Are you planning on buying a new convertible sofa to host Airbnb & co guests, but you don’t know how to choose one that will guarantee comfort? Should you go for a futon or a sofa bed? How thick and dense should the mattress be? What kind of unfolding mechanism is best? Here’s a guide with the 5 things to keep in mind before you make your purchase.

Living room with an orange sofa© Ikea


1. The Model

There are two types of convertible sofas: futons and sofa beds. A sofa bed contains a sleeping system independent from the actual couch. So it looks like a real sofa with a back and armrests. A futon is a mattress folded in half and fitted with a cover. It has the advantage of being very easy to unfold.


2. The dimensions

Make sure to measure the area where you’re planning on putting the convertible sofa before heading to the store. Take note of the width but most importantly the length once unfolded. To get an idea of how much space it will take up in your interior, you can cut out a cardboard template using the dimensions of the model you plan on buying. Place it on the ground to get an idea of what it will look like once it’s unfolded and how much space there will be around it.


3. The comfort

One of the key elements to keep in mind when choosing a convertible sofa is the thickness of the mattress and for that it’s important to determine how often it will be used. So, if you host very few guests, you can opt for a sleeping space with a 2.5-inch thick mattress. For a convertible sofa that will get regular use, you should favor a 4 to 4.5 inch thick mattress and for one that will be used daily, go for a 5.5 to 7-inch thick mattress with a minimum density of 4 pounds per meter, the comfort level should be equal to that of a regular mattress.


4. The Unfolding Mechanism

If you plan on using your sofa bed often, the unfolding mechanism is going to be key. For daily use, opt for a Lampolet mechanism that unfolds in one quick movement and doesn’t require removing the seats or back cushions since they’re part of the mechanism itself. For those that will be used occasionally, the unfolding mechanism requires you to remove the cushions and pull out the mattress from underneath the seat.

Convertible sofa with Lampolet mechanismLa Maison du convertible


5. The Storage

Some models have the benefit of containing storage space under the armrests or seats. Consider this space-saving feature to store pillows and bedding, depending on how much room you have in your place.


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