For many years, sofa beds have had a bad press. Many are handed down from parents to newly independent children, or purchased as an afterthought by those pushed for space when guests stop by.
Though undeniably useful, it seems difficult to make a sofa that is perfectly designed both for sitting and for sleeping. Most of the time it seems that one of these functions is compromised. You end up either with a sofa so firm you’ll find relaxing on it a chore, or a bed with lumps in all the wrong places.
Modern designers are however beginning to address this problem, and sofa beds are undergoing something of a renaissance. With ingenious new mechanisms and plump cushions, could a sofa bed now be an attractive addition to your home?
Though they come in many shapes and sizes, most classic sofa beds incorporate a foldaway metal frame covered with a thin mattress. Pulling them out can be difficult and stiff, while putting them away can be lethal for slow moving fingers.
A good minimalist answer to the sofa bed that offers a minimal threat to your digits is the Japanese inspired futon. Once the domain of students everywhere, a good quality futon can be stylish, easy to set up and put away and relatively affordable. The main drawback is the firmness, which can be tough to sleep on for anyone used to a softer surface.
The Fold-Down Bed
For an even easier set up, one of the simplest designs is a fold-down sofa bed. Instead of the bed being concealed within the sofa, with this design, the whole sofa is the bed. The backrest of the armless sofa simply folds down to create a flat double bed.
Perfect in its simplicity and available in stylish materials, the only negative point is a possible lack of cosiness. A sofa without armrest can be difficult to really relax in and may require a lot of extra cushions to make it feel comfy.
The Transformer Bed
These beds are the giants of the sofa bed world. Normally designed as corner sofas, these will look most stylish in a large room where big furniture won’t look out of place.
These sofas work by simply sliding a segment up from within the base to create a large double. Though quick and easy to set up, if your guests are on the taller side they may struggle a little as arm rests bookend both ends of the bed.
If you do have the space, these sofa beds are a great solution as the bold, L-shaped design makes a statement in your living room and offers maximum comfort for sitting and relaxing. Once transformed into a bed, they are usually extremely soft and cosy and most have a handy storage box under the shorter end to store the bedding.
The Bunk Bed
Yes, believe it or not, it is possible to have a sofa that transforms into bunk beds.
With a price tag close to £3,000, this may not be for everyone, but it will definitely be a good talking point when it comes to showing your guests their sleeping accommodation.
The mechanism folds out from a very stylish looking sofa, available in fabric or leather, with the backrest forming the top bunk supported by high resistance steel tubes. The ladder is stored underneath the cushions and the whole thing can be assembled in a matter of minutes.
With the option of a third pull-out bed or extra storage inside the sofa, this is the Swiss Army Knife of the sofa bed world.
So whether it’s a sofa with a bed or a bed with a sofa that you’re looking for, today’s designers offer sofa beds in many different styles. From minimalist futon to elaborate and opulent designer recliners, a sofa bed can certainly make an attractive addition to any home.
Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 & 2.