12 best sofa beds
Make sure you have somewhere comfortable and convenient for impromptu guests to sleep
A good comfortable sofa bed means your house is always guest-ready. And with the holiday season ahead, you might just find yourself with one or two extra relatives to accommodate.
The trouble with some sofa beds is that they rarely work well as either sofa or bed, with clunky mechanisms, bulky looks and poor support. The situation is improving, however, and there’s now a range of nifty solutions for smaller homes too.
The main types are beds that fold flat, and beds that pull out. Fold flat (or “clic clac”) beds give a larger sleeping area but lack a headboard. The traditional pull-out kind often have thin mattresses that make sleeping for more than a night or two a little uncomfortable.
For these, you should always check the dimensions of the mattress while flat, as a big sofa doesn’t necessarily relate to a big sleeping area.
Here, we’ve found options to suit all budgets. That should mean whoever is bedding down should get a decent night’s rest.
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Willow and Hall Somerton Sofa Bed: From £1,123, Willow and Hall
If you’re looking for a sofa bed to fit discreetly with your other furniture, the upmarket Somerton sofa comes in a range of 240 fabrics. It’s well-made, with a 25-year guarantee for the solid hardwood frame and a 10-year mattress guarantee, you can choose which grade of mattress to buy – from open sprung, pocket sprung or foam. The pull-out mechanism is easy to use too.
Innovation Recast Sofa Bed: £999, John Lewis
Designed and made in Denmark, this stylish bed opens out by pulling out the base and dropping the back. When flat, it gives a spacious sleeping area of 140x200cm, without the need for bulky mechanisms. The foam-filled cushions are firm, and the pocket sprung mattress is comfortable enough. With no fixed headboard, this one is best pushed against a wall when folded flat.
Cloud 3-seater Clic Clac Sofa Bed: £314, Maisons Du Monde
A distinctive budget bed that comes in a choice of grey, turquoise or black. The back buttoning can make an uncomfortable surface for light sleepers, so it’s best for use on the odd sleepover rather than weeks of use. The padding is made of foam and covered in stain-resistant polyester. It folds flat giving an area of 189x121cm. Self-assembly is required.
Marks and Spencer Lincoln Sofa Bed: from £1,099, Marks and Spencer
The plain looks of the Lincoln sofa means it can fit in with most schemes, and it comes in a wide choice of leather and fabric for you to find the best match. It is available in two sizes, medium or large, and there’s a choice of foam or sprung mattress depending on how often it will be used. Go for the large to give guests a decent sleep, the medium mattress is only 178x112cm.
Feather and Black Shoreditch Sofa Bed: £675-£875, Feather and Black
Good for smaller spaces and teen bedrooms, the Shoreditch bed comes in three sizes: single, small double and double. It has a metal folding frame that’s fairly easy to pull out. The fabric-upholstered mattress is thick but contours can make it uncomfortable for sleeping on without an added mattress protector. It comes in a choice of grey, blue or off-white.
Habitat Porto Two-seater Sofa Bed: £795, Habitat
The Porto is good value for money, but is more comfortable as a sofa than a bed. The 5cm foam mattress is a little thin for more frequent use, and the two-seater opens out to a compact sleeping area of 113x175cm. It’s fairly robust with a pine frame and smooth pull-out mechanism. The range comes in six fabric colours and three leathers, and includes a chaise sofa too.
Dreams Haze Sofa Bed: £479, Dreams
The Haze bed is a good price for the size. As a sofa it seats two, thanks to slim arms. And it folds out to a decently-sized double. A drawer underneath the seat cushion pulls out to reveal a pop-out bed section. The back folds down but stays angled to provide a head rest. The seat is pocket sprung for comfort during the day, and the bed section is upholstered foam.
Loaf Pudding Sofa Bed: £1,595, Loaf
A deep seat and plump feather-wrapped foam cushions put the Pudding sofa bed top of the list for comfort. It’s handmade in Derbyshire, comes with a 10-year frame guarantee and more than 150 upholstery choices. This is a rare sofa bed that functions well as both sofa and bed, without compromising the comfort of either. Loaf offers a 14-day return policy if you’re not happy.
Ligne Roset Multy Premier Sofa Bed: £1,444, Heals
Ligne Roset is a high-end French brand that’s becoming easier to find in the UK. The Multy bed has been designed for regular use and as such is far more comfortable than beds at the lower end of the price range. It has a cushioned steel frame that folds out easily (to 166 x 200cm), a bit like a futon. Two long cushions to use as pillows are included and the cover unzips to form a duvet that can be removed for dry cleaning.
Argos Home Chase Clic Clac Sofa Bed: £249.99, Argos
Clic clac beds are a good option for when you need to quickly convert a small room or study into a guest bedroom. This budget version is upholstered in grey polyester and opens out to 110x180cm. There’s a shallow storage space in the base that makes it easy to have blankets and sheets at hand. The quality is not the best: it’s not comfortable for long periods and the plastic feet are a slight let down. It does, however, make a good solution for occasional use.
Hetty Bed in a Box: From £485, Sofa.com
Sofa.com’s Hetty Bed in a box is a winner for owners or renters of smaller homes. It’s a single pull-out bed that folds back into an impressively compact upholstered box that’s just 116 x 44 x 41 cm. The lid of the box acts as a headboard, a little feature that adds to the comfort and support of the sleeper. It makes itself useful as extra seating when in box form, and is carefully made in a range of upholstery with button detailing.
Carrie Sofa Bed: £1,219, Sofa Workshop
If you’re looking for a comfortable sofa for the living room that has the bonus of a pull-out bed inside – Carrie is an excellent buy. It comes with all the qualities of a regular sofa, including a choice of fabrics and size, and a 15-year guarantee on the hardwood frame. The sofa is handmade, but the mechanism and mattress are fairly standard, so you won’t want to sleep on this for more than a couple of nights.
The verdict: sofa beds
For a quality sofa bed that serves both functions just as well, the Somerton from Willow & Hall is a good pick. Choice is key here, there are three mattress types depending on your budget and how frequently the bed will be used. With a big range of upholstery choices, it can fit in with your home all year round, rather than looking like a poor relation that’s only used once or twice a year.
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