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 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
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: EnerPlex Dual Pump Twin Size Air Mattress Airbed
- BEST UPGRADE: Atlantic Furniture Hamilton Murphy Bed Chest
- BEST ROLLAWAY: Smile Back Rollaway Beds with Mattress
- BEST FOLDING: Milliard Tri-Fold Foam Folding Mattress and Sofa Bed
- BEST FUTON: Flamaker Futon Sofa Bed Modern Faux Leather Couch
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Guest Bed
Unless you have a designated guest room, in which case you can furnish it with a standard bed, you’ll probably be looking to squeeze a guest bed 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.
Sleeper chairs, sleeper sofas, and futons vary in size when extended to their full sleeping configuration, and many are slightly smaller than standard bed sizes. Getting sheets to fit these off-size mattresses can be tricky, and you may end up needing to purchase sheets the next size up and then use sheet straps to keep them tightly fitted.
- Rollaway beds: For comparison, a standard twin bed is 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. A rollaway bed ranges from around 30 to 38 inches wide and approximately 72 inches long, although some models offer an extra-long sleeping surface up to about 80 inches.
- Sleeper sofas: Available in a range of sizes, often with standard bed labels, sofa sleepers run 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.
- 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.
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 has to 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 will be a welcome addition in most homes.
The Vonanda Sofa Bed can double as additional seating, a window seat, or even as an ottoman until company arrives. When folded completely, the Vonanda looks like an upholstered ottoman, measuring 37 inches long by 27 inches wide and sitting 17 inches high.
When folded out for use as a guest bed, the unit measures 37 inches wide, an ample 74 inches long, 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 375 pounds, making it well suited to adults or children.
You don’t have to spend a lot or sacrifice a lot of space to have a great extra sleeping surface for your guests. This EnerPlex twin-size air bed 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 60 inches wide by 80 inches long and 16 inches high.
The bed will hold up to 300 pounds of evenly distributed weight, making it well suited for two children or a single adult. This 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.
For an upscale guest bed that complements most decors, Atlantic Furniture offers a queen-size sleeping area. This Murphy bed looks identical to a wooden chest of drawers, making it suitable for placement in an existing bedroom or a den.
This versatile piece is available in a variety of wood-style finishes and includes two built-in USB charging ports so your guests can charge their devices while they sleep. Each unit measures 63.58 inches wide, 41 inches tall, and is nearly 24.5 inches deep.
When folded out, the bed is 63.5 inches wide and measures a generous 82.5 inches long. It comes with a 6-inch thick gel foam mattress for superior comfort. While this guest bed doesn’t list a maximum weight limit, Murphy beds can be used as standard beds.
For a comfortable night’s rest on a bed you can roll into a closet when not in use, consider the Smile Back Rollaway Bed. This foldable bed comes with a 5-inch thick mattress featuring a 3.5-inch high-density base and an additional 1.5 inches of memory foam so your guests can expect a comfortable night’s sleep.
The Smile Back bed measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long when folded out, making it suitable for either children or an adult up to 220 pounds. When folded, the unit is 44 inches high, 38 inches wide, and just 14 inches thick. It features a smooth steel frame on wheels, making it easy to move from room to room or into a closet or storage space while not in use.
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 in a child’s room, a family room, or a playroom.
The mattress measures a sizable 58 inches by 78 inches 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.
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 bed 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 holding drinks.
When folded out, it offers a 37-inch by 65.7-inch 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.
FAQs About Guest Beds
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.
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 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.