The best sofa beds you can buy: style, comfort and affordability combined

Impress guests with the best sofa beds for your spare room, home office, or living room

A colourful living room with one of the best sofa beds pulled out
(Image credit: Snug)

Looking for the best sofa beds? As our homes have changed to become more multifunctional spaces, more and more of us are turning to the trusty sofa bed to make the most of every square inch of floor space.

After all, why devote an entire spare room to use as a guest bedroom when swapping out that guest bed for a multifunctional sofa bed means you can create a work-from-home office, a children’s playroom, a music room, or maybe a home gym... all of which can be transformed when guests do come to stay by simply pulling out the sofa bed. 

And if your home doesn’t stretch to a spare room, then adding a sofa bed to your living room – either as accent seating alongside one of the best sofas or in place of the classic sofa – means that the lack of a guest bedroom doesn’t need to cramp your entertaining style. 

However, not all sofa beds are created equal. So in this guide, we aim to sort the wheat from the chaff to help you find the very best option for your home. To help you decide which is the best sofa bed for you, we've tried and tested bestselling designs, read multiple reviews, and grilled the Real Homes team for their expert opinions. For more in-depth buying advice just scroll to the end of this page, but if you're ready to start shopping now then you'll find our edit of the best sofa beds available – in terms of style, price, and budget – listed directly below.


Best sofa beds: the Real Homes edit

A small grey fold-out sofa bedReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: MADE)

1. MADE Haru Small Sofa Bed

Best small sofa bed: compact and affordable design that offers style on a budget

Specifications

Seats: 2
Sleeps: 1 - 2
Sofa size: H78 x W120 x D86cm
Extended length: 182cm
Sleeping area size: L182 x W120 x H13cm
Sleeping area type: Foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 9

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly
+
Space-saving design good for small rooms
+
Three width options
+
Good range of upholstery options
+
Useful addition to a children or teenager's bedroom for sleepovers

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of arms
-
Fairly firm to sit and sleep on
-
Sleeping area low to the ground
-
Shorter than a standard small double mattress
-
Angled backrest, so doesn't sit flush against a wall

If you're looking for a space-saving small sofa bed for occasional use – then MADE’s Haru sofa bed is one of the most compact and budget-friendly sofa beds we’ve come across, and it delivers in the style stakes. 

The design comes in a useful range of size options, from the smallest Haru Single sofa bed that sleeps one, to the Haru Small sofa bed (a small double) and the Haru Large sofa bed (a standard double mattress width). Although it's worth pointing out that all options come up short in length compared to a standard mattress once extended, so this may not be the best sofa bed for taller overnight guests. 

A click-clack design, the Haru unfolds so that the entire seat becomes the sleeping surface, and transformation from seat to bed is super easy, with the bed's legs simple to fold away and conceal in the zippered pockets in the upholstery when not in use. Two coordinating accent cushions cover the concealed legs when the sofa bed is in seat mode, and provide some support on the fairly reclined backrest. As the legs aren't that long the sleeping area does end up very low to the ground though, which won’t be ideal for all guests.

Once extended the sleeping experience is fairly firm due to the solid foam construction (no pocket springs here), and we found you could feel the three sections of the sofa bed folding mechanism a little whilst laid down, but nothing one of the best mattress toppers couldn't solve.

Style-wise, the contemporary design is available in a good range of luxe-look velvet colourways and a mix of colourful hardwearing woven fabrics – including the most popular grey option – which overall offers a good selection of style choices considering this is a budget sofa bed. 


An orange velvet mid-Century sofa bed

(Image credit: Dreams)

2. Dreams Gallway 3-Seater Clic-Clac Sofa Bed

Best mid-Century style sofa bed: a statement (and affordable) mid-Century modern design

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H89 x W218 x D87cm
Extended length: 218cm
Sleeping area size: L190 x W112
Sleeping area type: Foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 4

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly for a 3-seater
+
Statement design
+
Pocket-sprung foam seat and backrest makes for comfortable sitting and sleeping
+
Coordinating armchair and footstool available

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upholstery options
-
Self-assembly required

If you're looking for a sofa bed that will actually make a style statement rather than blend in unnoticed with your existing living room furniture, then Dreams' Gallway sofa bed could be right up your street. 

There's a nod to mid-Century influences in its focal-point design, with high wooden legs contrasted with lozenge-shaped armrests and a Chesterfield-style pocketed backrest. The four velvet-look upholstery options are no shrinking violets either, with bright emerald green, saturated navy blue, and fiery orange colourways on offer alongside a versatile mid-grey.

The pocket-sprung cushions also deliver on the comfort front, offering comfortable seating in sofa form and an almost-a-mattress sleeping experience once the backrest is folded down to turn the clic-clac design into a bed. Although, despite the generous seating width, you do only get a small double's worth of sleeping space with this option.

If you're planning on adding a sofa bed to the living room as your main seating, then the good news is that this option also comes with matching furniture to finish off the look, with a similarly stylish coordinating armchair and footstool available. 

And lastly, there's the price; for a 3-seater sofa bed, that well under £1000 price-tag is pretty hard to beat.


A sofa-bed-in-a-box in a modern living roomReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Swyft)

3. Swyft Model 04 3 Seater Sofa Bed

Best quick delivery sofa bed: a sofa-bed-in-a-box that makes for fast and easy delivery to rooms with tricky access

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H86 x W208 x D89cm
Extended length: 135cm
Mattress size: L190 x W135
Mattress type: Pocket-sprung foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 7

Reasons to buy

+
Quick delivery
+
Flatpack delivery useful for rooms with tricky access
+
Easy to disassemble and reassemble if you move house
+
Stain-resistant upholstery
+
Mattress topper included
+
True to size standard double bed's worth of sleeping space

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly firm to sit and sleep on
-
Fairly low back
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Limited upholstery options
-
Self-assembly required (but it's super easy)

Swyft's Model 04 sofa-bed-in-a-box arrives flat-packed in boxes, making it a great option for apartment dwellers, or those with tricky access. The brand also does away with long sofa bed lead times, with most products available for delivery in under seven days; perfect if you need a sofa bed, fast.

That does mean you'll need to do some assembly on delivery, but there are no tools needed, and we found putting this sofa bed together super quick and easy. Plus, it's easy to disassemble and rebuild your sofa bed if you're renting or likely to move house.

A click-clack design, the sofa backrest folds flat to join the seat in creating the sleeping surface, and although both sitting and sleeping are on the firmish side, the foam cushioning with integrated pocket springs gave us a good night's sleep. You can also remove the arms on this design if you wish, making the sleeping area feel more open rather than some fixed-arm designs.

Extra comfort – plus, fabric protection – is provided by the mattress topper that comes included with each purchase. There's also a handy integrated storage compartment under the seat to keep it in when the bed isn't in use.

Although the low backrest may not offer enough support for some, the low profile design is stylish and contemporary, and the stain-resistant upholstery options – albeit limited to seven – are all good, versatile shades, with a mix of hardwearing linen mix fabrics and velvets. 

As long as you don't mind sacrificing some squish, then we think this option certainly looks good enough to use as your everyday seating in the living room, but we think it really comes into its own as a versatile spare bedroom or home office guest solution – doing away with the need for a static guest bed and freeing up more of your home for everyday enjoyment.


An orange three-seater sofa bed with quilted upholstery

(Image credit: Habitat)

4. Habitat Kota 3 Seater Fabric Sofa Bed

Most affordable large sofa bed: a super spacious budget sofa bed

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H90 x W189 x D102cm
Extended length: W123 x L189cm
Mattress size: W123 x L189cm
Mattress type: Foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Generous three-seater width

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly firm to sit and sleep on
-
Side and back profile aren't the most attractive
-
Limited upholstery options

If you’re looking for a large sofa bed that won't break the bank, then the very generous Habitat Kota 3 Seater Sofa Bed offers spacious seating at a very affordable price point.

For well under £500 the armless seating offers a simple click-clack design where the backrest folds down to create a flat sleeping surface. At first glance those oversized Chesterfield style pockets might look a little extreme for a seating or sleeping surface, but it’s perfectly acceptable for lounging on and creates a roughly small double-sized sleeping area once extended. You’ll probably want to add a mattress topper to add extra comfort and to protect the sofa upholstery, but that’s the case with most fold-out sofa beds.

Looks-wise the Kota comes in six colourways in total, including vibrant flame orange, two grey options, and three velvet upholstery options in shades of green, teal or mid-grey. It is worth noting that the side profile of this model leaves something to be desired, with the base platform not very well disguised. The slanted backrest also pushes this model out quite far into the room, so it may not be the best option if you’re short on space. However, as occasional seating or sleeping in a home office, kids playroom, or teenager’s bedroom, this great value sofa bed has a lot to offer.


A grey sofa bed from Heal'sReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Heal's)

5. Heal's Oswald Sofa Bed

Best sofa bed for everyday use in the living room: a king-size sofa bed with pocket-sprung seating and sleeping

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H98 x W222 x D103cm
Extended length: 152cm
Sleeping area size: H98 x W222 x D152cm
Sleeping area type: Pocket-sprung foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Contemporary design
+
Pocket-sprung foam seat and backrest makes for comfortable sitting and sleeping
+
Foam and feather back cushions
+
A super generous king-sized sleeping area
+
Hidden storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Only three fabric options
-
Only one width option
-
Limited showroom availability to try before you buy

Heal’s Oswald sofa bed fuses good design with sit and sleep comfort – often a hard trio to find in the search for a multifunctional sleeper sofa.

The modern design hides some particularly well-considered construction, with the seat and backrest formed from a mix of pocket-springs, 'high-resilient', and 'hyper-soft' foam cushioning. This makes for a seat with a good amount of give and bounce – not a soft and squishy sofa, but, definitely somewhere we’d be comfortable sitting all evening if you’re considering a sofa bed as your everyday living room seating. 

And, as the seat and backrest fold out to become the sleeping surface, it offers a comfortable sleep experience too – in our opinion akin to a dedicated mattress.

The loose back cushions are also a cut above the standard, with feathers and foam creating a comfortable surface to relax against, and the back height providing plenty of support. Plus, once the sofa bed is pulled out into position, a handy storage area means these cushions can be stored safely away so as not to clutter the room.

The leather tab at the front of the sofa makes pulling the seat section up and out to transform the sofa into a bed fairly easy, and the legs fold out automatically creating a super generous king-size sleeping surface that’s a fairly good height from the floor.

The downsides? There are only three upholstery options, and taller guests may perhaps find having armrests top and bottom of the sleeping area a little claustrophobic. And then of course there’s the price. This sofa bed is an investment. However, if your budget allows – and your home suits the contemporary design – this is one of the best sofa beds we’ve come across in terms of comfort.


A grey chaise storage sofa bed

(Image credit: Dreams)

5. Dreams Limerick Sofa Bed

Best sofa bed for movie night: an easy to extend chaise with hidden storage

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 1 - 2
Sofa size: H91 x W211 x D154cm
Extended length: 211
Sleeping area size: L187 x W118
Sleeping area type: Pocket-sprung foam fold-out
Upholstery options: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Good price for a chaise sofa bed
+
Pocket-sprung foam seating
+
Easy to extend the bed section out
+
Hidden storage in chaise compartment
+
Configure the chaise section on the left or right
+
Coordinating furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly firm seating
-
A little shorter and narrower than a standard small double mattress
-
Self-assembly required

Not everyone wants a sofa bed that's just for guests. With Dream's Limerick chaise sofa bed a hidden extension under the main seat allows you to quickly and easily pull out some extra space for putting your feet up; so no fighting over who gets the chaise section, and it makes for a great way to cosy up and get comfortable ahead of movie night or a Netflix binge.

That said, if you do want to use it as a bed, then, of course, that option is there too, with just under a small double's worth of sleeping area once the sofa bed is extended. 

Pocket-sprung foam seat cushions also add a little more bounce to the equation, although we'd recommend a mattress topper to cushion the gaps between the main seat, sofa bed extension, and chaise section once things are extended (and to protect the upholstery). 

There are only three colour options with this sofa bed, but all are versatile neutrals, including a natural beige tone, a light 'Misty' grey, and a darker 'Smoke' grey, and the blocky design makes for a timeless design that will blend with a wide range of decor styles. Plus, there's a matching armchair and ottoman if you want to complete the look.

The hidden storage under the chaise section is also a useful bonus – creating a space to stash away guest bedding, that all-important mattress protector, or just some extra blankets and throws for when it's time to get snuggly.


A classic sofa bed in blue upholsteryReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

6. Sofa.com Bluebell Sofa Bed

Best classic sofa bed: firm but stylish seating that works well in a period property

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H95 x W202 x D110cm
Extended length: 233cm
Sleeping area size: L183 x W143 x D10cm
Sleeping area type: Pull-out foam mattress
Upholstery options: 70+

Reasons to buy

+
Classic design is great for a period property
+
Available in loveseat, 2, 2.5 and 3 seater options
+
Wide selection of upholstery choices
+
Coordinating furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly firm seating
-
A little shorter than a standard small double mattress
-
Takes up a fair amount of space when extended

If you have a period home or just prefer a more classic sofa shape to a contemporary design – and don’t want to spend a small fortune! – then finding a sofa bed to suit can become a little more tricky.

The Bluebell sofa bed from Sofa.com is one option that delivers in the looks department and isn’t too much of a compromise on comfort, although the sitting experience is fairly firm. 

The sofas rolled arms, piped upholstery detailing, and turned wood legs on castors all work to deliver an elegant period aesthetic. A traditional look that is made possible largely due to the pull-out sofa bed construction, with a hidden metal bedframe and dedicated mattress folded up and stowed away underneath the seat cushions.

This design – common to nearly all pull-out sofa beds – means the sofa seat cushions are resting on the back of the metal bed frame when the sofa is upright, which explains the firmness of the seat. Most normal sofas have webbing or springs in the frame under the seat cushions which provides much more give and bounce and generally makes for a far more comfortable sitting experience. 

However, the Bluebell’s seat cushions are made from feather-wrapped foam which ups the seat comfort levels a notch, and the backrest is firm yet with enough give to be comfortable, and we found the high back offered plenty of back support. 

This classic design also has a brilliant range of upholstery fabrics on offer – over seventy in fact – which makes tailoring a look to suit your home easy work. As one of Sofa.com’s bestselling sofa designs, there is also a good selection of matching furniture available, including an armchair, traditional sofa, chaise and corner sofa, and a coordinating ottoman, making it easy to integrate this sofa bed into a wider living room suite.


A corner sofa bed in a contemporary living room

(Image credit: Snug)

7. Snug Cloud Sundae sofa bed

Best corner sofa bed: spacious modular seating with a hidden pull-out sofa bed

Specifications

Seats: 4+
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H98 x W various x D various
Extended length: 183cm
Sleeping area size: L183 x W132 x D6cm
Sleeping area type: Pull-out foam mattress
Upholstery options: 5

Reasons to buy

+
Modular design makes adding or subtracting seating simple
+
Delivered in boxes - useful for rooms with tricky access
+
Quick delivery
+
Easy to disassemble and reassemble if you move house

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upholstery options
-
Foam mattress isn't the thickest
-
A little shorter than a standard double mattress
-
Self-assembly required (but its super easy)

A corner sofa bed can be an especially tricky piece of furniture to source, perhaps because if you have the space to fit one into your home, it can sometimes be better to opt for two standalone pieces of furniture – a classic sofa so you can maximise comfort for everyday lounging and a (generally firmer) sofa bed for occasional seating and multifunctionality. 

However, if you want the best of both worlds then a modular corner sofa bed could be the way to go, and Snug's Cloud Sundae seating offers a whole host of configuration options to ensure you can create a sofa layout to best suit your space, whether that's a corner option, an L-shaped, or a U-shaped seating layout.

One of the original sofa-in-a-box pioneers, a Snug sofa also offers plenty of added benefits, from the super-quick next day delivery options, to the incredibly easy-to-assemble flat-packed designs that mean all components are delivered in boxes – particularly useful for getting a large item like a corner sofa into an apartment, or any room with awkward access.

That ease of assembly – no tools are required, and in our tests self-assembly really did take under 10 minutes (read our Snug sofa review for the full lowdown) – also makes for hassle-free disassembly and reassembly if you move home. And, if your room space, family, or budget expands, the modular design makes it easy to add additional sections as your needs dictate.


Brook + Wilde brunel sofa bed in navy blue velvet upholstery

(Image credit: Brook + Wilde)

8. Brook + Wilde Brunel Sofa Bed

Best sofa bed for sleeping: a pull-out sofa bed made by mattress specialists

Specifications

Seats: 3
Sleeps: 2
Sofa size: H65 x W190 x D83cm
Extended length: 226cm
Mattress size: L180 x W133 x D10cm
Mattress type: Pocket-sprung memory foam
Upholstery options: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Pocket-sprung memory foam mattress
+
Assembly in the room of your choice included in the price

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upholstery options
-
Just under a small double's worth of sleeping space
-
No showroom availability to try before you buy

Generally speaking, sofa beds tend to be made by sofa manufacturers, so the launch of a sleeper sofa by specialist sleep brand Brook + Wilde suggests new levels of mattress comfort might be on the horizon for overnight guests. 

Better known for its luxury mattresses – many of which have been put through their paces and scored highly in our best mattress guides – Brook + Wilde is at the luxury end of the bedding market, focusing on multi-layered mattress construction and super soft goose feather and down duvet covers and pillows. 

The three-seater Brunel sofa bed from Brook + Wilde aims to channel that sleep expertise into three sizes of sofa bed - a snuggler chair, a small two-seater sofa and a three-seater sofa bed – all available in six velvet sofa colour options. 

The focus of this sofa bed is definitely on the mattress itself, with the design inspired by Brook + Wilde's Lux mattress, and combining six layers of foam and pocket-spring construction to offer a good night's sleep. 

If you have more than one guest staying they will need to be happy sleeping fairly snugly though, as the snuggler chair's mattress comes in narrower and shorter than a standard single mattress, and the three-seater option similarly comes in just under a standard double's worth of sleeping space. 


The Eve sleep away roll-up mattress

(Image credit: Eve)

9. Eve Sleep Away Mattress

Best sofa bed alternative: a single mattress designed to roll away when not in use

Specifications

Seats: n/a
Sleeps: 1
Sofa size: n/a
Extended length: 190cm
Mattress size: W75 x L190cm x D8cm
Mattress type: Foam
Upholstery options: n/a

Reasons to buy

+
An affordable overnight guest option
+
Compact

Reasons to avoid

-
It's not a sofa bed

OK, so it's definitely not a sofa bed, but if budget is tight or you don't want to sacrifice floor space to a permanent piece of furniture, then this roll-up foam mattress from Eve could be a good solution for the occasional overnighter.

A cut above your regular blow-up mattress, the Sleep Away mattress offers guests an 8cm layer of substantial foam to bed down on and transforms into a compact roll when not in use – with a handy zipper that ensures it doesn't come unrolled – plus a carry handle if you want to take it out on location. Glamping anyone?

Once unfurled Eve says you should give it 30 minutes to plump up to full volume – far better than half an hour spent inflating a blow-up mattress with a foot pump – although when we tried it we found it was ready to use pretty much instantly.

Inside the sleeping surface is just a simple block of foam (we were kind of expecting some hidden springs) but we tested it overnight and found it was perfectly comfortable for a few nights' sleep, although it is worth noting that without any spring support heavier sleepers will compress the foam more, so may end up sleeping closer to the ground.

The removable grey cover with Eve's distinctive yellow highlights has a nice textural feel and makes things look and feel a lot less basic, plus it can be removed and washed at up at 40 degrees. It was also simple to roll the bedding up, and zip up the fastener so it stays rolled – although potentially you might save more space by keeping it flat and sliding it under a bed when not in use.

Of course, with this option your guests will still pretty much be sleeping on the floor, but we think it's a useful option to have to hand for sleepovers and impromptu overnight stays.


An orange velvet sofa bed extended in a modern living room

(Image credit: Dreams)

The best sofa beds: a buyer's guide

To uncover the best sofa bed for your home – and budget – it’s helpful to first understand the two key types of sofa beds that are commonly available; click-clack and pull-out.

Click-clack sofa beds
Click-clack sofa beds are the simplest design. In these models the backrest and seat of the sofa fold flat to become the sleeping surface, with the locking mechanism making the distinctive 'click-clack' noise after which they're named. 

Most commonly made of solid foam, at the cheaper end of the market a fold-out sofa bed generally tends to be on the firmer side for both sitting and sleeping, so they're often best used as occasional seating and sleeping options – good for the home office, playroom, or a sleepover space in a children's bedroom, but probably not for your main everyday seating in the living room. 

The exception to this rule is the click-clack sofa bed that employs pocket springs hidden in the seat cushions and backrest to up the comfort levels considerably. These tend to be more expensive, but in our opinion deliver one of the most comfortable sofa bed sitting and sleeping experiences.

Also worth bearing in mind is the fact that the sleeping surface of a click-clack sofa bed is often very low to the ground; fine for the young at heart, but perhaps not the best option for less spritely guests or longer stays. And, because your guests are sleeping on the fabric upholstery surface there's potentially a little more risk of wear and tear.

On the plus side, a click clack sofa bed tends to be much more affordable than its pull-out counterparts, this design generally takes up less room once extended than a pull-out option – so is useful for rooms that are limited on space – and click clack sofa beds tend to come in contemporary designs and have shorter lead times, although upholstery options are generally more limited. 

Pull-out sofa beds
Alternatively, a pull-out sofa bed is often the most similar in design to a traditional sofa. In this design a dedicated mattress and a collapsible bed frame are pulled out of a hidden compartment under the sofa seat cushions, so to look at the seating before the bed is extended you might never know a sofa bed was hiding inside.

However, although visually you may be none-the-wiser to the hidden mattress, you can often become very aware when you sit down. This is because the design of a pull-out sofa bed tends to mean the sofa seat cushions sit directly on top of the structural bed frame (rather than the sprung support of a regular sofa), so if the seat cushions don't have much depth or offer support and bounce in and of themselves you can end up with a very firm sitting experience.  

Once the bed frame is pulled out then the mattress is generally a similar height to a regular bed, and the dedicated mattress (depending on its thickness and construction) can make the sleeping experience of similar comfort to sleeping in a real bed.

Plus, pull-out sofa beds tend to have a much wider range of upholstery choices on offer to ensure you don't need to compromise on style choices, and, as they are most often produced by specialist sofa manufacturers, it's more likely that the sofa bed will be part of a coordinating furniture range, so it's easier to blend one of these options in with a wider living room suite.

A pull-out sofa bed will tend to take up more room though as the backrest and arms stay in place once the bed is extended, and, because of those upholstery options, there is often a long lead time for a pull-out model compared to a click-clack option, so you might need to be prepared for a wait. They can also tend to be the most expensive sofa bed options. 


How to choose the best sofa bed for your home

Room size: Before buying it's a good idea to measure out the size of the sofa bed on the floor of the room you're going to put it in first to make sure it fits.

Remember to assess the depth of the sofa bed, both in sofa form - so you have plenty of room to walk around the room and access doors and windows - and when the sofa bed is extended for sleep. Take a look at our small living room layout ideas to see if your planned room layout is the best use of limited space. 

It's also worth bearing in mind that with a click clack sofa bed the backrest becomes a part of the sleeping surface, but with a pull-out sofa bed, the sofa back remains in place, which can mean that when extended the bed takes up quite a bit more floor space. 

Unless your sofa bed is self-assembled, make sure to check and measure access requirements too to ensure you can get your sofa bed into the room you plan to use it in!

Seating space: This one is fairly self-explanatory, but if your sofa bed is going to be your household's main sofa then make sure you have enough seating space for everyone to sit comfortably. A chaise sofa is great for families or couples as it allows two people to recline, or extra room for kids to pile on.

Mattress size: Always double-check the size of the sofa bed mattress before you buy, as they can differ greatly. Although a sofa bed may say it's a double, it often isn't as generous as a regular double mattress would be - both in width or length - so if you're likely to be sleeping two guests, and they're staying a good length of time, you may want to go for a bigger sleeping area to make them more comfortable.

For reference:

Single mattress size: W90 x L190cm

Small double mattress size: W120 x L190cm

Double mattress size: W135 x L190cm

King mattress size: W150 x L200cm

Mattress construction: As well as the mattress size, it's also well worth checking what type of mattress construction you'll be getting with a pull-out sofa bed. Budget pull-out models tend to have thin (approx. 6cm deep), solid foam mattresses that  - other than the height of the sleeping surface - don't really offer much more comfort than a click-clack sofa bed, whereas higher-end options offer open-sprung, pocket-sprung or even memory foam mattresses in depths ranging from 10 - 14cm. 

For the full lowdown on the difference between mattress types, read our guide to how to choose the best mattress, but generally speaking, the deepest mattress is likely to be the most comfortable (we've probably all encountered the lumps and bumps of the bedframe sticking up through a thin sofa bed mattress!). 

Mechanism: It's always best to test a sofa bed mechanism out in-store first if possible. This will give you a good idea of how easy you find it to fold and unfold. 

A  fold-out or click clack sofa bed is more likely to be heavy to extend and retract, whereas a pull-out design uses springs and levers to make extending more energy efficient.


Are sofa beds comfortable?

The honest answer is they can be, but, in our experience, in terms of seat comfort, you're unlikely to find one that's as comfortable as a dedicated sofa for sitting. Even the most comfortable sofa beds are still on the firm side rather than being the type of seating you're going to want to snuggle down into to catch up on your favourite Netflix series. 

In general, a sofa bed is best used as occasional seating in a spare room or guest room where they can provide a comfortable spot for daytime perching and create a multifunctional guest bedroom. 

However, in terms of sleeping, the answer is yes, sofa beds can be very comfortable. 

As a general rule, click-clack sofa beds are often more firm to sleep on, and pull-out sofa beds with a deep pocket-sprung or memory foam mattress are most likely to offer the sleeping experience closest to a normal sofa and bed. 

However, whichever option you go for, it's fairly easy to increase the comfort levels of your sofa bed further - and keep upholstery nice and clean - by adding a mattress topper over the sleeping area. Find the best options for your sofa bed in our guide to the best mattress toppers.

And once you're ready for guests, find some bed linen to impress in our guide to the best bedding.


How we chose the sofa beds included in this guide

To find the best sofa beds for all budgets we’ve walked multiple miles around multiple sofa bed showrooms and laid down on the job to try out plenty of the most popular designs, plus grilled the Real Homes team for their expert knowledge, along with their friends, and their friend's friends, to find out how their sofa bed choices are holding up to the rigours of day to day life. We also take into account the wider views of those who own each product, whether that’s via online reviews or social media. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Real Homes.

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

After completing a major house renovation, Amy discovered what she had always suspected; that decorating is the best part. She joined the Real Homes team to share her love for all things interior, finally putting all those hours spent agonizing over the best white paint to good use in Real Homes’ carefully researched buying guides, and helping readers to find the best furniture, decor, and furnishings to create the home they've always dreamed of. 

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