Sleeper Sofa Buying Guide

Comfortable, well-made and stylish. No longer an insomnia-inducing nightmare, pull-out couches have come a long way!

If you can’t remember that awful night of sleep on flimsy pull-out mattresses with springs jabbing you from every angle, consider yourself fortunate. Those are the nights that make the thought of camping on the floor sound oddly luxurious.

Luckily, we no longer have to cringe at the thought of subjecting ourselves or our guests to a sleeper sofa. Not only are they much better made, they now come with uber-comfy mattresses and are a perfect solution to small spaces or homes that may not have a dedicated guest bedroom.

You simply have to know what to look for. Here is our list of 5 tips to keep in mind before you buy your next sleeper sofa.

1) Know the type of sleeper you’re looking for.

Even though they’re often used interchangeably, sleeper sofas and sofa beds are actually different and will serve varying purposes depending on how they’re used and how much space you have. Before going any further, you’ll need to decide what you need.

Sofa Bed - A sofa that folds down into a bed. There is no mattress or need to remove couch cushions. Similar to a futon, these additional sleeping options are space efficient and convenient. They’re not as comfortable, but if you very rarely need additional sleeping space, these are good choices as they take up less room and are more affordable. Style-wise though, they can be a bit shall we say, college-feeling and less likely to mesh with your decor.

Sleeper Sofa - Called a pull-out, sleeper or sleep sofa, these have an actual mattress stored inside. They require the removal of cushions and will have a mechanism allowing them to be changed into a bed. If you are investing in one that is quality-made with a comfortable mattress, you and your guests will be happy with the decision!

Sleeper Sofa

2) How much space will your sleeper sofa need?

It may sound like a no-brainer, but when purchasing a sleeper sofa you’ll need to measure not only for the size of the couch but also for the size of the sleeper when fully extended to be sure it actually fits in your space.

Standard sleeper sofas typically have three cushions across (approximately 84 inches) and will have a bed that transforms into a queen (approximately 90 inches long) allowing for two adults. If you don’t have enough space for that or aren’t anticipating that you’ll need space for two adults to sleep, there are double and twin sofa sleepers that are just as stylish and comfortable as the queen. And if you have more room, there are even options for king sofa sleepers.


3) Decide on the type of mattress you want.

High-quality sofa sleepers like those sold at Modern Bungalow offer two types of mattresses to choose from.

Innerspring - These mattresses have coils that provide some bounce with lots of comfort. The more coils, the more comfortable it will be. For a queen, 400-600 coils is what you should be looking for. Sleeper sofas sold at Modern Bungalow come standard with deluxe innerspring mattresses.

Memory Foam - Has a layer of memory foam with springs or support foam underneath. They are designed to mold to your body shape. These are typically an upgrade.

If you’re struggling with which to choose, innerspring mattresses have come a long way in comfort and durability and are perfect if the sleeper is used occasionally. If it’ll be used often, it’s worth investing in a memory foam. Keep in mind that a thicker mattress doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better. A thinner, well-made mattress may actually offer substantial support.

If you can, try it out before you buy. At our showroom in Denver, we have sleeper sofas from multiple brands to both look at and lie on!

4) Look for high quality construction.

Couch Frame

The best sleeper sofas are made of kiln-dried hardwood frames. As opposed to softwoods like pine, hardwoods such as oak, cherry and maple are far more durable and made to last against the wear and tear a sofa sleeper is sure to get. Some quality frames can be made from at least 1.25" thick plywood, with reinforced blocked corners. If in doubt, just ask about the warranty. A quality frame should be warranted by the manufacturer for at least 20 years.

As for the open and close mechanism of the bed itself, it should be easy to use in one smooth motion without squeaking and sticking. High-quality sleepers will have bed frames made of tubular steel construction like the ones sold through Modern Bungalow. No more jabbing your leg on one of the protruding hinges!

5) Don’t forget about style!

Luckily the nightmare of a bad night’s sleep on a pull-out is a thing of the past. What’s also gone? The days of boxy, boring, utilitarian sleeper sofas. They now come in nearly every color and design, which means there’s no reason to not have it blend with the overall look within your home. Because it will be in the sofa position most often, it’s worth getting something you not only enjoy sitting on but also like to look at.

If you’re thinking of a sectional, these are great places to hide a sleeper. A twin sleeper can be arranged to fold out from a loveseat, or a queen out of the couch section. All of our sleepers have links to sectional planners to help you visualize how they might look in your space.

Leather Sectional


Sleeper sofas are exceptionally useful pieces of furniture. By keeping these tips in mind when making your purchase, you will be given an instant guest room that is not only stylish but offers a good night’s rest to whoever is needing it.

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