It’s a classic design dilemma: finding a comfortable sleep sofa that’s also stylish and lightweight. For years the two concepts were mutually exclusive. Remember the lumpy, heavy behemoth your parents used to have? But no more.
Today, both comfort and style are easier to find in a sleep sofa. Gone are the massive, bulky couches that broke backs during moves. New on the scene are sleek, stylish couches that don’t rely on the old fold-up springs but that take from European styling and the “clic-clac” sofa concept. In some instances, these couches seem closer to a futon than a couch, except with a vastly more sophisticated feel and a more varied look. In most cases they offer vastly superior sleeping surfaces compared to the lumpy fold out springs. Ouch. We’re happy that furniture designers have finally figured this one out!
One of the newest sleepers out on the market is the Clark sofa (below) offered by West Elm. We’ve seen this one in person and were pleasantly surprised. The sofa doesn’t look like a sleeper but rather has a retro 60s styling that mid-century aficionados would find appealing. Coming in at $999, the sofa is also an affordable options for those watching the budget.
Lower slung and more contemporary in feel is the Blu Dot One Night Stand. (Below). Remove the back cushions and flip the seat forward to become a queen sleeper that rests on the ground. The price point is higher on this one at
Bo Concept offers a modern sleep sofa with air pump that boasts a boxy contemporary look with wide arms. Alas, we could find no pictures of this one, (refer to the Bo Concept website) but it is similar in styling to Bo Concept’s Spaze sofa bed below. (Evidently, Bo Concept no longer makes this model.) The modern sleep sofa with air pump is pricey at $3429, but an air mattress inside guarantees non-lumpy, springless sleep.
Aside from these three, there are sleek and stylish sleeper classics, such as Design Within Reach’s Sliding Sofa (listed as currently unavailable when last we checked but normally in the $3500 range) and the Twilight Sleep Sofa for $1880. Both of these sofas offer youthful, armless styling that may work better in a room that is not primarily used for lounging, specifically because of the arm issue. Room and Board offers a similar option in the Encore sofa for a much more reasonable price of $899.
When picking out a sleep sofa, bear in mind that sofas with wood slat construction for the bed frame will be far more comfortable than the old box springs. This explains the enduring popularity of futon frames. Be sure to test out your sofa for both sitting and sleeping, since the feel of the sofa can change considerably depending on what you’re doing on it. Look for sofas that you don’t have to fight to open. The sofa should convert to a bed in one, mostly smooth motion. Look for sofas offering firm support, not just necessarily a thicker mattress.
And since we haven’t tried all these sofas, we’d love to hear from anyone who has experience both sitting and sleeping on some of our top finds!