If you like to invite guests to stay overnight but don’t have a guest bedroom, you should consider buying a sofa bed. Read this article to get to know how to choose this furniture item!

A sofa bed is an indispensable furniture item for those whose guests like to stay overnight. Such a unit looks stylish, occupies little space and provides equal comfort both during the day and at night. In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on choosing a top-notch sofa bed for your house or apartment. We’ll analyze various sizes, construction types, upholstery materials and other parameters.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Sofa Bed

Before heading to an online or offline shop, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will you (or your guests) use the sofa bed? Will only adults sit and sleep on it? Or maybe kids might want to jump on it? Do you have pets or maybe your guests might bring their cats and dogs with them?
  • How often will people sleep on your sofa bed? The more frequently the guests will stay with you overnight, the more comfortable the furniture item should be and the greater support it should provide.
  • How many guests will be using the sofa simultaneously? Some might think that the larger the unit, the more sleeping space it provides — but that’s not always true. It’s not the size but the type of mattress that matters.
  • How are you planning to use the sofa bed during the day and how often? The choice of the fabric and fillings is paramount. Your sofa bed should nicely fit your home’s interior, be durable and easy to clean. It should be well constructed to stand up to daily use.

When you arrive at the shop and get a chance to touch the sofa bed with your own hands, you should check how easy it is to get the bed out. You should be able to do it with minimum effort. Struggling with an awkward mechanism is the last thing you want late in the evening when everyone is sleepy and tired.

Fold-Out or Pull-Out?

You can choose between fold-out and pull-out sofa beds. The former lack headboards and offer larger sleeping areas. To protect the mattress from spills and soften the seating, you might consider adding a mattress protector beneath the bedding.

Pull-out sofa beds normally feature two or three-fold mattresses. Mattresses that fold into three are typically thinner and less supportive. Those that fold twice should be deeper and more comfortable. The pull-out type should be more budget-friendly than its fold-out counterpart.


Here are just a few examples of the most popular sofa bed sizes:

  • Footstool bed
  • Armchair bed
  • Love seat
  • Small sofa bed
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Corner versions

To find out whether this furniture item will fit into the room where you’re planning to place it, you should measure from the back of the sofa to the end of the sleeping area when it’s fully open.

According to a common misconception, the mattress of a three-seater should be larger than that of a two-seater — but that’s not always the case. A sofa might look big enough in the daytime — but once you turn it into a bed in the evening, you might be surprised to see how little sleeping space it provides. So please make sure to double-check this parameter before the purchase.


The most important parameter of sofa fabric is rub count. Here is what it means:

  • At least 10,000 rubs is acceptable for domestic upholstery
  • At least 20,000 rubs is the most common option
  • At least 30,000 rubs is great for a high-use piece of furniture in a home with children and/or pets

Durable upholstery meets the following criteria:

  • Its fabric is tightly woven
  • Has a high thread count
  • Features a woven, not printed, pattern

To extend the service life of your sofa bed, you might want to purchase a removable, washable cover for it. Fabrics with an Aquaclean coating built in can be cleaned with water. Also, you might consider using a protective finish.


Most sofa bed mattresses belong to one of these three types:

  • Made of memory foam
  • Pocket sprung
  • Open

Compared to open springs, pocket springs cost more, provide greater comfort and prevent sleepers from rolling together. As for memory foam, some people might find it too warm — but it creates excellent support thanks to its ability to mold to the body.

Frame and Filling

To make sure your sofa bed will serve you for a long time, you should opt for a hardwood frame that’s screwed as well as glued.

Manufacturers use the same fillings for sofa beds as for conventional sofas:

  • Foam for a firmer seat
  • Fiber for softness with support
  • Plump feathers for the softest seat

Some manufacturers might combine various types of fillings. Compared to a standard sofa, a sofa bed usually feels firmer — so it would be great if you could touch it and sit on it before the purchase.

Does It Make Sense to Buy the Cheapest Sofa Bed?

Here are a few examples of the most affordable options that you might come across:

  • Sofa bed with a foam mattress that folds out onto the floor (the back of the sofa serves as a headboard)
  • Space-saving armless sofa
  • Single or double cube seat

Neither of them can provide the same level of comfort as a bed. But if your budget is limited and guests come to stay with you just once or twice per year, you might consider these options. Otherwise, it would be better to buy a more high-end unit.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand how to choose a modern sofa bed for your home. You should take into consideration the following parameters: size, frame, filling, upholstery, matress and type of sofa bed (fold-out or pull-out). This type of furniture is available in an extensive range of sizes, shapes and materials. Before you make a purchase, it would be wise to ask yourself: how frequently are you planning to use the sofa as a bed at night and who will be spending time on it during the day?