Wouldn’t it be great to wake up in the morning and have all the space you want in your home? You could have your own gym, media room, hobby room, closet with dressing space, or anything else you can imagine.
Cut to reality. Especially if you live in a city, your space is limited. No matter how much organizing and decluttering you do, you can’t make an extra room appear out of thin air. That means some rooms have to multi-task, for example, as both a bedroom and a living room.
One of the best ways to make your room pull double duty is to use a foldout sofa bed or wall bed. Which one is best for you, though? Here’s how to choose.
Pros and Cons Of a Foldout Sofa Bed
Foldout sofa beds have been a longtime favorite of people with out of town guests but no guest rooms. Before you buy one, consider these pros and cons.
Pro: Two in One
You may not want the bed to be on display 24/7, but what if you can’t afford to let that space sit empty? With a sofa bed, you don’t have to. When you aren’t using the bed, you get a full sofa of available seating.
This is particularly helpful if your living room is the room you’re adding a bed to. It allows you to keep using the space for its original purpose while having the option to sleep there. It also lets you switch between relaxing and sleeping without moving around other furniture.
Pro: Easy In, Easy Out
We won’t lie: sofa beds are heavier than standard sofas so they’re not as fun to move. Still, there’s no real installation involved. You bring it in, set it down, and you’re good to go.
This is helpful if you move often or if you’re someone who likes to rearrange your room every so often. It offers a level of versatility that a wall bed doesn’t.
Con: Hard to Judge Comfort
Whether your sofa bed will be your primary bed or a place for guests to crash, you don’t want to leave anyone with a sore back. Sofa beds have a reputation for being uncomfortable.
In truth, there are plenty of comfortable sofa beds available but you need to take the time to look for them. Before you buy one, ask the furniture store if you can lay on the bed portion. You always lay on a mattress before you buy it, so why not do the same with the mattress in your sofa?
Con: Can’t Choose Your Mattress
Mattresses have become more innovative over the past several years. Today you can choose from springs, memory foam, latex foam, adjustable air, or even complex polymers. That is, you can if you don’t have a sofa bed.
A sofa bed comes with a distinct mattress that fits its folding mechanism. Unless you leave the bed open at all times, you can’t use a mattress besides the factory one.
There is one way to change how your mattress feels: with a mattress pad. Today mattress pads come in a variety of materials and sizes. You can keep one folded up elsewhere and put it on your sofa bed when you unfold it.
Pros and Cons of a Wall Bed
You’ve probably heard of a wall bed with the name Murphy bed, which is a common brand of wall bed. Regardless of what brand it is, a wall bed is a platform bed that folds up into or against your wall.
If you’re thinking about getting a wall bed, take these pros and cons into consideration.
Pro: Mattress Customization
Depending on how you install your wall bed, it can fit any standard mattress. This means that you can take full advantage of today’s wide range of mattress options.
This is especially crucial if you tend to have back pain or stiffness. The freedom to experiment and find the best mattress for your specific needs is instrumental to your comfort.
Pro: More Open Space
When you aren’t using a sofa bed as a bed, there’s still a sofa in that space. If you prefer to have empty space as opposed to a couch when you aren’t using your bed, a wall bed will be the better option.
This is handy if your bed is in a room other than a living room. For instance, perhaps it’s in a hobby room where you use the open space to do craft projects. Maybe it’s in a room you use as a yoga studio.
Regardless, a wall bed will leave the most available space of any alternative bed option.
Con: Hard to Install
Unlike a sofa bed, you can’t bring in a wall bed, drop it, and walk away. It requires an extra installation process because you need to mount it to the wall with hinges.
This can be a negative in two ways. First, if you aren’t handy, it’s a good idea to hire someone to install the bed. That’s one more expense for your wallet.
Second, it makes moving more challenging. If you tend to move often, a wall bed might be more of a burden than you’ve bargained for.
Con: Can Be Harder for Certain Physical Limitations
Both a sofa bed and a wall bed require some physical effort to use. To open a wall bed, though, you typically need to reach up higher. If you’re someone who is in a wheelchair or has problems with your shoulders, that can be a no-go.
Of course, there are ways to customize your wall bed to make it usable with your limitations. It does add another expense you wouldn’t have with a sofa bed, though.
The Final Decision
At the end of the day, there’s no overall winner between a foldout sofa bed and a wall bed. It’s all a matter of personal preferences, what you’re looking for, and how you want to use your space. The pros and cons above can help you figure out which one suits you best.
Looking for more ways to make your small space work? Check out more articles on our home blog.