7 Easy Ways to Make a Sofa Bed More Comfortable

Don’t let an uncomfortable sofa bed get in the way of hosting guests at your home.
Deirdre Mundorf Avatar
Photo: istockphoto.com

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Sofa beds are a wonderful invention. They offer a spot for your houseguests to sleep. When you don’t need an extra bed, the mattress folds up and remains concealed inside the couch. As nice as it is to have an extra spot for guests to sleep, there is one major downside to sleeper sofas: they are notoriously uncomfortable.

To be foldable, a sofa bed mattress must be thinner than those used on standard bed frames. Plus, the metal frames often squeak or creak, and there are gaps around the edges. However, you shouldn’t let this stop you from inviting guests to stay at your home. Instead, try some of the suggestions below to make your sofa bed more comfortable.

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1. Add a mattress topper.

If you’ve ever slept on a sofa bed, then you probably recall how thin the mattress is. For many sleepers, especially adults, this means that your body sinks too low and that the springs and bars of the frame jab into your back or side as you try to sleep. Adding a thick mattress topper, like this Linenspa memory foam mattress topper at Amazon, can help prevent your guests from experiencing this uncomfortable feeling. A mattress topper can also create an improved sleep surface on rollaway beds, Murphy beds, trundle beds, futons, and more.

If you’re shopping for a mattress topper, look for one that is sized appropriately for the existing mattress. If it is too large, your guests could end up sliding off the bed. If it is too narrow, they won’t have a flat surface on which to sleep. Just keep in mind that the bed likely won’t fold up with the mattress topper on, so you’ll need somewhere to store it.

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Wide Convertible Velvet Sleeper Sofa Bed with Reclining Backrest and 2 Throw Pillows
Photo: Wayfair.com

2. Put the couch cushions to work.

The gaps between a sofa bed mattress and the back or sides of the couch can present a problem. They make it more difficult to get comfortable and sit up in the bed, plus they leave an opening where your hand or arm can slip down and get scratched by the metal frame. Plus, if phones, socks, or other items drop down into the opening, they can be difficult to retrieve. Using the couch cushions—or other pillows—to fill in the gaps is a simple yet effective way to address these potential problems.

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3. Pull out extra pillows.

Whether you’re trying to make your guests feel more comfortable on your sleeper sofa, trundle bed, or roll-away mattress, don’t overlook the difference that a few extra pillows can make. Depending on their preferred sleep position, pressure points, and body aches, your guests can position the pillows to give them more support where they need it. Because each sleeper’s preferences are different, try to choose pillows with a variety of fill types (down, memory foam, latex, polyester, etc.) and firmness options, like these Bedsure hotel quality queen size pillows at Amazon.

Sleeper Sofa with comfortable Bedding
Photo: Wayfair.com

4. Choose comfortable bedding.

Choosing the right bedding is also important if you want to keep your guests as comfortable as possible on a sofa bed, futon, rollaway bed, or cot. Consider the season and how warm or cold the room with the sofa tends to be. If you keep your house warm, breathable materials such as cotton or bamboo viscose might be a good choice. For cooler spaces, consider a material that will help your guests stay warm and cozy, such as wool or flannel. If storage is a problem, opt for all-season bedding, like this Tekamon down alternative quilted duvet insert at Amazon. Simply change the duvet cover to suit the season.

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Sleeper Sofa Support for Sofa Bed
Photo: Amazon.com

5. Try a sofa bar shield.

To combat a thinner sofa bed mattress and prevent your guests from feeling the hard metal frame on their back or side as they sleep, consider trying a sofa bar shield. These products—like the Meliusly Sleep Sofa Support Board—provide a layer of support between the frame and the mattress. With the flat foundation, your guests can enjoy a more peaceful night’s sleep without their bodies being pressed up against hard metal.

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Young man hand using wrench and screwing screw in metal steel angle connector in corner of bed. Putting together parts of sofa. Assembling new textile furniture. Closeup.
Photo: istockphoto.com

6. Tighten and lubricate bolts.

The squeaks and creaks of a sofa bed just add insult to injury when trying to get comfortable and fall asleep. To save your guests from this added inconvenience, open up your sleeper sofa before you plan to set it up for guests. Tighten any loose bolts and lubricate them to keep them from squeaking or rusting. Another trick is to cut a piece of corkboard and push it between any joints that remain squeaky.

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7. Flip the mattress regularly, and replace it when necessary.

Periodically flipping a sofa bed mattress can help it wear more evenly and prevent sags. Aim to flip the mattresses at least two times every year, or even more regularly if it is several years old. Also, keep in mind that the mattress won’t last forever. If it gets used regularly, it might be necessary to purchase a new one. You can even invest in a higher quality option than the mattress that was included with the sofa, ensuring your guests get the best rest possible.