sofa bed buying guide

If you’re looking to buy a sofa bed, it can be very hard to decide which one will work best for your space and your needs. They come in such a wide variety of materials, shapes, colors, sizes, and styles that it can be difficult to find the right fit. But don’t worry! If you’re thinking about buying one, this guide can help you to determine which sofa bed will work best for you and your space so that you can enjoy the highest quality sleep possible while still saving money on buying multiple items.



A quality sofa bed should last you for many years, so when it comes time to buy one, don’t be afraid to set a budget. If you know how much you can afford and have a rough idea of what features you need, then it will be easier for you to compare prices and find something that matches your needs. 


Of course, if you’re on a tight budget or just want to browse until you find an affordable option, there are plenty of cheap options available. Just remember that buying cheap doesn’t always mean getting good value—the cheapest sofa cum beds may not last as long as their more expensive counterparts. 



To ensure your sofa bed fits, we suggest you measure the length, width, and height of where the sofa will be positioned in your room. Make sure you consider any window heights and the measurements of doors or structures you’ll have to get the sofa bed through. You should also consider extra space for other furniture items such as side tables. After all, you’ll want your guests to be able to walk around freely without large pieces of furniture getting in their way.


Storage Space

sofa bed buying guide

The amount of space available for a sofa bed will depend on how much seating you need. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment and need space for two or three people to sleep, you’ll probably need less storage than someone who needs enough room for six people to sleep comfortably. Think about how much furniture storage space you have now—beds, dressers, nightstands, desks—and consider whether your new sofa bed needs extra storage space built-in.



sofa bed buying guide

A sofa bed may not have a specific number of seats associated with it. Therefore, there’s no simple rule that says you should have a 4-seater, 5-seater, or 6-seater sofa; instead, you can choose what’s right for your home. While having more seating will mean more people can use it at once, smaller sofas don’t take up as much space and are better for small living spaces.


Spring Used


Springs play a big role in how comfortable a sofa bed is, and they’re more important than you might think. In fact, when purchasing a new mattress, customers are often attracted by price or brand without considering what type of springs are used. Below are some suggestions for the types of springs to choose from:


For sleeper sofas that convert into a full-sized bed, spring count doesn’t matter as much as it does with other kinds of couches because you won’t be sitting on them; instead, comfort is key. 


Look for medium-soft mattresses with a good amount of padding. Also, consider choosing an electric model with adjustable firmness settings so you can customize your sleeping experience depending on whether you’re using it as a couch or a bed.


Sofa Bed Upholstery

sofa bed buying guide

Choose your sofa fabric carefully – our upholstery guide offers handy tips. Look at the rub count – at least 10,000 rubs is acceptable for domestic upholstery; many offer 20,000 upwards, and at least 30,000 is great for a high-use piece of furniture in a home with children and/or pets. Removable, washable covers are a bonus, too. For longevity, look for tightly woven fabric, a high thread count, and a woven, not printed, pattern. A protective finish might be well worthwhile – especially if you’re kind enough to bring overnight guests a cuppa in bed.


If you're looking for something more contemporary, consider leather. Leather looks great and is easy to clean, but it can be expensive compared with other materials like microfiber. A microfiber is a great option if you want something that looks nice but won't break the bank. It's also hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites which are common allergens in beds and mattresses.


Leather Selection


A sofa bed is a great way to make use of extra space. If you’re looking for a sofa bed, then you have four different types of leather from which to choose: Nubuck, Aniline, Semi-Aniline, and Pigmented. 


Each has its own set of benefits - Nubuck is soft but doesn’t wear as well over time and has a rougher feel than other options. Aniline leather is softer and more durable than nubuck. Semi-aniline offers some of the aniline’s advantages without sacrificing durability. Pigmented leather wears like aniline but it feels like nubuck; it also tends to be less expensive than aniline.


Check out our Leather Upholstery Guide!


Mattress for Comfort

sofa bed buying guide

Mattresses may be open or pocket sprung or made from memory foam. Memory foam molds to the body to create good support, but some people find it too warm. Pocket springs are more luxurious than open springs – and more costly – and can help stop sleepers rolling together, so think about guests’ needs and your budget when choosing.


Sofa Bed Filling

Sofa beds are made with the same fillings as sofas. Choose foam for a firmer seat; fiber for softness with support; or opt for plump feathers for the softest sofa. Fillings may also be combined for a balance of features. Do bear in mind, though, that a sofa bed will feel firmer than a standard sofa, so try in-store or shop with an online company that allows returns to ensure you’re happy to take a seat as well as put up visitors.


Also, read our guide to buying a sofa.