What is the Difference Between a Sofa Bed and a Sofa Sleeper? [Solved]

Last updated on March 16, 2021

In a nutshell, the key difference between a sofa bed and a sofa sleeper is the mattress. But there’s more to that, so read on for the full explanation.

If you ask anyone to tell you the difference between the two, you might get very different answers. Some people will say they are the same. Others will tell you that there’s a big difference. And if you’re making a distinctions it’s that a sofa bed is primarily for seating, while a sofa sleeper is for sleeping (that is hidden during the day.)

It’s important to note that high-end models of convertible sofas and sofa sleepers blur the line and can provide both, comfort and design as a seating or sleeping.

Next, let’s see the difference between these pieces of furniture in detail. Please note that we have included some shopping links to illustrate our points with specific example (these earn us a commission and helps maintain our site.)

What's Inside?

Sofa Bed vs. Sofa Sleeper

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Check Out the Top 10 Best Sleeper Sofas and Sofa Beds

For some time, there has been confusion and inconsistency in the use of the terms sofa bed and sofa sleeper. However, there are many differences between the two that make them distinctive from one another.

Typically, a sofa bed is much like a futon. It does not offer a traditional mattress, and it lays flat to form a bed. In comparison, a sofa sleeper has a built-in mattress that can be unfolded for easy use.

A sofa bed usually isn’t as durable as an actual bed because it doesn’t have any structural equipment hidden beneath its frame (like springs or hidden coils that help them lay completely flat.) It makes it hard for adults to sleep on comfortably or kids who want space between their head and feet while sleeping on them. So they are less durable than traditional mattresses.

Does it mean that a sofa sleeper is better than a sofa bed? Not quite. Both have their pros and cons.

Sofa Bed

Homcom Single Person 3 Position Convertible Chaise
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A sofa bed is a type of sofa that besides seating also serves as a place of sleep for one person or two, depending on the size of it. A standard construction for sofa beds include a platform on which the mattress rests, with sides to enclose it and not allow others to see inside. Space is limited in this class of furniture as it also fills this purpose. Sleeping space in this particular example is limited to enough room for 1-2 people, whatever its setup allows — usually there will be enough room for 1 adult plus their child or pet.

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Benefits of a Sofa Bed

Different Sizes — a popular sofa bed is twin-size, but there are larger and smaller models. That’s a big benefit when it comes to choosing what you want for your living room.

Function — you can imagine the sofa bed as a mattress folded in two. When it’s laid down — it’s a bed, when it’s up — it’s a sofa. That way up to two persons can sleep on it.

Design — you can choose whether your sofa should stand out on its own or blend in with other pieces in your home. It’s a great option if you want to hide the fact that you have a bed in your living room.

Downsides to a Sofa Bed

Weight — although a sofa bed hides the mattress, it is heavier and more difficult to move by yourself. The metal framework and mesh mattress will cost you more for foldable furniture that may be uncomfortable.

They are uncomfortable — say what you want but there’s no sofa bed that’s comfortable. Even the best models aren’t suitable for longtime sleeping. That’s because they are primarily designed for seating and are too firm. The solution to this is getting a mattress topper.

Price — they tend to be expensive.

Sofa Sleeper

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A sofa bed is different from a sofa sleeper in size. A sofa sleeper can fit two people with plenty of space for personal space because the mattress is designed specifically for sleep instead of a sofa bed whose cushions serve dual functions. As a result, a sofa sleeper typically provides you with a more restful night’s sleep, especially if you’re staying for an extended period of time.

Sofa sleepers are composed like traditional couches but come with fold-away mattresses inside for conversion into a bed when necessary. They are bigger pieces that require additional space when converted.

New design advances make it possible to manufacture them into loveseats and dual sofas with twin beds or queen-sized beds, which offers greater accessibility and versatility for tight spaces.

Benefits of a Sofa Sleeper

Space — sleeper sofas are great when you need space in a smaller room or home. They fold easily to save room during the day because they are simply sitting upright for hours at a time.

Comfortable — the mattress can also be adjusted for thickness and comfort so that guests will enjoy their stay, too. The sleeper opens up to sleep two people resting comfortably.

Weight — These pieces of furniture are also more lightweight, which helps with moving homes and apartments.

Downsides to a Sofa Sleeper

Sitting — one other downside to a sleeper sofa is that if you’re sitting in it, it might not be as comfy as a couch. Sleeper sofas have beds that are usually kind of lumpy and may sink in a bit. It could also present some problems for the elderly or small children.

Design — you can also make your space look cheap because if the sleeper sofa is bendable then people would think that you’re on a tight budget.

Price — sleeper sofas that look good cost a lot more.

You would need thicker mattresses for sofa sleepers to be comfortable no matter what they’re doing: whether or not they’re sitting or sleeping on them.

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