27th July 2021

Sofa Bed Buying Guide

By Darlings Of Chelsea


While in its infancy served a purpose but wasn’t particularly stylish or comfortable, a sofa bed is now a completely different proposition. Gone are the days of clunky mechanisms and stiff, uncomfortable cushions – and in its place are attractive, welcoming sofas, which just happen to save space by doubling up as a bed, making it an ideal piece of furniture to include in your home!

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer level of choice available these days, here’s our handy sofa bed buying guide to help you decide.

What is a Sofa Bed?

Let’s start at the beginning. A sofa bed is essentially, exactly what it says it is – a sofa that turns into a bed. It tends to be used as a sofa for most of the time but can be used as a bed as and when guests come to stay.

There are sofa beds of all shapes and sizes – from a single sofa bed up to a king-size sofa bed. There are also a variety of different mattresses, and you can choose a fabric to fit in with your aesthetic. There are also different mechanisms for changing the sofa to a bed depending on the style of the sofa – some are fold-out sofa beds, while others have a clic-clac mechanism.

What are the Different Types of Sofa Beds?

While a 2-seater sofa bed was pretty much the only choice when sofa beds first came to the market, there is now an incredible range of styles and sizes to choose from, to ensure you can find a sofa that fits your aesthetic and budget.

If you have a large space and want something you can use as a sofa daily, a corner sofa bed is a popular option. The Sloane, which is a leather sofa bed, is a great family sofa, with substantial square arms and deep seating, perfect for sinking into after a day at work, which opens out into a double bed, ideal for any overnight guests.

If you want to keep all your bedding close by, a sofa bed with storage is a great option. If you have room for a corner sofa bed, those with a chaise option like the Norbury offer handy storage in the chaise, while the sofa section opens into a double bed.

If a corner sofa is too big, there are plenty of small sofa beds to choose from. From a traditional 2-seater sofa like the Epworth to a slightly bigger 3-seater sofa bed such as the Bromley, there are sofa beds to suit all spaces big and small.


How Do I Choose a Sofa Bed?

With so much choice on the market, it can be difficult to decide which sofa bed is right for your living space. The key is to consider:

the space your sofa is going into to.

the size of the sofa bed to go for.

the style of your room.

the look of the sofa, and how you’re going to use it.

will it be used more as a sofa or more as a bed?

If it will be used more as a bed, then the mattress will play a big part in your decision making. Ultimately, you don’t want your sofa bed to jar with the rest of your interior, it should complement its surroundings, for example, if you like contemporary interiors, start your search with a look at modern sofa beds. With so much choice out there, there will be a sofa bed out there that ticks all the boxes.

Sofa Bed Materials

If you have your heart set on a certain fabric or material, you’d like your new sofa to be in, the good news is that the materials available for sofa beds are just as plentiful as for a standard sofa! If you have always wanted a velvet sofa bed, a Chesterfield sofa bed like the Payton is available in velvet, and if you want a leather sofa bed, there are plenty to choose from! The world is your oyster when it comes to selecting the fabric for your new sofa.


Picking a Mattress

Sofa beds were notoriously uncomfortable when they first hit the shops, but a lot has changed in recent years and that is largely down to the mattress. At Darlings of Chelsea, a thick and comfy 12cm pocket spring mattress is standard on all our sofa beds. Depending on how often you are using it as a bed, there is the opportunity to upgrade to a memory foam mattress for even more luxury!

Some sofa beds don’t offer a separate mattress instead of utilising the sofa cushions as the bed itself. The size of the sofa can impact the length of the mattress, so when looking at each sofa, make sure to check the dimensions of the sofa when it is pulled out into a bed to guarantee it will fit into your space.

Sofa Bed Mechanisms

There are a few different ways sofa beds can open and you may find that one style suits you better. There are pull-out beds, where the mattress is pulled out from the main body of the sofa and unfolded to form the bed and there are also clic-clac beds, where you click the back of the sofa down to flatten out and become the bed.

There is another style of pull-out sofa bed, such as the Launceston, which is ideal if you’re looking for a compact sofa bed. Like the clic-clac beds, this doesn’t have a separate mattress, it simply rolls out to become a bed. And if you have a room for a chaise, you can store all your bedding in it. Whichever sofa bed style you decide to go for, you no longer have to compromise.

Sofa Bed Décor

Once you’ve decided on the size and style of your sofa bed, all that’s left is choosing the right colour and fabric to ensure it fits in with the rest of your room. Whether you choose a colour that stands out and use cushions to complement the rest of your décor, or whether you prefer a more subtle design, to blend harmoniously into your room, there is something for everyone. If you’re not convinced about the right colour or fabric to go for, it’s worth ordering some swatches to ensure you’re making the right decision.

The choices are out there, you just have to work out which one is right for you – see our range of luxury sofa beds for more inspiration!