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Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan Reviews 5 Sleeper Sofas

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Rest Assured I

From sitting and sleeping to lolling and loitering, these new sleeper sofas are workaholics of relaxation—on either the day or the night shift.

sleeper sofa portrait

Say the words “sleeper sofa” in polite company and you’re likely to elicit a chorus of audible groans punctuated with a colorful expletive or two. Everyone, it seems, has had a similarly pained experience with the less-than-the-sum-of-its-parts piece of furniture. Beset by sinking mattresses, horizontal bars that dig into your back, and stale crumbs in every nook and cranny, the sleeper sofa has a universally negative reputation that may be well earned. Thankfully, that reputation is also outdated.

To review a new crop of sofa beds we recruited Apartment Therapy cofounder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, who believes that sleepers have been saddled with a set of misplaced expectations. “They’ve got a bad rap, and they should,” he says plainly. “But only because everyone compares them to beds. They’re not beds.” The double-duty divan’s space-saving multifunctionality and improved design, both aesthetic and empirical, has all but resolved its identity crisis.

We’re nothing if not optimists, and we believe you can enjoy a Gene Kelly double feature followed by a good night’s rest. Gillingham-Ryan agrees: “Sofa beds are incredibly useful whether you’ve got a small or large place, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get something that’s just ‘less evil’ than the uncomfortable sleeper you may remember.” Lie back and relax as we recover a pocketful of loose change and unravel the hidden secrets of the sleeper. is your online home in the modern world. Join us as we follow our team around the globe on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Want more? Never miss another word of Dwell with our free iTunes app.


thanks for your reviews
i've been looking for a replacement for my 390 euros CANAPE CLIC CLAC CORAIL
but what's out hmm is almost like what i have!
for a song
i wanted the gris colour but Pier Imports was out of stock so i'm still shopping

best regards, a fan

American Leather make truly comfortable sofa-beds: no bars across the small of your back because they are flat, not metal framed. They also don't chew the sheets in their hinges (no hinges).

I do think these are all good possibilities. One other that i particularly like (and yes, sell in my store - because i like it!) is the apt named SLEEPER by Bensen.

While similar in its clam-shell design to the Ligne Roset, what is innovative about it is that, unlike most clamshells, in the seated position the seat and back are angled - not flat - which makes for a much more comfortable sit. Of course, it flattens out when in the bed position. It's available in countless fabrics + colors + weighs in at least $1,000 less than the LR model. See it at

You didn't mention the DWR Twilight - but that would be more like What Not to Buy. Not comfortable, very clumsy. I made the mistake of ordering it without trying it.

Oh my gosh! We have the Twilight from DWR and we LOVE it! Uber-comfortable as both a couch and a bed and the sleek lines are lovely. We've also had to move it 3 times, and the fact that it can be taken apart is a huge benefit. The only downside in my otherwise favorable opinion is that it is low to the ground when folded out as a bed - not so great if you've got guests with weak or bad backs or knees.

We have the twilight from DWR and it's a bit clumsy to pull out but it is comfy to sleep on and to lounge on. We also have a fold-down sleeper from Bo Concept. They no longer carry the exact style but that also works well and is higher off the floor.

I heartily agree with Tricia Rose. American Leather makes a beautiful piece of furniture that is a real sofa, and I especially like the platform style foundation for the foam mattress. I can sleep on this year round. Last I checked though they only made leather furniture which I do not like. When I hear they make a fiber upholstered product, I'll splurge They are not cheap, but I love them.