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The Best Sleeper Sofas, According to Interior Designers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer.

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. According to Annie Mueller, a senior designer at online interior design service Havenly, it’s also important to consider how the piece will be used: “Is it intended for a teen’s space? Will it go in a basement? Will this be your primary sofa?” She says that taking all of these factors into account will impact the sleeper’s cost, style, and size. To help you find the best sleeper sofa for your space and budget, we consulted Mueller and nine other interior designers for their suggestions. Below are their 24 favorites, which cover a range of styles and price points, from easy futon-style foldouts to fancy sofas with queen-size memory-foam mattresses that might even rival what’s in your bed.

Best sleeper sofas under $1,000

For an affordable sleeper sofa that’s still stylish, Mueller recommends this one from Pottery Barn Teen. The compact, two-seater sofa converts into a twin-size bed, making it ideal for smaller spaces. Mueller likes that the square arms look contemporary, adding that it’s a great “budget-friendly option.” She suggests using it in “a teen’s bedroom or play space,” but we happen to think that it would also look nice in an adult living room. The sofa’s seat cushion unfolds to create the mattress, which rests on the floor.

According to Yaiza Armbruster, the founder of design office Atelier Armbruster, “it’s really hard to find sleeper sofas that are nice and comfortable as sofas and as beds, and small enough to fit inside New York City apartments.” One sleeper sofa that she says meets those criteria is this convertible ottoman from Ikea that Armbruster calls “phenomenal” for its compact size, and the fact that it reminds her of an ottoman from a high-end design company that she used to own. The cushion unzips in half to unfold into a narrow mattress (not exactly a twin size, but close), and it can also be combined with other modules in Ikea’s Vallentuna collection to create a sofa. It’s this flexibility that Armbruster appreciates, adding that it could be a “second sleeping option in a living room.” She also thinks the green color is “very nice and could also be a ‘spring’ upgrade in any apartment.”

Armbruster also recommends this Ikea daybed, which she bought for her kids’ room so their friends have somewhere to sleep (and sit) when they come over for sleepovers. It’s actually quite versatile and can be used as a single or double bed — a trundle pulls out from the base to create a double bed. The daybed’s seat is made up of two twin foam mattresses set on top of each other. To create a double bed, simply move the top mattress onto the pullout. As far as looks, it’s fairly basic as is, but Armbruster says that the daybed is easy enough to customize — she did so by simply painting it pink. Bonus: It comes with two large drawers for storing linens.

This convertible sofa comes recommended by interior designer Jennifer Wallenstein, who likes it for its low price point, relatively lightweight frame, and ability to fit into small spaces. It’s upholstered in microsuede — a fabric that she says is ideal because it’s durable and easy to clean — and the seat easily unfolds to become a full-size mattress.

$670

Slightly wider is this mid-century-modern-style sleeper sofa that interior designer Allison Vargas likes for its look — which she says won’t feel dated, even after years of use. Even though it’s an upgrade from your college-era futon, it’s just as easy to operate: The sofa’s foam seat and back cushions fold down to form a twin bed. Normally, it would fall into the pricier category of sleeper sofas below, but right now, it’s on sale for more than half off.

Here’s another sleeper sofa that’s just as easy to convert into a bed. Interior designer Mandy Cheng recommends it, telling us you can basically slap on a sheet and sleep on the sofa as is. The modern-looking piece is made with high-density foam and pocketed coil springs and flips down into a queen-size bed (given how much a regular sofa and queen-size mattress can cost, the fact that you’re getting both with this piece makes the price seem even more justified). Cheng adds, “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.”

Best sleeper sofas under $2,000

$1,696

While it’s at the pricier end of under $2,000, Interior Define’s Sloan Sleeper comes recommended by two of our experts — Mueller and Lisa Spicer, a designer at virtual interior-design service Modsy — for its versatile style and customizability. Spicer says that its clean lines can work in a range of interior-design schemes, and Mueller agrees. As far as customizing it, the sofa is available in more than 60 fabric options “from neutral grays to bold velvet fabrics,” according to Spicer, and you can also choose different leg styles, cushions, and even cushion fill. Mueller adds that “the bonus here is that the sleeper sofa can be ordered in a right or left arm facing sectional, queen sleeper, or twin sleeper. This gives customers the ability to find the configuration that is most functional for their space.” The foldout 5.5-inch-thick queen-size mattress is topped with memory foam.

Armbruster is a fan of the Tandom sofa for its contemporary look and small footprint. The oversize, high-density cushions and seat easily convert into a queen-size bed, while the armrests become head- and footboards. To make it feel more luxurious for guests, Armbruster says you can customize it with “fancier” sheets or patterned textiles.

If you’re looking for something with a “glam aesthetic,” Mueller says to consider the Oneira sleeper from Article, a furniture brand that got a lot of love from experts when we asked them about their favorite (regular) sofas under $1,000. It comes upholstered in luxurious-looking velvet (you can choose from this navy or a lighter gray color), features a hotel-grade foldout mechanism, according to the brand, and includes a four-inch-thick queen-size memory-foam mattress.

Mueller is another fan of daybeds, saying they can make a great alternative to traditional sleeper sofas “if you have an existing sofa that you don’t want to replace, but need additional sleeping surfaces.” She also says daybeds can stand in for traditional sofas, too, if you’re looking for something different (and multifunctional). She recommends this model, which is a step (or two) above Armbruster’s Ikea daybed thanks to its whitewashed rattan frame that she says would “add texture and contrast to a space.” (Rattan also happens to be a material that designers like to work with for its versatility and timelessness, whether it’s used in mirrors, armchairs, or sofas.) This daybed’s five-inch-thick twin-size mattress is made of Fibercore.

West Elm Rochester Queen Sleeper Sofa
From $1,279
From $1,279

This Chesterfield-style sleeper sofa has a more modern silhouette that combines classic tufting with a boxy frame and plinth-style base. Modsy’s Katherine Tlapa says that its deep seat is “as comfortable as it gets,” and notes that the sofa, which comes with a spring-coil queen mattress, can be customized with more than 65 upholstery options.

Alessandra Wood, the VP of Style at Modsy, recommends this deep-set sleeper that has a similar shape to the sofa above. Wood likes its versatility, saying that the sofa’s simple, straight edges can work in a variety of décor styles. The sleeper, which features a removable uni-cushion for its seat, opens into a queen-size bed with a 5.25-inch-thick coil-foam mattress.

Here’s a futon-style option that easily converts to a queen-size platform bed with a pocketed, coil-spring mattress. Spicer 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 your overnight guest will be sleeping alone, Wallenstein suggests this chair-size slipcover sofa. It has a metal pullout base (so it runs on the heavier side) that folds out to support a five-and-a-half-inch-thick twin mattress, which meets one of her requirements for a good innerspring mattress: “You want them to be about five or six inches thick at minimum,” Wallenstein says.

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), Wallenstein recommends this made-to-order queen sofa from buzzy furniture brand Apt2B. “It has a simple modern design, and offers some customization options.” For example, you can choose from a 5.5-inch-thick innerspring mattress with pillow top, or one made out of memory foam.

Technically a bed, Armbruster says if you are imaginative, crafty, or willing to invest a bit more, this can be fashioned into a sofa by adding custom bolsters to it. She’s used the pullout trundle from British design store the Conran Shop in her projects, in part because she says it has “fantastic mattresses, so makes a very good bed.” Make that two beds: The “single” bed features a pullout mattress beneath it that can be lifted up and locked to the same height as the main one to create a king-size bed. Each seven-inch mattress is made from hand-nested pocket springs. While the Conran Shop is based in the U.K., it does ship to the U.S. (and other parts of the world) for an added fee.

Best sleeper sofas under $3,000

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. According to her, this American Leather option from Room & Board is comfortable (but firm) for sleeping and sitting, and has an easy folding mechanism and fabric options that allow for some customization. The cushy queen foam mattress rests on a trifold platform system, so you don’t have to deal with bars or springs. Tze Chun, the founder of online art gallery Uprise Art, also owns this sleeper sofa and agrees that it’s “surprisingly comfortable for a sleeper,” adding that “it takes almost no effort to unfold. Guests are always surprised that the sofa is a sleeper, and a queen-size sleeper at that.”

Here’s another chair-size sleeper (also from Room & Board) that’s a little narrower than the above Willow sofa from Crate & Barrel. Cheng recommends it, saying the style is “perfect for compact spaces” due to the way the twin-size foam mattress folds out using a platform system, similar to the model above. This sofa’s size, she adds, makes it “significantly lighter than traditional ‘full-size’ sleeper sofas.”

Twilight Sleeper Sofa
$1,951

Armbruster likes the Twilight sleeper because “it looks nice, is comfortable, and opens up to what’s essentially a king-size bed.” It’s more or less made of two parts — a cylindrical backrest bolster that can be adjusted to customize seat depth, and a large seat cushion made out of foam that turns into the mattress. Simply pivot the bolster up, then remove the cushion and place on the floor. When pushed up against the sofa’s base, the cushion creates a bed that’s larger than a queen but slightly smaller than a king.

“The CB2 Club Queen sofa is very compact and looks nice as a day-to-day sofa in a smallish apartment,” says Armbruster. She says it’s a great guest-bed option for occasional visitors and likes that it comes in many color and fabric options, including linen, cotton, wool, and polyester blends. The pullout bed is topped with a 5.25-inch-thick coil-foam mattress.

Decorilla design expert Devin Shaffer told us his go-to source 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 its products and offers a 365-day return window and lifetime warranty.” The fully customizable sleeper comes with a five-inch-thick memory-foam mattress that pulls out.

Mueller likes the “more casual lines” of the Denver trundle, saying that it would be a perfect choice for “a boho-inspired living space or a teen’s playroom.” It’s also handmade to order in the U.S., which means you can customize it to your liking, choosing among basket-weave linen, Belgian linen, and velvet for the fabric, and up to 21 different colorways, depending on fabric. A trundle pulls out to form a queen-size bed with a pillow-top mattress.

Splurge-worthy sleeper sofas