par. A broken part was difficult to order, and neither corporate or their authorized resellers were very helpful.
posted by slateyness at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2015

Late to the party, but as a style alternative, I'm a big fan of Ligne Roset sofa beds for comfort and actually having a real library of fabrics and styles.

Not sure how American Leather is priced, but I think a LR sofabed goes for around $4000-$6000 USD.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 12:56 PM on November 18, 2015

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