Sunshine Furniture: 4 Steps to Buying a Great Sofa Bed

Sunshine Furniture / November 26, 2014

One aspect that often gets forgotten during the shopping process for sofas is that with the addition of a sleeper option they can serve multiple purposes by modifying any space into a room where overnight guests can sleep. As an added benefit, the traditional sleeper sofa, which in many cases rightfully gained a reputation as an inferior option to sleeping on the floor, has been transformed to the point where the comfort rivals that of regular mattresses. If a sofa bed is on your shopping list, keep in mind that the same qualities that would be considered in the purchase of a quality sofa will apply, but you’ll also want to assess a variety of factors that are directly related to the quality of the piece when it is being used as a sleeping option. Here are examples of both sides of that equation:

  • Hardwood frame construction – Hardwood framing is an essential aspect in determining the quality of construction for any sofa, but its importance is heightened by the fact that a sofa bed will be utilized in opened and closed positions. Hardwoods are typically more durable than other alternatives such as pine and the kiln-drying process pulls a high percentage of moisture out of the hardwoods, which reduces shrinking, expansion, and warping.
  • Comfort in the closed position – The chances are that your sofa bed will be used more often as a sofa than as a bed, so all the same rules apply when judging the comfort of the piece when it is in the closed position. Checking for comfort should include sitting and lying on the sofa for several minutes to ensure that it stays as comfortable after a test run as it was when you first sat down.
  • Check for smooth opening and closing of the bed – A sound bed frame mechanism will pull out and push in easily without catching or squeaking. When the bed frame is almost completely folded into the sofa, you should feel a slight resistance as the locking mechanism engages.
  • Do a comfort check on the mattress – Just like checking the mattresses on a regular bed, you’ll want to make sure that the one in the sleeper provides support for the head, back, and hips.

When buying a sofa bed, remember to take measurements for the opened and closed footprints. Additionally, you’ll probably have a coffee table sitting in front of the sofa, so make sure the table is light enough to move out of the way when you want to convert the sofa into a bed.


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