Sofa bed buying guide

Sofa beds come with considerations that you don’t have to think about when buying a normal sofa. In fact, they are two pieces of furniture that are quite different from each other, so shouldn’t be thought of in exactly the same terms. Here are a few things you should consider:

sofa bed


A simple start. If you are going to live with the sofa bed for any amount of time, you need to like the way it looks. This should be considered from both angles – both in sofa form and in bed form. You can equate more weight to whichever form the sofa bed will be in most of the time, but ultimately you should at least mildly like how it looks in both set-ups.


Just as important as style is comfort. Even the best looking sofa in the world would be worthless if it felt like you were sat on a pile of rocks. Again, test out both forms. The beds mattress can usually be replaced, so if you aren’t 100% satisfied with it it can be swapped out. But the cushions can’t be so easily changed, so you need to be pretty sure they will satisfy you long term.

Pattern, fabric and colour

These go hand in hand with the overall style. You could love the curves and edges of the sofa, but is it has blue and green stripes it’s not going to cut it. Even a loud pattern you like at the time may grate as the months go by. Fabric tends to fall in line with whether you find leather or fabrics comfier, though there are other factors in that decision that we’ll discuss below.

Build quality

Not something you can do extensively in a showroom environment, but you should still check the sofa build quality. Check that it isn’t hollow in the wrong places, the bed folds out smoothly, and the springs are level & strong.

sofa bed

Now, these are things you may have already thought about. But are you forgetting some determine factors? Well, have you thought about some of these things we forget when when buying a sofa bed:


This relates to the room the sofa bed is going in. A big, ornate sofa bed won’t suit an ultra modern room, and vice versa. Take a few pictures of the room when you go to see the sofa just so you can see exactly what it looks like, instead of relying on memory.

Fabric tolerances

Leather is much more susceptible to temperature than fabric, so if you live in a cold house, or if the sofa is in direct, intense sunlight most of the day, you may want to opt for fabric. On the other hand, leather sofas are easier to clean, so you may prefer it to fabrics if you have young children or pets running about.


You really should map out the room the bed is going in well before you shop around. You need to know how big a space you can comfortably afford to lose in order to accommodate the bed. Going with a vague idea may result in buying a bed that requires you to completely rearrange your room to fit it in, or even worse a bed that can’t be folded out at all!


A small consideration, but remember that buying a couch with a crazy pattern or “out there” style may lead to you having difficulties finding suitable throw cushions. If you have your heart set though, the manufacturer will usually offer a set of throw cushions to go with the sofa for a little extra charge.


Izzy represents Diamond Interiors’ UK following. With her very keen eye for style and design, she is an absolute wealth of information and advice in the world of interiors. To read more from Izzy, visit her blog: The Home of Inspiration.


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