Sofa Bed Buying Guide

Jonathan Warren

Author: Jonathan Warren



Sofa Bed Buying Guide

Following the end of the Second World War, Bernard Castro put his innovation skills to the test to help families residing in small apartments improve their living space. What he used was the modern-day sofa bed: a piece of furniture lying in plain sight, able to transform into a bed at a moment's notice. We've been thanking Bernard Castro ever since!

Whether you're completely new to sofa beds or perhaps are in the market for an upgrade, in this blog we have put together everything you need to know about sofa beds so you can work out whether this fantastic furniture staple is for you.

Why choose a sofa bed?

The humble sofa bed is a proud feature in many homes. And it's not hard to see why!
Primarily used for their space saving qualities, a sofa bed can be a great option if space is at a premium in your home. For studio apartments, having the ability to fold away your bed and enjoy the living space with a comfortable sofa can make a huge difference. Equally, if you have a smaller second bedroom, a sofa bed could help you transform a petite room into a smart and functional office space.

Sofa beds are also a go to choice for anyone who enjoys hosting friends and family. Modern day sofa beds – such as our Sorrento Pocket Rest Powder Blue Sofa Bed and Portofino Storage Spectre Sofa Bed – are living proof that sofa beds can be immensely stylish pieces of furniture in any living room, but also provide an extra snoozing spot if you have a visiting sleepy head in need of some shuteye.

What are the different types of sofa beds?

From chair beds to corner sofa beds and 2-seater sofa beds, there are a whole host of different sofa beds to choose from to suit your requirements

Looking for a space saving sofa which doesn't compromise on style? Perhaps our Cagliari Corner Ottoman Linear Sofa Bed could be for you. The Cagliari is a corner sofa with plenty of space to stretch out on cosy Sunday mornings but there is also a great deal of functionality hidden away. Lift up, and you'll have an extra space for storing spare pillows or throw blankets, or fold down and you've got a bed ready to go in case of emergencies.

Alternatively, our Florence Pocket Rest Linear Sofa Bed is a classic click-clack sofa bed, making it super simple to magic up a spare place to sleep if the kids have a friend over to stay or you're hosting some family members for the weekend. The Florence also contains a pocket sprung mattress at its core, meaning there will be no compromise when it comes to sleep quality.

How do sofa beds work?

Whilst all sofa beds share the ability to transform from a sofa into a bed, precisely how they do it can vary from sofa bed to sofa bed.

Fold out sofa beds

Not all sofa beds however come with, or even need, a mattress. The fold-out sofa bed takes its shape by opening out flat, with the back sofa cushions forming part of the mattress alongside the base cushions. Super versatile, a fold-out sofa bed is a very popular choice for those looking for comfort and style.

Pull out sofa beds

A pull-out bed sofa bed is the classic sofa bed. Built with a mattress inside, the internal mechanisms are hidden beneath the sofa cushions which can be pulled out from the centre. As the frame is pulled out from the middle of the bed, the legs unfold and take their place to create a supportive sofa bed.

Click-clack sofa beds

A click-clack sofa bed transforms from a sofa into a bed with the backrest being laid flat. It often makes a click-clacking sound, hence the name! Incredibly easy to transform, a click-clack sofa bed is a great space saver which comes in handy as an occasional makeshift bed.

Things to consider about sofa beds

Contemplating purchasing a sofa bed? We think it's a great idea! But, as with most furniture purchases, you must make sure it works for you.

The first thing to consider when buying a sofa bed is size. What size is the room where you plan to place the sofa bed? The available space you have, may dictate what kind of sofa bed you opt for, as will the type of space you are dealing with. It could be that you need a corner sofa bed to complete the feel of a living space or need a petite sofa bed for a smaller guest bedroom. Bust out that tape measure, check out our Bed Size Guide if you need some more tips, and get browsing with size in mind.

You will also want to consider who will be using the sofa bed and how often. If the user is a fully grown adult you might opt for a style of sofa bed which is a sturdier option, like a fold-out sofa. Also, if your sofa bed is only a bed in emergencies, a click-clack sofa bed could do the trick whereas if you are definitely going to get your money's worth from the bed set-up, then a pull-out bed might be the best fit.

Sofa bed FAQS

For those looking for the answers to their specific sofa bed related questions, we've also considered some key conundrums for those looking to introduce a transformation piece of furniture into their space

Are sofa beds comfortable?

The answer is yes! Good quality sofa beds can be incredibly comfortable and offer up a restorative night's sleep. However, as they are multi-functional, your sofa might feel a little bit firmer than usual considering all the mechanics that are hidden away beneath. Your bed might also not be quite as comfortable as a classic bed and mattress, which can offer more support for your evening snooze.

What mattress should you use for a sofa bed?

If your style of sofa bed requires a mattress, typically these come with mattresses built in and ready to go. Should you need a replacement, consult the instructions that came with your sofa so you can make sure you are looking for the right size mattress. As well as the width and length, you will also need to think about the depth of your mattress: too thick and if your sofa bed is a fold-out style, a thicker mattress might struggle to slot away when you want your sofa back! Get that tape measure out and remember that as long as the measurements match up, you’ll be good to go.

Can you sleep on a sofa bed every night?

You definitely could, but we can't say that that is recommended. Sofa beds are designed to be sofas too so they can often be firmer than a classic bed set up.

For a pull-out sofa bed, the mattress might not offer the same high-level of support than a traditional mattress since it might be thinner in order to fit in with the internal workings of the sofa bed. A fold-out sofa or a click-clack are great in emergencies but definitely not as comfortable longer term than any traditional bed and mattress combination.

Want to browse our full collection of sofa beds?

Spoil your guests with an incredibly comfortable night's sleep on a sofa bed from Time4Sleep. Whether you are looking for a multifunctional pull-out bed for a guest room, need a space-saving sleeping option, or simply want to add more sleeping options in your home, our sofa beds make for a perfect solution. These are also great for kids' rooms where floor space is at a premium come playtime and also teenager bedrooms that host lots of sleepovers. Our collection includes corner sofa beds as well as 2-seater and 3-seater sofa bed options.