Buying Guide: How to buy a sofa bed

    Buying Guide: How to buy a sofa bed

    What are the different types of sofa bed?

    Click clack sofa beds are named to reflect the way you use them: click the top section forward, then release the back to form a sleeping surface in line with the seat. They're easy to use, and there's not much difference between their size when set up as a sofa or a bed – ideal for small spaces. Best for occasional use.

    Foam fold out sofa beds are made from sections of foam that fold together to make a seat, or out flat to make a bed. Affordable and great for occasional guests, they're the most basic type of sofa bed. Because they're just made from layered foam, they're easy to set up and fold away.

    Platform or trundle. Because of their design – the base slides out to reveal a flat sleeping surface – trundle sofa beds are super easy to set up, and there's no cushion rearranging required. Most will have hidden storage space, too – win win. Best for occasional use.

    3-part metal action sofa beds are set on a sturdy metal frame. Three easy actions turn this sofa bed from sitting space to sleeping space. Just remove the back and seat cushions, then pull the bed out to reveal the mattress. Choose a space that has plenty of room so that the front can easily open out. Suitable for occasional use.

    1-part metal action. To set up a 1-part metal action sofa bed, you pull the frame out in one simple motion, which places the cushions underneath the sofa. They're about as fancy as a sofa bed can get and, even better, they're suitable for everyday use. Just remember to allow enough space in front for the sofa bed to open out into.

    Which sofa bed is best for everyday use?

    In general, mattresses over 12cm deep are good for frequent use, with shallower mattresses being more suitable for occasional guests.

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