What is a Sofa Sleeper: Facts You Need to Know
What is a Sofa Sleeper

What is a Sofa Sleeper: Facts You Need to Know

Every homeowner should know the basics of decorating and furnishing to have a beautiful and inviting living room. One of the focal points and most important furniture in the living room is the sofa since it is where your family and guests can relax and hang out. Today, sofa sleepers are becoming popular, but not everyone is familiar what is a sofa sleeper.

As an overview, a sofa sleeper is a foldable bed, usually having a thinner mattress under the cushions, which are all set on a frame. It is a useful piece of furniture, especially for small homes. For you to have a better understanding, we will give you bits of information about it.

What is a Sofa Sleeper: A Bit of Its History

At the end of the 19th century, in 1899 to be more exact, the poverty-born Leonard C. Bailey was taking a patent for the first foldable bed. Similar to the model today, the bed had a curved mattress and a foldable metal frame. Over the next 40 years, two other inventors, namely William Laurence Murphy and Bernard Castro developed another kind, which is now called the Murphy bed, sofa sleeper, or sofa bed.

The basic principle, which was invented over a century ago, has since been perfected, reinforced and revamped. Currently, shoppers can purchase sofa sleepers with different types of mattresses and various styles, sizes, and colors.

The Mid-Century Sofa

The classic look of the mid-century sofa has been preserved and perpetuated throughout the decades. In 1931, Bernard Castro, an Italian immigrant, started manufacturing his own brand of sofa sleepers. This is now the so-called mid-century sofa, and its timeless design keeps low and high-end furniture stores in business.

From its invention until now, the mechanism hasn’t evolved too much. The whole appeal of the sofa sleeper back then was a refined piece of furniture which had a trick up its sleeve.

Prior to this, other incarnations of the sofa bed would be easily distinguishable from a regular sofa. This was no longer the case with the mid-century sofa; thus, boosting the sales and popularity of the Italian immigrant.

Today, this design can be seen on the web pages and physical stores of retailers and distributors—basically everywhere. It has a two-fold power design: subtle and straightforward, all while being elegant. The mid-century design overall shows that luxury doesn’t have to be flashy, but instead, it should be neat, cozy and simple.

Artists like Wes Anderson make such good use of the mid-century setting by showing the real value of this modern classic. Its symmetry, warmth, and familiarity were turned into a perfect piece of furniture—one that spells “home” when the owner or guest looks at it.

  • Reasons for Its Popularity

Apart from the feeling of familiarity that nobody seems to be able to shake off, there are practical reasons why the mid-century design is loved. For starters, it is more petite, making it the perfect choice for folks who value their much-needed space. Its simplicity also allows it to be accessible to individuals, no matter what their budget range is.

Another thing that made this design so popular and timeless is that it can go well with anything. Again, the simplicity allows the sofa to look good in any home interior design.

What to Look Out for when Buying a Sofa Sleeper: Some Tips

In general, sofa sleepers do tend to have an extended lifetime, which is at least 10 years. However, this will be directly affected by how much the sofa bed will be used and what it would be used for, as well as the type of mattress that comes with it. Those are the two main factors that you need to consider when buying one.

  • Usage

Sofa sleepers are rarely well-balanced. This means that they are either safe to sleep on or comfortable to sit or nap on. Hence, it is important for you to give some real thought on how you will regularly use the sofa sleeper.

If you have guests most of the time and you would purchase a sofa bed for them to have a bed to sleep in, then it makes sense to choose a sofa sleeper that has sturdy and hard frames, as well as a mattress that provides great support. That being said, it’s still rare that a person who will sleep on the product won’t feel the bars through the mattress, so it is still a temporary solution.

On the other hand, if you do not regularly have guests who sleepover or you have a guest room at home, then it would be better to invest in one that has better cushions. That is because it would be commonly used for lounging, napping, sitting, and hanging out.

  • Type of Mattress

The two main types of mattresses one can find on a sofa sleeper are innerspring and memory foam. Innerspring mattresses provide support and are integrated with coils. The more coils, the more comfortable the mattress would be.

Typically, these coils are all interconnected and act as one big surface. A big problem with this type of mattress is that it can easily get damaged especially if the user is overweight.

On the contrary, memory foam mattresses are made using synthetic plastic foam. These are usually hypoallergenic, which is already a big plus, and are built to last.

The memory foam is also designed to take the contour of the user’s body for better support. What is better is that when no one is sleeping on it, it snaps back to its original shape and nice and tidy appearance.


What is a sofa sleeper? Is it a bed during the night and a sofa during the day? Not really. Sofa sleepers are comfy sofas for sitting and lounging but can come handy when you have surprise guests who would sleepover.

They are beautiful and functional additions to your living room, without compromising the style and design of the room. When choosing a sofa sleeper, no matter what your needs are, always consider the one that has a sturdy frame and a comfortable mattress.

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