Archived Q&A and Reviews

Comfortable sleeper sofa?

Nov 2007

Does anyone have a really comfortable sleeper sofa? We have a spare bedroom that we use as a TV/playroom and a guest room when family comes to visit. We have a queen-sized Jennifer Convertibles sleeper sofa in there and it is just not very comfortable, especially for a couple. kht

We have a great sleeper couch from American Upholstery. It has a unique design that doesn't use the old school springs and super uncomfortable middle bar. It is made from flat sections of board and mattress that folds back into the couch shape easily. We LOVE it, and so do our guests. We bought ours from Evolution, but they are now closed. Other stores carry this brand, so look around. I know there is a store on Solano Ave in Berkeley that carries them, I just don't know the name of the store. Good luck! Patty

Totally hear you about wanting a comfortable sofabed. Until we found ours we weren't sure they existed. We bought an AU brand sleeper sofa (think it stands for American Upholstery) about 3 years ago and have been very happy with it. As a sofa it is very comfy to sit on and has nice clean lines. As a sleeper, it is great as it doesn't have that awful metal bar jutting across the midsection and no springs to poke you in odd places. I think it uses a trampoline type platform with a thick foam mattress instead. Our guests have all raved about it, and we slept on it ourselves very comfortably when our bedroom was being repainted. 2 downsides: (1) It is very heavy when/if you ever need to move (2) It is definitely pricier than basic sofabeds but we've found it very worth it. (we bought it at the now defunct Evolution but I believe quite a few other stores carry it as well, though I'm not sure who). Good luck and happy hosting! Julie

We have a great sleeper sofa that has an airmattress bed. It cost us a little more, but has been worth it. Its very comfortable, and also makes the sofa it self lighter and eaiser to move. happy sofa owner

Comfy sofa bed - is there such a thing?

Nov 2006

We are looking to buy a sofa bed for our parents to sleep on when they come up for visits. We have a small apartment and the only place for them to sleep is in my son's room. But of course, with a full-size bed out, there is no room for him to play. Our parents come up often so we would prefer the bed to actually be comfortable, not just tolerable. Any suggestions?

My folks bought a new sofa bed earlier this year. It has a blow up air mattress (like an aero bed). I was told it is very comfortable to sleep on. I don't know the brand.
Like to be comfy

AU Furniture/American Leather- awesome. Everyone who stays with us loves it. We bought ours based on a good friend's recommendation and have since had many more friends purchase the same brand, happily.

we had a similar issue. we researched sofabeds at jennifer's and ikea, and found none of the mattresses acceptable. finally, we found one at macy's with our goal being to find one that had the best mattress. it's several years old now, and my parents-in-law, who sleep on it regularly for many days when they visit, confirm that it's a great sleep. sometimes, we add an extra foam padding on top; and i'm sure this would help any situation

Try Scott Jordan couches--they are tri-fold foam mattresses with no springs. We bought one for our den and it's terrific. More expensive, but our guests are actually comfortable! You can also find this type at Macy's furniture (SF store carries them, i don't know about the others). There are other brands, but if you look at the Scott Jordan website, you'll get the idea of how they work and you might be able to find different brands. If you use it often, it is well, well worth the extra few hundred dollars.
good luck Julie

We have a simple IKEA bed that folds into a couch the European way (along its long axis). It has a storage compartment underneath for your linens, and you can get a cover for it in many colors (we have a velvety grey one with 2 loose pillows). I wouldn't call it super comfy - it is a little hard, but at least it does not have a bar in the middle like sofabeds do. I don't remember the model name, but it cost about $ 400 3 years ago. It is also quite sylish if you like modern decor. Kasia

We hate sofa beds, having slept on many at other people's houses. The mattresses are really not comfortable. What we did instead was buy a futon with an innerspring mattress. My prior futon experience was the college style hard mattress so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that now you can get a really nice innerspring mattress that will fold. It is expensive, and a bit heavy, but we happily put our older parents on it for a guest bed, and when we don't have guests it folds up like a couch. Plus it is nice for a kids' room since it is low to the ground.
anti sofa bed

Forget a sofabed. I have never slept on a comfortable sofabed. I'd recommend you shop for futons. At one time, we had a futon and a sofabed and had my sister-in-law and her family over. Initially, the kids were on the futon and my sister-in-law and her husband were on the sofabed. My brother-in-law, who had never seen a futon until then, tried it out. The next thing we knew, he was kicking the kids out of the futon and sending them to the sofabed! (He said they didn't have to worry about back support at their age. :-) ) The point is, futons have nice strong back support, and you can get a very cushy futon mattress. They fold up into a bench and easily unfold into a bed Gwynne

It all depends on your definition of ''comfy''. My husband and I happen to love hard mattresses and were thrilled to find a corner sofa at Ikea that opens up to a full size bed. The sofa itself fits into a corner of our very small den. The mattress is very firm and does not have that awful bar in the middle, which you usually find in standard sofa beds. My daughter and her husband slept on it and found it very comfortable. My son, however, who loves a soft mattress thought it was too hard. So, it's all a matter of taste. Anyway, you can check it out at Ikea. Cost is either $800 OR $900 depending on the fabric you choose. They also now have a Queen size version with removable slipcovers for $1400. Wish they'd had that one when we were looking to buy. Gabriele

They make sofa beds now that have an air mattress addition to the regular part of the mattress. We've had one for a few years now, and it's quite comfortable. My MIL happily sleeps on it for up to 2-week stretches when she comes to visit. We bought ours at Ethan Allen, but I know you can get them other places as well. Sofa beds are much improved

I have given up on sofabeds! I've had so many that just don't stay comfortable over the years, neither the couch nor the bed. A trundle bed might work for you. It's a bed that is normally a single but has a second bed underneath that you can pull out and it pops up with a REAL matress on it to make a double. This could be your son's bed. I think Pottery Barn has them. anon

I have a pottery barn sofa bed that is VERY comfortable. I believe the sofa is their Pottery Barn Basic sofa and the sofa bed maker is Mitchell Gold. My sofa is over 5 years old and they may have changed vendors, but it is worth a look. I have spent weeks sleeping on it at various times and it is never a problem.
happy sofa sleeper

We bought an ''American Upholstery'' sofa bed from High Cotton Living on Solano. Jean there sold it to us; she is really helpful and tries to get you what you want. We actually weren't looking for a sofa bed, but just a sofa. This sofa, with the bed, is more comfortable than without. The bed itself is easy to pull out and doesn't have any of those creaky springs that break down and soon make the bed uncomfortable. The bed is hard to describe, but it folds out in sections and is very firm and quite comfortable. mary

We found an extremely comfy sofa at Macys called AU (I am pretty sure that is the brand). It has no springs and is much smaller than most sofabeds. Everyone who has ever slept on it says it is the most comfy bed they have slept on. It was not cheap (maybe $1500) but is so worth it. Macys also has a great insurance policy where for a few extra hundred dollars they will replace the sofa or parts of it if there is any damage, even if it is your fault. The sofa is a nice suede and looks great in our extra room. Check it out Wendy

My first recommendation is to never buy a sofa bed unless you can actually lay on the mattress to test it. In other words, don't buy a sofa and assume the ''bed'' will be nice because the sofa is. We bought a sofa at Crate & Barrell in SF about 4-5 years ago. I've actually slept on it a few times and felt it was actually pretty comfy (i wouldn't trade it for my current bed, but I'd happily sleep on it again.) The maker is Mitchell Gold. I don't know where you are, but the only MG retailer in the east bay (as I am told) is High Cotton Living (at the top of Solano Ave. in Berkeley), which is another great place to find quality furniture. happy zzzzz's

How can I make my sofabed more comfortable?

Oct 2005

I just got a new sectional couch that has a fold out bed and it is VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. One reason we got the sectional was so that we could have guests over night. I do know that for the most part they aren't the most comfy beds to sleep on but you can actually feel the springs without even laying on it. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could do to make it more sleeper friendly so my guests don't wake up with a backache. Thanks

We have the same problem. I just ordered an Isotonic Mattress Pad from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I wish I could tell you if it made the bed comfortable, but it hasn't arrived yet.

I chose this one because it comes in a duffle bag, so it should be easy to store when the bed is folded up. You can email me in a couple weeks if you want, and I'll let you know how it works out. susan

Try buying a ''pillow top'' type of matress top for it. Most mattress stores should have one. You may not be able to fold the bed up with the pillow top on it, but could store it somewhere else when not in use. Then just unfold the sofa bed, lay the pillow top on top of it, and voila! Could also try a feather bed topping, but some people are allergic to down . . . so that may not work. love my pillow top

THis may not be the solution you want, but you could just take the mattress off the sofa and put it on the floor when you have guests. I've done that and it's a whole lot better than sleeping with springs in your back. Good luck, anon

Two ideas, both of which we use with our somewhat uncomfortable futon. Get a big roll of that ''egg-crate'' foam to spread out over the bed when you use it, or get an inflatable mattress with a foot pump. Either can be stored in the closet; the egg crate foam can go under the bottom sheet, but the inflatable's a bit more comfortable. Karen

My mother-in-law has bought a thick soft pad that she lays down on top of the mattress, and under the sheets. It may be stuffed with down. It helps, but it definitely keeps our visits short! jessie

We had this problem and solved it by putting a think layer of foam rubber ''pop corn'' under the mattress when we use it. You purchase it at a bed and bath shop. Good luck! Beth

Really comfortable sofa bed

June 2004

I am looking for a truly comfortable sofa bed - for use as a couch and a bed. It needs to be sturdy and comfy for day to day use in our den but also work for grandparents to sleep in when they come visit. The standard futon couchs we've tried aren't very comfortable as couchs. We haven't tried the ones that have more foam in them. They cost more but are they better? Any other ideas? Tired of back aches

My husband and I bought an IKEA sofa bed/ futon for the same purpose and love it. I do not know the model name, but it simply pulls out into a queen size mattress. There is also a storage box underneath that runs along the whole front of the couch. The mattress is a little firm, but we laso use a feather bed on top. I hope this helps. Katja

We looked all over for the same thing and were amazed by how uncomfortable a couch most sofa beds make. The only one we found that was comfortable as a couch and bed was at Crate & Barrel. It was expensive, but it is truly very comfortable and is holding up well. The bed has an actual Serta mattress (not super thick though), and no painful bar mid-back. Happy Sofa Sleeper

Have you tried the Erktop sofa-bed model in Ikea? It seems farily comfortable and reasonably priced. Eva

Forget the futons, which tend not to be very comfortable either as couch or as bed, and get a real sofabed. Jennifer Convertibles (various locations) has a good selection of comfortable options at reasonable prices. We bought one to use as our living room sofa; it's very comfy as a couch, my parents have no complaints about it as a bed, and it's held up pretty well to a toddler's abuse. (Spring for the upholstery protection program, which will pay for cleaning or reupholstering in the event of nasty stains.) Or, for really excellent quality and comfort, though you'll pay a premium, check out Krause's Sofa Factory. Holly

Hideaway bed for our home office

June 2003

are there any hideaway beds that are as sturdy/comfortable as a regular bed? we're setting up an office in the guest room, so it would be great to have some kind of bed/sofa combo. we're not interested in a futon couch. camille

Expensive but very sturdy and comfortable: Krause's Sofa Factory. Less expensive, less sturdy but still good quality and plenty comfy for guests: Jennifer. Inexpensive, but nicer than a futon: IKEA. Holly

I saw 5 or 6 of these at Salvation Army on 7th at Webster in Oakland last weekend. There was enough room to open them up & check them out. At least half looked like very good quality. $30-60 in price. Jennie

Need a high quality sofa bed

Jan 2003

We need to purchase a high-quality sofa bed for my elderly mother to sleep on when she visits. (The futon bed is just not cutting it.) Because of space concerns, we've decided to try to find a nice looking sofa with a comfortable bed. Does anyone know of such a thing or have any recommendations? The only place I have even heard of is Jennifer Convertibles, which I haven't checked yet, but I was wondering if there are others.

Don't have a rec. for a sofa-bed, but I do recommmend that you get a thin foam mattress to put over it (or over the futon you already have). It makes any bed/futon really comfy. anon

I know you specifically asked about sofa beds but I have an alternative that you may want to consider. My in-laws couldn't stand sleeping on our futon so we thought we'd try an Aerobed. To my surprise, they love sleeping on it! It's much more comfortable than any other airbed I've tried and apparently some people like them so much that they use them every night, not just for guests. We bought ours at Costco, I think for just over $100. One of the nicest features is that you can store it in a closet when it's not in use. Amanda

Most places that sell furniture have some sofabeds, or couches that can be ordered as sofabeds. Ashby Home Furniture (I think that's the name - in the same building as OSH) in southwest Berkeley often advertises sofabeds. IKEA has several inexpensive options. Other than Jennifer, the place that specializes in this is Krause's Sofa Factory. Their prices are higher than Jennifer's and their construction is higher quality. Not that anything is *wrong* with Jennifer; we - and our overnight guests - have been very happy with ours. But if you're willing to pay the price for the best quality, look at Krause's. Holly

I was in Evolution Furniture in Berkeley last weekend. They had a sofabed that was very comfortable with lots of support. It wasn't 100 percent free of lumps, but very nearly. They also have stores in San Francisco and San Rafael. [My husband works for Evolution, in the business office, and would not profit from any sale.] Nancy

Comfy Sleeper Sofa

Nov 2003

Looking for a comfy-to-sit-on sleeper sofa for our living room. What's the word on the pottery barn sleepers? Anywhere else we should look? Is there any place we can test the bed part? Anyone heard of Lee Sofas? Thanks much! madeleine

We bought ours at Jennifer and have been very pleased with it. Guests report is it comfortable to sleep on and to sit on. And I suspect Jennifer stores have the best selection of sofabeds anywhere. We also looked at Krause's Sofa Factory and were impressed with the apparent quality of their sofabeds, but the prices are also very high. Might be worth it, but we decided to spend less and haven't regretted it. Holly

Sofabed or nice-looking futon- Small

Sept 2003

It's been a while since anyone has written in about sofabeds, so I'm looking for some current advice. I need a sofabed or nice looking futon that will fit in a small space. Probably no more than a full size bed equivalent. This means something more like a big chair or a couch without arms. This bed might get a fair amount of use, so I want one that is truly comfortable, no feeling bars or springs through the mattress. But also easy to expand and collapse. Any recommendations where I can find such an item? Tx, Amy

Have you considered buying an aerobed? We shopped around extensively for a smallish sofabed, but when we got to Jennifer Convertibles, the saleswoman there actually suggested the aerobed! She said that for the money, it made much more sense to buy an aerobed (which if you're not aware is a blow-up air mattress), which was infinitely more comfortable than a sofa bed, and a non-convertible sofa. So that is what we did, and we're quite pleased, as are our guests. In fact, the choice enabled us to get quite a snazzy little 2.5 person sofa at Viking Trader, much chicer than any of the convertibles we saw. Aerobeds are also much cheaper than convertible sofas, and the price of an aerobed plus an inexpensive nonconvertible sofa is roughly equivalent to the cost of an inexpensive (and always uncomfortable) convertible. Also, my mother has a very expensive convertible (european, very chic, about $5000) that is hell on my back! Alexa

Want to buy a good quality sofa-bed

Feb 2000

Does anyone know what to look for in a good quality sofa-bed? Or where to buy one?

I don't know what to look for in a sofa bed but I will suggest that you look into buying one from IKEA. If you are not familiar with IKEA it is a swedish furniture store that is all over the world. They specialize in inexpensive contemporary furniture and thier prices really are the best anywhere. The quality of most of there things I find excellent for the price. Where is this IKEA you may ask? Well that is the tricky part...there are 5 of them in Los Angeles and one is set to open in Emeryville this spring. They will ship almost any item from their catalog for $150. That is a flat fee and could include a drinking glass or a sofa, kitchen, entire dining room etc. We bought a nice sofa bed from them last year and paid $800 with the shipping for a very large, very comfortable well made safe bed (you choose from hundreds of fabrics). We couldn't find a decent regular sofa for $800 anywhere in the bay area. Hope this helps in some way!

We bought our sofa at Busvan for Bargains in SF and have been very pleased.

The new Ikea in Emeryville has a great selection of sofas. We would love to buy one, but it's been kind of a hassle. We went down to the store (no small feat with the traffic!) and picked out a sofa and a color and went to the pick up area. They didn't have the color, didn't know when it would be coming in and told us to call to see when it came in. I called, and the recorded message said that until it was less busy, they wouldn't be giving sales or product help out over the phone. Kind of annoying. However, the couches they have are pretty swell, so we'll probably go back to actually get one sometime, just not when it's so busy.

Hi, I am also in search of a sofa and or sofabed. I went to Ikea yesterday (first time) and sat on A LOT of sofas. Some were very comfortable and supportive of backs, and some were too cushy and slumpy. Quality seemed to vary too, and the prices were all pretty reasonable to cheaper. You can also order some of them with fabric and colors of your choice. Good luck