Sofa Bed: Review & Recommendations

Are you looking for a suitable guest bed that offers enough space for visitors, but can be converted into a stylish couch during the day? And the furniture should not take up too much space? The sofa bed could be exactly what you are looking for. But how can I convert the sofa into a bed? And how do I clean it?

Whether a pull-out sofa bed or one with a folding back or integrated bed base is suitable in your case is answered in the Sofa Bed Test 2020. We also provide you with useful tips on care, skin-friendliness and lightfastness to make your purchase decision easier.

The most important facts in brief

  • The sofa bed fulfils two functions. During the day, as a sofa, it offers space for relaxing hours on the couch. At night it transforms into a berth for sleeping.
  • A sofa bed is perfect for small living rooms and guest rooms. Also for youth rooms. During the day, joy takes its place on the sofa, while at night it offers a pleasant sleeping surface.
  • The cover of the sofa bed should be pleasantly soft and easy to clean, especially if children or animals live in the household.

Sofa bed test: Favourites of the editorial staff

  • The best sofa bed with box spring function
  • The best sofa bed in timeless design
  • The best corner sofa bed

The best sofa bed with box spring function

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Bruno sofa bed with box spring technology

Buy at Brunobett.de

The Bruno sofa bed has a box spring bed function – something very special about a sofa bed. It is available in two sizes of sleeping surface (140 cmx 200 cm and 160 cm x 200 cm) and four different colours. The company has attached great importance to high-quality materials, a very good production and a long durability. The folding mechanism is extra very simple, which makes it easy to fold and unfold.

This will keep the sofa bed for a long time. It should give you the feeling of a real box spring bed while sleeping. In addition, the delivery includes two types of feet, one with wooden legs and one with metal feet. So you have the free choice. The overall design is extra timeless and classic, so you can look at the Bruno sofa bed for a long time.

The best sofa bed in timeless design

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COLLECTION AB Sofa bed

Buy at Schlafwelt.de

The Collection AB sofa bed is available in the microfibre variants anthracite, brown and silver. If you prefer the fabric to have some structure you can choose between anthracite, grey and pink. The sofa has a bed drawer and can be converted into a double bed. You can easily remove the back rail. The sofa bed also has a spring core and is made of breathable foam.

Not only is it easy to convert into a comfortable bed, but also to set up the sofa. Customers praise the sufficient space and the quality of the lying surface. Many also like the timeless design. Whether as sofa or bed: the sofa bed convinces customers.

The best corner sofa bed

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ATLANTIC-Heimsammlung Ecksofa

Bei Schlafwelt.de kaufen

The modern corner sofa is available in two colours: light or dark grey. It can be converted into a double sofa that comfortably seats two people. The existing spring core turns the sofa bed into a comfortable bed. The bed box provides sufficient storage space.

You can match the sofa perfectly to your living room, because the corner can be mounted on either side, depending on how it fits in your home. Even with daily use, the sofa remains comfortable. Customers are impressed by the durability and modern design.

Guide: Questions you should consider before buying a sofa bed

Before you decide on a practical sofa bed, you should ask yourself whether the piece of furniture fits into your interior. A sofa bed has specific advantages and disadvantages that a normal sofa does not have.

What is a sofa bed and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A sofa bed is the space-saving variant of a guest bed. It allows you to combine the function of a couch with that of a guest bed. Thanks to the additional storage space, you can keep blankets and other utensils invisible during the day.

The disadvantages of the sofa bed are its often laborious construction, which takes some time. Care should also be taken with the mattress, as it can be very hard in some models.

Which conversion mechanism do sofa beds have?

The conversion mechanisms of the sofa beds differ depending on the model. While some sofa beds allow you to fold down the backrest, other pieces of furniture can be folded forward in the shape of an accordion. Sometimes a sofa bed can be converted into a guest bed in just a few easy steps.

Decision: What types of sofa beds are there and which one is right for you?

Basically one can distinguish between three different types of sofa beds:

  • Extendable sofa beds
  • Sofa bed with foldable back part
  • Sofa bed with integrated bed base

What are extendable sofa beds and what are the advantages and disadvantages of extendable sofa beds?

With a fold-out sofa bed, the lying surface is integrated into the couch. If required, it can be pulled out of the sofa to the front.

Advantages

The pull-out sofa bed is suitable for longitudinal sleepers who like to sleep lower.
The sofa can be converted into a guest bed in a few easy steps.

Disadvantages

The mattress lies partly on the floor, which means that the sleeping place can get cold in winter.
Fold-out sofa beds with poor workmanship are sometimes difficult to assemble.
For older people who have problems getting up, this type of sofa bed is rather unsuitable.

What are sofa beds with a foldable back and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

With this type of sofa bed you can simply fold down the backrest and double the seat of the sofa bed in this way.

Advantages

Sofa beds with foldable backs are suitable for transverse sleepers.
Their sleeping surface is twice as wide as the seat, so that two people can sleep on the couch.
The “bed” can be converted back into a simple sofa in just a few easy steps.
The lying surface is at the same height as the seat part of the sofa bed.

Disadvantages

A sofa bed with a folding back has a small gap in the middle that can be disturbing when sleeping.
Sofa beds with a foldable back do not have an integrated mattress, which makes it harder to sleep on than on a “real” mattress.

What are sofa beds with integrated bed base and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

This type of sofa bed has the greatest similarity to an ordinary bed. It has a real spring or foam mattress built in, which can be folded out when needed.

Advantages

Sofa beds with a built-in mattress are suitable for people with back problems who do not want to do without a proper bed despite having a small room.
The integrated mattress ensures a high level of sleeping comfort.

Disadvantages

A sofa bed with a built-in mattress is considerably more expensive than a simple folding or pull-out sofa bed.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate sofa beds based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate sofa beds. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular sofa bed is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Type of mattress
  • Reference
  • Size and seat height
  • Weight
  • Folding mechanism
  • Colour and design
  • Maintenance
  • Skin friendliness

Type of mattress

A comfortable mattress is the heart of every bed. Even with a sofa bed, it plays a major role in whether or not you can sleep well on it. Especially if you spend the night on the sofa permanently, you should have a high-quality and comfortable mattress.

Not every type of mattress is suitable for every individual sleeper. While some types of mattresses are very adaptable and breathable, others hardly give way when lying down. The following table lists the different types of mattresses together with their individual characteristics.

Cover: for fabric sofas it is important to pay attention to the abrasion resistance value

The covers of the sofa beds are as different as the types of mattresses that are accommodated in the fold-out sofa beds. The manufacturers offer their sofa beds either with textile covers or with covers made of artificial or real leather. The advantage of the textile covers is their versatility. You can get them in many different colours and designs. However, before you buy a sofa bed with a fabric cover, you should take a closer look at the structure of the fabric.

With regard to the fabric structures of textile covers, a distinction must be made between flat woven fabric, velour and microfibre. The flat fabric has a so-called abrasion resistance value of 10,000. A sofa bed with flat fabric is more suitable for users who use the sofa mainly as an occasional guest bed. For pet owners, a sofa bed with flat woven fabric is not suitable at all. This is because the animals can simply pull the slightly abrasive threads.

With a textile cover made of velour, the threads are inside the layer. The abrasion resistance of velour covers is considerably higher, at 20,000. They are designed for regular use. Many public facilities, such as cafés and restaurants, are equipped with high-quality sofas with velour covers.

Microfibre covers are very soft and comfortable. As a cover variant of a sofa bed they hardly tend to lint. A sofa bed with a microfibre cover is also an advantageous option for families with children.

This is because it does not store moisture within the fiber, but only in the spaces between the fibers. As a result, the liquids absorbed by the cover evaporate quickly, so that unintentional water stains on the sofa bed quickly disappear again.

The material, which is many times thinner than human hair, is very dimensionally stable and robust. Families with children benefit particularly from this. Even when the little offspring jump, play and frolic on the sofa bed, the upholstery is not damaged.

The high-quality sofa beds with leather covers have a completely different texture. The different types of leather determine both the price and the comfort of the sofa.

  • The natural (aniline) leather is very grippy, breathable and easy-care. But this has its price: a sofa bed made of aniline leather costs more than other leather furniture.
  • It is not as pleasant to sleep on a cover made of pigmented or muted leather as on a natural cover. However, this cover is recommended for families with children and animals, as it is robust and resistant.
  • Imitation leather is suitable for sleepers who are looking for an easy-care sofa bed. However, people who sweat too much should tend towards a genuine leather cover. As the imitation leather becomes brittle or peels off in the worst case, it does not leave a pleasant sitting feeling if cared for incorrectly and can “stick to the body” over time. Under no circumstances should the imitation leather sofa bed be placed by the window or exposed to other heat sources such as fireplaces or stoves.

Size and seat height: sketch often provides a first overview

Before buying a suitable sofa bed, you should consider its size and seat height. It is a good idea to first take the measurements of the room so that you do not end up with a piece of furniture that is too large or too small after you have bought a sofa. It is best to make a sketch of the room with the measurements.

It is also important in this context to take into account the space behind and next to the new piece of furniture. Because: you have to take the folding surfaces into account before you buy! Some sofa beds often look smaller in the store than they actually are.

Another important criterion that goes hand in hand with size is the seat of the sofa bed. You should always sit and sleep as comfortably as possible on the sofa bed. If the sofa bed is intended for an elderly person, the sleeping surface should never be low like a futon bed.

Ideal is an average seat height of about 55 cm, which allows you to sit comfortably upright on the sofa bed. The lying height should also correspond approximately to the natural lying height on a normal bed – i.e. about 45 to 50 cm.

Weight: high density speaks for the material used

The volume weight at hand is decisive for the quality of the underlying upholstery. The higher the weight in cubic metres (kg/m³), the more qualitative the upholstery is in daily use. Normally, manufacturers use densities between 20 and 50 kg/m³ for the production of covers.

Folding mechanism: the faster, the better

Easy handling is very important for a fold-out sofa bed or a piece of furniture with an integrated mattress. In the case of a pull-out sofa, whose lying surface simply has to be pulled forward, the assembly and conversion is very quick.

This form of sofa bed is therefore particularly suitable for single people. You are able to assemble the sofa yourself without outside help in just a few steps.

More complicated is the construction of a large sofa bed with integrated bed base. In this case, a certain amount of effort is sometimes required to extend the lying surface of the sofa bed. In case of doubt, the rule of thumb is: the sofa bed should be extendable with one hand.

Colour and design

Usually, the sofa is a large piece of furniture that significantly shapes the room. Its colour and design are therefore important purchase criteria.

  • Many people tend to buy a sofa bed in a muted and timeless colour. The advantage of subdued colours is that they match almost any interior and integrate perfectly into the room structure.
  • A white sofa bed basically harmonises with all colours. If it is also equipped with a leather cover, it is very easy to clean. The disadvantage of a light sofa is that stains, dirt and other impurities are immediately visible.
  • A black sofa combined with grey-white elements looks very noble and elegant – especially if it comes with a handsome leather or textile cover. In combination with a dark wall, however, the black can appear too dominant. If you live in a small room, you should avoid a large black sofa bed because it seems too dull.
  • Grey is a neutral colour that combines well with other colours. You can combine grey with both light and dark colours.
  • The smaller the sofa bed is, the brighter its colours may be. However, the colours should be harmoniously integrated into the room structure. It is always possible to combine a bright colour with a darkened or lightened version of the same colour. Small contrasts are also permitted as long as they do not clash in colour.

Maintenance: leather is easy to clean, textile fibres require more care

Good care considerably increases the life of the sofa bed. Before you buy a sofa bed, you should therefore take into account the manufacturer’s instructions and find out how much care the material needs.

  • Smooth leather upholstery covers are very easy to clean. It is sufficient to wipe the leather cover regularly with a damp cloth. Since rough leather is inherently more sensitive to dirt than soft leather, it must be cleaned more often.
  • Chemical cleaning agents are harmful to the leather upholstery and should therefore not be used. Instead, special care products for imitation leather and leather furniture are available on the market that gently care for the upholstery without damaging it.
  • You should also regularly wipe the textile covers made of microfibre, velour and flat fabric with a damp cloth to remove dust from the fabric. This prevents the fibres from becoming statically charged and at the same time maintains the natural elasticity of natural fibres.

Skin friendliness

For allergy sufferers, the general skin compatibility of a sofa bed is an important purchase criterion. After all, they are increasingly plagued by house dust or pollen. All the more important is an allergy-friendly sofa bed that does not cause additional stress.

Basically, mites feel comfortable in many types of fabric. In combination with high humidity, they find an ideal hiding place in the cracks of the mattress. For this reason, fabric covers on the sofa bed are not necessarily the best choice for allergy sufferers. On a leather cover, on the other hand, the mites cannot accumulate. Dust also does not easily build up on smooth leather, as its structures are neither permeable nor absorb dust.

Just as important as the cover is of course an allergy-friendly mattress. Spring-core sofas absorb a lot of moisture and should therefore not be a real alternative for allergy sufferers. Cold foam sofas, which counteract the humid room climate and quickly remove the moisture, are often the better choice.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the sofa bed

In the following we would like to give some more details that might be relevant when buying a sofa bed.

  • The lightfastness of a sofa indicates how resistant it is to natural daylight. Good sofa beds achieve a rating between 5 and 6 on the underlying eight-level scale.
  • Edged, fabric-covered sofa beds are ideal for use as room dividers in small apartments.
  • If a test lying on the sofa bed is not possible, the indicated degree of hardness provides a first impression of the softness or hardness of the mattress.
  • Decorative cushions look inviting on the sofa bed during the day and, if they are soft and fluffy, improve seating comfort.

Further sources and literature