Traditional pull-out beds: These usually involve a metal frame tri-folded within the couch, and a thinner-than-average mattress on top of it. The good ones are going to offer exceptional support and durability so you can keep them in service in that guest room for years to come, but the metal support system makes these a pain in the ass to lug from apartment to apartment. Since a full-on mattress emerges from its depths, they also require a large enough space to store both your couch and a bed.
Futon-style couches: These fold in such a way that you can lie down straight on the surface of the couch itself, rather than pull out additional materials, so they’re ideal for smaller spaces. Futons also feel more like memory foam mattresses in terms of support and simply unfold to lie flat, though they do have a reputation for landing on the firmer, stiffer side. Another big perk is that they’re less bulky than pull-out beds and have the benefit of looking more streamlined, too.
Daybeds: A convertible sofa daybed that transforms into a twin or queen bed with or without a pullout trundle can be easier to convert to a bed than a traditional pullout couch, though it’ll be just as heavy to transport.
The very long sectional: A non-convertible couch with lots of length (whether in sectional or chaise longue form) can still have the chops to support a guest overnight. It should ideally be cushy enough as a couch, though, to comfortably get you through the night. These are ideal for people who want to make their moves as streamlined as possible and need something low-maintenance, though they might not be right for a heavier person or back sleeper who needs extra support.
How we selected picks
Though we haven’t had the pleasure of testing all of these out for ourselves, we cherrypicked some of our top picks (among all different styles and price points) that are adjustable and functional, but also won’t look like something you just plucked off of Facebook Marketplace for cheap. We looked for variability and high-quality materials, and punted anything that had wishy-washy reviews. Here, the best sleeper sofas for all styles and budgets.
The Best-Looking Pull-Out Sofa Bed: West Elm Shelter Queen
If your guest room gets nearly as much foot traffic as an Airbnb, it might be worthwhile just shelling out for a legit pull-out bed frame and mattress situation. This West Elm model is one of the best we’ve seen, in terms of design. It skews to the medium-soft end of things, which is the ideal padding for your butt and limbs no matter how you choose to sit or recline. It also has a solid hand-built frame and hand-finished upholstery for a more bespoke feel. When the pullout bed emerges, the sturdy support leg props up a two-layer, five-inch gel memory foam mattress that has a cover made of a breathable knit.
The Best-Looking Futon-Style Bed: Blu Dot Thataway
Many design-y brands have skirted the bulk and stodginess of standard sleeper sofas by simply offering streamlined futon-style sofa beds instead—ones that merely require some dismantling and rearranging to transition into a bed. This Blu Dot model is a great example. It’s perfectly minimal in design, with elegantly sloping curves, a low-lying solid wood frame, and a foamy fill that serves as both couch and bed. Its thick, but plushy seat cushion flips forward to create a flat sleeping surface that rests on the ground, so the bed area remains stable while you sleep. Plus, with a lifetime limited warranty backing it, you’ll be able to keep this thing in commission for a long, long time.
The Best Velvet Sleeper Sofa: Rove Concepts “Milo”
Rove Concepts is one of our favorite places to window shop for upscale, AD home tour-esque design, but also one of the best stores to score a handsome, expertly-crafted couch under $3,000. This velvet number comes in a variety of hues like this pastel robin’s egg blue number and sits low to the ground to make your tiny city studio feel a lot bigger than it actually is. A hidden zipper at the back of the couch conceals a pull tab that unfolds the top layer of the couch down to a full mattress length. The best part of all is that the mattress cover fully comes off to pop in the wash in case your last guest was a drooler or a dog. The only downside here is that the couch is extra long (at nearly 100 inches), so you will need to have the extra real estate to accommodate it.
The Best Leather Sleeper Sofa: Castlery “Jonathan” Side Chaise
Ballet dancer Isabella Boylston gets it. “I always appreciate a sofa that can double as a bed but isn’t a pull out and still looks chic,” she told us of her ultra-long sectional couch. That’s the potential of this luxurious leather option from Castlery, one of our favorite retailers specifically for finding a bang-up couch. Though you can often find cheaper seating options there (and we don’t love the plastic legs on this guy), the “Jonathan” still has a lot going for it, from its sleek lines to its handsome full-grain leather exterior. It’s a rarity in a category of leather couches that can either look overly dated or overly basic, and doesn’t require any pullout mechanisms whatsoever.
The Best Splurge-y Sleeper Sofa: Gus Rialto
This best-selling Gus sofa bed is Scandi-style design at its best. It’s curvy, minimal, spacious, and pleasing to the eye. The bed also doesn’t give away that it’s concealing a steel bed frame in its interiors, which folds out easily to prop up a full-size foam mattress with bent plywood slats and support straps. This sofa’s ideal if you want a super stylish couch that has thought through the details of its pull-out mattress. It’s a little pricier than the rest of the options here, and weighty at around 200 pounds in its packaging, but the upside is that it will look good in any room you place it in and last you a long time.
The Best Day Bed Sleeper Sofa: Room & Board Oxford Pop-Up
The ideal day bed situation is one where it looks functional for sitting or lounging during the daytime, and doesn’t give away the fact that it’s concealing a whole ‘nother bed under there. This looker from Room & Board comes in a stylish boucle fabric that wouldn’t look funny in a home office space, and the front rail rolls out to reveal a trundle bed that supports a queen size mattress—with a counterbalanced mechanism that keeps the bed propped up. The couch is longer than average at 87 inches wide, so just make sure you have enough space to fit the whole thing. The only clear downside here is that there’s no warranty, but the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with happy shoppers noting that the delivery process runs smoothly and that the daybed is a no brainer to assemble.
The Best Puffy Sleeper Sofa: Burrow Shift
Burrow is one of the companies that started the couch-in-a-box revolution to begin with, and its latest iteration showcases all of the best features that the brand has to offer: smart design, reasonable prices, and speedy delivery. This sofa, which sorta looks like an inflatable, is a take on the trend of oversized proportions and puffy-everything that’s taken over fashion and design this past year. It certainly encourages a sense of welcome and play, but has the real estate to make your guests feel comfortable, too: We’re talking a full-on queen-sized surface when you flop over the top seat cushion. The “bed” is made from layers of supportive foam and rests right on the floor so you don’t have to even contemplate sagginess or deflation the way you would with an actual blow-up mattress. Oh, and did we mention Burrow supplies the pillows for you, too? [chef’s kiss]
The Best Long Sofa that Doubles as a Bed: Floyd Two-Seater Sectional
We love this Floyd couch so much that it’s popped up in our Home Awards coverage (and a roundup of our favorite sectionals), which owes a lot to the fact that it’s exceptionally easy on the eyes, comfortable, and versatile. It has a similar shape to the Castlery sofa above, and it’s fully modular so you can stretch it out to be super long or draw separate pieces of the couch to opposite ends of the room when you’re feeling uninspired. An elongated daybed or sectional situation usually means a much easier time assembling the thing in your apartment, and this one is thankfully designed for comfort no matter how it shapes up, thanks to dual-layer foam cushions that provide sink-in-able softness and support.
The Best Chaise Sleeper Sofa: Hem Palo
Stockholm-based brand Hem has fully locked down the swervy, hyper-sleek seating market, and its Palo couch is no exception. Taking similar cues from the Floyd above, you won’t find any actual pull-out contraptions here: The best part is that the couch surface is the bed. But you’ll find that there’s not much lacking in comfort with a foamy-centered sofa like this one, and the wealth of options that Hem offers means that you can choose between a chaise-style design with room to kick your feet up, a traditional sofa with armrests on either side for gathering while watching reruns, or a formation with a floating ottoman at the end. The framework is a hefty powder-coated steel, but if it ever lets you down in the future, lean on the five-year warranty that the company offers for tuneups and refunds.
The Best Indoor/Outdoor Sleeper Sofa: Birch Lane Lucia
There are probably limited reasons why you’d have a guest sleep in your backyard, but if you happen to host guests in a covered deck situation, garden ADU, or poolhouse (Ryan Atwood style), Birch Lane has a weatherproofed, fade-resistant sleeper sofa for you. It comes in a whopping 55 different fabric/shade options, including a hardy Sunbrella fabric that many outdoor retailers turn to when they need the highest UV protection possible against sun-bleaching. The couch pillows are filled with soft down, and the pull-out bed itself is a queen size, 6-inch thick mattress that should be plenty hospitable for your relatives that are popping into town. It’s also got a slipcover so that if your clumsy cousin spills or stains the couch on accident you can just toss the exterior into the washing machine.
The Best Sleeper Sofa at Amazon: Serta Rane Futon
Because of all the shady third-party retailers and the hassle of window-shopping a major piece of furniture online, you might think to overlook Amazon entirely in this category. And for the most part, you’d be right. But considering the holidays looming on the cal, you’d be forgiven for panic buying something cheap to put up your relatives while they stay over for a couple nights. And in the landscape of budget furniture at Amazon, you could do a lot worse than this stylish midcentury futon. It combines a solid wood base with a flip down futon surface made from high-density foam. It’s supposed to fall on the firmer side, but for $200, it at least won’t clash with your measured aesthetics. And though we can’t personally vouch for its comfort or easy setup, thousands of other reviewers have that part covered.
The Best Sleeper Sofa at Target: Target Room Essentials
Contrary to other folks’ horrific experiences with their first futon, Tarjé was the first place that this writer scored her college sofa bed as a hand-me-down from her sister: It was done up in a beautiful suede fabric, wildly comfortable for passing out on after a long week of exams, basically the envy of the entire hall, and had the kind of structure that helped it survive several moves. It’s been over a decade since then, but we suspect that the sleeper sofas there are still better than ever for the price point. Take this Scandi-style number with stubby birch plywood legs and a handsome gray exterior. It reclines flat for fully sleeping a guest or two, and reviewers note that there’s very little assembly or maneuvering required. Some say that the cushion falls on the firmer end and needs a little time to fully break in, but if comfort’s ever an issue, there’s always a cheapo mattress topper to fill that void. Top that off with a one-year warranty and you’re looking at a very solid (in all senses of the word) investment for a starter sleeper couch.
The Best Sleeper Sofa at Wayfair: AllModern Elsmere
Wayfair isn’t exactly the first place people think to scout for high-design furniture, but you can surface gems here and there, and this AllModern chaise is just that. With its clean lines, cream fabric, and cushy foam innards, this blessedly simplistic couch is built like a chaise, with a bolster pillow that can double as a sleeping surface (just, uh, be sure to put a pillowcase on that sucker when you have impromptu guests over). Nothing needs to pack down, and its waterproof surface can also help with errant spills down the line. The Elsmere isn’t the kind of thing you buy if you have small children or pets running around, but it’s an elegant option to store in your guest room or study that can help you avoid shelling out for a whole pull-out bed couch.