Modern sofa beds: tips for buyer

Sofa beds are comfortable, come in a range of appealing styles and sizes, and are still very affordable.

Engineering improvements have now made the sofa bed about 90 percent as good as sleeping on a traditional innerspring bed. And the sofa bed offers most buyers a lot more flexibility.

In the last eight or 10 years, the sofa bed has improved dramatically. The biggest change was probably moving from a steel-linkage deck supporting the mattress to a trampoline-style deck.

This means you no longer feel the bar underneath your back. What’s more, the trampoline design innovation has reduced the overall weight of the sofa bed and has also improved the way the sofa sits.

No matter what brand of modern sofa bed you’re looking at, chances are the mechanisms are provided by one of the big manufacturers.

Notable improvements have also been made in sleep sofa mattresses.

The mattresses now feature heavy-gauge coil construction and more generous padding. And they actually longer – today a 6-foot-tall man can sleep comfortably without his feet hanging off the end.

Though sofa bed mattresses are still shorter and thinner than traditional bedding, deluxe models feature a 75-inch length, 5- to 7-inch-thick innerspring construction, and come with a five-year or seven-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Because the mattress has to fold, the sofa bed mattresses are constructed differently. ‘When you are shopping for a quality mattress, you can’t just count the number of coils, or use other traditional methods of evaluating standard bedding.

The best way to shop for a comfortable bed is to actually try it out. Absolutely. Just fold it out and try it.

Bed manufacturers are using new kinds of bearings and bushings, making the operation of opening and closing a modern sofa bed quite easy.

The bed has come out of the spare bedroom and den, and is finding its way into the great room and living room. About one out of 10 sofas we sell are beds.

Sofa beds now come in all shapes and sizes. Buyers can now shop for sofa beds with matching love seats, coordinating club chairs, or even as part of a sectional unit, which may also feature a built-in recliner.

You used to spot a hide-a-bed from across the floor. Now our customers can’t tell at all without looking underneath the cushions.

The fabric choices are better, too.

Ten years ago it had to be Herculon. But today’s dressy fabric selections include damask, tapestries, chintzes, nylon blends and casual cottons. And some sleep sofas include the same custom treatments available to conventional sofas. Among them: down-filled and spring-coil cushions; throw pillows in coordinating fabrics; assorted skirts and pleating styles; skirtless styles with bun feet; and contrasting welt trims.

People are looking at furniture more as an investment. Manufacturers can often fulfill custom orders in only six to eight weeks. And our customers can get exactly what they want. It doesn’t cost any more to special order.

If your guest’s immediate arrival won’t permit ordering, never fear. All stores surveyed had a healthy selection of readily available sofa beds.

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