Shopping for the perfect sleeper sofa online — one that’s nice-looking, comfortable, affordable, and functional — can take some patience and digging. With the range of options out there today, you may need advice on what features to look for. “We have sofas now with memory foam, air coil mattresses, organic mattresses and couches that convert to a bed without having to pull anything off,” interior designer Jess Cooney tells me. Here, we consulted five interior design experts to find the best sleeper sofas, whatever kind you’re looking for.
Futon-style sleeper sofas under $500
Because someone hopping between apartments might not want to lug around a sofa with a pull-out metal frame mattress, the experts I consulted steered me toward lightweight, convertible models in which the sofa cushions themselves double as mattresses (sort of like modern futons). According to Homepolish interior designer Mandy Cheng, the big perk of these is that “you know your guests won’t be sleeping on a foldout with metal bars digging into their back.”
If you’re on a budget (but looking for something clean and modern), Chang recommends this 40-pound LUCID foam mattress. “Since the entire sofa is the mattress, that’s the only weight you have to deal with. Pair it with some floor pillows, a colorful throw, and work the room like it’s a low-key pouf lounge. Everyone loves a pouf lounge.”
Décor Aid interior designer Allison Vargas says Joss & Main is another nice middle-of-the-road option for “better quality sofas than those found on Amazon, and styles that are less easily recognizable than those found at Ikea.” She likes the look of a mid-century modern-style couch like this one, because she says it won’t feel dated after years of use. It clocks in at just over 100 pounds and its cushions fold down to form a twin a bed.
If you want something with a small footprint, Homepolish interior designer Jennifer Wallenstein likes this Brayden convertible sofa for its low price point, its relatively lightweight frame, and its ability to fit into small spaces. Its cushions, which are crafted from microsuede — a fabric that Vargas says is ideal because it’s durable and easy to clean — form the mattress.
Futon-style sleeper sofas over $500
This Novogratz is something similar to the Jayde sofa above — midcentury modern and teal (though it comes in gray, too). It was recommended by Decorilla design expert Devin Shaffer. For practicality purposes, he likes that its linen fabric is water and stain resistant, and that it folds neatly down into a twin bed, no need to pull anything out.
Another colorful option. Cheng suggests this orange sleeper sofa — which you can slap a sheet on and sleep on as-is — for a modern studio in need of an accent piece. It’s made with high density foam and flips all the way down into a queen bed. “Generally speaking, the nicer the cushion fill (wrapped down, a mix of foam and down, or memory foam), the better night’s sleep your guests will have.”
Here’s another multi-functional couch that two experts – Cheng and Cooney – recommended if you want something contemporary. “I love the split back options on this mid-century style sleeper,” says Cheng. “Adults can sit upright next to their kid that’s napping, or the middle cushion can be folded down, for a safety barrier of upright side cushions.”
This one isn’t billed as a sleeper sofa, but if you don’t want to lug a giant couch from place to place, this lounger is one lightweight, beautiful thing I’ve bought and used as a sleeper before with nothing more than the existing velvet cushions. You can add a sheet on top, and there’s still enough support on this to give you a good night’s rest.
Or, if you’re more into the daybed look, Cheng suggests this one with tufted cushions and plush foam for more traditional-style homes. “Gone are the days where the futon cushion continues to slide down the frame, because this one is perfectly attached to the wood frame already!”
If you’re pressed for space, you could also opt for a smaller sleeper option like this one that Cheng recommends from Room & Board, which is more of an armchair. It folds out into a twin size mattress using a platform system, which she says “is perfect for compact spaces, and significantly lighter than traditional ‘full-size’ sleeper sofas.”
A similar chair-sized option is this slipcover sofa that Wallenstein suggests if your overnight guest will be sleeping alone: it folds out into a twin mattress using a metal pull-out base (so it runs on the heavier side) but it does meet one of her requirements for a good innerspring mattress: “You want them to be about 5 or 6” thick at minimum.”
Equipped with extra storage, this Stigall reversible sectional offers the “perfect balance of form and function,” according to Shaffer. It reclines back into a full size bed and has a few features that he thinks are a steal for the price: “it’s such a surprise to find a hardwood frame and high density foam for added support.”
Editor’s Note: This couch is already sold out (expected to be back in stock on November 2), but here’s a very similar sectional from Joss & Main with internal storage.
Sleeper pullout sofas under $2000
Sleeper pullout sofas tend to run more expensive (and to be much heavier, given their interior metal frames), but they’re the type of thing that, if you’re willing to invest in them, will last you for years. For a minimal, high-end couch that you can keep in a guest room (and use for a long time), Wallerstein recommends this couch from buzzy furniture brand Apt2B. “It has a simple modern design, and offers some customization options.”
For the absolute best in quality, Shaffer’s go-to place for quality sleeper sofas is Joybird (and he suggests this cushy, plush sleeper sofa with a midcentury frame for someone who wants a do-it-all piece). “When it comes to seating, it’s always best to find places that pride themselves in production. Joybird has an in-depth preview of How it’s Made for each of their products and offer a 365-day return window and lifetime warranty.”
Sleeper pullout sofas over $2000
To balance sleeping and seating comfort, you could also invest in a pop-up foam mattress like this one. “I recently purchased one made by American Leather for a client and they love it,” says Wallenstein. She recommends this American Leather option at Room & Board because it’s comfortable (but firm) for sleeping and sitting, with an easy folding mechanism and fabric options. The cushy foam mattress rests on a tri-fold platform system, so you don’t have to deal with bars or springs.
If you’re pulling out all the stops on a roomy sleeper sofa with all the bells and whistles, Wallenstein thinks this Vesper king-size is “high-quality with a beautiful design.” It’s a pull-out density foam bed (“make sure [yours is] density foam”) that rests on a wooden platform, and it’s customizable in fabric or leather. Vesper claims that when opened, the bed takes up nearly a foot less in depth than conventional sleepers, too.
Sleeper sofa additions
And if you’re saddled with a couch that’s not as comfortable as you’d like, a foam mattress topper goes a long way. Cheng says something like this Dreamfoam “will eliminate any semblance of the seam, even out any height variations between the seat cushion and the back cushion, and make the bed so much more comfortable.”
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