How to Buy the Best Sofa Beds

Softline sofa-bedSofa beds have a strong but silent role to play in our lives. They used to have a reputation for being utilitarian. Too many sat, almost hidden away, waiting for the foam to unfurl when an extra sleeper arrived.

But sofa beds today fulfil a spectrum of functions. Making the right choice is all about where your needs happen to be on that spectrum.

All you may need is something for that emergency extra guest. But sometimes you need a piece that will see you through the Christmas gathering. And then there is the big important spot on the spectrum: when someone special is coming to stay!

It is best if you can find something that is not only good but which will stand out and make you proud.


Sofa beds settle into three basic levels. And when it comes to choosing it all comes down a cost-to-comfort ratio.

Basic Beds

Best sofa bed for everyday use The most basic sofa baed may be easy to afford but too often it’s unlikely to be the most comfortable option.

A better bet would be something like our Softline Nova Three Seat Sofa Bed. It means you can position yourself in comfort on a functional sofa bed. It has a relaxed but urban feel. The adjustable backrest divides in two to give four different backrest positions.

Although basic, the unique design is elegant and inviting. It is a large sofa that can become a double bed.

Softline has been building furniture in Denmark since 1979. Much Softline  furniture incorporates unique integrated functions. This is what makes it possible for people to use the same piece of furniture for sitting, lounging as well as sleeping.


The next level up is the daybed. This is often a single slim sofa that hides a mattress. Space-efficient, and charming, you can find ones that can also be show stoppers.
Our Softline Victor Two and a Half Seat Two Seat Sofa Bed is a particularly tasteful example. Snug and simple, this sofa’s clean lines are modern and would fit in any home. Easy to convert into a comfortable double bed for guests, it’s a very comfy seat too.

Pullout Sofa Beds

The top option, especially if someone is going to sleep on it for any length of time, is a fold-out sofa bed. This is where the bed frame folds inside the sofa’s structure. The secret here is marrying a good mattress with a good-looking piece of furniture. sofa bed mechanism types

Where this has worked well is the Softline Lounge Three Seat Sofa Bed. This is a sofa on its own that can combine to become both a sofa and chaise longues. It makes a very beautiful corner piece.

Its adaptable backrest provides extreme comfort. The combined sofa and chaise longues is great to both sit and sleep on. There is also a pouf available that can transform into a bed by flipping the seating surface.

As their name suggests, sofa beds are two pieces of furniture rolled into one. What you need is a sofa that has a foldout bed tucked underneath the seat cushions.

Modern quality sofa beds no longer do anything in two halves. They have had an upgrade. As a result, what you can expect is furniture that is both comfortable and supportive in each of its guises.

Sofa beds are essential when space is at a premium. They also give extra functionality to home offices and spare bedrooms. The living room is a good place for a sofa bed, especially if there isn’t a guest bedroom available.


Buy the best sofa bed you can afford. But the first consideration is to determine how you intend to use the sofa bed.

Olson and Baker sofa bed Think about how much the mattress is to be slept on. And also how much use the furniture will get as a sofa. As a main living room seat, it needs to be able to stand up to the wear and tear of plenty of use in both its guises.

Will it accommodate adults? Or are there kids and four-legged household members in the picture? Is it for daily or only occasional seating?

Good construction is necessary to withstand daily use. Fabric and fillings not only affect comfort and looks. They also affect the furniture’s longevity and ease of cleaning.

The bed element of sofa beds can differ a great deal in comfort and support.

It’s also important to bear in mind whether the sofa bed will accommodate singles or a couple. This will also have a bearing on the choice and size of the mattress.

Consider how easy it is to release the bed element. Struggling with a complex mechanism is not a good look.

Think about how much space the furniture is going to need when it’s opened out. It’s best if this is all worked out before buying. Nobody wants the hassle of arranging the return of such a big piece.


With or without luxurious finishes, slimmer mattresses, tend to favour occasional use. Thicker mattresses, made with memory foam or springs, tend to work better for frequent use. They offer durability and have the ability to cope with wear and tear.


Sofa beds are available in a selection of fabrics. There are many price points, differing quality and several colours. The range includes cotton mixes, polyesters, velvets, wools, leathers or linens.

Olson + Baker’s sofa fabrics are of the highest quality. Every fabric meets UK Furniture and Furnishings Fire and Safety Regulations.

Cotton, whether blended or pure, is very versatile and comfortable. Easy to care for it’s good to live with.

Polyester is hard wearing and durable. This material can stand the test of time and is good for everyday use.

Velvet is soft to the touch. It is also as luxurious to look at as it is to sit on.

Natural and soft leather is very durable. It is also breathable, which means it feels cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


sofa bed alternatives Fillings are important because they affect both comfort and appearance. Many sofa beds come in blends of materials. This maximises the benefit of each and makes every sofa bed as good as it can be.

Foam is available in several densities. Sometimes different foams appear in one seat cushion. This ensures the right level of support. Foam cushions give firmer support and cleaner lines than feather ones. Plus higher-density foam can better maintain its shape.

New foam loses about 15% of its firmness in the first six months of use. After that, it stabilises.

Feather as a filling gives a classic luxury-feel. It offers a high level of comfort and is natural. But it’s sumptuous ‘sink into’ feeling is costly. The look is also less structured. This means feather cushions need regular plumping up. But, feathers are often combined with fibres to give cushions extra resilience.

Polyester fibres are not durable enough for seat cushions. This is why they are often mixed with feathers, especially when they are used as smaller cushions.

Fabric Swatches

It is advisable to order swatches of any of the fabrics you’re interested in. Upholstered furniture is not a small deal. So seeing a picture of a chosen fabric isn’t the same as touching it and studying it in a variety of lights. Because the colour of swatches shown online may differ from reality, we recommend that you always request a colour swatch.


Be careful about where you position your fixture. It needs to fit the room in both its guises. And once you’ve decided the fixture for you, make sure you choose a finish that works with the space.

You must measure your sofa bed. This is the only way to figure out what is likely to work in your room. To ensure your sofa bed is going to fit into the room, make a newspaper template. You could also use masking tape to mark out the space it is going to fill.

Also bear in mind the height of the area, and how the piece will manoeuvre into place.


Check for any care labels. You can keep these for reference. They will give guidance on what care is appropriate to specific sofa beds.

To care for mattresses, you need to think about airing them. Remember they can end up underneath sofa cushions for long periods.

It is advisable to choose professional cleaners. But if you have to deal with any small spills, be careful not to rub in the stains. This pushes the spillage into the fabric. It makes it much harder to keep the sofa bed clean. It is advisable to wipe with a damp cloth. Then immediately wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Maintenance is best done by vacuuming or brushing weekly. This stops dirt accumulating. It will help prevent upholstery wearing and colours becoming dull. A soft damp cloth can wipe metal parts of dust and dirt.

When you have a quality sofa bed avoid sharp objects. It is also not advisable to use any solvent-based cleaners. So the furniture does not fade place it away from direct sunlight, and a distance from any heat sources.

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