Here’s What to Do If Your Sofa Bed Feels Uncomfortable - 5 Tips


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Sofa beds are a great way to save space in your home, but they can be notoriously uncomfortable. From lumpy cushions to metal bars protruding onto the surface, there are a number of reasons why your sofa bed might not feel as comfortable as you’d like. But don’t despair – there are a few things you can do to make your time on the sleeper sofa more restful.

DISCLAIMER: Please remember that while there are ways to make your sofa bed feel more comfortable, it won’t compare to sleeping on a regular bed.

what is a sofa bed

Set your expectations before your begin

The type of your sleeper sofa will play a role in how comfortable you can make it. 

A rule of thumb is that pull-out sofa beds with a mattress housed in the frame offer a better sleeping experience than futon-style or click-clack sofa beds.

With a little effort, one can convert a pull-out sofa bed into a comfortable everyday bed. It will never be as good as a regular bed, but it can come close if you put effort into preparing it.

On the other hand, the click-clack sofa bed’s sleeping surface is usually firm (especially leatherette ones) and has a metal bar in the middle, which isn’t the most comfortable thing to sleep on. That said, no matter what type or style of your sofa bed is, you can make some adjustments to make it cosy and inviting.

Tip # 1: Buy a mattress topper

The simplest and most effective way to make any sofa bed comfy is to buy a mattress topper. Not only would a mattress topper add an extra layer of comfort, but you can also customise the level of firmness to your preference. Mattress topper comes in a range of sizes and firmness, so whether you want a softer or firmer feel, you can find one to suit your needs. Additionally, mattress toppers cover up any lumps or bumps on the sofa bed, making it feel smoother.

While it might not be the cheapest option, a mattress topper is a sound investment as it can be used on any mattress, not just sofa beds. Just bear in mind that most mattress toppers are about two inches to five thick and would need to be stored separately from the actual sofa bed. 

Options range from memory foam to latex, and prices range from as little as $100 to more than $400. If you’re in the market for a mattress topper, take a look at top-rated options.

Tip # 2: Make your sofa bed like a regular bed.

If you want your sofa bed to feel like a regular bed, it’s prudent to treat it like one. That means adding sheets, pillows, and a comforter or duvet. Making your sofa bed properly not only adds to the comfort but also gives the vibes of a “real” bed, making it more inviting to sleep in.

Getting appropriate bedding for a sofa bed can be tricky as the dimensions are usually smaller than a regular bed. Generally, flat sheets won’t stay put as there is no place to tuck them, so consider investing in a fitted sheet.

One of the most common problems with futon-style sofa beds is that sheets tend to slip off as the sleeping surface is made of smoother material. You can consider using a sheet suspender or a large elastic band to keep the sheet in place. Also, it’s a good idea to use breathable sheets made from cotton and linen to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.

Also, just like the mattress topper, it’s best to store the bedding separate from the sofa bed when it’s not in use. That way, it’s not only clean when your guests are coming over, but it’s also not preventing the sofa from being used for sitting.

Tip # 3: Use regular pillows

Pillows are essential to a good night’s sleep, whether you’re on a regular bed or a sofa bed. The accent or bolster pillows on your sofa might be comfortable for lounging, but they don’t offer the support you need when trying to sleep.

You need traditional pillows, and you might need more than one per person – one for the head and the other to hug or put between the knees. If there are gaps between the back of the sofa and your body, fill them with smaller pillows to create a more even sleeping surface.

Also, choosing appropriate pillows depending on your sleeping style (back, side or stomach) is important. Here is a quick guide on how to pick the right pillow for your needs.

Tip # 4: Get a sofa bed bar cushion

The way sofa beds are designed, there is often a bar in the middle that can dig into your back when trying to sleep. This is one of the most common complaints people have about sofa beds, especially click-clack types. One can also feel the frame on pull-out sofa beds with thinner mattresses.

Some solutions to feeling the bar include things we’ve already mentioned above, including getting a good mattress topper. But you can also invest in a bar cushion to make the metal bar feel less prominent while sleeping. There are few options on Amazon, or check out Sleephelper, which claims to be first of its kind sofa bed folding board. However, do note I haven’t personally tried these products and can’t attest to their comfort or effectiveness.

Alternatively, you can explore the DIY route and save some bucks. You can put a few thick towels on the bar but under the mattress. There’s also the option of using a thick blanket as a bar cover.

Sofa Bed Bar Cushion Demonstration

Tip # 5: Replace the sofa bed mattress

Sofa beds don’t usually come with the highest quality mattresses. Sometimes the mattress that comes with it is too thin or lumpy to be comfortable. If this is the case, you may want to consider replacing the mattress entirely. However, primarily Pull-out sofa beds come with the option to upgrade to the mattress. Also, sofa beds don’t fit a regular mattress and need a special size mattress, so keep that in mind when shopping for one.

Click-clack style sofa beds, unfortunately, don’t offer this option as they have a built-in mattress. However, if your sofa bed has a strong and sturdy frame, you can consider putting a single or twin-size regular mattress on top of it and use it as a normal bed. You would need to ensure the mattress doesn’t slip off, which can be done by using a ratchet strap or bungee cord to keep it in place.

In Summary

As you can see, there are a good number of ways to make your sofa bed a little more welcoming. All you need to do is put in a little effort to make your sofa bed and invest in a few essential supplies.

Do you have any tips on how to make a sofa bed more comfortable? Please share them with us in the comments below.

James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.


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