Sofa bed without the bed
May 21, 2021 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Friend's family has a This End Up sleeper sofa that's... well the sleeper mattress is gross and they don't really need a sleeper sofa anymore. They want to get rid of it completely, I'm convinced you could remove the sleeper guts, screw in some 2x4s, put down some plywood and salvage it. But, is it worth it? Have you done this? Would you do this? Am I too emotionally invested in this furniture because my entire childhood was This End Up?
posted by danapiper to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Best answer: I hate throwing things away. I love fixing broken things and stopping stuff from going to landfill.

You can fix anything. But the question we have to ask ourselves is if you SHOULD fix things. Is it worth it? That depends - would you do the work yourself? Would you learn something in the process? Purely financially, can you sell it now? Is the time and money you'd spend fixing it, going to add more value to it than you spent? It's a calculation that only you can answer.

In general, I've personally had little luck coming out ahead in the above question with furniture. You can buy a comfortable, long lasting couch from other retailers for $500-$1000. You could probably sell the couch for $400 as is today. So, to convert it to a normal couch, you'd need to buy some 2x4's and plywood, and today, wood is expensive. Probably $50-$150 of wood for a few cheap 2x4's and plywood, and you'd end up with a... used couch. Still $400, but maybe easier to sell?

If your intention is to keep it, then do it!

If your intention is to sell it, don't do it!

If you only want to keep it for emotional reasons, but it's pretty uncomfortable, don't do it!

My 2c.
posted by bbqturtle at 9:12 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]

I would consider it because it's much easier to recover that traditional furniture, esp if you get rid of the pull-out mechanism.

or, look for a non-sleeper This End Up sofa; I'll bet they're not hard to find.
posted by theora55 at 9:24 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you just put in boards it's going to be very uncomfortable to sit on, regular couches usually have springs or heavy straps under the cushions so there's give when you sit on the cushions. Getting some heavy canvas strap and weaving it (see here) is probably your best option .

And I don't see anything wrong with this, the rest of the couch is the useful part, taking out the bed part should be fine as long as you look at how non-bed-couches are structured.

(edit to add link )
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:24 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]

If they want to get rid of it, are you considering buying it to try to have it for yourself? Or are you trying to save them some money?

Since you stated that they want to get rid of it, I think they must have already figured the finances out for whatever they're going to do, and would probably proceed in any case.

If the former: is this a traditional sleeper-sofa mechanism where the (usually thin) mattress folds up _inside_ the bed frame which usually has springs or webbing under the mattress? If so just jettison the mattress, the couch cushions weren't using it for comfort anyway. If more like a 'click-clack' bed or futon then the mattress _is_ the seat cushions and if it's gross you'd want to replace it.
posted by TimHare at 10:10 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]

With a cloth-covered sofa I'd sort of assume that if the mattress is gross the rest of it is probably gross too, but in a less visible way. With a wood frame like this I'd probably consider salvaging it.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:13 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]

Are replacement mattresses for this couch hard to find? If not, and the sleeper mechanism still works, I'd recommend selling to someone who still wants the sleeper functionality, with full disclosure that the mattress needs replacing. Why remove functionality that someone else might need at a lower price than if they had to buy new? Feels like it's less wasteful than removing and I assume disposing of the sleeper mechanism to share this working piece of furniture with someone who needs it!
posted by misskaz at 10:14 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To answer a few questions:

It's not financial, they're planning on trashing it and moving a hand-me-down futon into its place. But again this is for a living room and no one will ever sleep on this futon, it will only function as a couch.

If this plan flies, the also-gross cushions will be replaced as well.

I tried removing the mattress and folding it back up but the sofabed mechanism then slopes back at about a 20 degree angle so that plan won't work either.

I hadn't thought about normal-sofa construction, the plywood idea doesn't seem like it will function well, but webbing might, and be easier to install, thanks for that suggestion.
posted by danapiper at 10:58 AM on May 21

Non-sleeper This End Up couches are just cushions on top of boards.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:10 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]

I think that yes you are too emotionally invested in someone else's sofa. But everyone has their pet things.

Given your update, I personally would say that it's more effort and cost to try to refurbish the sofa. And that you may risk ending up with a sofa that's less comfortable than the hand-me-down futon. Since landfill is created at purchase rather than disposal, and there's no new purchase I'd not be at all bothered about the fact that it's going to be trashed.

On the other hand, if everyone can be relaxed about you spending money on it if it doesn't work and you want a project to try, then there are worse things to do. (I don't think they should spend money on it, if they could just use the hand-me-down for free instead.)
posted by plonkee at 11:27 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]

If you're the kind of person who thinks of things like this, you're also someone who will do it. If you want to, go ahead. It'll be interesting. If it doesn't work, you're out some wood. I hate buying furniture because there's so much shoddy, ugly stuff out there. Why not try?
posted by AugustusCrunch at 12:51 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

Like bbqturtle posted, it's "Probably $50-$150 of wood for a few cheap 2x4's and plywood." If the size is right, a $100 "Sleeper Sofa Bed Full replacement mattress" (Amazon link, but sold elsewhere) could be a simple swap for the doomed mattress without having to work out proper slope for seating comfort.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:11 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]

We had a similar one and I always remember how the frame could be rotated forward 90 degrees and make a decent table or desk. I'd be way more inclined to try to remake the wood into something useful than making another couch out of it. Even a deep shelf could work if the frame is level when placed on one of the smaller sides.
posted by soelo at 6:44 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]

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