When searching for the best sleeper option to complement your spare bedroom design, explore the difference between a sleeper sofa vs futon!
In the U.S., there are at least 33.6 million spare bedrooms. Many people convert spare bedrooms into guest rooms so family and friends have a place to stay when they visit.
The bed is the main part of a guest room, but if you want the room to double as an office you don’t want a full-sized bed to fill up the room. Sleeper sofas or futons are a good alternative.
While sleeper sofas and futons are both pieces of convertible furniture, they couldn’t be more different.
To learn the difference between a sleeper sofa vs. futon, read on. You’ll be able to decide which piece is right for your spare room.
Sleeper Sofa vs. Futon: What’s the Difference?
A sleeper sofa is a sofa that converts into a bed. To turn the sofa into a bed, you’ll fold it flat, rearrange the sections, or pull out a mattress frame. Modern sleeper sofas come in a lot more configurations than just the pull out sofa beds you might’ve seen before.
For sofa sleepers, multiple moving parts of the sofa often convert into mattress. The back cushions might fold down, the arm rests might fold down. You might even need to move the placement of a foot rest to form part of the bed.
A futon, on the other hand, is much simpler. Futons typically feature a solid, yet flexible, mattress that folds in the middle. The futon frame can take the shape of a sofa or fold flat to turn into a bed.
The Price Point
Thanks to their simple construction, futons are often cheaper than sleeper sofas. You can find a futon for as little as a few hundred dollars.
Since sleeper sofas are more closely related to traditional sofas, they also cost more. Pull out sofa sleepers are often the most expensive because they’re built just like a sofa, but they have a bed frame inside. Modern sleeper sofas are often more affordable than pull out sofa sleepers because they slide or fold into a bed and have a simpler construction.
The Comfort Level
Sleeper sofas are more comfortable to sit on, but futons are often more comfortable for sleeping. That said, the comfort level depends on the quality of the cushions or futon mattress, your guests’ preferences, and the type of sleeper sofa you choose.
Pull out sofa mattresses are usually very thin because they have to fold up and fit inside the sofa. While you can upgrade to a memory foam mattress, they’re not as comfortable as a traditional bed mattress. Modern sleeper sofas often have firm cushions and durable upholstery, which makes them more comfortable for those who prefer firm mattresses.
Futon mattresses come in a range of density, from firm to soft. Plus, their dimensions are more similar to traditional bed mattresses. You can also replace the mattress when it wears out, which you can’t do if you have a modern sleeper sofa.
When it comes to the aesthetics or the overall style, a sleeper sofa looks the most like a normal piece of furniture. No one would guess that it could convert into a bed. If you want to use your spare bedroom for something else, like a reading nook, an office, or a TV room, a sleeper sofa is a better choice.
Plus, sleeper sofas come in a lot of different styles from modern to traditional. You can find sleeper sofa sectionals, trundle sofas, and contemporary sofa sleepers like the ones here.
A futon looks less like a traditional sofa or loveseat. They come in a range of styles, but they still have that signature look of a futon. If you choose a futon, you’ll have more limited design choices.
The Choices for Upholstery
You can easily change the pattern or color of your futon, but you can’t do that with a sleeper sofa. With a futon, you have a lot more flexibility as your design preferences change.
Futon mattresses come with zip covers that you can replace. If you want to redecorate your spare room, you don’t have to buy a new piece of furniture. You can order a zip cover in a different color, texture, or pattern.
With a sleeper sofa, you’ll often get higher-quality upholstery, but it’s permanent. That means it’s much more difficult to change the color or style. You could pay to have your sofa sleeper reupholstered, but it’s a very expensive service.
The actual size of the furniture piece you choose can vary, but futons are typically smaller than sofa sleepers. Plus, they have a much smaller footprint when they’re converted into beds.
Many times, futons have narrow arms or they don’t have arms at all. If you’re looking for small spare room ideas, a futon is a great furniture choice. It will take up less space and you’ll still have a comfortable place to sit or sleep.
Sleeper sofas have a much larger footprint than a futon. When you want to convert it into a bed, you’ll need plenty of space to unfold the mattress. You’ll also need to allow enough space around the perimeter of the mattress so your guests can easily get out of bed.
The Setup Experience
If you’re looking for an easy setup, a futon is easy to convert into a bed. All you have to do is push the frame to slide the mattress flat. If you have a small spare bedroom and push the futon close to the wall to save space, just remember to pull the frame away from the wall to convert the bed.
Depending on what type of sleeper sofa you choose, the setup may take more steps than it would to convert a futon. You may have to remove cushions, pull out the bed frame, or slide out a trundle.
If you ever need to move your furniture to paint or move out, sleeper sofas are famously heavier than futons. But, if you’re planning to stay put for a long time, the weight won’t be an issue.
Upgrade Your Spare Bedroom Today
Once you know the differences between a sleeper sofa vs. futon, you can make a more informed purchase.
Think about style you want your guest room to have and how often you’ll have guests visiting. Once you think about those things, you can choose a comfortable sleeper sofa or futon that works for you.
To learn more about home improvement projects and ideas for transforming your home, keep scrolling our blog.