National Bed Federation
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Sofa beds are not only handy options when all the other sleeping spots are taken, but they also double up as extremely comfortable and attractive loungers. Multi-functional, space-saving, and easy on the eye. There really is a lot to love!

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There’s also a lot of choice. From corner sofa beds for large living rooms to finding just enough space for a fold-out chair bed, your options are abundant when sofa bed shopping. It can be a lot to take in, and here at DFS we want to make the task of finding your favourite sofa bed as easy as possible. That’s why we’ve pulled together this handy sofa bed buying guide, below, to give you all the information you need about your next luxury sofa bed.

What are the different types of sofa beds?

As with sofas, there is no one-size-fits-all type of sofa bed. Among our collection, you’ll find L-shaped sofa beds for the full ‘cuddle up’ experience, fashionable click-clack sofa beds, and ultra-comfortable chair beds that look the part, day or night. Which will you choose?

What are the different mechanisms?

When choosing your next sofa bed, it’s handy to know about the different mechanisms, including click-clack beds, fold-out beds, and pull-out beds, before you pick your favourite.

Click Clack Sofa Bed

Click-clack sofa beds

Click-clack beds don’t compromise on comfort. Rather than the bed portion being folded out from under the sofa seat cushion, a click-clack sofa bed simply needs the backrest to be laid flat. That’s it. Their easy assembly, affordability, and space-saving abilities make click-clack sofa beds one of the most popular options on the market.

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Fold Out Sofa Bed

Fold-out sofa beds

Fold-out sofa beds open up like a budding flower, where the backrest lays flat, the top seat cushion folds out as the mattress, and legs pop open to hold the structure. An extremely versatile option, fold-out sofa beds are modern in their look and feel and are a perfect addition to any contemporary home.

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Pull Out Sofa Bed

Pull-out sofa beds

Pull-out beds are some of the most common sofa beds, containing a separate mattress within the sofa itself. This separate section is concealed underneath the main cushions and is manually pulled out with fold-out supporting legs beneath the mattress section.

Pull-out beds are great choices for those looking for something that looks like a standard sofa during the day but functions as a full-sized bed come night-time.

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What to consider when buying a sofa bed

Now that you know what type of sofa beds there are, you’re on the road to discovering which one is best for you and your home. Perfect! Now to get down to the nitty-gritty details that’ll help you settle on the perfect choice of sofa bed.

As great as they can be for space-saving purposes, one of the important things to consider when looking at your next sofa is how often it would be used as a sleeping space. Do you have guests over each and every month, or even more often than that? If so, a sofa bed will be good for long-term use and will be a great investment for you. If you only have overnight guests visit on special occasions, then a standard sofa or a single chair bed might be more appropriate. Then add a few occasional chairs in there and a few footstools for extra seating so you’re covered from all bases. For help with preparing your home for guests, check out our hosting buying guide.

It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget about how a sofa bed behaves once it is taken out of its upright sofa position. While sofa beds are space-saving when compared with a guest bed, they’re going to be bigger overall than a standard sofa because of their ‘flattening’ aesthetic. For this, you need to know how to measure for a sofa bed. Naturally, you will want to measure the sofa with the bed section pulled out. You should also ensure the sleeping space won’t knock into anything like a coffee table or TV cabinet and that it won’t get in the way of any doorways or walkways. You can read more about measuring your room for a sofa in our sofa measuring guide.

Sofa beds are designed to be comfortable, both to sit and sleep on. Some sofas may feel firmer, due to the mechanics within them, though they will also feature the same padding as normal sofas. Thanks to this, sofa beds are just as comfortable as their conventional sofa counterparts. However, while they’re great for a night or two now and then, it isn’t a good idea to sleep on a sofa bed all the time - as they’re specifically designed to be multi-functional, and may not offer the same support as a high-quality bed and mattress. For something designed for everyday sleeping, try shopping for a guest bed or read our guest bed buying guide for more info.

Most sofa beds come with a mattress, as they’re built into the sofa themselves. However, if you do need to find a mattress for your sofa bed, you don’t need a special mattress for it. All you need to do is ensure it’s the right size to match the sofa’s sleeping space. We’d recommend a medium firm mattress to accommodate a wide variety of sleepers. This mattress would ideally be at a thickness of 10 to 14cm, as to not be too cumbersome to store elsewhere when not in use. For more information on picking the right mattress, you can read our mattress buying guide.

Moving any sofa can be difficult, but sofa beds are often considerably heavier than their normal sofa counterparts. Just like motion furniture, there’s much more to a sofa bed than just a frame and padding. The extra frame for the sleeping space alone will normally make them heavy, so extra care should be taken when picking up or moving a sofa bed. To avoid injury or damage to your sofa, be sure to follow safety instructions for lifting. If you’re just moving a sofa away from a wall or a short distance in the same room, you can opt to use floor protectors. These can be placed beneath each of the sofa’s feet or corners, which makes it easier to slide. However, these should only be used on a hard floor. If you’re moving a sofa on a soft floor, such as carpet or one with vinyl, you’ll still need to lift it a little or use a dolly. We’d always recommend asking a family member or friend to help you move a sofa bed, just like any other sizeable piece of furniture.


The key ingredient to great hosting is making sure that guests feel comfortable, relaxed, and most importantly, welcome. But how do you do it? Our experts have the answers! Find out how with a little careful planning and some simple furniture hacks, you can maximise the space you have to make every guest feel right at home.

Shop the sofa bed collection

Sofa beds are the perfect piece of furniture in your home. Providing flexibility and comfort, they work just as well in spare rooms and home offices, as they do in living rooms and open plan spaces.

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