Apartment and small-home dwellers know how tricky it can be to come up with space—and a bed—for overnight guests. Not everyone has a spare room to designate solely as a guest bedroom, so providing sleeping accommodations for guests may mean investing in a portable bed or a bed that serves more than a single purpose, such as a sleeper sofa or a sleeper chair. The best guest bed for any home will depend on the amount of available floor space, the typical number of guests (and whether they’re children or adults), and whether the bed will serve other purposes.
Ahead, learn about the most important considerations when shopping for a guest bed and determine why the following are among the top choices for most homes.
- BEST OVERALL: Vonanda Sofa Bed, Convertible Chair 4 in 1
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress with Built-In Pump
- BEST LUXURY: Wallbeds Modern Birch Bed
- BEST MURPHY BED: AFI Furnishings Deerfield Murphy Bed Chest, Queen
- BEST FOLDING: Milliard Tri-Fold Foam Folding Mattress and Sofa Bed
- BEST FUTON: Flamaker Futon Sofa Bed Modern Faux Leather Couch
- BEST ROLLAWAY: Lucid Rollaway Folding Guest Bed
- MOST COMFORTABLE: Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress with Frame
- MOST COMPACT: Leisuit Rollaway Guest Bed Cot
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Guest Bed
Unless there is a designated guest room, which can be furnished with a standard bed, it will probably be necessary to squeeze sleeping accommodations into a living room, a den, or a hobby room. The bed should be comfortable—no one wants to toss and turn on a hard or lumpy mattress all night—and if the guest bed provides additional use in the home, it’s a bonus.
A standard twin bed is 75 inches long by 38 inches wide, but sleeper chairs, sleeper sofas, and futons vary in size when extended to their full sleeping configuration. Plus, many of these styles are slightly smaller than standard bed sizes. Getting sheets to fit off-size mattresses can be tricky, so buyers may need to purchase sheets the next size up and then use sheet straps to keep them tightly fitted. Here’s how different styles of guest beds stack up.
- Rollaway beds: A rollaway bed is approximately 72 inches long and ranges from around 30 to 38 inches wide, although some models offer an extra-long sleeping surface up to about 80 inches.
- Sleeper sofas: Once commonly called “convertible sofas,” these sleepers are available in a range of sizes, often running the gamut in actual mattress width and length.
- Twin: From 50 to 68 inches in length and 36 to 39 inches in width. The shorter twin sleeper sofas are well suited to children. In some instances, this mattress may be called a single.
- Full: Ranging from 67 to 83 inches long and 52 to 55 inches wide.
- Queen: Averaging 75 to 96 inches long and 58 to 62 inches long.
- King: From 84 to 92 inches long and 74 to 76 inches wide.
- Sleeper chair: This type of guest bed often comes with a mattress similar in size to a rollaway, ranging from 49 to 65 inches long and 30 to 34 inches wide. Oversize sleeper chairs offer slightly larger measurements.
- Futon: Futon mattress sizes are similar to sleeper-sofa mattress sizes and often run a bit smaller than standard beds.
- Murphy bed: The mattress on a Murphy bed either lifts upward (in a solid frame) along a wall for storage, or it folds like an accordion and fits in a hard-sided chest for use as a countertop until the bed is needed. Murphy-bed mattresses are slightly larger than futon or sleeper-sofa beds and are similar in size to standard beds, although measurements may vary by manufacturer.
- Bunks beds: A number of bunks beds are available that offer roll-out sections that can increase the sleeping area in an existing bedroom. Let the slumber party begin!
- Air mattresses: These inflatable options are available in a variety of sizes and often have a built-in pump for convenience. One reason they are popular is because they are very compact when not in use.
A thicker mattress often makes for a more comfortable sleeping setup. To accommodate anyone other than a small child, look for a mattress that’s 3 inches or thicker. Memory foam is the most common material used in guest-bed mattresses today, and it provides a comfortable feel that distributes body weight evenly for a good night’s sleep.
A bed’s frame and the materials’ quality will determine how well it holds up—and how much weight it will hold. When purchasing a guest bed, look for a weight limit. A limit of up to 180 pounds will safely support most children. In comparison, a bed designed to hold one or more adult sleepers should come with a limit closer to 400 pounds. Well-made sofa beds and Murphy beds can often support 500 to 1,000 pounds of evenly distributed weight.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a guest bed must be durable, attractive, comfortable, and come with a mattress large enough to accommodate the intended guests. The best guest bed for an individual home will vary depending on budget, how much floor space is available, and whether the bed will serve additional purposes. Any one of the following guest beds might be a welcome addition in most homes.
The Vonanda Sofa Bed Convertible Chair can double as additional seating, a window seat, or even as an ottoman until company arrives. Available in six attractive colors, the Vonanda looks like an upholstered ottoman when it’s completely folded and measures 37 inches long by 27 inches wide and sitting 17 inches high. When folded out for use as a guest bed, the unit measures an ample 74 inches long, 37 inches wide, and features a 3-inch-dense foam mattress. The backrest adjusts to five positions for lounging and reading as well as sleeping. The Vonanda sleeper chair will hold up to 440 pounds, making it well suited to adults or children.
- Size: Twin
- Weight capacity: 440 pounds
- Mattress: Foam and spring
- Multipurpose ottoman, chair, lounger, or bed
- Sturdy, high-quality construction
- Hard-wearing, breathable linen fabric
- No locking mechanism for legs
- Premium price
Get the Vonanda guest bed at Amazon.
Folks needn’t spend a lot or sacrifice square footage for a reliable extra sleeping surface for guests. The EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress takes up no more room than a 1-foot-square package for easy storage in a closet. When inflated, however, the air mattress expands to 80 inches long by 60 inches wide by 16 inches high. The bed will hold up to 300 pounds of evenly distributed weight, making it well suited for two or three small children or one or two small adults.
The EnerPlex mattress comes with a fast pump that inflates the mattress in just 2 minutes, and it features thick polyvinyl fabric that’s welded at the seams for durability. Air mattresses are not intended for constant use, so they won’t replace a standard bed, but they are affordable and suitable for occasional use for guests.
- Size: Twin, full, queen, and king
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds for queen size (weight capacity varies based on mattress size)
- Mattress: Air
- Self-inflating for speed and convenience
- Coil beams for support and comfort
- Great value for money
- A few leaks reported
- Needs plug adapter for camping
Get the EnerPlex guest bed at Amazon.
The Wallbeds Modern Birch Bed is an attractive, high-quality addition to any room. It offers shelving at the top, and when not in use for sleeping, serves as a spacious desk. The heavy-duty spring and balance mechanism is very easy to use and can be lowered with just one hand. The desk portion tucks underneath, so items under 18 inches tall can be left in place, and even plugged in. The Wallbeds Modern Birch Bed comes in a choice of six finishes to fit in with a wide variety of decor styles.
Much of the comfort of any bed comes from the quality of the mattress. While one isn’t included, the Wallbeds Modern Birch Bed will accept any standard full-size model up to 10 inches deep, providing sleepers with a luxurious place to spend the night. Assembly, however, is fairly complex, and the finished unit is heavy so it is definitely a two-person job. Buyers may prefer to have it professionally installed.
- Size: Full
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
- Mattress: Not included
- Smart shelving and desk when not in use
- Accepts up to a 10-inch mattress
- Choice of 6 finishes
- 2-person assembly
- Mattress is extra
Get the Wallbeds guest bed at Wayfair.
For an upscale guest bed that complements most decors, consider the AFI Furnishings Deerfield Murphy Bed Chest that includes a queen-size mattress. This Murphy bed looks identical to a wooden bureau, and while only the bottom drawer actually functions, the attractive appearance may be suitable for the decor of an existing bedroom or den.
This versatile piece is available in a variety of finishes and includes two built-in USB charging ports, so guests can charge their devices while they sleep. Each unit measures 41 inches tall, 63.58 inches wide, and is nearly 24.5 inches deep. When folded out, the bed measures a generous 82.5 inches long and 63.5 inches wide. The ample bottom storage drawer measures 15.75 inches high by 54.25 inches wide by 6.65 inches deep. The bed includes a 6-inch-thick gel foam mattress for superior comfort and has a weight limit of 800 pounds.
- Size: Queen
- Weight capacity: 800 pounds
- Mattress: 6-inch, gel-infused memory foam
- Multiple sizes and finishes to match decor
- Large, useful storage drawer
- 2 USB charging ports
- Some assembly required
Get the AFI Furnishings guest bed at Amazon or The Home Depot.
The Milliard Tri-Fold sofa bed serves as comfortable, low-level cushioned seating and easily folds out to form a queen-size mattress on the floor when company visits. As a sofa, the Milliard is 58 inches wide and 29 inches deep, and it features a cushioned sitting surface just 14 inches high, making it well suited for a child’s room, a family room, or a playroom. The mattress measures a sizable 78 inches long by 58 inches wide and is 4.5 inches thick when folded out flat. If guests don’t mind sleeping on a mattress on the floor, this dual-purpose guest bed is just the ticket.
- Size: Twin XL, full, queen, and king
- Weight capacity: Not stated
- Mattress: High-density foam
- Light and simple
- Sizes for all needs
- Removable, washable cover
- Low seat height as a sofa
Get the Milliard guest bed at Amazon.
For years, futon beds have been a hit in dorm rooms, efficiency apartments, and other places where floor space is at a premium. The Flamaker Futon offers a sleek faux-leather finish and serves as a 65-inch-long sofa when not in use as a bed. The Flamaker has a 410-pound weight capacity and seats two or three comfortably in the upright position, featuring a fold-down cupholder console in the center for drinks. When folded out, it offers a 65.7-inch-long by 37-inch-wide sleeping surface, and the side armrests double as pillows. The Flamaker also features an adjustable backrest, with the ability to recline 120, 160, and 180 degrees.
- Size: Twin
- Weight capacity: 410 pounds
- Mattress: Foam; type not stated
- Sturdy wood frame with metal legs
- Easy-to-clean faux leather
- Very competitive price
- Some found it smaller than expected
- Occasional manufacturing flaws
Get the Flamaker guest bed at Amazon.
A quality rollaway bed must have a simple but strong folding frame, be comfortable, and be compact when not required so it is easy to store. The popular Lucid Rollaway Folding Guest Bed ticks all of these boxes.
The metal frame has a protective epoxy-resin coating to prevent rust and will support sleepers of up to 350 pounds. Heavy-duty casters make it easy to move and lock once the bed is in position. The mattress is a 4-inch combination of support foam and memory foam, with a cover made from environmentally friendly bamboo rayon that is breathable and child-safe. When folded, the Lucid rollaway guest bed is just 10.5 inches wide.
Minor assembly is required. While the majority of buyers are happy with their purchase, a significant minority reported either parts missing or construction flaws. It appears quality control is not as consistent as it should be.
- Size: Twin, twin XL, cot
- Weight capacity: 350 pounds
- Mattress: 4 inches: 1-inch memory foam, 3-inch support foam
- Quick and easy to use
- Durable resin-coated steel frame
- Compact for storage
- Quality-control issues reported
- Some assembly required
Get the Lucid guest bed at Amazon.
Air mattresses are often affordable and easy to store, but resting solely on the floor can reduce comfort. The Ivation EZ-Bed is unusual in that it includes a steel frame that raises it to the same height as that of a standard bed. The mattress also offers a choice of plush, medium, or firm comfort levels.
Erecting the Ivation EZ-Bed is quick and easy. Unzip the case, plug it in, and it self inflates in under 4 minutes. The frame unfolds automatically at the same time. Once fully extended, it has a weight capacity of 600 pounds (for the king size), which is impressive for an inflatable guest bed.
For storage, the bed folds down into a wheeled duffle bag. This is convenient, but at 45 inches long by 15.5 inches wide by 22.5 inches deep, it’s not particularly compact. As is common with air mattresses, there are some reports of leaks, but it’s difficult to know how each has been treated. The vast majority seem trouble-free.
- Size: Twin, full, queen, king
- Weight capacity: 450 pounds for queen size; weight capacity varies based on mattress size
- Mattress: Air
- Self-inflates in 4 minutes
- Frame extends automatically
- Variable comfort levels
- A few reports of leaks
- Bulky when deflated
Get the Ivation guest bed at Amazon or The Home Depot.
With a folded width of just 6.7 inches, the Leisuit rollaway guest bed is one of the most compact models on the market. Yet the steel frame makes it robust, and it’s surprisingly comfortable thanks to its good design. Rather than wooden slats or wire mesh, the base of the Leisuit guest bed is made from strong 600D oxford fabric, attached with a series of springs around the edge. It’s a system that has long been popular in camp beds and is supportive while also offering a degree of elasticity.
Thanks to a mattress composed of memory foam and high-density sponge, a good night’s sleep is almost guaranteed. It unfolds quickly into any spare space in a bedroom, living room, or home office. The Leisuit guest bed is described as a “rollaway” but does not in fact have wheels. Fortunately, it weighs just 30 pounds, so it’s not too heavy to lift for storage.
- Size: Cot (75 inches long by 31 inches wide by 14 inches deep)
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Mattress: 3-inch memory foam and high-density sponge
- Durable, supportive design
- Less than 7 inches wide when folded
- Weighs just 30 pounds
- Cot only
- Some assembly required
Get the Leisuit guest bed at Amazon.
How We Chose the Best Guest Beds
Folks who don’t have the benefit of a guest room fortunately have a wide variety of sleeping solutions—and our picks should allow just about anyone to provide comfortable overnight accommodation.
When choosing the models to feature in our best guest beds lineup, comfort was obviously a key consideration. It was also important to find as many different types of guest bed as possible to provide a comprehensive range of options. Air mattresses and rollaway beds, for instance, can be very compact and easy to store in a closet. We also looked at styles like bed chairs, Murphy beds, and wall beds that could hide in plain sight.
Finally, we wanted to make sure we offered options to suit every budget while still providing beds that were well made and durable.
If you’re still not sure how to choose the best guest bed for your home, take a look at the following commonly asked questions. We also have a useful article on ways to make your guests feel welcome.
Q. What size bed is best for a guest room?
It depends on the room’s size, but a guest room will often have a standard full- or queen-size bed.
Q. How do you make a guest bed more comfortable?
Comfortable bedding and a thick mattress can set the stage for a comfortable, restful night’s sleep. If the mattress on your guest bed is a little on the skimpy side, try adding a foam mattress topper to add loft and comfort.
Q. Are high beds out of style?
High beds, often traditional or vintage models where the top of the mattress is above the standard 18 to 24 inches, are always in style, but if the top of your guest bed mattress is more than 30 inches off the floor, children and shorter adults may benefit from a sturdy stool beside the bed for getting in and out.