Selecting a sleeper sofa involves more than just picking a style that you like. There are multiple configurations and types of mattress - each one can affect your space planning, seating surface and sleeping comfort.
Before you buy a sofa bed, there are a couple of things that you should be on the lookout for.
1. The weight of the sofa
A sofa bed is basically a mattress inside a sofa, so they are usually heavy. Before choosing to buy a sleeper sofa, maybe consider an inflatable mattress, especially if you would have to hull your purchase up several flights of stairs.
2. The quality of the open and close mechanisms
In a good sleeper sofa, the open and close mechanism should lift up and out in one smooth motion with no sticking or squeaking. Be on the lookout for units that are designed with a lock bar that ensures proper closure and easy opening. Carefully check to ensure that the opening mechanism is well put together and parts aren't loose or broken.
3. Power open
If you have mobility issues or back problems, you might want to consider a power open sleeper sofa. This type of sofa beds come with high-tech opening mechanism that helps you unfold the sofa bed with just the push of a button.
4. Choose one that would fit your mattress pad and sheets
Some sofa bed mattresses are fully upholstered and you wouldn't want to ruin it by drinking or eating on the bed. We, therefore, recommend you measure the mattress before you buy. If it doesn't measure 60x 80, 54 x 75 or 39 x 75, then it will not be a standard size twin, queen or full mattress - fitted bed sheets won't fit.
5. Will it pass through your doorway?
Before heading up to the store, measured the width of the door and your room ceiling (and any other stairs or doorways). This way, you can tell right away if the sleeper sofa at the store would be a good fit for your room.
6. Lookout for hardwood frame
The most durable and strong frames for any kind of soft - yes, including a sleeper sofa, is made up of a combination of clean-dried hardwood or furniture grade plywood. Frames made of softer woods like pine should be avoided.
7. Search for foam toppers
A lot of manufacturers now make sofa beds that come with padding for extra comfort added to the top. Be on the lookout for this feature of a modern sleeper sofa.
8. Ensure all mechanisms have smooth edges
It is important that all the inner mechanisms of a sleeper sofa have smooth edges. So, your blankets and sheets don't rip, catch or snag on rough edges.
Pro hack: when using a sofa bed, even the very best, it is always smart to remove blanket and sheets before closing the unit. By doing this, you will ensure that alignments of the different parts do not shift.
9. Don't be afraid to try it out
Most people are uncomfortable about testing out a sofa bed at the store but when you consider the size of the amount of money you'll be spending, you'll quickly realise it is well worth the few minutes of discomfort.
Lay down and imitate various sleeping positions (within good taste, of course). Close the bed so you can sense the ease of the mechanism and the weight - then sit on the sofa with the bed retracted, so you know what it feels like to sit on it. After all, this is the way it would be most of the time.
A sofa bed is a great addition to your home because it is multifunctional. However, it is important that you spend some time considering what exactly you need from a sofa bed before you purchase one. Do not forget to measure doorways before you shop and take into consideration the size of the sleeper while it is open - you would want to ensure that there is easy flow of traffic or through your room.
After you've considered how often the sofa will be used and where it would be used, then you can visit the store. The best way to feel out the comfort of the sofa bed is to try it out in person.