Types of Convertible Sofa Beds

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Types of Convertible Sofa Beds
Sofa beds save space and provide an extra sleep solution for guests. (Carol Whaley Addassi/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sofa beds are a space-saving piece of furniture that can be used in living rooms, bedrooms or basements and provide not only seating, but sleeping areas should you have extra guests or limited space. Sofa beds come in a wide variety of styles, patterns and types, and when choosing one, you have several options depending on your needs and price range.

Flip Over

Flip-over sofas, also called flop outs, don't have a separate mattress. They are one unit that flips out onto the floor. The foam that is the seat and back of the couch becomes your sleep surface. Some types of flip-over sofas lie flat out, so the entire unit (including the back) is the sleep surface. Flip-over sofas are typically used for kids, as it can be difficult for older people with trouble getting around to get up off the floor after sleeping, and the more you weigh, the less comfortable these sofa beds are.

Fold Out

Fold-out sofa beds look like a regular sofa and are often sold with furniture suites, including love seats and chairs. The beds are hidden away inside the sofa frame so that when you need the bed, you remove the cushions to reveal a handle that, when pulled, opens up the bed frame. Fold-out sofas have a separate mattress that folds in and out with the bed frame. Fold-out sofas sit about the same height as a regular bed.

Drop End

Drop-end sofas are suited for small areas like apartments. The arms (or the ends) fold down to create a chaise longue, and you can also manipulate the arms, moving them to create either a single or double bed. Drop-end sofa beds usually have levers that you use to convert from sofa to bed and back again.


A-frame sofa beds use the back and the seat as the sleeping surface. There is usually a mechanism that allows you to fold the back down so it lies flat and level with the seat. Some types of A-frame sofa beds also have storage beneath so you can put away bedding when you're not using it, but have it close by if you do need it.


A daybed, or a single sofa bed, is really a single bed with a regular single mattress. The difference is that it has a fitted cover that is placed over it to make it look like a sofa, chaise longue or love seat. The seat is actually the mattress. These beds are typically suited for children's rooms or guest rooms and often have a storage option underneath such as drawers or a lift-up base so you can store bedding when it's not in use. Sometimes daybeds also have a second bed stored underneath (trundle bed) instead of storage, which roles out exposing the base and mattress.


Futons usually have a metal or wooden base with a thick cotton bed roll serving as the mattress. These beds are typically quite hard or firm. They fold easily into a couch position, and like an A-frame couch, the back and seat are folded flat for use as a bed. Futons come in a few different varieties with different options.

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