Looking for the best chair beds? If space is tight, then a single sofa bed or futon for one makes a great solution for putting up the occasional overnight guest, and the best designs will also double up as a stylish accent chair the rest of the time.
Just like the best sofa beds, chair beds come in two main designs; pull-out models where a traditional mattress is pulled out from under the chair’s seat cushions to form the sleeping surface, and click-clack models where the backrest and chair seat fold down into a flat surface that becomes the sleeping area.
What type of chair bed is the most comfortable?
Generally speaking, pull-out chair beds tend to be the most comfortable options for both sitting and sleeping as they usually have traditional sprung seating for daytime lounging and then a dedicated mattress for sleeping. Because the mattress rests on a platform that lifts out of the sofa base, once extended a pull-out chair bed is similar to the height of a standard bed. There are often more upholstery choices available with a pull-out chair bed as well, although this can mean there’s a lead-time whilst your chair bed is made, and generally pull-out options are the most expensive.
A click-clack or futon sofa bed is generally a firmer experience all around. The seat and backrest of the sofa (which once unfolded become the sleeping surface) tend to be made of solid foam which makes for a lot less give than a pull-out model, and the sleeping surface is usually very low to the ground. On the plus side, a futon tends to be much more affordable and its footprint can be smaller once extended than a pull-out model – very useful if you’re the owner of a small living room! Designs are often more modern, and a click-clack chair bed can generally be bought off-the-shelf, so there’s less chance of a long wait.
The best chair beds and single futons
The best chair bed for your home is likely to depend on your budget, whether you want to use it to sit on every day or just as an occasional chair, and who is going to be sleeping on it.
As additional sleeping space in a kids bedroom, or an occasional extra bed in a guest room or home office, then a budget fold-out futon or modern click-clack chair bed is likely to suit your needs fine. Whereas if you have adult guests staying for longer chunks of time in one go, or you want to use the chair as everyday seating in a living room, then it may be worth making a bigger investment in a pull-out model.
We’ve rounded up the Ideal Home team’s top picks in both varieties – as well as a range of styles, from classic to modern – to give you some food for thought.
A super versatile chair bed that looks good in a range of rooms, MADE's Haru single sofa bed is our top choice for an affordable yet stylish small-space sleep solution.
The simple design unfolds so the entire surface of the chair becomes the sleeping surface, and, as is common with click clack sofa beds, it is pretty firm both for sitting and sleeping, but we still think it makes a great multifunctional addition to the home.
Considering the affordable price tag, there are a great range of upholstery options available, including six luxe-look velvet fabrics - perfect for the boudoir or living room - and six hardwearing cotton brights - great for a kids bedroom.
This makes for a chair bed that delivers in the style stakes as an attractive accent chair as well performing as a useful occasional guest bed.
And if you find you have a little more space to play with, then there are also two more size options available in the Haru range that both offer sleepers a bit more legroom.
Chair dimensions: H78 x W77 x D86cm
Extended dimensions: W77 x L182cm
Sleeping surface: W77 x L182cm
Haru Single Sofa Bed, from £199, MADE
This simple futon may be fairly, well... basic... but we think that's part of its charm, and for just £129 it makes for a super affordable overnight option and an ideal extra sleeping space for hassle-free sleepovers in a kids bedroom.
We like the minimal Japandi vibes of the natural or pale grey upholstery, but there are also seven other colour options available - from practical darks to vibrant brights - all paired with the FSC-certified solid pine frame.
Admittedly you don't end up that far off the floor once this futon bed is extended, but you do get an occasional guest bed combined with a useful accent chair that's great for occasional seating or a teenagers lair.
Chair dimensions: H75 x W76 x D85cm
Extended dimensions: W76 x L195cm
Sleeping surface: W76 x L195cm
Mito Single Futon, from £129, Dunelm
If you're looking for a chair bed that you'll be happy to snuggle up on in the living room when guests aren't staying, then the Crumpet from Loaf is a great option.
Unlike our first two options, you'd never know this was a chair bed from looking at it, with plump seat cushions and padded backrest, rolled arms and fantastic upholstery options making it look every inch the classic armchair.
You get the comfort of a traditional armchair too, with feather-wrapped foam cushions and deep seats offering a great place to relax, whilst the pull-out single sofa bed is unlikely to disappoint guests either, offering a dedicated coil sprung mattress made of cotton felt and foam, covered in a traditional ticking fabric.
Just make sure you check your measurements before falling in love with this loveseat, as it has pretty generous dimensions for a chair bed that may mean it's not suitable for a smaller living room.
Chair dimensions: H89 x W137 x D109cm
Extended dimensions: W137 x L232cm
Sleeping surface: W93 x L198 x D12cm
Crumpet Love Seat Sofa Bed, from £1445, Loaf
Statement sofa seating by day, and comfortable pocket-sprung overnight sleeping for one by night; if budget allows we think this is a great option for a super stylish home office.
Yes, it is perhaps a little expensive for what is essentially a click-clack chair bed, but that pocket-sprung base does make a big difference to the sitting and sleeping comfort compared to an all foam model. Plus, well, just look at it.
You also benefit from three versatile lounging positions; use it as standard for a comfortable seating space, remove the back cushion and push down the arms to create the single bed, or - our favourite - push just one arm down to create a relaxing daybed with readymade headrest; perfect for a daytime catnap.
Chair dimensions: H81 x W178 x D70cm
Extended dimensions: W70 x L200cm
Sleeping surface: W70 x L200cm
Tilt Sofa Bed, from £719, Heal's
This clever modular seating unit can be used on its own as a multifunctional chair bed or paired with more modular units from the Ablington range to create a versatile sectional sofa with a handy hidden single bed.
There are a fantastic 171 fabric choices on offer, plus the option to create your own bespoke seating and sleeping configurations, with a choice of foam, hollow fibre or feather-wrapped foam seat cushions, and an array of mattresses with which to spoil your guests. Choose from open-sprung, pocket-sprung or indulgent memory foam.
When you order you can also choose to have matching scatter cushions created to complement your armchair. What more could you want.
Chair dimensions: H95 x W117 x D90cm
Extended dimensions: W117 x L228cm
Sleeping surface: W95 x L183cm x D12-14cm dependent on mattress choice
Ablington Module Sofa Bed, from £803, Willow & Hall
If space is super tight and you don't want to sacrifice floorspace to a permanent piece of furniture, then this nifty folding mattress from Eve could be a good solution for the occasional overnighter.
A cut above your regular blow up mattress, the Sleep Away offers guests an 8cm layer of foam to bed down on and transforms into 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 you just need to 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 in our opinion.
Of course, with this option your guests will still pretty much be sleeping on the floor, but we think it's a great option to have to hand for sleepovers and impromptu overnight stays. Plus there's also a removable and washable top panel that can be freshened up at 40 degrees.
Packaged dimensions: H75 x W50cm
Sleeping surface: W75 x L190cm x D8cm dependent on mattress choice
Sleep Away Mattress, from £179, Eve