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Form and Function: What to Look for in a Fold Out Couch

Open Sofa Couch Bed in Living Room

Multi-tasking furniture could be one of humankind’s greatest achievements!

The sofa bed is no exception to the wonders of creating furniture that can do two things in the space of one household essential.

However, if you’ve ever slept on a fold out couch, you know that not all sofa beds are created equal.

Without the right insight into choosing an excellent piece of furniture, your sofa-turned-bed can be uncomfortable or take over too much space in a living room or guest room.

Fold-out couches have come a long way since the old discarded piece in your parents’ basement or at grandma’s house.

Follow these shopping tips to choose a sofa bed that you and your guests will love!

Consider the Space

pulling sofa bed

Where will you put your new piece of furniture? In a small apartment, the sofa bed could be your living room sofa by day and where you or a guest sleeps at night.

In a guest room, your couch could be a side piece in a room used for other things when guests are not in-house.

Remember that when it’s folded up, the couch takes up less space.

When considering the best sofa beds, make sure you measure your area and the couch while it’s folded, as well as when it’s unfolded to become a bed.

If it fits nicely in your space while folded, but makes it impossible to move around the room once it’s opened to use as a bed, it’s probably the wrong size for it’s intended space.

Check for Quality

pressing a mattress

You don’t need to overspend on a good quality foldable couch, but make sure it’s sturdy enough to withstand opening, folding, and the activity level of how you’ll use your furniture.

If you frequently transform it from couch to bed, make sure it can hold up to the back and forth transition.

Kiln-dried hardwood creates some of the sturdiest frames for sofas, including sofa beds.

Choose a piece made of this hardwood, and you’ll have a solid sofa that lasts.

Don’t Skimp On Upholstery

The frame of your sofa bed will take a beating, and the upholstery will, too.

Choose a fabric for your couch that can withstand metal pieces opening and closing as often as you fold and unfold the sofa.

Couch fabric comes with a rub count rating.

This measures how many times something can rub the same spot on the material before this action creates a hole.

For household furniture, start with a fabric that rates a minimum of 25,000 double rubs.

With a foldout couch, consider a higher count if you plan to fold and unfold the sofa frequently.

Make Sure You Can Maneuver It

Sofa beds are typically heavier than a sofa without the foldout bed feature.

While you need the sturdy frame we mentioned, you also need to be able to maneuver it.

Whether it’s moving it around the room to help accommodate guests or frequently folding and unfolding it, if you can’t turn it into a bed and back as you need it, it’s a useless piece of furniture.

Before purchasing a foldable couch, test it out in the store.

Don’t make your guests unfold the bed before they can sleep in it. Make sure you can do it for them.

Does It Match?

sofa bed with a woman

Being sturdy and affordable are critical elements for your folding sofa, but if it’s ugly or doesn’t match your decor, you’ll grow to hate it.

Your parents’ sofa bed never seemed to match anything, but that can change with you!

Choose a functional piece that looks great when it’s a sofa, and still looks desirable as a bed.

It should compliment the room, whether it’s in the guest room or your living room.

Test the Mattress

Be that person in the furniture store who lays on the sofa bed to test it!

The couch can look great and fit with your decor, but if it’s uncomfortable, your guests won’t love you for making them sleep on a torture device throughout their stay.

What if you had to sleep on it every night? Maybe you are buying a sofa bed that’s for your everyday use in a small apartment.

Whether for guests or your everyday sleeping arrangements, choose a mattress that supports hips and low back.

Watch out for the structure of the bed.

If you’ve slept on an old sofa bed with a bar that you can feel in your back through the mattress, don’t recreate that moment for yourself or your guests with the wrong choice of fold out couch.

Check the Mechanics

In addition to the wood frame, your sofa bed has plenty of metal parts to help your couch move in and out of each position.

As you open the couch, check to see how the joints interact with the couch fabric and the mattress.

Will sheets get trapped in the joints? Could a hand or hair become tangled in the mechanics?

If any part of the couch seems like a potential hazard to someone while sleeping, choose a different couch.

Avoid the Futon

green futon in modern bedroom

Can we all agree that a futon does not count as a sofa bed?

A futon can be cute, and it can seem like the perfect choice for a small space in a rarely used guest room.

However, futons are seldom comfortable for sleeping.

Unless you have a college dorm room to furnish, avoid choosing a futon as a sofa bed for your home.

Save your money and invest in a comfortable sofa bed that your guests will appreciate.

A Fold Out Couch Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought

Don’t overthink your fold out couch purchase.

However, treat it as more than just “something” in a room to provide a place for a guest to sleep other than the floor.

Choose a piece that adds personality to your space and provides comfort, no matter how you use it!

We hope you find this helpful when choosing your next fold out sofa! Be sure you check out more of our decor articles!

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