BUYER’S GUIDE: How to Choose the Best Sofa Bed for Your Space


In the market for a sofa bed? They’ve come a long way over the years, and with so many things to consider, we’ve compiled the ultimate go-to guide on uncovering the best sofa bed for your space, style and budget.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably always on the hunt for cool finds and bargain buys to brighten up your living space. Never in a trillion years did I think I would be one of those ‘homewares hunters’. But, hey, here I am, frothing over indoor plants, throw pillows, wicker storage boxes and comfortable sofa beds

Yep. #ThisIsAdulthood 

sister playing with baby brother
A sofa bed is the versatile way to accommodate unexpected guests. Source: Bigstock

Why a sofa bed?

One of the many things we as adults need is a decent sofa. And, if that sofa happens to transform into a bed? Well, ladies and gents, you’ve got yourself the versatile product that is a sofa bed!

Sofa beds are super versatile and a real gamechanger in so many instances, such as:

  • A second living space, office, spare room, teenage retreat
  • The main living area in some instances
  • Kid sleepovers and birthday slumber parties
  • A place for your husband to crash when he’s snoring (YET again ;0) )
  • Overnight guests and family members
  • Older kids when they come home to crash at your place
  • An extra lounge for the playroom or kids’ TV room
  • The ‘no newborn zone’. Side note: My husband spent several nights sleeping on our fold-out couch during those very hectic newborn weeks when he needed to work in the morning and our baby was unsettled.
ladies opening birthday gifts
Sofa beds are the perfect sleeping solution for a girl’s night out! Source: Adobe Stock


Factors to consider when choosing a sofa bed

The best sofa bed for your space will depend on so many factors – the square meterage, the nooks and crannies, the location of cabinets and TV units, the location of the windows and lighting, etc.

As a general rule, try to leave at least 60cm clearance at the end and sides of the bed when it’s folded out into bed format to allow for walking access.  More is probably better for larger, main living areas.

baby boy playing on sofa
Shop right and your sofa bed will be used for so many occasions. Source: Bigstock


Sofa beds can cost a small fortune depending on the mattress type, the quality, and the material. We’re talking anywhere between $400 to $5,000. However, there are ways to cut costs.

Shopping pre-loved is one of the best ways to cut these costs down and still get an as-new lounge for a fraction of the price. Have a quick look at sofa beds in your area on Gumtree – you may be pleasantly surprised at what comes up. I certainly was!

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This is key. Whether you’re sitting or sleeping, you want to find a couch that feels great. Before you buy, plop yourself on the lounge for at least 10 minutes. Make sure you can easily open the sofa bed and try lying on it too to test out the comfort of the mattress.


Again, this will depend on your specific taste, especially when it comes to colour choice. Dark greys or navy blues are always popular, especially if you have young kids or pets, but there is something especially nice about a crisp white couch or even a bright bold colour, especially in a funky playroom.


Fabric is a pretty popular option in terms of lounge material these days but you do have other choices too – suede, leather, etc.

Microfibre and micro-suede are smart for families as they are resistant to stains and water damage. Which, let’s face it, is bound to happen when the kids are eating popcorn and drinking soft drinks at slumber parties!

woman testing out comfort of sofa bed
Always be sure to test out the sofa bed before buying.  Source: Adobe Stock

Mattress type

In general, you’ve got a few options here – a foam mattress, a regular mattress or an inner-spring mattress.

Foam mattresses are often more affordable but they may not keep their shape as long or be as comfortable. Regular mattresses are good for occasional sleep however the real winner for long term comfort is an inner-spring mattress offering more support and are often a better investment and will retain value longer.

The fold

The simplest fold is the fold-out couch style where the back of the seat folds back to create a flatbed. These are pretty basic and don’t have arms or a headboard at the ends and sides, but they can look edgy, modern, and are a great space saver. Plus they are so easy to use!

A pull-out sofa bed uses a pulling mechanism where there is a mattress underneath the seat cushions. You’ll need to lift and pull it out to set up the bed. These look like regular couches and come in heaps of styles and designs but they also take up more space and require a bit more ‘heavy’ lifting.

alarm clock set to 7am
A good sofa bed will give you a great night’s sleep! Source: Adobe Stock

Best sofa beds for your space

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These generally sleep one person, seat two or three people. 

Best for: 

  • Single guests or as a spare bed
  • Smaller spaces, such as an office or spare room
  • An ‘extra’ bed for when one of you is sick or when your kids sneak into your own bed and steal your spot in the middle of the night. #HappensMoreOftenThanICareToAdmit
sofa bed made up to sleep
Your sofa bed will be the perfect solution for unexpected guests. Source: Bigstock
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A double sofa bed can sleep two people and is usually a three-person couch.

Best for:

  • Main living areas or second living areas
  • Playrooms and teenage retreats
  • Guest bedrooms
  • Couples (in-laws, family, etc)
  • Kid sleepovers
kids with balloons and party gift
Sofa beds are perfect for birthday party sleepovers! Source; Adobe Stock

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Corner sofa beds are especially cool as they are an L-shape couch but then fold out to make a big bed. They can fit three people comfortably as a couch and two adults and a young child or three kids (possibly more) as a sofa bed.

Best for:

  • Guests with a child
  • Main living spaces or extra-large playrooms
  • Slumber parties
Corner sofa bed
The corner sofa bed offers a great amount of sleeping space. Source: Adobe Stock

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A trundle couch is another option that is a daybed or small couch but comes with a trundle below that pulls out to reveal another bed. Some trundle couches come with storage underneath rather than another bed.

Best for:

  • Sleepovers
  • Spare rooms and offices
  • Tight and smaller spaces
Trundle sofa bed
Trundle sofa beds are a great solution for smaller spaces.  Source: Adobe Stock

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These are ideal for space-saving as they have an extra space underneath for things like bed linen, extra pillows, towels, blankets, etc. You can easily keep all the items needed for your guests in one place. So convenient!

sofa bed with storage
If you’re short on space, a sofa bed with storage is a winner! Source: Bigstock

Where to buy

Most furniture stores sell sofa beds but you may be surprised at how affordable sofa beds can be when buying pre-loved, not to mention amazing value and quality too!

Pre-loved sofa beds often come up on Gumtree and are incredibly affordable. Plus, plenty of them are in as-new condition or only used a handful of times.

sofa bed with pull out mattress
Buying a pre-loved sofa bed on Gumtree contributes towards sustainability. Source: Adobe Stock

Trade smarter 

One of the cool things about shopping on Gumtree is that you can get rid of items you no longer need and make money for things you do want. No need to pull out the credit card or look into finance options.

Let’s say you want to upgrade your current lounge suite with a corner sofa bed? Easy. Simply list yours and see what you get. You may be able to find the perfect sofa bed for $500 and be able to sell your current lounge for $400 meaning you’re only out of pocket by $100!

Support sustainable trade

Another good thing about it is it’s a sustainable option. You’re giving new life to an older item, keeping it out of the landfill and reducing the impact on the environment. It gives you a financial return on items you no longer need, whilst reducing your impact on the planet. It’s a WIN-WIN!


find out more about family cruises

Have a look at Gumtree and see what you can find. Not only will you save money, but you’ll find all types of sofa beds and support the circular economy.

Plus, you’ll be left with plenty of money to buy even more homewares. Indoor plants and throw pillows to complement your new sofa bed? Don’t mind if we do!

We hope our guide to buying a sofa bed helps clear a few things up and takes the guesswork out of your shopping experience. Have a read of our other tips on upgrading furniture for more savvy ways to refresh your home. 

This is a sponsored post for Gumtree

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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