Sleeper sofas have come a long way since they were introduced in the 1930s. Invented by Bernard Castro in 1931, sleeper sofas remained virtually unchanged for 70 years. While practical, they were sadly lacking in two key areas: they weren’t always as comfortable to sit on as a regular sofa, let alone sleep on. With uncomfortable cushions and thin, flimsy mattresses, sleeper sofas were something purchased strictly as a necessity, and dreaded by overnight guests.
Today, many sleeper sofas come with trampoline decking, which eliminates the need for a traditional metal support bar, aka the “torture bar,” underneath the mattress. This truly is one of the top 20 improvements in the evolution of furniture in our opinion, and eliminates scenes like this:
The quality of sleeper sofa mattresses has also dramatically improved. Thin, uncomfortable mattresses are a thing of the past now because so many sofa beds today come equipped with high-density innerspring mattresses. Some even have headrests, so you can easily elevate your head to read or watch TV while lying down.
When shopping for a sleeper sofa many of the same rules apply as shopping for a normal sofa. Look for a sofa with a kiln-dried hardwood frame or combined hardwood and furniture-grade plywood. Soft woods will not last and may cause you to shop for a replacement sooner than you would like. While some sofa beds will come with a mattress, other manufacturers let you choose your own. If you are picking out a mattress, be sure to get one that is at least 5” thick. Sofa bed mattresses are thinner than a standard mattress, so be sure to also invest in sheets designed specifically for sofa beds to get the best fit. Your guests will thank you.
The discomfort associated with older models of sleeper sofas is no longer an issue for overnight guests. They are just as comfortable as a normal sofa that you would never know the difference. If you are in the market for a sleeper sofa, the attentive staff at Allen Wayside Furniture Superstore would be happy to guide you through the various models available.