Best chair beds: a space-saving way to host overnight guests

Compact buys that are big on comfort

A grey chair bed with a pull-out mattress in a modern living room with a navy blue wall and glass patio doors
(Image credit: Snug)

Multifunctional and space-saving, the best chair beds on the market are a great solution for those of us who want the option to host overnight guests but are short on floor space. 

Whether used as an accent chair in the living room, or as an addition to a compact home office or a children's bedroom, a chair bed is a versatile option that still allows you to play host or hostess with the most, even if you don't have a dedicated guest bedroom, or the space to fit a full-sized sofa bed.

Just like the best sofa beds, chair beds come in two main designs; either a fold-out bed where the chair's seat and backrest fold flat to become the sleeping surface or a pull-out design where a mattress unfolds from underneath the seat. Most chair beds only offer a single mattress' worth of sleeping space – many a little less – although if you have a bit more space to play with, then a loveseat sofa bed can sometimes squeeze in two guests.

To help you decide which is the best chair bed for you, we've tried and tested bestselling designs, read multiple reviews from verified owners, 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 chair beds available – in terms of style, price, and budget – listed directly below.


Best chair beds

A grey chair bed in a modern living room

(Image credit: MADE)

1. MADE Haru Single Sofa Bed

A compact chair bed that offers stylish design on a budget

Specifications

RRP: from £280
Type of chair bed: click-clack
Dimensions: H78 x W77 x D86cm
Extended length: 182cm
Sleeping area dimensions: W77 x L182cm
Mattress depth: n/a
Mattress type: n/a
Upholstery options: 12
Average lead time: 1 - 16 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly
+
Space-saving size when extended
+
Good range of upholstery options
+
Velvet options offer a luxe look for less
+
Also available in 120cm or 140cm width

Reasons to avoid

-
Low-to-the-ground sleeping area
-
Narrow sleeping area
-
More risk of wear to the upholstery than with a pull-out mattress

MADE’s Haru chair bed is one of the most compact and budget-friendly chair beds we’ve come across, and it delivers in the style stakes. 

At just 77cm in width, the armless sleeper chair fits into small spaces with ease, although if you have a little more space to play with then the Haru Small sofa bed (opens in new tab), with its still-compact 120cm width, offers guests just under a small double's worth of sleeping space. (We think it's a bit of a tight squeeze for two, but it makes a generous bed-for-the-night for one).

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. The coordinating accent cushion covers the concealed legs when the chair bed is in seat mode, and provides 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.

Style-wise, the contemporary design is available in a good range of luxe-look velvet colourways and a mix of colourful hardwearing woven fabrics, and although the foam cushioning doesn't offer the sort of sink-in comfort you might want from your main living room sofa, it's perfectly adequate as occasional seating, making this a brilliant sofa bed for the spare room, home office, or for use as accent seating in the living room.


A grey armchair chair bed in a living room with a wooden floor

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

2. Furniture Village Cory Chair Bed

A generous chair bed that's comfortable enough for everyday use in the living room

Specifications

RRP: from £1345
Type of chair bed: pull-out mattress
Dimensions: H96 x W127 x D95cm
Extended length: 228cm
Sleeping area dimensions: W76 x L183cm
Mattress depth: 11cm
Mattress type: pocket spring
Upholstery options: 9
Average lead time: 10 - 12 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable enough for everyday use as living room seating
+
11cm deep pocket spring mattress
+
Fiber-wrapped foam seat cushions offer low-maintenance comfort
+
Classic or scatter-cushion back options
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment, although look out for fairly regular discounts
-
Narrow sleeping area
-
Not the most compact option
-
Takes up quite a lot of space once extended
-
Limited upholstery options and fabrics aren't the most inspiring
-
Fairly lengthy average lead times

Although it's (a lot) more of an investment than MADE's Haru single sofa bed, the Cory chair bed from Furniture Village achieves the seemingly impossible – a sit/sleep option that's barely distinguishable from a dedicated armchair in terms of seat comfort – somewhat of a rarity if you're looking for a multifunctional option that will allow you to host overnight guests without compromising on your own comfort if the sleeper chair is to be part of your main living room seating.

The chair's seat depth is the perfect compromise between loungey and upright to keep both sitters and curler-uppers content, and the sink-in yet supportive fibre back cushions and fibre-topped foam seat cushions add to the comfort levels and do a great job of disguising the pull-out mattress and bed frame hidden away within the chair's frame.

Guests won't be disappointed either, with the 11cm deep pocket-spring mattress offering a comfortable bed for the night, especially if you add a mattress topper for a little more padding.

There is also a wide choice of coordinating furniture, so if you want a chair bed that can integrate into a matching living room suite this option is well worth considering. Our only niggle is on the upholstery front, with limited colour options in some fairly thin fabrics, plus, lead times are fairly lengthy with this option. 

However, if you're looking for comfort, then this remains a strong choice, especially if you can snap it up at a discount in one of Furniture Village's regular sales.


A futon chair bed with cream cushions in a wooden floored living room

(Image credit: Dunelm)

3. Dunelm Mito Single Futon

An affordable single futon bed in a range of colour options

Specifications

RRP: from £159
Type of chair bed: futon
Dimensions: H75 x W76 x D85cm
Extended length: 195cm
Sleeping area dimensions: W76 x L195cm
Mattress depth: n/a
Mattress type: n/a
Upholstery options: 12
Average lead time: 1 week

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly
+
Space-saving size when extended

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic design
-
Low-to-the-ground sleeping area
-
Fairly firm to sit and sleep on
-
Wooden frame is a little roughly finished

This futon-style chair bed may be fairly basic, but if you're after an affordable way to put up the occasional overnight guest then at just £159 it makes for a useful and budget-friendly extra sleeping space.

You can opt for the minimal Japandi vibes of the natural or pale grey upholstery, or there are multiple other colour options available, including practical darks and vibrant brights.

The FSC-certified solid pine frame is fairly roughly finished – there were a few sections that looked like they could splinter on the model we tested – and at this price point the sleeping is a fairly firm experience, so guests might struggle to spend a whole week on this temporary bed (which may or may not be a good thing!). Sleepers also won't be that far off the floor once the futon bed is extended which may not be ideal for less mobile visitors. 

However, if you only need a guest bed for the occasional overnighter and want a cheap and cheerful option that's a little more permanent than a roll-up or inflatable mattress, this budget option could strike just the right balance.


A bed in a box with blue upholstery and a pull-out mattress

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

4. Sofa.com Henry Bed In Box

A useful chair bed alternative in a wide range of upholstery options

Specifications

RRP: from £510
Type of chair bed: pull-out mattress
Dimensions: H42 x W107 x D74cm
Extended length: 218cm
Sleeping area dimensions: W83 x L183cm
Mattress depth: 8.5cm
Mattress type: pocket spring
Upholstery options: 90
Average lead time: 4 - 6 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile chair bed alternative that can be used as a footstool or extra seating
+
Wide range of upholstery options

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly thin mattress

As an alternative to a chair bed, this ottoman bed-in-a-box that hides a single pull-out mattress is a solution well worth exploring. 

At just 107cm wide and 74cm deep it's a great option for a smaller room, either acting as a footstool in the living room, or a place to perch in a compact home office or children's bedroom, and with ninety upholstery options to choose from, finding a fabric and colour that blends with existing decor is easy work.

The ottoman holds a single pocket-spring pull-out mattress, which at 8.5cm deep isn't quite as thick a mattress as other options on our list, but still made for a passable night's sleep in our tests, although adding a mattress topper will increase comfort levels considerably. 

The lid of the footstool also lifts and slots into the base to serve as a headboard which is a nice design feature.


A grey chair bed with a pull out mattress in a dark blue living room

(Image credit: Snug)

5. Snug Small Biggie Snuggler Single Sofa Bed

A quick delivery chair bed that's perfect for renters or those with awkward access

Specifications

RRP: from £1049
Type of chair bed: pull-out mattress
Dimensions: H98 x W128.5 x D103cm
Extended length: 238cm
Sleeping area dimensions: W63 x L183cm
Mattress depth: 6cm
Mattress type: pocket spring
Upholstery options: 5
Average lead time: under a week

Reasons to buy

+
Super fast delivery options
+
Flatpack design makes for easy delivery to rooms with tricky access
+
Easily disassembled and reassembled if you move home
+
Arms removable if short on space
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment
-
Very narrow sleeping area
-
Not the most compact option
-
Takes up quite a lot of space once extended
-
Limited upholstery options

Snug's chair-bed-in-a-box arrives flat-packed, making it a great option for apartment dwellers, or those with awkward access. The brand also does away with long lead times, with most products available for delivery in well under seven days; perfect if you need an overnight guest bed, fast.

You will need to do some self-assembly on delivery, but there are no tools needed, and we found putting Snug's furniture together super quick and easy based on our Snug Rebel sofa-in-a-box review. Plus, it means this chair bed is equally easy to disassemble and rebuild; a big bonus if you're renting or likely to move house anytime soon.

Sitting and sleeping surfaces are on the firmer side, but the curvaceous design certainly looks the part, offering stylish and contemporary seating that has a lot of built-in conveniences. Snug also offers a great range of coordinating furniture to create a whole easy-to-pack-up living room suite.

The only downsides? Upholstery options are currently a little limited, and considering the width of the chair frame, the mattress width is definitely on the narrow side, which won't leave much wiggle room for larger guests.


The Eve sleep away roll-up mattress

(Image credit: Eve)
(opens in new tab)

6. Eve Sleep Away Mattress

A compact and affordable spare bed alternative

Specifications

RRP: from £179
Type of sofa bed: roll-up mattress
Sleeping area dimensions: 75 x 190cm
Mattress depth: 8cm
Mattress type: foam
Upholstery options: 1
Average lead time: Under a week

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Perfect if you're short on floor space
+
Doubles up as a camping mattress for nights away

Reasons to avoid

-
Guests are basically sleeping on the floor

OK, so it's definitely not a chair 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.

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 if space, or budget, is a key consideration, then we still think it's a useful option that's well worth considering for sleepovers and impromptu overnight stays.


How to choose the best chair bed for your home

Measure up
If you're thinking of investing in a chair bed then it's likely you're looking for an overnight sleep solution that's compact enough to fit into a small space, whether that's a small living room, a multifunctional home office, or a sleepover option for a kid's bedroom. Therefore one of the key factors to consider before you make your purchase is the chair bed's footprint. 

Check the dimensions of the chair bed both in seat form and when the chair 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). A click-clack chair bed, where the seat and backrest fold flat to create the sleeping surface will generally have the smallest footprint once extended, whereas a pull-out sofa bed where the sofa back remains in place can need a little more extension space.

Unless your chosen chair bed is self-assembly, make sure to check and measure access requirements too to ensure it fits easily into your destination room (and through any awkwardly angled doorways, hallways, or staircases) on delivery day.

Sit comfort
Generally speaking, the more comfortable you want your chair bed to be the more money you're likely to need to spend, so it's well worth considering just how often you'll actually sit in it before you buy.

If you want a chair bed that can be used as everyday seating in the living room then you'll probably want to consider a more classic armchair design. Look for an option that offers a good depth seat, armrests, and comfortable seat and back cushions; feather-wrapped foam or fibre-wrapped foam is generally a good bet, offering squish-factor whilst maintaining their shape with minimal plumping.

If the chair bed only needs to be suitable for occasional use as an accent chair, you're likely to be able to find a cheaper (and more compact) option, with several armless click-clack or futon designs that offer affordable versatility.

Sleep comfort
Most chair beds will only offer a single sleeping space, although some loveseat options manage to squeeze in a small double's worth of reclining room. However, all chair beds are not created equal in terms of sleeping space, so make sure to check the measurements of the sleeping area before you buy. Generally, a chair or sofa bed will offer a narrower and shorter sleeping area than a standard single or small double mattress.

For reference:

Single mattress size: W90 x L190cm

Small double mattress size: W120 x L190cm

If you opt for a pull-out chair bed then it's also important to check the small print on the mattress you're getting. Budget pull-out chair beds tend to have thin (approx. 6cm deep) mattresses, whereas higher-end options may offer pocket-spring or memory foam mattresses in depths ranging up to 12cm. 

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!). 


How we chose the best chair beds for this guide

To find the best chair 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. 

SPONSORS