Sleeper Sofa versus Futon — What’s the difference, and which is better?

If you like to host guests who come over to your house from out of town, you may find it convenient to have a sleeper sofa or futon so they have the option of spending the night. A sleeper sofa or futon is especially convenient when you want to host too many guests to fit into your regular guest bedroom. But is it better to buy a sleeper sofa or a futon? Let’s compare your options.

What is a sleeper sofa?

If you had a sleeper sofa in your home growing up as a kid, you may remember a couch with cushions that sank down too low and a pull out bed with a super thin mattress. Traditionally, sleeper sofas seemed to include the pull out bed almost as an afterthought, and comfort was definitely not a priority. Overnight guests would feel a thick metal bar underneath their back and wake up with aching muscles the next morning.

Nowadays, sleeper sofas have drastically improved. You still remove the seat cushions to pull out a bed frame… However, in place of that awful horizontal metal bar underneath the mattress, you can usually find something called a mattress “deck” or “trampoline” which provides engineered support without any uncomfortable bars. Also, according to Wise Pick’s most recent comparisons of the best sofa bed mattress replacements, sofa bed mattresses are generally 4.5 inches thick to provide better support for the sleeper’s muscles and spine.

At Sofa Creations, we take extra pride in our custom made sleeper sofas because our founder Derek grew up in the furniture design business. All of our sleeper sofas use a pine wood frame and a sinuous spring and webbing design at the base of the frame to support the mattress. Additionally, our mattresses are 6 inches thick—an inch and a half thicker than the industry standard.

How is a futon different from a sleeper sofa?

Sleeper sofas are great for people who only need to pull out the bed portion from the couch on an occasional basis. However, if you plan to host guests regularly, you may get tired of pulling out the seat cushions and heaving the bed out from inside the sofa. The benefit of a futon is that the back of the seat simply lowers down to the same level as the base to convert into a sleeping space. Also, futons are generally less expensive than sleeper sofas because of the simpler construction.

The downside to futons is that you can usually tell right away when you’re looking at a futon. They tend to look and feel “cheaper” than sleeper sofas, with mattresses made of low quality foam. A common complaint about futons is that you can generally feel the wooden frame underneath you if you sit or lay on the foam cushions for more than a few minutes.

What is a “sleeper sofa convertible?”

If you’ve browsed our selection of sleeper sofas, you may have noticed some are labeled as sleeper sofa convertibles. We realized many of our customers appreciate the convenience of futons because they are able to be converted into beds so easily, and we wanted to create an option which offers that convenience without sacrificing the comfort and style of a sleeper sofa.

With our sleeper sofa convertibles, you can remove the back cushions, pull the seat forward, and fold the back of the sofa down to quickly convert the sofa into a bed. The mattress uses the same wood frame with sinuous spring and webbing base as our regular sleeper sofas, and we don’t fill our mattresses with cheap foam. Best of all, our sleeper sofa convertibles look just like a regular sofa when they are in the seating position.

How can I order a custom sleeper sofa or sleeper sofa convertible?

Just like our regular sofas and sectionals, we offer countless custom options for our sleeper sofas and sleeper sofa convertibles. You can customize the dimensions, fabric, style, and pattern of your new sleeper sofa to perfectly complement your interior design scheme.

Start by browsing our most popular sleeper sofa styles online, or contact us to learn more.