A spare bedroom is a luxury many of us cannot afford but we mustn’t let our limited floorplan dictate our sense of hospitality. Enter the trusty sofa bed, a hard-working furniture piece with dual functionality.
If you haven’t purchased one in a while, you’ll be pleased to learn that the contemporary sofa bed has evolved. No longer do we have to put up with clunky fold-out mechanisms, bumpy seat cushions and paper-thin mattresses if we want our settee to transform.
Look for modern click-clack styles or those with a simple fold-down function if you’re after an occasional bed that has a quick, one-person turnaround.
These designs can be found on the more affordable end of the price scale and often prove surprisingly plush and cosy.
For something more substantial, you’ll find a wealth of sofa beds with the conventional folding metal frame and mattress combination.
Unlike their stiff and uncomfortable predecessors, modern versions have smoother pull-out systems and luxurious mattress materials such as feather wrapped or memory foam.
All the sofa beds we tested scored high on comfort and functionality. And with thoughtful design across our selection, we were able to whip up a cosy bed for our guests without the backache in no time.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Sofa Workshop Alfred sofa bed
This is one seriously slouchy looking settee. Within its modernist lines and chunky silhouette, it hides a sizeable metal bed frame and comfy mattress, and converts into a cosy extra bed in a jiffy, thanks to its easy to manoeuvre gliding mechanism. We loved this one for its extra-wide arms and angled backrest, making it impossible not to relax in. In a wonderfully soft and tufted leather, the sofa bed is a luxurious and imposing statement piece. Choose from a range of muted earthy tones including “tumble waxed cigar” and “tip dyed camel”.
Darlings of Chelsea Beckenham sofa bed
Stylish and practical, the Beckenham offers a comprehensive list of configurations including eight sofa bed sizes, a wealth of upholstery fabrics, and options when it comes to the mattress, seat cushions and wooden leg finish, proving this one to be a shrewd investment piece that fits perfectly within your space. Handmade to order, it’s practically bespoke. This is a classic sofa bed with a hidden metal frame that folds out with ease to create a nifty occasional bed in the living room. We think it’s worth the upgrade to a memory foam mattress to guarantee your guests a good night’s kip.
Loaf smooch corner sofa bed
The appropriately named “smooch” is one sprawling and luxurious lounger that’s worth the investment if you often have guests spilling over into the living room when they come to stay. This one’s available in four configurations: choose large or extra-large and left or right-hand designs to suit your space. The corner sofa comes complete with a hidden double mattress that’s supported by a sturdy metal frame – this sits tightly within the L-shaped settee, giving it that extra feeling of snugness. The frame pulls out easily and transforms into a cosy bed in no time, and there’s a whopping 146 fabrics and colours to choose from bamboo softie in “cloudburst” to vintage velvet in “timeless teal”.
Habitat Kota 3 seater sofa bed
Habitat’s simple and affordable Kota sofa is a perennial best-seller, and it’s easy to see why. Its click-clack mechanism allows the back of the seat to fold all the way down, taking you from sofa to bed in a matter of seconds, which is ideal if you’re after a speedy change around without the faff. The sofa bed’s enveloping pillow-like form works beautifully both as a contemporary settee and a generous bed mattress. When horizontal its measurements are the equivalent of a small double, making it perfect for one if a little cosy for two. But it is ideal as an occasional extra bed. Choose from a small range of fabrics and finishes including the vibrant orange.
Dwell Paris leather three seater sofa bed
With its boxy shaping and sleek leather finish, Dwell’s offering is a stylish addition to the contemporary sitting room. On first glance, you wouldn’t think the settee transforms into a cosy bed, thanks to its streamlined design. The pair of backrests are simply lowered to create a sturdy and supportive sleeping platform, making this one a good buy if you’re after occasional bed use. Choose from stone, dove grey, brilliant white, natural tan or jet black soft leathers – all of which make a heady contrast to the piece’s angular legs in shiny stainless steel.
Made Haru single sofa bed, pine green velvet
It’s rare to find a single sofa bed that doubles as a handsome, grown-up armchair and so we were particularly taken with Made’s offering. In plush velvet, and with its tapered and angled wooden legs, the Haru offers cocktail chair glamour with a mid-century twist. Thoughtfully designed, the piece unfolds into a comfy bed in a matter of seconds with hidden legs that are discreetly zipped up within the frame. We loved that this one can transform into a stylish recliner, too. Simply keep the back rest up, extend the lower section, and put your feet up!
Sofa.com Teddy sofa bed
Available from loveseat up to three-seater – and with a two and a half seat option in the mix – this sofa bed is an immediate classic. We loved its sumptuous shaping: the heavy scroll arms and strong backrest belie its otherwise slouchy look. Its sturdy beechwood frame supports a feather scatter cushion back and wonderfully deep and cosy seat cushions. Elevated with stylish, turned wooden legs, the piece offers a good sleeping height, too, once the metal frame and comfy mattress are unfolded. This one is available in a great range of upholstery fabrics, in colour, texture and pattern, which proves a tough choice to make.
Sofas and Stuff Oxwich sofa bed
If you prefer a sofa with a firm seat, this simple and elegant number could be for you. The Oxwich sofa bed features a clean-lined silhouette with a nod to the mid-century aesthetic. We loved its continuous back and armrests and its plush, angled, cushioned back. This is another sofa bed that contains a discreetly tucked away metal frame and mattress, which both opens and closes with ease and proves a comfy occasional bed. Choose from a three-seater or a compact three-seater if you’re after a shrewd space-saver, alongside a vast range of fabric options, which will pull the piece in either a contemporary or classic direction.
Calvers & Suvdal snooze three seater sofa bed
As its name suggests, this is a perfect daybed for lazy Sunday afternoons, but it also makes a handy sleeper for overnight house guests. We loved its versatile functionality. The split seatback allows you to flip either side down, creating multiple options for sitting, sleeping, or indeed, lounging. It offers a striking aesthetic, too, with its design roots in mid-century Scandinavian furniture. Its natural oak frame with smooth, angled legs supports the medium-firm cushioning that’s finished in a hardwearing navy linen fabric. Clean, modern and functional.
The verdict: Sofa beds
Sofa Workshop’s Alfred sofa bed, despite proving a practical piece, does not compromise on style. It’s not cheap but it is a big-impact, contemporary statement piece and we loved its imposing presence. On the other end of the price scale, Made’s Haru single sofa bed proved a great buy for its high style and its three-fold configuration. We loved it as a glamorous recliner, too.
Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – Read our IndyBest guide to all the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.