The best sofa beds in 2024 for sitting and sleeping

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We tested click-clack and pull-out sofa beds for comfort, quality and practicality

The best sofa beds promise a handy two-in-one solution; both a sofa for relaxing and entertaining, and a comfortable bed for guests. Historically, they have been neither; most seem to be too firm and unyielding as a sofa and uncomfortable and creaky as a bed. No one wants to wake up with a bad back.

As the resident of a small flat in London (I prefer bijou), I have a vested interest in finding a sofa bed that’s durable and comfortable enough for entertaining and evenings spent in front of the TV, and spacious enough to host weekend guests.

So, I set out to remedy the sofa bed’s disrepute and test the best models on the market, I tried everything from John Lewis to Ikea, corner and chair sofa beds. Here’s a quick look at my top four, if you’re in a hurry:

The best sofa beds, at a glance

Best comfortable sofa bed – John Lewis Sansa 3-seater sofa bedBest sofa bed for tall guests – Heals Oswold sofa bedBest sofa bed for delivery time – Swyft Model 04 sofa bedBest sofa bed for value for money – Ikea Friheten Corner sofa bedBest two-seat sofa bed – Dreams Hazel

Much like the princess and the pea, I can be rather fussy about sleeping surfaces. But I was pleasantly surprised by the options on the market, many of which are far more comfortable and less creaky than their ancestors.

How I tested

Due to the aforementioned small flat, I was unable to trial each sofa bed at home. But I could persuade shop assistants in furniture shops to let me have a shameless lie down. I visited all the big names – John Lewis, Heal’s, DFS, etc – to try the bestselling sofa beds out for myself, testing them for comfort, quality and ease of use.

Best sofa beds

1. John Lewis Sansa 3-seater sofa bed

£1,399, John Lewis

Best sofa bed for comfort, 9/10

We like: the spacious, family-friendly sofa with a built-in chaise

We don’t like: it might be too firm for people who like sinking into sofas

Type: pull-outDelivery time: seven days for grey (pictured), 12 weeks for custom fabricWarranty: 15 years (for the frame only)Dimensions: H84cm x W242cm x D89cm

The beauty of this sofa bed is that it will work with any room. The sections are detachable, so you can move the chaise to either side to fit your living room, and it comes in three styles and countless fabrics (139, to be exact – choose from cotton twill, velvet, synthetic neutrals and linen). But is it comfortable?

My answer is an unequivocal yes – it’s generously proportioned and perfectly supportive as a sofa, and can comfortably fit three adults. It passes the essential litmus test, which is that you wouldn’t know it was a sofa bed just by sitting on it. Another cushion, which is concealed under the two-seater portion of the sofa, simply pulls out and turns it into a sizeable double bed measuring 204cm x 130cm. It’s very easy to use, and under the chaise there is inbuilt storage for bedding.

The frame comes with a 15 year guarantee, and the standard grey version can be delivered within seven days (although you’ll have to wait up to 12 weeks for custom fabric). I have only one criticism, and it really is minor – there’s small gap between the chaise and the sofa mattress when the bed is pulled out. However, I tried the sofa bed without bedding – if it was fully made up with a duvet and pillows, I doubt you’d notice.

£1399Buy nowPrice atJohn Lewis

2. Heal’s Oswold sofa bed

Currently £2,239, Heals

Best sofa bed for tall guests, 9/10

We like: the good-quality, durable fabric and plus back cushions

We don’t like: the price tag

Type: pull-outDelivery time: 9-11 weeksWarranty: six years (for the frame only)Dimensions: H98cm x W222cm x D103cm

Not only is this a stylish sofa worthy of any living room, it folds out into a vast king-size bed measuring approximately 222cm x 150cm; tall guests will thank you. It has a softly rounded design and individual pocket springs that made it among the most comfortable I tried, both as a sofa and as a bed. I was sad when my department-store-nap had to come to an end.

The only downside is price, as the Oswold will set you back £2,000. But is it worth it? On balance, yes. The fabric quality is excellent, and it has plump cushions and a springy mattress that will please even the fussiest of guests. It’s a simple pull-out mechanism, but it’s obvious a lot of attention has been paid to the design – there’s a classy leather pull for setting up the bed, and inbuilt storage for the cushions.

Heal’s also do a stylish but slightly less comfortable sofa-bed-Chesterfield, which is aptly named ‘Forty Winks’ £1,599, Heals).

£2239Buy nowPrice atHeal’s

3. Swyft Model 04 sofa bed

£1,799, Swyft

Best sofa bed for delivery time, 8/10

We like: the stain-resistant fabric

We don’t like: the sofa is reasonably slim

Type: click-clackDelivery time: next dayWarranty: 15 years for the frame, two years for the fabricDimensions: H86cm x W208cm x D94cm

You may well have heard of mattress in-a-box brands Simba, Emma and Nectar. Well, now meet the sofa in a box. Swyft is one of a new crop of sofa brands that offer ultra-fast delivery in manageable boxes. They have also formulated a stain-resistant fabric, so your Swyft sofa will be armed against red wine spillage.

Speaking of fabric: the Swyft sofa bed comes in eight stylish hues, and you can tell it’s been designed with the Instagram generation in mind. The green velvet is my favourite, although I reckon the neutral ‘pumice’ woven fabric would be more hardwearing.

It’s a simple click-clack design, and comes with a mattress topper for extra comfort and protection (although the 300 pocket-sprung mattress itself is very comfortable). It’s the size of a standard UK double, at 208cm x 135cm. There’s inbuilt storage for bedding, too, and the frame comes with a 15 year guarantee.

£1799Buy nowPrice atSwyft

4. Ikea Friheten corner sofa-bed

£699, IKEA

Best sofa bed for value for money, 7/10

We like: the spacious sofa

We don’t like: the quality is noticeably worse than other sofa beds on this list (a compromise for the cheaper price)

Type: pull-outDelivery time: express delivery in 1-3 days, standard in four daysWarranty: 10 years (for the frame only)Dimensions: H66cm x W230cm x D151cm

The Friheten, Ikea’s three seater corner sofa bed, has a similarly easy mechanism to the John Lewis “Sansa”, above (to convert into a bed or back to a sofa, simply pull out or push in the secret drawer).

I like the Friheten because the fabric is pleasant to touch, and three people (or five kids) can lie in a row facing the TV. Plus, it fits two people comfortably to sleep (as long as they don’t mind getting cosy – as a bed it measures 204cm x 140cm, though as a sofa the total length is 230cm). It’s available in orange, beige, brown, grey, marled dark grey and black.

Overall, this doesn’t feel as plush or as well made as the Sansa, but bargain hunters will note that it’s considerably cheaper.

£699Buy nowPrice atIkea

5. Dreams Hazel Two-Seater Pull-Out Sofa Bed

Currently £799, Dreams

Best two-seater sofa bed, 8/10

We like: great solution for small rooms

We don’t like: slightly tight fit for two adults

Type: pull-outDelivery time: within 7 days, freeWarranty: 1-year guaranteeDimensions: H91cm x W135cm x D89cm as sofa, 185cm as bed

Since most sofa beds will go in spare rooms, and most spare rooms aren’t large, we wanted to find the best space-saving two-seat model. Luckily, Dreams brought one out just this year that fits the bill. The Hazel works extremely well as a compact sofa, with a vaguely 1920s vibe that will suit most rooms and even add a dash of class (it comes in navy, dark grey or blush pink). It takes about five seconds to convert: just pull on the handle at the front and fold the backrest back.

Like most pull-out beds, there’s no actual mattress: you’re sleeping on the sofa cushions and the sleep is definitely on the firm side. That’s great for some people (I personally love it), but you would not choose this as a permanent bed. It’s a good size for one person, but it’s a bit of a tight squeeze for two.

One other thing to note is the assembly time: it takes two people one hour, although you can pay 40 for the delivery guys to assemble it, which we would definitely advise.

Overall, an excellent sofa and spare bed for a small room. If you’re looking for something larger, Dreams’ Galway three-seat corner sofa bed is equally pretty.

£799Buy nowPrice atDreams

FAQ

What should you look for in a sofa bed?

According to interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke, a click-clack sofa bed, in which the sofa cushion folds out or down to form a bed, is preferable to traditional pull-out mattress sofa beds.

“Sofa beds have definitely improved – sleeping on one in the 80s was definitely not as comfortable as today. But they’re still never going to be the most comfortable sofa, nor the most comfortable bed,” she says, “A really comfortable sofa would have a spring base then cushions. Intrinsically, if a sofa contains a folded mattress it’s less comfortable.”

What’s the difference between a pull-out or click-clack sofa bed?

On a click-clack sofa bed, you’re sleeping on the surface of the sofa itself rather than on a pull-out mattress, which compromises the comfort of the sofa, says Astley-Clarke.

But if you need a larger sofa bed, a pull-out model may be the best option. “The comfort of the mattress is key – even when choosing beds for clients, the base isn’t the expense, it’s the mattress,” says Astley-Clarke. Opt for a pocket-sprung, rather than foam, mattress if possible – it will pay dividends down the line.

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