If you want to know how to buy a good sofa bed, there are 5 important things to consider. Raft's 5 step guide has been put together with both form and function in mind. Your perfect sofa bed should not only be comfortable and practical but also beautiful and stylish. With Raft, gone are the days of sleeping on a wafer-thin sofa bed mattress at your grandparents’ home. Sofa beds have come a long way in terms of style and comfort.

If you have a hosting home but space is at a premium, a sofa bed is a non-negotiable. The best bit? Raft sofa beds are such high quality and so beautiful that they're indistinguishable from your favourite sofa. If you are lucky enough to have a guest room where you can keep your sofa bed, it may become one of your favourite rooms in the house. So, if you're looking for a sofa bed as a staple piece in your living room, a Raft model is one you won't regret.

How to buy a good sofa bed

Whatever your budget, our five-point checklist will help you make the right choice:

  1. Where will you put it?
  2. How will you use your sofa bed?
  3. When will you use your sofa bed?
  4. Who will use your sofa bed?
  5. What’s the best material for a sofa bed?

1. Where will you put it?

This is all about size and shape. Is your sofa bed destined for a spare room or a room already used for something else? Will it go in the home office or perhaps the main living room? Is your sofa bed for a small space or a large open-plan area?  Make sure that you know the dimensions of the room where your sofa bed – open as well as closed - will be located.

When you start shopping, in person or online, check all dimensions, from rake to the mattress. Remember that the size of the sofa does not necessarily equate to the size of the mattress. Appearances can be deceptive; a generous-looking sofa may not mean that the mattress is as large as you might assume.

With such a wide range of sofa bed styles now available, you won’t be restricted to a standard two or three-seater sofa. If you are looking for an L-shaped sofa bed for a large open-plan sitting room or to fit a corner space, Raft’s Warwick, Lincoln, Manhattan, Marlowe, and Melrose styles, all offer this option. Or for luxurious reclining, the Manhattan is also available as a Manhattan Sofa Bed with Chaise.

All Raft sofa beds are made to order. It's up to you to decide on the size, from two seater to jumbo, and shape that works best for you. If you need some help deciding, hop on the live chat with a member of our team, give us a call or come visit us in store!

2. When will you use your sofa bed?

Many people ask - can a sofa bed be used everyday? The long and short of it is: A Raft sofa bed can be used everyday. We encourage our customers to look around and compare the quality and craftsmanship of our handmade sofas, beds and sofa beds with others on the market. Daily or occasional use – this is key. If your sofa bed has to act as a main bed, in a studio apartment, for example, where it will be used frequently or every night, or if you have a busy home and social life, with a constant flow of overnight guests, go for maximum mattress quality and size - for comfort and to guarantee a good night’s sleep.  Double-fold sofa beds are likely to have deeper mattresses than triple-fold.

All Raft sofa bed are double-fold construction, which provide a larger sleeping area, and the Lincoln and Manhattan styles offer a choice of memory foam or orthopaedic mattresses.

When it comes to sitting or relaxing, it goes without saying that your sofa bed should be comfortable but, if it’s going to be in regular or daily use, make that it is strong and robust too. Always check the cushion fillings; Raft sofa bed cushions are made of feather and down over foam, for extra comfort and durability.

3. Who will use your sofa bed - and how?

Knowing how to buy a good sofa bed is much like the sofa buying process. It's important to consider how you use your space in order to make your furniture choices personal and practical.

There’s a world of difference between a sofa bed used as an occasional bed by a solo adult and a sofa bed that functions mainly as a sofa and is used daily by a family with children – and possibly pets. Both have totally different needs in terms of size and upholstery. If you have a bustling home full of little ones and/or pets, it's all about choosing a stain resistant fabric to upholster your sofa bed.

4. What’s the best material for a sofa bed?

The best material for a sofa bed depends on your needs.

Whatever the size and shape of your sofa bed, look for an upholstery fabric that is durable, comfortable to the touch, and easy to clean.

We are advocates of neutrals for staple pieces of furniture. They’re more versatile and will see you through years of evolving trends in interior design. You can always ring the changes with colourful and patterned throws and extra cushions. We’ve included some suggestions at the end of this post.

Raft sofa bed and cushion fabrics come in six different types and in a range of textures and colours. House Weave, for example, is simple and durable, with a textured finish that makes it ideal for family and frequent use, while velvet has a luxurious soft pile that catches the light – perfect for relaxing.

5. How to style your sofa bed

Once you’ve chosen your sofa bed, it’s time to think about the way you can style it to make the most out of its versatility. A warm and inviting throw in a contrasting or complementary colour or pattern always adds something and can double as a blanket or bed cover at night. Ring the changes with more cushions, again in contrasting or complementary colours and textures. If you have wooden or tiled floors and no underfloor heating, simple rugs take the chill off getting out of bed.

And don’t forget bed linen and duvets; choose good quality, natural fabrics such as organic cotton or wool – don’t be tempted to stint on quality. The right bedding will look good and last longer. The compliments you'll receive from guests will be well worth it!

Raft's double-fold sofa beds are available in a range of styles, sizes, shapes, fabrics and mattress types. Handmade in London in our workshop, from solid hardwood or metal frames and slatted wooden bed bases, they are beautifully designed, strong and comfortable.  Browse the full range of sofa beds here.