Houseguests on the horizon? Here’s how to pick the perfect sofa bed


With holidays coming up and out-of-town guests on the way, it’s essential to pick the right sofa bed for your space.

Whether it’s catering to the occasional guest or regularly hosting the in-laws, a sofa bed is the ultimate multipurpose piece. Able to transform instantly into a bed from a couch, it’s a versatile addition to your living area, spare room, study or rumpus room, perfect during the busy Christmas period and school holidays.


How often will you use it?

If you’re hosting guests for more than a few days in a row, or more than a few times a year, it’s worth investing in a comfortable sofa bed. The mechanism should be high quality to ensure ease of use, and if it’s your everyday couch, then it should be just as comfortable and sturdy as a regular sofa. In an apartment, a sofa bed is a smart investment, as you’ll rarely have space for a dedicated spare room. For a fold-out in a spare room, the comfort levels when it’s being used as a bed are more important.


What size do you need?

The size will vary depending on how many guests you have and where it’s placed. If it’s your regular sofa, you’ll want a 2.5-3-seater couch for practicality. In a spare room, you can get away with a more compact size. Consider traffic flow around the bed when it’s unfolded, as well as access points for making the bed and folding it away. A single sleeper sofa might be an even better option, in the form of an armchair that can fold out for one guest.


What type do I need?

There are three main types of sofa bed. The ‘click-clack’ style is what you’ll find with most futons - the back will extend until it clicks into place to create a flat surface. A fold-out should be able to be pulled out with one hand once the sofa cushions are removed, and finally, a motorised version is perfect for anyone with mobility issues.


Leather or fabric upholstery?

Leather upholstery can last a lifetime if you care for it properly. If this is your everyday sofa, it’s worth investing in full-grain or corrected-grain leather to ensure years of soft, supple quality. Fabric, on the other hand, is easy to clean, washable and often more cost effective.


Mattress types

An innerspring mattress is the most comfortable, and will ensure your guests have the best sleep possible, with no bars digging into their backs. Foam can be the cheaper option, ideal for kids, but memory foam will up the budget considerably. Futons are super easy to use and will last for a long time, however they may be too firm for long-term sleeping.


How to care for your sofa bed

Your new freedom sofa bed frame comes with an automatic 10-year warranty, while the upholstery is covered for two years for peace of mind. Always read the label and address any spills or stains immediately. A mattress protector is a smart idea for the actual mattress, and it’s important to regularly vacuum deep into the sofa’s crevices to ensure there are no crumbs left behind.