Your in-laws are visiting from out of town. Your best friend just got unexpectedly snowed in with you. Your kid is home from college for Thanksgiving, and they brought a classmate who'd otherwise be spending the holiday in an empty dorm room. There are countless situations in which the most comfortable sleeper sofas will save the day — or the night, more specifically. But what exactly constitutes a sleeper sofa, and what should you know before you pull the trigger on a purchase?
Also known as a pull-out couch, a sleeper sofa has a real mattress stored inside of it, so once you remove the cushions and pull the handle, it transforms into an actual bed. (Note that even though they're sometimes marketed as the same thing, sleeper sofas shouldn't be confused with sofa beds, which simply fold flat like a futon.) If you don't have a guest bedroom — or if your house guests come in hordes — these couch/bed hybrids can be absolute life-savers when it comes to accommodating your visitors.
That being said, they're often the most expensive category of couch — so should you buy a sleeper sofa, or will an air mattress suffice? It all comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you get more than a few overnight guests a year, then it's probably worth the splurge to ensure that they feel at home. Space is also worth considering. Queen-sized sleepers are the most common, as most standard sofas are six to eight feet in length — but if you don't have that kind of space in your living room, there are smaller options; they're just a little harder to find.
Finally, it's really not worth buying a sleeper unless you know it's comfortable. (If it feels like a wad of rolled-up newspapers, you might as well just put a set of sheets over the couch cushions.) These sleeper sofas are some of the best available because real reviewers have fallen in love with them — both for their style and for their extremely comfortable mattresses and cushions.
The Best Overall Pick: Hughes Sleeper Sofa
Sleeper sofas are largely about practicality and comfort — but we're of the belief that you shouldn't have to sacrifice style for a little extra sleeping room. The Hughes sleeper sofa beautifully accents a space with its mid-century modern style. Its tapered wooden legs, clean lines, and subtle tufting make for a gorgeous showpiece, but the medium-plush cushions and well-proportioned angled back ensure that comfort is a top priority, too. Apartment Therapy even calls it, "way more comfortable than it looks" and loves the subtle lean when it comes to "lounging back."
The customization options are also a huge bonus. In addition to choosing the best type of fabric to suit your needs and style (like linen, safeguard, and pet-friendly), you can choose between nearly-countless color options. You also get to customize the wood stain on the feet — and you can request free swatch kits to test the choices in your space.
Finally, the rave feedback from reviewers is hard to ignore. "First of all, the process of ordering this couch couldn't have been easier," one buyer says. "When the couch arrived, the color and material were better than we could have imagined. We just hosted a housewarming and everybody wanted to know where we got this! I can't wait to host overnight guests to test the sleeper." Others who have tested it out say that the memory foam mattress is "extremely comfortable" and the pull-out mechanism is "easy to use."
Simply put, this design is our number one pick because it doesn't look or feel like a compromise. Instead, you get a couch that you'll absolutely love, and your guests get a comfortable place to sleep every time they visit.
Joybird Hughes Sleeper Sofa, $2549, Joybird
The Best Bang For Your Buck: Nantwich Channel Tufted Convertible Sofa
Most quality sleeper sofas are at high price points, well over a thousand dollars. That's because they come complete with a mattress, which drives up the price as well as the demand. The Nantwich Channel Tufted Convertible Sofa features a problem-solving design, so you can get a sleek sofa and a comfortable bed for your guests — all for under $300.
Instead of a mattress, the couch cushions fold out flat to give you a twin-size sleeping area. For that reason, this pick is more of a sofa bed — but it's this unique feature that saves you hassle and money when accommodating your company. And the split-back design lets you choose between three positions — sitting, lounging, and sleeping. As the description says, “This means that you can be sitting to read your favorite book on one side while your best friend is laying down on the other side for an afternoon nap.”
The linen upholstery is available in three different neutral colors (gray, black, navy blue) that are easy to match with any existing decor. The sofa measures 80.5 inches in length, so when folded upright, it’s a nice full-size couch for guests to sit and chat.
So far, this pick has only one review on Wayfair, but it’s a five-star one from a verified interior design customer. “This convertible sofa is everything I needed it to be: pretty, comfortable, easily assembled, affordable," she says. "I couldn't be happier!”
Ivy Bronx Shop Nantwich Channel Tufted Convertible Sofa, $296.99, Wayfair.
If You’re Short On Living Space: Nia Sleeper Loveseat
So you're furnishing your tiny office or small living area. You might initially think the footprint isn't big enough for a sleeper, but think again. There are plenty of ways to maximize the space so you can get the most out of it — and this Nia Sleeper from Willa Arlo Interiors is one of them. It measures just 44-inches deep when folded down to a twin-size bed, and its split-back design makes it perfect for sleeping or just lounging.
The mid-century modern design is super trendy and sleek, and velvet upholstery gives it an expensive feel without actually breaking the bank — it’s under $400. You can choose from seven colors, including a millennial-pink option that will liven up any small space. Sometimes with studio apartments or small guest rooms, some furniture rearrangement needs to be done in order to fold down a sleeper. Fear not — the Nia comes with soft padding under all four feet to make it easy to move around without scuffing up your floors.
This piece has a whopping 7,436 reviews on Wayfair, and a 4.5 star rating. “It looks like a much more expensive piece than it really is,” one reviewer says. “Very comfortable to sit on, and looks great in our space. It took me about an hour to put together by myself.” Reviewers agree that the cushions are quite firm, so if you have a guest who likes a softer mattress, you may want to put a twin-size mattress topper on it.
Willa Arlo Interiors Nia Sleeper, $334.99, Wayfair.
Subtle and Sophisticated: Flipside Sleeper Sofa
For the most part, you can look at a sleeper sofa and know exactly what it is — but every once in a while, you come across one that's too subtle to pass up. The Flipside sofa has sleek lines, a low base, and deep-seat design, so you'd never suspect that it turns into a bed... But grab the hidden fabric handles and with one quick flip, you've got a queen-sized mattress that lays out flat across the floor. For that reason, it's technically a convertible couch, but reviewers have given it a 4.8-star rating for a reason: "The whole [thing makes for] such a comfortable sleep."
In fact, all the cushions — including the four movable back ones — are stuffed with an eco-friendly synthetic down material. The frame is made with kiln-dried hardwood that's been responsibly harvested, and the block feet are actually constructed from solid wood, which isn't too common nowadays. (Most online sofas use plastic, which can start to crack over time.)
Finally, the sofa comes with a removable and washable cotton top sheet that securely fits the bed, so you're ready for your first guest as soon as it's delivered. You can get this design in velvet, which is a charcoal black color, or in three linen-like materials: Parliament Stone, Leaside Driftwood, and Chelsea Pacific.
Gus* Modern Flipside Sleeper Sofa, $1,900, AllModern
Customize To Your Heart's Content: Arrighetto Sofa Bed Sleeper
The Arrighetto sofa sleeper in white looks like it belongs in the perfect summer beach house, thanks to its overstuffed cushions and clean but traditional Bridgewater design. But in fact, you can customize this couch to match any type of house, thanks to its 131 upholstery options. What a piece of furniture! Choose between subtle geometrics, bright floral prints, and virtually any color under the sun. Wayfair even lets you personalize your throw pillow fabric, plus you can request free swatch samples first to make sure it's the right pick for your living space.
Complete with a queen-sized mattress (in your choice of DreamQuest coil or classic innerspring), reviewers say they're "to the moon" with this pick. "The sofa is well constructed, comfortable, and beautiful. And the mattress? It's described as "very comfortable, which usually isn’t true of sofa sleepers."
Birch Lane Arrighetto Sofa Bed Sleeper, $830, Wayfair
You Don’t Have To Choose: Sandbacken Sleeper Sectional
Typically, you need to make a choice between a sleeper sofa and a sectional — and it's a hard choice to make. Yes, a sleeper means that your guest has upgraded from a sleeping bag, but a sectional means you can stretch out and take a post-brunch nap whenever the urge strikes.
Thankfully, IKEA saves the day once again with its unique, innovative designs. The Sandbacken sofa has elastic foam seats, soft back cushions, and a movable ottoman (with hidden storage) that you can push up against the couch to create a stylish sectional. It even has a removable cover that has been specifically designed to handle up to 25,000 cycles through the washing machine.
That being said, this isn't just a sectional. Roll out the hidden mattress and fold down the legs, and all three pieces clip together to create a sturdy, cozy bed. You can even store the sheets, pillows, and blankets in the ottoman, because — as previously stated — it has hidden storage. Can you tell we love genius organizational hacks?
"Outstanding! Strong, comfortable, beautiful!" reviewers rave. They also say it's "such a great size" for their small city apartments because it's sleek and compact, but serves so many different purposes.
Sandbacken Sleeper Sectional, $449, IKEA
Worth The Splurge: Vesper King Sleeper Sofa
Designed by Jeffrey Bernett and Nicholas Dodziuk, the Vesper king sofa is worth the splurge for so many reasons. For one, the style — this sofa has a low, deep seat and clean 90 degree angles for gorgeous combination of contemporary and mid-century modern. Then there's the comfort-factor: The double layers of down-filled bolsters mean you can customize your level of back support, while the high density foam cushions provide just the right amount of firmness while sitting or lounging.
This sofa also offers the ability to personalize. Choose between eight types of fabric or two kinds of genuine leather — and between them all, there are over 40 color options. Finally, the Vesper is carefully designed for longevity. The kiln-dried hardwood frame and the foam mattress ensure durability, and due to the patented conversion mechanism, this king-sized sleeper rests entirely on a sturdy wooden platform instead of an uncomfortable metal bar. When opened, it even takes up less space than a traditional sleeper.
So far, reviewers have been raving about this pick. Interior designer Jennifer Wallenstein told The Strategist this couch is “high-quality with a beautiful design" and the LA Times named it one of the best stylish sleepers that "won't ruin your back."
Design Within Reach Vesper King Sleeper Sofa, $9,995, Design Within Reach
We hope you found the sleeper sofa of your dreams! So you know, Lonny may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.