Seeking superior subterranean sleeper sofa
September 18, 2017 8:36 AM   Subscribe

We need to upgrade our guest room amenities, but there is limited space is in basement of our Philadelphia rowhouse.

We are looking for a sleeper sofa or other collapsible bed. The most likely location has about 78” width if there are no side tables, and about 60-65 if so. The ceiling has a soffit that is only about 75” high. Further, we’d need to get it down to the basement, through an open straight staircase about 30” wide. We’d like to get to at least a full-size mattress, for two adults.

Anyone have recommendations for or against any particular model? Not averse to paying for a worthwhile product, but I’d rather keep it under $1000 USD.

(Current best option may be a double VALLENTUNA, like this gif)
posted by zachxman to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it going to be used as a sofa too?

For the tight space, maybe consider a very good quality futon (from a place that makes them in house). Ours is almost 25 years old, slept on it for a good 12 years, and now its our guest mattress. We have it on a frame, but a wood sofa frame would work well too. Bonus is that they come apart for very easy moving and reasonably priced.

My in-laws (both over the age of 80) sleep on it quite happily.

A lot of people discount futons based on the cheap flimsy ones. The good ones are worth investigating.
posted by Ftsqg at 9:56 AM on September 18, 2017

My husband and I have used this sort of thing for guests in the past, and people seemed to think it was comfortable. It fits up and down in our (VERY) narrow basement stairwell because we store it down there (in a mattress bag because our basement is unfinished). It used to live in our very small office folded up with a coverlet over it and it functioned as decent seating in a pinch, though it's not ideal for sitting because it's squishier.

We are upgrading to this sofa. It's arriving this week, and we would be happy to let you know how it goes.

PS - we are in philly, too! Hi!
posted by ancient star at 10:19 AM on September 18, 2017

We're also in Philly! This works really well for us. It's super comfy and should fit nicely into the space that you have. Since it comes flat-packed, I think you should be able to get it down your stairs, but you'll want to check at the Ikea.

The only downside are that the covers are not removable, and that it doesn't have armrests in sofa form, so it's not quite as comfortable. But no complaints otherwise!
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2017

You guys are me - just refinished our Philly townhouse basement and would like my nephew to be able to crash when down from college in NYC. We were comparing the IKEA one posted above with several other ones - will be interested in what other folks say.
posted by Pax at 5:29 PM on September 18, 2017

Response by poster: Great answers, everyone, and hi, Philly folks! Currently we have a standard three-fold wooden frame futon there, and our guests have more-than-hinted that the fold-over mattress is a bit hard and low-to-the-floor. The one that joyceanmachine linked looks nice and would fit, but when in bed-mode, it would require one person to be blocked in by the wall (unless we slid it out from the wall each time, but maybe that’s not so bad...), with no space for side-table or such. Yes, it would be ideal to be comfortable as a couch, too, as space is a premium.
posted by zachxman at 5:52 PM on September 18, 2017

I'm not aware of any traditional sleeper sofa that will fit down a narrow staircase - anything that looks like a real couch (rather than a futon) will need to be flat-pack or able to be disassembled. Two potential options (both of which we've owned):

For our 12'x14' basement with a 24" wide staircase (and no exterior door), we bought a Simplicity Sofas sofa. To make it usable by guests, we bought an Endura Ease air mattress (we bought it with the sofa and got a discount). It was a great solution, because we got a solid and comfortable couch that fit down the very narrow stairs but could also be used for guests without needing to make space for a couch AND a queen-size air mattress. Simplicity Sofas are spendier than your budget, but we found it worth the money. We've had it five years or so, and it's basically the same as it was the day it arrived. The mid-size sofas work with the EnduraEase and would give you a little space on either side; the full-size sofas would fit just exactly into your space (assuming you choose one without rolled arms).

For our small office/guest room, we got an IKEA BEDDINGE with a nice cover (the one we had went to the floor and covered the legs, making it look a little less like college decor) and lots of throw pillows. It's pretty comfortable as both a bed and a sofa, though it's deep, making it a little awkward for regular use as a couch. The Beddinge would fit exactly into your little space without any space to spare - which was the case for us in our last house, too - and we found it worked very nicely that way, because you could toss a pillow up against the wall in lieu of an arm.
posted by devinemissk at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2017

Seconding the IKEA BEDDINGE sofa. My husband and I used it extensively during college, also in Philly! It fit underneath a lifted bunkbed, was easy to fold down, and was comfortable as hell; I fell asleep on it often without meaning to. Plus the cover is easy to clean and replace, as we found out after one evening with friends who underestimated the power of drinking Everclear...
posted by ProtectoroftheSmall at 9:07 PM on September 18, 2017

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