Sleepers & More 101

The Ultimate Sleeper Sofa Guide

Read our Ultimate Sleeper Sofa Guide to get the answers to every question you might have about sofa beds.

Do sofa beds pull out?

Sofa beds, sleeper sofas, pull out beds, convertible sofas, hide-a-beds, or whatever regional nickname you have for them, are named for their tucked away mattresses that can be pulled out and used as a guest bed. So to put it simply, yes, sofa beds definitely do pull out! We're resisting telling some very inappropriate jokes right now... but 'sofa so good!'

  • Pull-out magic: Yep, some sofa beds have that pull-out action, transforming a comfy couch into a cozy bed.
  • Hidden gem: Tucked away under the seat cushions, the pull-out mechanism is like a well-kept secret.
  • Easy peasy transition: Ready to snooze? Just pull the handle or mechanism, and voilà—bedtime mode activated.

So, yes, sofa beds can totally be the ultimate pull-out champions, taking you from lounging to snoozing in a snap.

Can sleeper sofas be comfortable?

Sleeper in an apartment

The truth is that a modern sleeper sofa is almost exactly as comfortable as a standard couch these days. In many cases, you wouldn't even realize you were sitting on an entire queen size sleeper sofa unless you were told. Now, is a sleeper mattress as comfortable as a regular mattress? There's still some room for improvement in that field, but you might be surprised by how comfy a sleeper mattress can be.

  • Cozy consideration: You bet! Many sleeper sofas these days are designed with both sitting and sleeping comfort in mind.
  • Upgraded mattresses: Some models boast memory foam or gel-infused mattresses, offering a dreamy sleep experience.
  • Test the taters: If you're shopping, give it a try—sit, stretch out, and see how it feels. Comfort is personal!
  • Hidden gem: No need to sacrifice comfort for functionality; modern sleeper sofas aim to deliver the best of both worlds.

So go ahead, get comfy on that sleeper sofa and catch some Z's or binge-watch your favorite shows. It's all about the ultimate lounging experience!

Why are sofa beds so uncomfortable to sit on?

While something like a sleeper sectional with storage might not out-comfort a couch designed exclusively for sitting, it can get impressively close.

  • Double duty design: Sofa beds juggle two roles—seating and sleeping—making finding the right balance a challenge.
  • Thin is in... but not always: Many sofa beds have thinner mattresses to fold easily. If they're thicker, however, this can lead to less cushioning for sitting- this is because the larger the folded mattress burrito is, the higher up the effective platform is for the cushions to rest atop. This means that there's less space for the couch cushions and they may need to be constructed a bit thinner as a result. Not usually very common but worth mentioning!
  • Support struggles: Some models lack proper support, resulting in uneven pressure points and less-than-stellar comfort. If a sleeper couch is designed a bit more cheaply and/or quickly (or was customized into a sofa that doesn't normally carry one) certain things might be a little bit "off." That said, talking this through with the retailer you're purchasing one from might be advisable for peace of mind.

But don't despair! Modern designs are working to change the sofa bed game. So keep an eye out for those comfy gems that'll have you sitting and sleeping like royalty!

What is the difference between a daybed and a sleeper sofa?

There's actually quite a big difference between a daybed and a sleeper sofa. The gist is that a daybed is more like a couch with no arms and a sleeper sofa is a regular couch with a bed hiding inside of it. Find out what the key differences are so that you can start snoozing in style.

  • Daybed delight: Picture a cozy twin-size bed, often with a backrest that doubles as a sofa during the day. It's all about lounging and occasional sleeping.
  • Sleeper sofa surprise: These champs are sofas by day and transform into full-fledged beds at night. They're versatile and can accommodate guests overnight.
  • Sleeping space: Daybeds are more suited for one person, while sleeper sofas can comfortably sleep two or more depending on their size.
  • Room flexibility: Daybeds fit seamlessly in smaller spaces, like nooks or studio apartments. Sleeper sofas are a solid choice for guest rooms or when you need a multi-use space.

If you love the size of a daybed then you might be interested in a twin chair sleeper, which has the petite profile of a chair, but pulls out into a twin bed like a traditional sleeper sofa. Great for long nights in your nursery!

How long do sofa beds last?

Unless you're treating your sofa bed like a trampoline (which we know is tempting), then your sleeper sofa should be able to last a significant length of time. This is doubly true if you splurge a bit on a West Elm sleeper sofa compared to something you found after searching "sleeper sofas for sale" on Bing.

  • Quality matters: A well-constructed sofa bed can last around 10 to 15 years with proper care and usage.
  • Frequent use impact: If your sofa bed is a guest favorite or serves as your daily snooze spot, it might wear out sooner. Expect some wear and tear after 5 to 7 years.
  • Maintenance magic: Regular cleaning, occasional flipping of the mattress, and handling the mechanism gently can extend the sofa bed's life.
  • Upkeep matters: Sturdy frames and high-quality mattresses make a difference. Invest in a reputable brand for longer-lasting comfort.

So there you have it! Treat your sofa bed kindly, and it'll be there to host guests and cozy naps for years to come.

What size mattress is on a sofa bed?

Sofa bed mattresses have a slightly different size compared to regular mattresses. The key distinction lies in the depth (or length), which typically tends to be shorter on a sleeper mattress. It is important to note that while the difference is not significant, some bedsheets designed for regular mattresses may not fit properly on a sleeper.

Here's a breakdown of sleeper vs "regular" mattress dimensions:

Queen Size-

  • Queen Sleeper Sofa Mattress Dimensions: 60″w x 72″d
  • Queen Size Mattress Dimensions: 60″w x 80″d

Full Size-

  • Full Size Sleeper Sofa Mattress Dimensions: 52″w x 72″d
  • Full Size Mattress Dimensions: 54″w x 75″d

Twin Size-

  • Twin Size Sleeper Sofa Mattress Dimensions: 38″w x 72″d
  • Twin Size Mattress Dimensions: 39″w x 75″d

It's important to note that the dimensions mentioned are specifically for the mattresses. However, please keep in mind that the actual couch dimensions of a sleeper sofa can vary significantly, depending on whether it's a twin, full, or queen size sofa bed. It's worth mentioning that even within the same mattress size category, the dimensions of a sleeper sofa may differ between a standalone sofa and a sectional. For instance, a queen sleeper sofa may have more compact dimensions compared to a larger three-piece sleeper sectional, despite featuring a larger mattress.

What is a single sofa bed?

Keep seeing the term "single sofa bed" in your online shopping results and aren't sure what it means? We've got you covered.

  • One for you: As the name suggests, it's designed for a single sleeper. It's cozy, convenient, and perfect for smaller spaces like studios, guest rooms, or even that cozy nook in your living room.
  • Snug sleep: When you unfold it, you get a snug sleeping area that's usually around the size of a twin bed. It's a practical solution for solo sleepovers or those spontaneous nap urges.

So there you have it! Essentially a single sofa bed means it will feature a twin size mattress. Single = twin. Because that's not confusing at all...

What is a double sleeper sofa?

When you see the term "double sleeper sofa" while browsing around, this means that the sofa bed will feature a full size mattress. Here are some more details to keep in mind.

  • Couples' comfort: Unlike its single counterpart, a double sleeper sofa is built to accommodate two sleepers. It's like having a cozy bed tucked within your stylish sofa.
  • Unfold and dream: When it's time to catch some Zzz's, you can unfold this sofa into a spacious sleeping area that's typically around the size of a full-size bed. Perfect for cuddle nights or spacious solo snoozing.

A double size sofa bed offers a very nice middle ground between size and comfort. It's the perfect middle ground for a majority of households.

What's a pull-out couch called?

What's in a name? Old Bill Shakespeare knew that it didn't matter what you called a thing. Little did he know that his poetic words would be so true for the world of pull out couches, too. Here are some common names for sleeper sofas.

  • Sleeper sofa: This one's like the official title. It's straightforward and tells you it's not just for sitting.
  • Convertible sofa: A transformer in the world of furniture, it converts from a cozy couch to a comfy bed.
  • Hide-a-bed: Like a magician's trick, the bed seems to appear out of nowhere, hidden within the couch's frame.
  • Pull-out couch: Even though you're not technically pulling out a couch (you're pulling out a bed, silly!) this one is a very common term.
  • Fold-out couch: Not just a pull, sometimes you fold out the bed from within the couch.
  • Sofa bed: This one's like the ultimate mash-up. It's got the comfort of a sofa and the snooze-worthy quality of a bed.
  • Sleeper bed: This one doesn't really make that much sense but we find people using this term in conversation. At least it's better than 'awake bed'...

So, whether you call it a pull-out couch, a sleeper sofa, or one of these other cool names, one thing's for sure: it's your ticket to a comfy lounge or a peaceful slumber.

What size are most pull out couches?

Sofa beds used to offer very little variety in sizing. Not anymore. These days you can find sleeper sofas in all sorts of different configurations and sizes, ranging from single chairs that hide a twin size mattress to 10pc modular sectionals that house a queen bed or two somewhere within. But here are some averages for a typical 2 seater sofa bed or 3 seater sofa bed:

  • Sofa mode: When your pull-out's in sofa mode, you're looking at dimensions around 70 to 96 inches wide and 35 to 40 inches deep. It's the perfect setup for lounging with friends or watching movies.
  • Bed mode: Ready to unfold that hidden bed? In its fully extended glory, a pull-out couch typically measures around 70 to 90 inches wide and 85 to 90 inches long. A cozy space for your guests to catch some zzz's.

Remember, these are just averages. Sizes can vary depending on the brand, style, and type of pull-out couch you're eyeing. Always measure your space before you make a decision. So, get your measuring tape ready and let's find that perfect fit!

How big is a queen sleeper sofa when open?

Knowing how big your sleeper sofa will be when it's all pulled out is critically important. This is especially true if it's a queen size mattress. Check out these measurements so you can ensure your new sleeper sectional or large sofa bed will fit when unfolded!

  • Bedtime: Time to roll out the royal treatment! When fully open, the queen sleeper sofa typically measures around 60 to 80 inches wide and 80 to 90 inches long. It's like offering your guests a comfortable, spacious retreat.
  • Sofa time: When it's hanging out as a sofa, a queen sleeper's width usually ranges from 80 to 100 inches, and the depth falls between 35 to 40 inches. It's your everyday lounging buddy, perfect for movie nights or chill sessions.

These measurements might vary slightly based on the manufacturer and design. So, keep that measuring tape handy and ensure your space can accommodate both its sofa and bed personas.

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder