Anyone who has spent a restless night on a friend’s fold-out couch will appreciate the importance of a good sleep sofa. Yes, there are comfortable models on the market — you just need to know what to look for when you shop. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important things to consider.
Do you need a sleep sofa?
If you’ve never needed a sleep sofa before but are thinking about buying one “just in case,” you might want to think again. A sofa bed is more expensive than a conventional sofa, so unless you’re going to use it for sleeping, you’re better off buying a conventional sofa
and stashing an air mattress in the closet. Due to their construction, sleep sofas have firmer seats than conventional sofas. While seniors often like the extra support (it’s easier to get up), others may find sleepers less comfortable.
What size? Measure the spot where you want to place the sofa bed, and figure out the ideal sofa width for that space. Sleepers come in four standard widths:
Chair: 51 to 58 inches Twin (like the model shown): 56 to 65 inches Full: 68 to 92 inches Queen: 79 to 101 inches
Will it fit through the door? Measure the height of the room’s ceiling and the width of the doorway (and any preceding doorways, stairs or elevators). Bring those figures to the store, so you’ll know whether you can get the piece into the room. Legs can usually be unscrewed.
Most bed frames are the same. Most sleep sofa mechanisms are made the same way (and by the same manufacturer), so there’s little difference from one brand to another: You’ll find a metal frame with coils around the edges holding canvas decking. (Although sofa beds still have that bar underneath the mattress, it now curves away from the body, preventing painful surprises in the morning.)