10 best sofa beds tried and tested – comfortable, stylish, and versatile

The best sofa beds for hosting overnight guests in style – we've found the most comfortable sofa beds from Habitat, John Lewis, Dunelm, Heal's, Sofa.com, and more

The best sofa beds tried, tested, and reviewed by Ideal Home on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

The best sofa beds can help you to transform your home by conjuring up overnight sleeping space for guests in the living room, or allowing you to convert a guest bedroom into a home office or playroom without sacrificing the ability to host friends and family occasionally.  

However, finding a sofa bed that's stylish, affordable and comfortable is a tall order – trust us, we've walked multiple miles around multiple sofa showrooms in search of the best sofa beds, and unearthed plenty that don't hit the mark in terms of sitting or sleeping comfort – so we know just how difficult finding a good one can be.

Thankfully we've compiled all of that first-hand testing experience into this guide, rounding up the best sofa beds from John Lewis & Partners, Habitat, Darlings of Chelsea, Heal's, Swyft, Dunelm, and many more, so you can jump straight to the Ideal Home team's top recommendations.

Whilst most sofa beds are going to feel a little firmer for sitting on than one of the best sofas, we're confident that this selection offers the most comfortable of the sofa bed crop.

The quick list

Short on time? This quick list is an overview of the very best sofa beds. You'll find more information on each sofa bed and why we recommend it if you keep on scrolling.

Best sofa beds of 2024

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best sofa bed overall

The Darlings of Chelsea Bromley sofa bed in a living room with panelled walls - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Darlings of Chelsea)

1. Darlings of Chelsea Bromley sofa bed

A sofa bed that's comfortable enough for everyday use

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: pull-out mattress
Widths available: 150 / 170 / 190 / 210cm
Extended length: 220cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 83 x 190 / 116 x 190 / 137 x 190 / 158 x 190cm
Mattress depth: 12cm
Mattress type: pocket spring or memory foam
Upholstery options: 175+
Average lead time: 6-8 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable enough for everyday use as the main seating
+
Single, double, and king-size sleeping areas available
+
12cm deep extra-long mattress with choice of pocket spring or memory foam construction
+
Can be delivered flat-packed and assembled in situ if you have awkward access
+
175+ upholstery options
+
Easy to transform into a bed

Reasons to avoid

-
No matching furniture

It may be an investment compared to other options in our edit, but if you have a little more budget to play with then the Bromley sofa bed from Darling's of Chelsea offers a lot of bang for your buck. It manages to nail the holy grail of the sofa bed search; a sofa bed that's comfortable enough to use as your everyday seating as well as providing overnight guests with a decent night's sleep.

There are four frame widths available, all with a single roll-out action mechanism that makes the transformation from sofa to pull-out bed a super simple affair. And, as the seat and back cushions remain attached to the frame, there's no need to find somewhere to store them whilst your guests are snoozing (although that does mean you can't flip the seat or back cushions over like with some other pull-out models).

The roll-action design also means this model can offer a longer mattress than most pull-out sofa beds, with a 190cm length sleeping area that taller guests will appreciate. And, at 12cm, the mattress is one of the deepest that pull-out sofa beds can be equipped with, also offering options of pocket spring or memory foam construction for enhanced comfort. 

Seat comfort can also be tailored to your preference with a choice of fibre-wrapped foam or feather-wrapped foam seat cushions for a low-maintenance squish factor, and there are a whopping 175+ upholstery options to choose from. Plus, if a narrow hallway, tight corners, or tricky stairs are an issue, this sofa bed can be delivered flat-packed and built by the delivery team in situ; a real boon for those with awkward access. 

A compact double sofa bed

Innovation Living sofa bed reviewed

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Innovation Living Cubed 140 Sofa Bed

A compact double sofa bed that's ideal for the home office

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: click-clack
Widths available: 147cm
Extended length: 200cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 140 x 200cm
Upholstery options: 4
Average lead time: 1-2 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
A compact sofa bed with generous double-size sleeping area
+
Easy to transform into a bed
+
Hidden storage
+
Flat-pack design useful for homes with awkward access

Reasons to avoid

-
Self-assembly required (and it isn't the easiest)
-
Limited upholstery options
-
Doesn't cut the mustard as a sofa for everyday use
-
No matching furniture

If you're looking for a compact sofa bed that can still comfortably sleep two guests at once, then this Innovation Living option is a great find.

It only comes in one width, but the armless design means the two-seater sofa is only 147cm wide – far narrower than most sofa beds that can accommodate two sleepers at a time. In fact, with a sleeping space that measures somewhere between a double and a king-size bed, the Cubed 140 is a real rarity in the world of sofa beds where sleeping spaces tend to be very narrow. The only comparable-sized sleeping areas we've come across are the Darlings of Chelsea's Bromley sofa bed and Heal's Oswald sofa bed, but, both are far wider in sofa form and more expensive.

The transformation from sofa to bed is also super simple thanks to an innovative design that sees the base pull forward, flip up, and then fold flat to create the sleeping surface. Whilst firm, that sleeping area feels sturdy and is nothing a mattress topper can't soften up (although being of Danish manufacture you will need to buy European sizes to get bedding to fit snugly). The sofa also disguises some hidden storage underneath the seat that's useful for stashing away bedding.

If your access is awkward, then it may be a boon that this sofa bed is delivered flat-packed, although it doesn't slot together as quickly as the similarly flat-packed Swyft Model 04 sofa bed that's a little lower down this round-up.

Whilst the lack of arms, firm seats, and limited upholstery options mean we don't think it cuts the mustard as a sofa for everyday use, as a compact option for use in a spare room or home office this double sofa bed has a lot going for it.

Budget-friendly large sofa bed

Habitat Kota sofa bed in orange upholstery in front of a Crittal doorway - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Habitat)

3. Habitat Kota 3 Seater sofa bed

An affordable large sofa bed with a contemporary look

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: click-clack
Widths available: 189cm
Extended length: 189cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 123 x 189cm
Upholstery options: 6
Average lead time: 2-6 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable double sofa bed
+
Easy to transform into a bed

Reasons to avoid

-
Side and rear profile aren't the most attractive
-
Limited upholstery options
-
Limited matching furniture

If you're looking for a large sofa bed at an affordable price point then it's hard to beat the Kota sofa bed – as long as you're happy with the fairly limited upholstery options and that somewhat 'Marmite' design.

For under half the price of most sofa beds of this size, you get a generous three-seater sofa with a simple click-clack design where the backrest folds down to create a sleeping surface that's just shy of a regular double bed size. 

At first, we weren't sure how comfortable those oversized Chesterfield-style pockets would be, and whilst it doesn't compare to the Darlings of Chelsea's Bromley sofa bed or Heal's Oswald sofa bed in terms of comfort, it's perfectly acceptable for lounging on. You'll probably want to add a mattress topper for an extra layer of comfort when sleeping – and to protect the sofa upholstery – but that's the case with most click-clack sofa beds.

It's worth noting that the side profile of this model leaves quite a lot to be desired, with the base platform very visible from the back and each side of the sofa, so you'll definitely want this option pushed against a wall, and preferably camouflaged by a coffee table either side. The slanted backrest also pushes this model out quite far into the room, so it may not be a good option if you're short on space. 

However, as occasional seating or sleeping in a home office, kid's playroom, or teenager's bedroom, this great value large sofa bed is hard to beat in price.

Best for everyday use

Heal's Oswald sofa bed in grey - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Heal's)

4. Heal's Oswald sofa bed

A contemporary sofa bed with king-size sleeping

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: click-clack
Widths available: 222cm
Extended length: 222cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 152 x 222cm
Upholstery options: 3
Average lead time: 8 - 10 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable enough for everyday use as the main seating
+
King-size sleeping area
+
Easy to transform into a bed
+
Hidden storage

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment
-
Limited upholstery options
-
Limited matching furniture

Heal's Oswald sofa bed is an investment. However, in terms of sleep comfort, this is one of the most comfortable and generously proportioned options we've come across, with the mix of hyper-soft foam layers over a high-resilient foam and pocket-spring core giving the closest feel to a 'true' mattress, and a king-sized sleeping area offering a luxurious amount of space to stretch out.

In sofa form, that sleep comfort translates into a comfortable sitting experience too. It's not a squishy sofa, and you do feel you're sitting more on top of the foam seating than sinking into the seat like with models that offer removable seat cushions, but it still has enough give and bounce to make it a pleasant place to relax.

Transforming the sofa into a bed is also super easy. A slight variation on the usual fold-flat click-clack design, with this model, you pull the leather tab at the front of the sofa to lift the seat section up and out, and the backrest then tilts flat to meet it. The legs extend automatically which means no faffing, and the sleeping surface is a good height from the floor compared to other click-clack options. There's even hidden storage underneath for stashing the sofa back cushions.

The downside is that – compared to the 175+ upholstery options offered by Darlings of Chelsea's Bromley sofa bed – there are only three upholstery options available for the Oswald. But, if you're after a contemporary design that doesn't compromise on comfort and offers a super generous sleeping space, we think this sofa bed is well worth considering.

Budget-friendly small sofa bed

A white boucle sofa bed in a living room with dark walls

(Image credit: Habitat)

5. Habitat Roma sofa bed

A stylish and budget-friendly sofa bed that's ideal for small spaces

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: click-clack
Widths available: 91 / 108
Extended length: 190cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 91 x 190 / 108 x 190cm
Upholstery options: 7
Average lead time: 2-4 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Compact design useful for small rooms
+
Easy to transform into a bed with simple click-clack mechanism

Reasons to avoid

-
Only enough sleeping space for one guest
-
Doesn't cut the mustard as a sofa for everyday use
-
No matching furniture

If you're looking for a small sofa bed on a budget, then the super affordable Roma sofa bed from Habitat is our top pick, combining a (relatively) low price point, stylish good looks, and acceptable comfort levels for both sitting and sleeping.

The main downside is that whilst the largest 108cm width option can sleep two guests at a push, both the chair bed and small sofa bed option are a better option for a lone guest. However the small footprint does make this a great option for a smaller home, and the price is hard to beat.

The click-clack sofa bed design makes it a super simple task to transition this sofa bed from seating to sleeping, with hidden pockets (disguised by the coordinating scatter cushions) opening to reveal hinged legs, and the backrest and seat easily unfolding to create the sleeping surface. That design does mean the sleeping surface ends up pretty low to the ground, but we still found the medium-firm foam cushioning a comfortable spot to bed down for a few nights – especially if you add a mattress topper. And it's more comfortable than we expected as a seat too, with the angled back hitting just the right level of recline. 

The lack of arms and medium-firm cushioning means we can't quite see it cutting the mustard for everyday use, and it doesn't compare to our first two picks in terms of comfort. But, as occasional seating, it makes a great accent chair.

Quick delivery sofa bed

Swyft Model 04 sofa bed in a modern living room - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Swyft)

6. Swyft Model 04 sofa bed

A quick delivery sofa bed that's ideal for homes with awkward access

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: click-clack
Widths available: 208cm
Extended length: 208cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 135 x 190cm
Upholstery options: 10
Average lead time: 24 hours - 1 week

Reasons to buy

+
Super quick delivery
+
Flat-pack design useful for homes with awkward access
+
Can be disassembled and reassembled easily if you move home
+
Hidden storage
+
Mattress topper included
+
Easy to transform into a bed

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite firm for everyday use as your main sofa
-
Self-assembly required (but it's super easy)
-
Limited upholstery options
-
No matching furniture

If you need overnight sleeping space fast, then this quick-delivery sofa bed could be for you. 

The majority of sofas and sofa beds come with long lead times (up to 16 weeks isn't unusual) which can make sourcing one fast a bit of a headache. You'll find a range of time-sensitive options in our guide to where to buy a quick delivery sofa, but Swyft's sofa-bed-in-a-box is our top pick as it can be delivered in just 24 hours if you order direct from Swyft, or under a week at third-party stockists. Yep, you read that right.

Alongside super fast delivery, this sofa bed is also designed to eliminate stress in more ways than one, with its flatpack design a real boon for anyone struggling with awkward access. This does mean the sofa bed needs to be self-assembled, but we put the no-tools build to the test in our Swyft Model 04 sofa bed review and can confirm it's as easy as the brand claims. It also makes for simple disassembly and reassembly should you move house – a particularly useful feature for renters – and the sofa arms can be detached if necessary, which is a bonus if you're short on space.

However, the high-level convenience does mean some compromises elsewhere, with the 300-pocket-spring foam bench cushion firm and not offering much squish-factor. Upholstery options are more limited too – although all are versatile shades with a mix of hardwearing stain-resistant linen mix fabrics and luxe-look velvets.

On the plus side, this is the only sofa bed to offer a bespoke-fit mattress protector to extend the longevity of your investment, and there's even a handy integrated storage compartment under the seat to keep it hidden out of sight when the bed isn't in use.

Best range of matching furniture

Sofa.com's Otto sofa bed in white upholstery in a relaxed living room - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

7. Sofa.com Otto Sofa Bed

A comfortable sofa bed with a good range of matching furniture

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: pull-out mattress
Widths available: 168 / 188 / 208cm
Extended length: 230cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 114 x 183 / 134 x 183 / 153 x 198cm
Mattress depth: 10/12cm
Mattress type: pocket spring
Upholstery options: 95+
Average lead time: 4-6 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable enough for everyday use as the main seating
+
Single, double, and king-size sleeping areas available
+
95+ upholstery options
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
Mattress a little shorter than a standard bed
-
Takes up a lot of floorspace once extended

A deep to-the-floor sofa frame that offers plenty of depth for hiding the pull-out mattress and bed frame, plus super deep and squishy feather-wrapped foam seat cushions make the Otto our top pick of Sofa.com's sofa bed options. In our opinion, those deep seat cushions also make it one of those elusive finds; a mid-priced sofa bed that's comfortable enough for everyday use in the living room as the main living room seating.

Creating a look that's worthy of front room status is made easier thanks to a wide selection of 95+ upholstery choices, and – somewhat of a rarity in the world of sofa beds – the Otto sofa bed has a great selection of matching furniture on offer. There's a coordinating armchair, footstool and a wide range of standard sofa configurations which make it far easier to blend this sofa bed in with other living room furniture if you want to 'hide' a sofa bed in your main living space.

There are also three sofa frame widths available that offer either a single, double, or king-size sleeping area. Although – as is the way with most pull-out sofa beds we've come across besides the Darlings of Chelsea Bromley sofa bed – those mattress sizes do scrimp on length, with the single and double coming up at 183cm long as opposed to the 190cm standard for a regular mattress, which could leave long-legged guests a little non-plussed.

Sadly that shorter mattress length isn't reflected in the Otto's size when extended, so you will need a large room to accommodate this option, with this pull-out design taking up 230cm when fully extended – the most floorspace of all the models in this edit.

A basic but affordable futon

A cream upholstered wooden futon sofa bed in a cream living room

(Image credit: Dunelm)

8. Dunelm Mito Double Futon

A basic but very affordable option futon for overnight guests

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: futon
Widths available: 76 / 137
Extended length: 185cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 76 x 185 / 137 x 185cm
Upholstery options: 20
Average lead time: 1 week

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable
+
Decent range of upholstery options

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic design
-
Small sleeping area – better for one guest than two
-
Doesn't cut the mustard for everyday use
-
No matching furniture

This simple futon sofa bed may be basic, but if you're after an affordable way to put up the occasional overnight guest then the Dunelm Mito Futon 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 that are perfect for a teenager's lair or children's bedroom.

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 firm experience. Although, the addition of a good mattress topper can work wonders in terms of sleep comfort. Guests 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, guests might struggle to spend a whole week on this temporary bed – which may or may not be a good thing! – but 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. Plus, the addition of a good mattress topper can work wonders in terms of sleep comfort.

Best chaise sofa bed

Furniture Village Cory chaise sofa bed in grey - tried and tested review

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

9. Furniture Village Cory Sofa Bed

A classic sofa bed with a good value chaise option

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: pull-out mattress
Widths available: 127 / 170 / 198 / 280cm
Extended length: 228cm
Sleeping area dimensions: 76 x 183 / 114 x 183 / 133 x 183cm
Mattress depth: 11cm
Mattress type: pocket spring
Upholstery options: 9
Average lead time: 10-12 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
A hard-to-find chaise sofa bed that's also available in other configurations
+
Two choices of cushion style
+
Comfortable enough for everyday use as the main seating
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upholstery options

Furniture Village's Cory sofa bed comes in various sizes; a chair bed, two-seater, three-seater and a hard-to-find chaise sofa bed that is one of the most comfortable (and generous) chaise designs we've come across at this price point.

In fact, in all widths, the Cory sofa bed achieves the seemingly impossible – a sofa bed that's barely distinguishable from the dedicated sofa in terms of seat comfort – somewhat of a rarity if you're looking for a multifunctional sofa that will allow you to host guests without compromising on your comfort if the sleeper sofa is to become your main living room seating.

Having tested a few models in different upholstery options – with both the classic back or scatter back cushion design – we've been impressed by the seat depth that's a good 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.

The only disappointment is on the upholstery front, with very limited fabric options that we weren't blown away by. They certainly can't compare with the upholstery choice on offer at Darlings of Chelsea or Sofa.com. However, for the price, this sofa bed remains a good all-rounder, especially if you're on the hunt for a chaise sofa bed which can be a hard item to source. Plus, if can snap the Cory sofa bed up in one of Furniture Village's regular sales, it can be a very affordable buy.

Best corner sofa bed

Snug Cloud Sundae sofa bed in a colourful living room

(Image credit: Snug)

10. Snug Cloud Sundae Sofa Bed

A hard-to-find corner sofa bed that offers spacious modular seating

Specifications

Type of sofa bed: pull-out mattress
Widths available: 153 / 223 / 229 / 299 / 309 / 321
Extended length: various
Sleeping area dimensions: various
Upholstery options: 5
Average lead time: under a week

Reasons to buy

+
Hard-to-find corner sofa bed with range of configuration options
+
Quick delivery
+
Flatpack delivery useful for rooms with tricky access
+
Easy to disassemble and reassemble if you move house
+
Modular design makes adding or subtracting seating simple

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upholstery options
-
Foam mattress is only 6cm deep
-
Self-assembly required (but it's 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 multi-functionality. 

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 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.

How to choose the best sofa bed for your home

A sofa bed can be a great multifunctional solution for the living room, guest room, or home office. But, we can probably all recall a night spent on a less-than-comfortable sleeper sofa – an experience that can leave us thinking that opting for one of the best air beds on the market instead might be no bad thing. Plus, with even the cheapest sofa beds still a significant investment, no one wants to invest in a sofa bed that doesn't deliver in either sit or sleep comfort. So how do you get it right?

We've compiled a quick checklist of what to look for when shopping for a sofa bed below, and the first up is deciding which type of sofa bed is the right fit for your home.

Sofa beds come in two main designs. There are pull-out sofa beds that hide a concertina bedframe and folded mattress underneath removable seat cushions, and click-clack sofa beds where the sofa seat and backrest fold flat and lock into position (with click-clack noise) to become the sleeping surface. Each style has its pros and cons which we've broken down below.

The Roma sofa bed from Habitat extended in a small living room

(Image credit: Habitat)

Pull-out sofa beds

THE PROS

  • Look the most like a 'normal' sofa
  • The bedframe lifts the mattress well away from the floor, so they can be more comfortable for less agile overnight guests
  • Tend to have a far wider choice of upholstery options
  • Often have matching furniture available (useful if you want a sofa bed to blend in with a larger suite)
  • Often have more bespoke options available, like the choice of mattress or cushion fillings

THE CONS

  • Tend to be more expensive
  • The backrest and arms of the sofa generally remain in place, which means when unfolded the bed takes up quite a lot of floor space

A pull-out sofa bed with the bed frame extended

(Image credit: Darlings of Chelsea)

Click-clack sofa beds

THE PROS

  • Often the cheapest options (although the ones that are the most comfortable tend to be on par price-wise with a pull-out sofa bed)
  • Tend to be the most compact options, so they're useful for small spaces
  • Often have the shortest lead times if you need quick delivery
  • Can be very easy and quick to transform from sofa to bed

THE CONS

  • A lot of the cheaper options can be very firm/hard for sitting and sleeping
  • Usually have fewer upholstery options
  • The sleeping surface is generally quite low to the ground
  • Your guests will be sleeping on the sofa upholstery unless you add a mattress protector – but it can sometimes be tricky to find a protector that fits
  • Depending on the design, there can be a bit of a gap between the sofa seat and backrest when folded flat

A click-clack sofa bed shown in sofa and bed form

(Image credit: MADE)

Size

Next up, you need to think about the size of the sofa bed you want. It may sound obvious, but it's important to consider how much space a sofa bed is going to take up in its destination room, not just when it's in sofa form, but also when it's extended as a bed. 

Ideally, you want enough room that you can comfortably walk around the sofa bed when it's extended and access all sides easily. Find expert tips on how to measure up for similar furniture in our guide to getting sofa measurements right.

Just like sofas, sofa beds come in a range of sizes, from two and three-seaters to loveseats and even super-compact chair beds if you only need to sleep a single guest at a time. Larger options can be harder to source, but there are also chaise and corner sofa beds available if you need something more generous.

A Snug corner sofa bed in a colourful modern living room

(Image credit: Snug)

Sofa comfort

Nothing beats going to test out a sofa bed in person to see if it's the most comfortable option for you, but knowing your way around the specifications can help you narrow down your sofa bed search before you hit the shops.

If you're considering a click-clack model, check to see whether springs are mentioned in the product description. Because the seat and backrest of the sofa form both the seat and the bed – with no loose cushions to add comfort – the main frame of the sofa is all you have in terms of cushioning and support. A foam seat and backrest with added pocket springs will give things a little more bounce than those without.

A pull-out sofa bed has a few more variables to consider. First, you want to look for a deep sofa base that offers plenty of room for the mattress and bedframe to fold neatly away and leaves room for generous cushions on top. A high-legged sofa bed is likely to scrimp on cushion depth to make room for the bed, so these tend to feel far harder to sit on.

A pull-out sofa bed may also offer a choice of seat and back cushion fill, or it may just be that different models suit your preferences better. There are four main options to consider:

  • Feather seat cushions (when plumped) can offer that deep sink-in feeling that many of us dream of when we picture the perfect sofa. However, that luxuriously soft seat can often be an expensive, short-lived and high-maintenance affair, with the plumped air gradually deflating out of the cushion to leave a rather flattened and hard clump of feathers that needs daily (if not hourly) plumping to look and feel its best. 
  • Foam is far more resilient, bouncing back into shape after it's been sat on and requiring very little maintenance which can make for a smarter look. There are different densities of foam so the feel can vary, but generally, this is the firmest option; you're likely to feel like you're sat on top of the sofa rather than sinking into it, as such it can be a good option if you prefer plenty of support, and it's usually the cheapest option.
  • Fibre is a man-made and vegan-friendly alternative to feathers. A fibre cushion is made from hollow-fill polyester fibres that are blown into the seat cushions so that pockets of air are formed which makes for a much softer and more sink-in feel than foam and offers a more 'relaxed' look and feel. As you sit and compress these air pockets the seats will mould to your body shape. This means you will need to plump fairly regularly to maintain the aeration though, and cushions can tend to become a little flatter over time.
  • Hybrids offer a keeps-it-shape foam core wrapped with an outer layer of feather or fibre for that sink-in comfort. In our opinion this option makes for the best all-round choice, offering enough squish factor whilst still keeping its shape in everyday use.

The construction of the pull-out bed frame will also have an impact on comfort. Some options are constructed from metal frames or wooden slats which may be able to be felt through the seat cushions, others sacrifice a little support at the feet end of the bed frame to swap out the metal base or hard slats for flexible webbing that has more give to it when sat on.

A green Swyft sofa bed in a open plan living room with Crittall doors

(Image credit: Swyft)

Bed comfort

Of course, we don't just want a sofa bed to be comfortable when we're sitting on it, it also needs to be comfortable as a bed.

On a click-clack sofa bed, then make sure to look out for those springs. A pocket spring seat will also mean a pocket spring sleep surface, which is much more comfortable – and durable – than just pure foam. If it's a click-clack option with armrests, then check where the arms will be when the sofa bed is folded flat. Some can be on either side of the sleeping area, but other options end up with the arms above the head and feet, which can make the sleeping space cramped for taller guests. 

For pull-out sofa beds, sleep comfort tends to come down to the mattress type and its thickness. Pull-out sofa bed mattresses tend to range from 6cm to 12cm deep and can come with either a spring, foam, or memory foam mattress construction. 

The deeper the mattress the more comfortable it's likely to be, however, that also means it could be heavier to lift out of the sofa bed frame. That said, this wasn't the case with the deeper mattresses we tested for this guide, as they came with clever cantilever mechanics to reduce the amount of muscle required to extend the bed.

If you're struggling to choose between several less-than-perfect comfort options, then rest assured that adding a mattress topper to any sofa bed will improve comfort levels considerably. And if you don't opt for a mattress topper, we'd recommend sourcing a mattress protector at a minimum to protect the sofa bed's mattress on a pull-out sofa bed or the upholstery on a click-clack sofa bed. When purchasing either you will need to consider the size of the sofa bed's sleeping area though, as the sleeping area of many sofa beds doesn't tally up with standard bed sizes.

A dark green sofa bed in a green living room

(Image credit: Snug)

When thinking about sleep comfort, you might also want to double-check the size of the sleeping area size before you buy any sofa bed. 

Very few sofa beds offer the same width and length as a standard mattress, and many 'double' sofa beds are actually very small for two guests to share comfortably, so make sure to read the dimensions carefully so you know what you're getting. 

In this respect, click-clack sofa beds can sometimes offer a larger sleeping space than a pull-out sofa bed can.

For comparison, standard UK mattress sizes are listed below. Compare these dimensions to the sleeping area of your chosen sofa bed to see what size sleeping area your guests will be getting. 

  • Single mattress: W90 x L190cm
  • Small double mattress: W120 x L190cm
  • Double mattress: W135 x L190cm
  • King mattress: W150 x L200cm

A single sofa bed in orange velvet extended in a modern living room with brass ceiling light fixture

(Image credit: Dreams)

FAQs

Are there any sofa beds that are actually comfortable?!

This is the million-dollar question, and the answer is yes, a sofa bed can be comfortable both for sitting and sleeping if you know which one to buy. And that's exactly where this buying guide comes in handy, as we've done the hard work of testing sofa beds from all of the major retailers to find and recommend the most comfortable options. 

We've encountered a lot of uncomfortable sofa beds during our search – ranging from firm to rock hard! – with plenty of options, we wouldn't recommend parting with your cash for. In fact, many we would say to avoid it altogether and suggest opting for a 'normal' sofa and an alternative way to put up guests, like one of the best air beds on the market, instead. 

However, the sofa beds that have made the grade and are included in this round-up are those elusive options that offer the best of both worlds; comfortable seating and a useful overnight bed for visiting guests.

Is it OK to sleep on a sofa bed every night?

It's generally not advised to sleep on a sofa bed every night as very few of them can offer the same type of sleep comfort as one of the best mattresses

For comparison, the average mattress has a depth of at least 25cm, whilst the thickest pull-out sofa bed mattress that we've come across clocks in at just 12cm deep, and most pull-out sofa bed mattresses average just 6cm deep. 

The difference in depth is because a pull-out sofa bed mattress needs to be thin enough to fold away into the sofa frame when it's not in use and light enough to be hauled out again without breaking the frame (or your back when you pull it out!). 

A good quality click-clack sofa bed with pocket spring support, like the Heal's Oswald Sofa Bed, can offer a deeper sleeping surface as the sofa seat and backrest become the sleeping area. This sofa bed is the closest thing we've found to offering the same support as a dedicated mattress, however, it would likely still be hard pushed to offer the same long-term support as a good mattress.

A yellow sofa bed dressed with white bed linen, a grey throw, and yellow cushions, in a room with two large windows and a potted tree

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

How we chose the sofa beds included in this guide

You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our how we test page.

However, to find the best sofa beds at the best prices we’ve walked multiple miles around multiple furniture showrooms and laid down on the job to test out bestselling sofa beds in showrooms across the country and find the best-in-class models for this guide.

We've also grilled the Ideal Home 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. 

Plus, we take into account the wider views of those who own each product, whether that’s via online reviews or social media.

Amy Lockwood
Ecommerce Editor

After studying Print Design at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent multiple years working in the interior industry, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She’s now Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home, offering expert advice on the best products for decorating your home and ensuring it functions smoothly. That includes sourcing stylish yet affordable furniture – from the best sofa beds for combining style, comfort, and function, to the best artificial Christmas trees for a stress-free festive season – helping our readers to find the best mattress for their sleep style, and testing top-rated dehumidifiers and air purifiers to narrow down the best-in-class.