Below are their 29 favorites, which cover a range of styles and price points, from easy futon-style foldouts to fancy sofas with queen-size memory-foam mattresses that might even rival what’s in your bed.
For an affordable sleeper sofa that’s still stylish, Mueller recommends this one from Pottery Barn Teen. The compact, two-seater sofa converts into a twin-size bed, making it ideal for smaller spaces. Mueller likes that the square arms look contemporary, adding that it’s a great “budget-friendly option.” She suggests using it in “a teen’s bedroom or play space,” but we happen to think that it would also look nice in an adult living room. The sofa’s seat cushion unfolds to create the mattress, which rests on the floor.
According to Yaiza Armbruster, the founder of design office Atelier Armbruster, “it’s really hard to find sleeper sofas that are nice and comfortable as sofas and as beds, and small enough to fit inside New York City apartments.” One sleeper sofa that she says meets those criteria is this convertible ottoman from Ikea that Armbruster calls “phenomenal” for its compact size, and the fact that it reminds her of an ottoman from a high-end design company that she used to own. The cushion unzips in half to unfold into a narrow mattress (not exactly a twin size, but close), and it can also be combined with other modules in Ikea’s Vallentuna collection to create a sofa. It’s this flexibility that Armbruster appreciates, adding that it could be a “second sleeping option in a living room.” She also thinks the green color is “very nice.”
Armbruster also recommends this Ikea daybed, which she bought for her kids’ room so their friends have somewhere to sleep (and sit) when they come over for sleepovers. It’s actually quite versatile and can be used as a single or double bed (a trundle pulls out from the base to create a double-bed frame). The daybed’s seat is made up of two twin foam mattresses set on top of each other. To create a double bed, simply move the top mattress onto the pullout. As far as looks, it’s fairly basic as is, but Armbruster says that the daybed is easy enough to customize — she did so by simply painting it pink. Bonus: It comes with two large drawers for storing linens.
Decorist designer Kyler Karstens loves this “more unique” rattan daybed, which she says will give a room “a punch of personality” in addition to a place to sleep. (Rattan is material that designers like for its versatility and timelessness, which is why it’s used in lots of sofas as well as in mirrors and armchairs.) Karstens says this daybed’s “one-of-a-kind form and texture” make it “the perfect option” for adding a touch of “bohemian flair” to their space. It’s designed to accommodate a twin-size mattress, but buyers should know a mattress is not included.
This convertible sofa comes recommended by interior designer Jennifer Wallenstein, who likes it for its low price point, relatively lightweight frame, and ability to fit into small spaces. It’s upholstered in microsuede — a fabric that she says is durable and easy to clean — and the seat easily unfolds to become a full-size mattress. While it’s currently out of stock, it will be restocked in September, according to the retailer, which allows you to provide your email address for updates on availability.
Also, read How Do I Protect My Wooden Bench Outside?
Slightly wider is this mid-century-modern-style sleeper sofa that interior designer Allison Vargas likes for its look — which she says won’t feel dated, even after years of use. While it may be an upgrade from your college-era futon, it’s just as easy to operate: The sofa’s foam seat and back cushions fold down to form a twin bed. Normally, it would fall into the pricier category of sleeper sofas below, but right now it’s on sale.
Here’s another sleeper sofa that’s just as easy to convert into a bed. Interior designer Mandy Cheng recommends it, telling us you can basically slap on a sheet and sleep on the sofa as is. The modern-looking piece is made with high-density foam and pocketed coil springs and flips down into a queen-size bed (given how much a regular sofa and queen-size mattress can cost, the fact that you’re getting both with this piece makes the price seem even more justified). Cheng adds, “Generally speaking, the nicer the cushion fill (wrapped down, a mix of foam and down, or memory foam), the better night’s sleep your guests will have.”
Even easier to turn into a bed is this convertible sofa that Decorist designer Megan Wright recommends. She loves that it “resembles a high-end piece” (that doesn’t necessarily look like furniture that converts into bed) while still being super “functional.” The legless sofa, which is filled with foam and has extra-large tufting, simply sits on the floor and can fold down to create a cushy crash-landing pad for guests. (According to its listed dimensions, that crash-landing pad is somewhere between a twin extra large and full mattress.)
Also, read recommended Tips Clear 8 Best Sleeper Sofas of 2020
Karsten recommends this daybed from Pottery Barn Teen, which has a slip-cover and “simple lines” that give it more of a traditional feel than the brand’s Monroe daybed above. The slip cover, she notes, is removable, which “allows you to easily keep the fabric clean.” You can get the daybed in multiple fabric options, any of which Karsten says would “look beautiful layered with a mixture of bold pillows.” The price shown is for a twin-size daybed, but this style comes in larger options, too, including full and queen. Any size you choose will accommodate a standard, like-size mattress — but you’ll have to get that separately, as this does not come with a mattress.
While it’s at the pricier end of under $2,000, Interior Define’s Sloan Sleeper comes recommended by three of our experts — Mueller, Decorist designer Linzie Merchant, and Lisa Spicer, a designer at virtual interior-design service Modsy — for its versatile style and customizability. Spicer says that its clean lines can work in a range of interior-design schemes, and both Mueller and Merchant agree. As far as customizing it, the sofa is available in more than 60 fabric options “from neutral grays to bold velvet fabrics,” according to Spicer, and you can also choose cushions, fill options, and even different leg styles — an element that Merchant says is “really important when selecting a sofa.” Mueller adds that “this gives customers the ability to find the configuration that is most functional for their space.” The foldout 5.5-inch-thick queen-size mattress is topped with memory foam.
Armbruster is a fan of the Tandom sofa for its contemporary look and small footprint. The oversize, high-density cushions and seat easily convert into a queen-size bed, while the armrests become head- and footboards. To make it feel more luxurious for guests, Armbruster says you can customize it with “fancier” sheets or patterned textiles.
If you’re looking for something with a “glam aesthetic,” Mueller says to consider the Oneira sleeper from Article, a furniture brand that got a lot of love from experts when we asked them about their favorite (regular) sofas under $1,000. It comes upholstered in luxurious-looking velvet (you can choose from this navy or a lighter gray color), features a hotel-grade foldout mechanism, according to the brand, and includes a four-inch-thick queen-size memory-foam mattress.
Mueller is another fan of daybeds. “If you have an existing sofa that you don’t want to replace, but need additional sleeping surfaces,” she says they can make a great alternative to traditional sleeper sofas. But Mueller also thinks daybeds can stand in for traditional sofas, too, if you’re looking for something different (and multi-functional). She recommends this model with a whitewashed rattan frame that she says would “add texture and contrast to a space.” It’s pricier than the other rattan daybed on this list, but that’s because it comes with a five-inch-thick, twin-size mattress made of Fibercore.
Ted Roberts, the style and design chief for Schlage, says daybeds are “a great solution for a smaller space that may not fit a sofa.” He recommends this one from Pottery Barn, telling us that it is not only has “exceptional structural integrity,” but also “looks great in any home.” Part of its durability, according to Roberts, comes from the fact that the daybed is available in several styles of “performance” fabric, including linen and basketweave materials, that’s meant to withstand heavy use. You can sleep on it as is (which would be like sleeping on a mattress that’s slightly smaller than a twin), or pull out one of the cushions and place it on the floor to create a wider surface (that’s somewhere between a queen and king mattress).
Alessandra Wood, the VP of Style at Modsy, recommends this deep-set sleeper. She likes its versatility, saying that the sofa’s simple, straight edges can work in a variety of décor styles. The sleeper, which features a removable uni-cushion for its seat, opens into a queen-size bed with a 5.25-inch-thick coil-foam mattress.
Here’s a futon-style option that easily converts to a queen-size platform bed with a pocketed, coil-spring mattress. Spicer recommends it for its simple mid-century-modern look and notes that the sofa’s light-gray fabric is a great base for just about any accent color. She suggests adding some personality to it via a couple of blush-pink throw pillows. Or, to create more of a contrast, Spicer says to try navy or black-and-white cushions instead.
If your overnight guest will be sleeping alone, Wallenstein suggests this chair-size slip-covered sofa. It has a metal pullout base (so it runs on the heavier side) that folds out to support a 5.5-inch-thick twin mattress, which meets one of her requirements for a good innerspring mattress: “You want them to be about five or six inches thick at minimum,” Wallenstein says.
As some of the above models suggest, sleeper pullout sofas tend to run more expensive (and to be much heavier, given their interior metal frames). But they’re the type of thing that, if you’re willing to invest in them, will last you for years. For a minimal, high-end couch that you can keep in a guest room (and use for a long time), Wallenstein recommends this made-to-order queen sofa from buzzy furniture brand Apt2B. “It has a simple modern design, and offers some customization options.” For example, you can choose from a 5.5-inch-thick innerspring mattress with pillow top, or one made out of memory foam.
Armbruster likes the Twilight sleeper because “it looks nice, is comfortable, and opens up to what’s essentially a king-size bed.” It’s more or less made of two parts — a cylindrical backrest bolster that can be adjusted to customize seat depth, and a large seat cushion made out of foam that turns into the mattress. Simply pivot the bolster up, then remove the cushion and place on the floor. When pushed up against the sofa’s base, the cushion creates a bed that’s larger than a queen but slightly smaller than a king.
Technically a bed, Armbruster says if you are imaginative, crafty, or willing to invest a bit more, this can be fashioned into a sofa by adding custom bolsters to it. She’s used the pullout trundle from British design store the Conran Shop in her projects, in part because she says it has “fantastic mattresses, so makes a very good bed.” Make that two beds: The “single” bed features a pullout mattress beneath it that can be lifted up and locked to the same height as the main one to create a king-size bed. Each seven-inch mattress is made from hand-nested pocket springs. While the Conran Shop is based in the U.K., it does ship to the U.S. (and other parts of the world) for an added fee.
To balance sleeping and seating comfort, you could also invest in a sofa with a pop-up foam mattress like this one. “I recently purchased one made by American Leather for a client and they love it,” says Wallenstein. According to her, this American Leather option from Room & Board is comfortable (but firm) for sleeping and sitting and has an easy folding mechanism and fabric options that allow for some customization. The cushy queen foam mattress rests on a trifold platform system, so you don’t have to deal with bars or springs. Tze Chun, the founder of online art gallery Uprise Art, also owns this sleeper sofa and agrees that it’s “surprisingly comfortable for a sleeper,” adding that “it takes almost no effort to unfold. Guests are always surprised that the sofa is a sleeper, and a queen-size sleeper at that.”
Here’s another chair-size sleeper (also from Room & Board) that’s a little narrower than the less-expensive Crate & Barrel chair-size sleeper we mentioned above. Cheng recommends it, saying the style is “perfect for compact spaces” due to the way the twin-size foam mattress folds out using a platform system, similar to the larger Room & Board model. This sofa’s size, she adds, makes it “significantly lighter than traditional ‘full-size’ sleeper sofas.”
Decorilla design expert Devin Shaffer told us his go-to source for quality sleeper sofas is Joybird, and he suggests this cushy, plush sleeper sofa with a mid-century frame for someone who wants a do-it-all piece. “When it comes to seating, it’s always best to find places that pride themselves in production,” he says. “Joybird has an in-depth preview of How It’s Made for each of its products and offers a 365-day return window and lifetime warranty.” The fully customizable sleeper comes with a five-inch-thick memory-foam mattress that pulls out.
Mueller is also a Joybird fan, and pointed us to this sleeper sofa that borrows from the traditional Chesterfield style. “This is a great sofa that is grounded in more classic design,” she says. “While it might be a bit more of a splurge for some, it’s a great option for someone who does not want something too trendy, and instead is looking for a sofa that will stand the test of time.” It features rolled arms, diamond tufting, and plush cushions, with a queen-size, five-inch-thick memory-foam mattress. It’s also customizable with more than 40 color and fabric combinations.
This Chesterfield-style sleeper sofa has a more modern silhouette than the one above, combining classic tufting with a boxy frame and plinth-style base. Modsy’s Katherine Tlapa says that its deep seat is “as comfortable as it gets,” and notes that the sofa, which comes with a spring-coil queen mattress, can be customized with more than 65 upholstery options.
“The CB2 Club Queen sofa is very compact and looks nice as a day-to-day sofa in a smallish apartment,” says Armbruster. She says it’s a great guest-bed option for occasional visitors and likes that it comes in many color and fabric options, including linen, cotton, wool, and polyester blends. The pullout bed is topped with a 5.25-inch-thick coil-foam mattress.
Mueller likes the “more casual lines” of the Denver trundle, saying that it would be a perfect choice for “a boho-inspired living space or a teen’s playroom.” It’s also handmade to order in the U.S., which means you can customize it to your liking, choosing among basket-weave linen, Belgian linen, and velvet for the fabric, and up to 21 different colorways, depending on fabric. A trundle pulls out to form a queen-size bed with a pillow-top mattress.
Interior designer Kendall Wilkinson says her go-to source for sourcing sleeper sofas for clients is American Leather, because it carries “very clean and sophisticated contemporary styles” that are usually available in multiple sizes and a wide variety of fabrics, making it easy to customize a sofa for just about any space. “Right now, we are coveting the Perry model with its sloping arms that give an overall modern feel,” she says, “with a warm and more sophisticated silhouette.” It’s definitely a splurge, but Wilkinson promises that the sofa’s sleeper mechanism is “effortless to operate” and that its “overall quality is excellent.” Plus, she adds that the company is easy to work with. The Perry is available in sizes that range from a chair-and-a-half that pulls out into a cot (and starts at $$3,049) to this three-seater that pulls out into a five-inch-thick king-size mattress made from high-density premier foam. The brand also offers mattress upgrades in any sizes of the Perry, too.
If you’re pulling out all the stops on a roomy sleeper sofa with all the bells and whistles, Wallenstein says this Vesper king-size sleeper is “high-quality with a beautiful design.” It has a pullout, density-foam bed (“make sure yours is density foam”) with a four-inch-thick mattress that rests on a wooden platform, and you can get it made in fabric or leather. According to the brand, when opened, the king-size bed takes up nearly a foot less in depth than conventional sleepers, too.
If you’re saddled with a sleeper sofa that’s not as comfortable as you’d like, a foam-mattress topper goes a long way, according to Cheng. She says something like this Dreamfoam “will eliminate any semblance of the seam, even out any height variations between the seat cushion and the back cushion, and make the bed so much more comfortable.”