It’s back to school or college for most households in Ireland, which means your little (or not-so-little) ones will be making new friends, taking up new hobbies, and generally living and learning to the full. And with all of the above comes the increased likelihood of guests in your home who need somewhere to sleep for the night. Enter… the sofa bed!
There are two types of sofa bed in the world; the run-down dusty one that’s mainly used as a platform to pile clothes and other things on, and the one that looks good and is comfortable to sit AND sleep on. We firmly prefer the latter, and we’re guessing you do too. If you’re considering adding this versatile sleep/seating solution to your home, here’s what you need to know…
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying a new sofa bed is which room you’ll be placing it in. If it’s a home office or a room that isn’t used for sitting or sleeping very often, you can get away with a basic model. Click-clack sofas (more on this later) are also a good style choice for this. If it’s a guest bedroom, play room or a living room addition, then you should choose the best you can afford. That goes for all aspects; style, materials, construction and the rest.
Once you’ve picked the room, you can decide on a size. Is your sofa bed most likely to be used by just one person or two? Models that were designed as sofa beds first and sofas second may be too compact for two people. However, you can always upgrade a ‘real’ sofa to include a sofa bed function. These are usually two-seater sofas, a little smaller than a standard double bed. The sofa bed option will add on a little extra cost (but it’s worth it).
We’ll be honest here. It’s difficult to find a sofa bed that will match the standard of comfort a full mattress offers. However if your sofa bed is only used occasionally (and we wouldn’t recommend any sofa bed for nightly use, by the way) there are plenty of options that will do the job quite nicely. Look for a durable metal frame that will take a full body weight without sagging, a mattress with high density foam – or better yet, memory foam – and sturdy legs. For added comfort, you can always add a mattress topper (small double size) when in use.
Most important of all is the folding mechanism of your sofa bed. Generally speaking there are two options. The traditional folding mechanism includes a metal frame that folds mid-way, plus folding legs. This is usually the most budget-friendly option. There is also a ‘click-clack’ sofa bed, which is a hinge-like mechanism that involves pushing the back section of the sofa down flat leaving a seam in the middle. For those whose budget can stretch a little further, pull-out metal frames are becoming more common and are extremely easy to use.