No Guest Bedroom? No Need With One of the Best Sleeper Sofas
Two functions, one seriously stylish piece of furniture.
Published Sep 3, 2022 2:58 AM
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Sleeper sofas aren’t what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. Whatever lumpy pull-out mattress you crashed on years ago in your friend’s parents’ basement, forget about it. “With advances in design and technology, sleeper sofas now look like actual sofas and perform like actual beds,” says Mary Beth Christopher of MBC Interior Design. “This means you can truly get dual function not just out of the sofa, but out of rooms as well. It’s a form and function success story!”
With the addition of a design-forward sleeper sofa (or is it a couch bed?), offices can double as guest bedrooms. Playrooms can become a spot for cousin sleepovers. Living rooms can act as an overflow sleeping area. “When square footage is limited, it’s not practical to devote an entire room for the occasional guest,” says interior designer Sarah Cole. “However, a sleeper sofa allows a space to be multifunctional for those once-in-a-blue-moon guest stays.”
Now thanks to improved folding mechanisms, brands have been able to design higher-end sleeper sofas that you and your overnight guests will love to both sit and sleep on. Imagine intriguing silhouettes, slim arms, and less bulky cushions. We combed through our favorites and narrowed down the 10 best sleeper sofas. Read on for our top picks.
- Best easy conversion: Blu Dot Diplomat Sleeper Sofa
- Best crazy-cozy mattress: West Elm Harmony Modular Sleeper Sofa
- Best backless daybed: CB2 Lubi Silver Grey Sleeper Daybed
- Best value: DHP Franklin Mid-Century Daybed
- Best customization options: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Landry Plain Signature Sofa
- Best sleeper sofa with a storage chaise: EQ3 Reva Sectional Sofa Sleeper
- Best sink-in-and-stay design: Ballard Designs Baldwin Upholstered Queen Sleeper
- Best slipcovered sofa: Interior Define Ella Sleeper
- Best oversize option: Rove Concepts Milo Sleeper Sofa
- Best slim silhouette: Serena & Lily Grady Sleeper
Best Easy Conversion: Blu Dot Diplomat Sleeper Sofa
Width up to: 80 inches | Mattress size: Queen | Mattress fill: Foam
What we like:
- The conversion is nearly effortless
- A classic design that would be a no-brainer for any room
- Available in 4 upholstery and wood combinations
- Some assembly required
- If you need to return, you’ll be charged a 10 percent restocking fee
Why we chose it: Converting from couch to bed doesn’t get much easier than this.
We’ve all been there, grunting and groaning as we try to yank out the heavy folded bed of a sleeper sofa. That’s not how this Blu Dot couch works. Instead simply position yourself behind the couch and flip it forward to reveal a nearly queen-size sleep area. Add a mattress topper and your finest set of linens—and voilà! Makeshift guest suite complete. The fact that it’s also a sophisticated, cool-as-can-be couch? Even better.
Best Crazy-Cozy Mattress: West Elm Harmony Modular Sleeper Sofa
Width up to: 84.5 inches | Mattress size: Queen | Mattress fill: High-density foam and gel foam
What we like:
- You’ll actually want to sleep on its ultra-comfortable gel foam mattress
- The loose, reversible cushions have zip-off covers for easy cleaning
- Add on an ottoman to instantly turn it into a sectional
- The pillows require occasional fluffing
Why we chose it: The gel foam mattress ensures a cool, comfortable night’s sleep for anyone who crashes.
Sleeper sofas aren’t known for their rave-worthy mattresses, but this West Elm design is an exception. Its mattress is constructed with a layer of high-density foam and a layer of gel-infused foam that contours to your shape and wicks away body heat. (Sweaty sleepers, rejoice!) Sofa-wise, it’s just as impressive, with a contemporary bench seat and the option to add on an ottoman, which instantly turns it into a sectional. “This is a nice, clean style that will act like a design chameleon depending on its environment,” says Christopher. “Traditional or more modern, this is an easy fit.”
Best Backless Daybed: CB2 Lubi Silver Grey Sleeper Daybed
Width up to: 79 inches | Mattress size: Oversize queen | Mattress fill: Foam
What we like:
- Can sleep 1 person as is, or fold out to sleep 2
- A breeze to convert
- Goes-with-anything minimal design
- Without a back, this isn’t a “sit and stay all day” couch
- Add a mattress topper to smooth out the crack between the 2 halves
Why we chose it: When less is more, opt for a backless daybed like this barely there beauty.
In the wide world of sofa beds, the daybed lies about smack-dab in the middle, effortlessly straddling the line between the two. Picture it now: your office outfitted with this analyst-style daybed. Use it to steal the occasional midafternoon nap or kick your feet up on it when Zoom meetings (video off!) go long. Then whenever guests stop by, it can easily convert to a queen-size bed without the bulk of a full sleeper sofa. “You get all the function of another bed without any interruption of sight lines,” says Mary Jo Major of Rise Interiors. “It keeps a room feeling open in ways that a traditional sofa sleeper can’t.” Plus without a back you don’t have to stress that it won’t fit through your doorways or any tight, twisty staircases.
Best Value: DHP Franklin Mid-Century Daybed
Width up to: 78 inches | Mattress size: Twin, full, or queen | Mattress fill: Mattress not included
What we like:
- Most affordable option on this list
- An easy fit in even the smallest of spaces
- Available in 3 sizes
- You’ll need to buy a mattress separately
- Easy assembly required
Why we chose it: This daybed doesn’t take up much space—and doesn’t cost a fortune either.
It doesn’t get much simpler, or more affordable, than this daybed. With no couch-to-bed conversion necessary, it’s the best of both worlds, offering you an extra flexible piece of furniture. Just ask yourself a few questions. Velvet or linen? Twin, full, or queen? Will you place it in a guest room, kid’s bedroom, or office? The only (potential) downside to this daybed: The mattress is sold separately. Though at this price point, that allows you to invest in a mattress that’s the perfect size and firmness for you.
Best Customization Options: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Landry Plain Signature Sofa
Width up to: 77 or 85 inches | Mattress size: Full or queen | Mattress fill: Foam core with a plush foam topper
What we like:
- Available in hundreds of different fabrics
- Features a modern rounded shape
- Handcrafted in North Carolina
- Ships in 14 to 16 weeks
Why we chose it: Are 343 upholstery options enough for you?
The sky’s the limit with the exterior on this sofa. Looking for a vegan leather sleeper sofa? Great. Stone-colored linen? Check. How about emerald velvet? That’s an option, too. This sleeper sofa is available in so many fabric choices—343 of them!—you’re practically guaranteed to find the exact color, texture, and overall look you’re hoping to achieve. Seattle-based interior designer Kirsten Conner is a fan, not only of the customization but its silhouette. “It has smooth, curved lines that echo the Art Deco vibe that is strong right now,” she says. “It doesn’t scream, ‘I’m your typical track arm Airbnb sleeper sofa.’ It does a far better job than many others at masquerading as a truly sexy sofa.”
Best Sleeper Sofa With a Storage Chaise: EQ3 Reva Sectional Sofa Sleeper
Width up to: 126.8 inches | Mattress size: Double or queen | Mattress fill: Memory foam
What we like:
- A storage chaise makes this piece particularly pragmatic
- Plenty of customization options, including arm width and bed size
- Can be upholstered in fabric or leather
- May take up to 20 weeks for delivery
- You’ll need an entryway clearance of 31 inches for delivery
Why we chose it: With the addition of a storage chaise, this sleeper sofa makes for an exceptional multipurpose piece.
Our love for a chaise lounge knows no bounds, but add the word storage in there and we’re practically swooning. With this sleeper sofa, you wouldn’t have to venture back and forth to the linen closet to make up the pull-out bed whenever guests are ready to hit the hay; simply store them in the chaise. The chaise can go on the left or right, the arm width can be standard or narrow, and the bed can be a double or queen-size. No matter which options you choose, this sleeper sofa is a true standout.
Best Sink-In-and-Stay Design: Ballard Designs Baldwin Upholstered Queen Sleeper
Width up to: 89 inches | Mattress size: Queen | Mattress fill: Spring
What we like:
- You’ll never want to get up from the foam cushions
- The double-locking bed frame provides maximum support
- Can be slipcovered for easy cleaning
- Likely will take 3 months to ship
- The down pillows will require occasional fluffing
Why we chose it: Whether in couch or bed form, this sleeper begs you to cozy up and stay a while.
Just looking at this sleeper sofa has us feeling a nap coming on. It’s that cozy, no matter if it’s in couch mode or has been pulled out to reveal the tucked-in queen-size mattress. There’s no going wrong with any of the (many, many) fabric options, which include plenty of patterns as well as solid neutrals. Then pile on the pillows, including the four matching throw pillows it comes with, and kick your feet up. Here’s betting you’ll get plenty of use out of this sleeper sofa for years to come.
Best Slipcovered Sofa: Interior Define Ella Sleeper
Width up to: 76 inches | Mattress size: Queen | Mattress fill: Foam or memory foam
What we like:
- The fitted slipcover is easy as can be to clean
- Curvy lines make for a refined silhouette
- Includes coordinating lumbar pillows
- The down cushions require fluffing (the double-down blend more than the others)
- Some reviewers weren’t impressed with the fabric quality
Why we chose it: Just by looking at it, you’d never guess this couch is slipcovered—or that it has a bed inside.
Modern, classic, tailored. As of a decade ago, those wouldn’t have been words you’d use to describe a slipcovered sofa, let alone a sleeper sofa. Now, however, both slipcovered sofas and sleeper sofas—and best yet, a slipcovered sleeper sofa, like this one from Interior Define—can make for a solid couch option. This elegant sleeper doesn’t compromise style, comfort, or convenience.
Best Oversize Option: Rove Concepts Milo Sleeper Sofa
Width up to: 98.4 inches | Mattress size: Queen | Mattress fill: Spring
What we like:
- It’s long yet lean in terms of design
- The cushions simply flip over to unveil the bed
- Includes a washable mesh mattress cover
- Requires wide clearance through doorways
- Occasionally low in stock
Why we chose it: This large-and-in-charge sleeper sofa will be the star of your living room (without overwhelming the overall design).
This sleeper sofa is a series of contradictions. It is low profile but high in style. It’s substantial in size—more than 8 feet long!—yet would blend in beautifully with other furniture. It’s sophisticated but casual. Best of all, the cushions simply flip over to create an easily convertible sofa bed. Sleepovers just got way more fun.
Best Slim Silhouette: Serena & Lily Grady Sleeper
Width up to: 88 inches | Mattress size: King | Mattress fill: Foam
What we like:
- A sizable couch that won’t overwhelm a room
- Available in 146 fabric options
- Made with a variety of sustainable wood and eco-friendly cushions
- The price is nothing to scoff at
- Custom-made in the U.S. in 8 to 12 weeks
Why we chose it: While the sofa features slight, squared-off lines, its king-size mattress offers plenty of room for guests to stretch out.
“When you think of sleepers, you usually think of big and bulky,” says Kristine Renee of Design Alchemy. Not this one, even though it’s one of the longest options on this list, with a king-size bed tucked inside. “I like how this has petite, feminine lines while still being highly functional,” adds Renee. “The slimmer arms take up less space, and that sloped profile gives it a nice element of unexpected style that is current and timeless.” There’s also an abundance of printed fabrics to choose from, if you want your sleeper to make more of a statement. Looking for something even smaller? We also reviewed the best sleeper sofas for small spaces.
How We Chose These Products
A sleeper sofa is not a nonchalant purchase. It’s a sofa, it’s a bed, and it’s a serious investment. To compile this list, we exclusively shopped brands we trust that consistently produce high-quality pieces of furniture. That way you can feel confident that any of these options would become an indispensable part of your home’s design for the long-term. Any of these sleeper sofas would be a cool and comfortable addition to your home today, and just as cool and comfortable years from now.
Our Shopping Checklist
Whether you’re shopping for a sleeper sofa to sneak into a tiny office space or one that will be the centerpiece of a grand living room, you have many choices. We shopped for a variety of sleeper sofas in a variety of sizes. Some are twin size, others feature a king-size mattress, and many offer options in the middle.
The best sofa brands strive for long-lasting comfort, and we’d expect the same from any sleeper sofa we’d consider buying. “With sleeper sofas, it’s all about the mechanism,” says Conner. “You want good hardware. That’s what will fail the quickest if it’s not quality.” Hardware that can withstand frequent conversions—and also converts easily!—topped our shopping checklist, and it should be at the top of your priority list, too.
Customization is key to getting the exact look that you’ll love for years to come. Shop for sleeper sofas that allow you to customize the upholstery and even the length of the sofa. That’s what we did.
Nowadays there’s no reason to settle for a snoozy sleeper sofa. (Hopefully we proved that with this list.) Invest in a forward-thinking design that features a cool silhouette, arm style, leg shape, fabric—or all of the above.
“There is still a stigma that sleeper sofas are uncomfortable,” says Cole. “Many people cringe and think of that back-breaking bar found in older models.” That’s not the case anymore, though, so prioritize comfort. Well-made sleeper sofas include supportive mattresses as well as a platform bed mechanism that provides a level and barless sleeping surface. Your overnight guests will thank you.
Q: How much space do you need for a sleeper sofa?
Whatever sleeper sofa you’re considering, keep a close eye on its dimensions, both of the sofa as is and when it’s fully extended into a bed. “You’ll want a minimum of 24 inches between the foot of the opened bed to the wall or another piece of furniture,” says Christopher. That way you and your guests won’t be hitting your shins on the corner of your coffee table when shuffling out of bed. As with any big furniture purchase, measure—and then measure again.
Q: Can you put a mattress topper on a sleeper sofa?
Definitely! “There are a huge variety of mattress toppers out there, not just the old egg-crate style,” says Cole. Do you prefer memory foam, gel foam, wool, microfiber, or down? Depending on the topper you choose, you may not have to worry about finding a place to store it while the bed is tucked away either. “They are flexible enough to use on a sleeper sofa, and most can even fold up within the sofa,” she adds.
Q: What’s the difference between a sleeper sofa and a sofa bed?
The phrases are so similar; it’s easy to use them interchangeably. There’s a major difference between the two, though. “A sleeper sofa has a dedicated mattress that folds into the frame of the sofa when not in use, and it has separate cushions that are used when sitting on the sofa,” explains Cole. “A sofa bed or futon uses a single cushion for both sleeping and sitting, so you sleep and sit on the same surface.”
The Last Word
A design-forward sleeper sofa should be the best of both worlds: a couch you’ll feel comfortable kicking your feet up on, as well as a bed on which you and your guests can grab a good night’s sleep. Don’t settle for less.