Shopping for a sleeper sofa that doesn’t look like the sagging hand-me-down you had in college can take some patience and digging. You want something that’s going to look nice in your adult apartment, but you also want it to be comfortable for you and your guests — and functional, a.k.a. able to convert into a bed with minimal effort. To help you find the best sleeper sofa for your space, we consulted eight interior designers for their suggestions. Below are their 18 favorites, which cover a range of styles and price points.
Futon-style sleeper sofas
Because someone hopping between apartments might not want to lug around a sofa with a pull-out metal frame mattress, some of the experts we consulted steered us toward lightweight, convertible models in which the sofa cushions themselves double as mattresses (sort of like modern futons). According to 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.”
If you want something with a small footprint, 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 are crafted from microsuede — a fabric that Vargas says is ideal because it’s durable and easy to clean — and form the mattress.
Cheng also suggests this sleeper sofa — which you can slap a sheet on and sleep on as-is — for a modern studio. 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.”
Or, if you’re more into the daybed look, Cheng suggests this sleeper sofa with tufted cushions and plush foam that would look great in more traditional-style homes. It’s on the more expensive side, but she notes part of what you’re paying for is thoughtful design. “Gone are the days where the futon cushion continues to slide down the frame,” Cheng says, “because this one is already perfectly attached to the wood frame!”
Here’s another futon-style option that easily converts to a queen-sized platform bed with a pocketed, coil-spring mattress. Lisa Spicer, a designer at virtual interior design service Modsy, recommends it for its simple mid-century modern look and notes that the sofa’s light gray fabric is a great base for just about any accent color. She suggests adding some personality to it via a couple of blush-pink throw pillows — or, to create more of a contrast, Spicer says to try navy or black-and-white cushions instead.
If you’re pressed for space, you could also opt for a smaller sleeper option like this one from Room & Board that’s more of an armchair, and comes recommended by Cheng. 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-inches thick at minimum.”
Décor Aid interior designer Allison Vargas likes the look of a mid-century modern–style sleeper sofa like this one, because she says it won’t feel dated after years of use. Slightly wider than the chair-style pullouts above, this one is still pretty compact and clocks in at just more than 100 pounds. Its cushions fold down to form a twin a bed.
This Novogratz is similar to the Jayde sofa above — mid-century 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, with no need to pull anything out.
This two-seater comes recommended by Spicer, who says that its clean lines can work in a range of interior-design schemes. It’s on the more expensive end of this list, but it’s fully customizable — the sofa is available in more than 60 fabric options “from neutral grays to bold velvet fabrics,” according to Spicer, who notes you can also choose different leg styles, cushions, and even cushion fill.
Here’s another Chesterfield-esque option, this time in a more modern silhouette that combines classic tufting with a boxy, modern frame and plinth-style base. Modsy’s Katherine Tlapa says that its deep seat is “as comfortable as it gets,” and notes that this sleeper sofa, which comes with a spring-coil mattress, can also be customized with more than 65 upholstery options.
Alessandra Wood, the VP of Style at Modsy, recommends this deep-set sleeper sofa from CB2 for its simple shape that she says can work in a variety of décor styles. The sofa opens into a queen-size bed with a hybrid coil-and-foam mattress, and Wood adds that it’s a great price for a two-in-one.
As some of the above models suggest, 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 sofa 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 mid-century 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,” he says. “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.”
Cooney likes this convertible daybed with a very minimal profile. It can be used in four different ways: As a bench, as a single twin bed, as two twin beds, or as a single queen bed.
To balance sleeping and seating comfort, you could also invest in a sofa with 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. Tze Chun, founder of online art gallery Uprise Art, also owns the Berin and agrees that it’s “surprisingly comfortable for a sleeper,” adding that “It takes almost no effort to unfold, too. Guests are always surprised that the sofa is a sleeper, and a queen-sized sleeper at that.”
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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