Best sofa bed 2022: Comfort and convenience from £230

Kate Hilpern Jane Hoskyn Gareth Thomas
9 Aug 2022

A comfortable sofa by day and a handy spare bed by night – these sofa beds are perfect for smaller homes

The best sofa bed combines two essential pieces of furniture in one. Whether it’s a settee with a bed hidden underneath, or one that simply folds out flat, a sofa bed is a cornerstone of a good spare room. But not only is it perfect for putting up friends or relatives overnight at a moment’s notice, it’s also a great way to squeeze both a sofa and bed into a limited space if you’re living in a smaller studio apartment.

Don’t be put off by visions of the bad old days, when sofa beds tended to be cumbersome and rock-hard. Today, many are just as comfortable and durable as a standalone sofa or an actual bed. Plus, there’s more choice than ever, from mattress types to measurements and fillings to fabrics. Read on for our picks of the best sofa beds, and what to look out for when deciding which one to buy.

Save 45% on the Brunel in Brook + Wilde's sitewide sale

Luxury bed-in-a-box brand Brook + Wilde is currently running a sitewide sale, offering 45% off orders of £250 or more. The Brunel sofa bed, which uses the brands 'Lux Light' hybrid mattress, would normally cost you £2,599 (in a small size), but now you can get this for £1,429. Just use the code SAVING45 at the checkout.
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Best sofa bed: At a glance

  • Best budget sofa bed: Made Essentials Kitto Sofa Bed | Buy now
  • Best retro sofa bed: Innovation Recast Sofa with pocket-sprung mattress | Buy now
  • Best mid-range sofa bed: Made Haru Velvet Sofa Bed | Buy now
  • Best budget chair bed: Argos Home Roma Fabric Chairbed | Buy now
  • Best sofa bed for storage: John Lewis & Partners Sansa | Buy now

How to choose the best sofa bed for you

What types of sofa beds are there?

With a metal-action frame, the mattress and bed frame fold out from inside the body of the sofa. This is great for comfortable sleeping because there’s enough space underneath to fit a fuller mattress.

A “click-clack” design is simpler and better for smaller spaces. Here, the base cushion of the sofa clicks forward and the back part lies flat. Whichever design you choose, the ideal sofa bed should fold out in one smooth motion, without squeaking or sticking.

A third option is a futon: these work in different ways depending on the type of frame. For example, you might fold the back panel of the sofa down to convert into a bed frame, then place the mattress on top.

How important is the size?

Very, and don’t just think about how much space a sofa bed will take up as a settee. You need to be sure there’s space for you to fully open it out. Check the dimensions of the whole structure, not just the mattress dimensions. Think about how you’re going to get it into place, too: check doorways, hallways and stairwells to ensure it will fit through.

Can you always tell a sofa bed apart from a regular sofa?

You used to be able to, if only because they were so horribly uncomfortable. But times have changed and you should now expect your sofa bed to look as stylish as any standalone sofa. With the best ones, your guests will be amazed when you transform it into a comfy bed.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

A big question is how often you intend to use your sofa bed for either sitting or sleeping. If it’s going to be your main sofa, it needs to be robust and durable, particularly if you have family or pets. Make sure it looks the part, too: if it’s going to be the centrepiece of your living room, you don’t want something that looks like a folded-up bed.

If your sofa bed is going to be frequently used as a bed, you’ll want a good-quality mattress. For more occasional use, you may be able to make do with a medium-quality mattress, perhaps with a mattress topper for extra comfort. Remember, a thicker mattress isn’t necessarily better – a slimmer one may actually offer more support, depending on how it’s engineered. The ultimate in comfort comes from a pocket-sprung mattress (with as many springs as possible), but memory foam also suits some people well, moulding to the shape of their body. Also, bear in mind that wooden slatted and webbed mechanisms tend to offer better support than trampoline types.

READ NEXT: Best corner sofa – kick back in comfort and style

The best sofa beds to buy

1. Made Essentials Kitto Sofa Bed: Best budget sofa bed

Price: £230 | Buy now from Made

As the name suggests, the Kitto sofa bed from the Made Essentials range is pretty basic, utilising a ‘click clack’ mechanism to fold out from a sofa into a mattress. When expanded, it measures 108 x 183cm, which Made claims is comfortably big enough for two.

It’s simple yet stylish, coming in a choice of three colours: Sherbet Blue, Butter Yellow, and Marshmallow Grey. The Kitto is compact and affordable, and as many customers have reported, it is the perfect choice for the spare room.

Key features - Dimensions: 80 x 183 x 85cm (HWD); Mattress size: 183 x 108cm; Weight: 26kg; Number of fabrics available: 2; Delivery time: From 6-8 weeks

Buy now from Made

Also consider: John Lewis Anyday Clapton

This simple yet attractive click-clack sofa bed is a great option if you’re after something for the spare room. And at just under £300, it’s a lot more affordable than some of the other options on our roundup.

The sofa has a foam mattress, which is comfortable for occasional use, although it may feel a bit firm for some (in which case we recommend using a mattress topper). It’s also worth mentioning that, because of the sofa’s short wooden legs, it does sit quite low to the ground.

Buy now from John Lewis

2. Made Haru Velvet Sofa Bed: Best mid-range sofa bed

Price: £450 | Buy now from Made

Yet another sofa bed from Made, the Haru comes in a choice of two fabrics, including this sleek blue velvet finish. It’s great for giving your room a touch of modern luxury, at a very reasonable price. Just £450 will get you a large double mattress, which is big enough for two (though the Haru is also available as a two-seater and a single sofa chair).

Similar to the Made Kitto, it’s a rather minimalist sofa, although you do get two cushions with it. It’s not quite as well-disguised as some of the other subtle options you’ll see here, and as a sofa it’s not necessarily something you’ll want to lounge on regularly (the lack of arm rests should say enough). But for the price, it’s a stylish and practical sofa bed.

Key features - Dimensions: 82 x 142 x 89cm (HWD); Mattress size: 142 x 184 x 26cm; Weight: 46kg; Number of fabrics available: 1 velvet (plus 3 fabric); Delivery time: From 18-20 weeks

Buy now from Made

3. Innovation Recast sofa with pocket-sprung mattress: Best retro sofa bed

Price: From £1,049 | Buy now from John Lewis

The Recast’s design shouts Scandinavia – and, sure enough, this sturdy sofa bed is handmade in Denmark by a company that’s been going since 1972.

Of all the sofa beds we’ve tried, this is one of the quickest to fold out – you simply pull out the base and drop down the back. And, as the mattress is pocket-sprung, it’s comfortable, albeit quite firm – if you prefer a bit more give, you might want to add a mattress topper. The fabric is top-notch quality and hard-wearing, but be warned: there’s a lot of depth in sitting mode, which doesn’t suit everyone.

There’s enough room for a duvet in the storage space – handy for when unexpected overnight guests descend on you. Bear in mind that you do have to assemble the whole thing yourself, though, which can take around 90 minutes.

Key features – Dimensions: 63 x 200 x 96cm (HWD); Mattress size: 220 x 140 x 14cm (LWD); Mattress type: Pocket sprung; Number of fabrics available: 3; Delivery: Within 7 days; Warranty: 15 year frame guarantee, 5 year guarantee for mechanism and parts

Buy now from John Lewis

4. Habitat Roma Fabric Chairbed: Best budget chair bed

Price: £230 | Buy now from Argos

If you find that you’re lacking the space for a decent sofa bed, then you might consider buying a chair bed instead. This one from Argos might not have the most subtle design, but it’s inexpensive and will take up minimal space in your home.

Raised on four wooden feet, the Roma simply folds out into a comfortable, if firm, single bed. It’s a sensible choice for a spare room, providing your guest with somewhere to sleep, as well as coming in handy if any extra seating is required for whatever occasion. Plus, it comes with a foam fibre-filled cushion that can double as a pillow.

Key features - Dimensions: 81 x 91 x 90cm (HWD); Mattress size: 191 x 91cm; Weight: 26.1kg; Number of fabrics available: 5; Warranty: 2 year frame guarantee

Buy now from Argos

5. John Lewis & Partners Sansa: Best sofa bed for storage

Price: From £1,349 | Buy now from John Lewis

This spacious corner can be easily converted into a bed via a pull-out mechanism underneath the sofa’s two-seater section, while the chaise section doubles as a subtle ottoman chest for storing your bedding. Better still, the two sections are detachable, so the configuration of the sofa can be adjusted to suit the room.

The Sansa has a supportive foam mattress that will mould to your body when you lie on it, springing back into shape when not in use: this is comfortable, if noticeably on the firmer side. It comes in a wide range of fabric choices as well as a choice of dark or light wood leg finish.

Take note that when the Sansa sofa is pulled out into a bed, there is a small gap between the chaise and the bed. This is part of the sofa’s design and not considered to be a fault by John Lewis, however, it’s a feature that some may find irritating nonetheless.

Key features – Dimensions: 84 x 242 x 152cm (HWD); Mattress size: 204 x 130 x 8cm (LWD); Mattress type: Foam; Number of fabrics available: 121; Delivery time: 12 weeks; Warranty: 15 year frame guarantee

Buy now from John Lewis

6. Brook + Wilde Brunel Sofa Bed: Best luxury “hybrid” sofa bed

Price: From £2,099 | Buy now from Brook + Wilde

With the Brunel, Brook and Wilde claims it has introduced the world’s first hybrid sofa bed mattress. Much like the luxury bed-in-a-box brand’s range of full size mattresses, the ‘Lux Light’ is made from a combination of springs and foam for supreme comfort when both sitting and sleeping. Unlike Brook and Wilde’s mattresses though, you don’t get a choice of firmness.

The hardwood frame of the sofa is upholstered in a “Lumino” fabric that’s available in a choice of elegant and stylish colours, from teal to “Mineral” and “Old Rose”. The Brunel is expensive, starting at £2,099 in “Snuggler” (83 x 130 x 95cm, the smallest of three size options). However, it’s made to order within 21 weeks, includes a pair of scatter cushions with removable covers, and comes with a five year guarantee. If you’re after luxury quality, comfort and style, here you have it.

Key features - Dimensions: 83 x 130 x 95cm, 83 x 170 x 95cm, 83, 190, 95cm (HWD); Mattress size: 73 x 170 x 10cm, 113 x 170 x 10cm, 133 x 170 x 10cm; Number of fabrics available: 6; Warranty: 5 year guarantee

Buy now from Brook + Wilde

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