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 Thankfully, that reputation is also outdated.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.
Jordan Kushins is happiest when crafting but also enjoys drinking tea, swimming in outdoor pools, and Singin' in the Rain, and once baked a very large cake that was shaped like a hamburger.