Sofa beds have the unwelcome reputation of being the worst of both worlds…uncomfortable in both sofa and bed mode!
But lately, modern eco-friendly furniture brands have been working to change all that.
Modern living requires us to be more creative and flexible with our space, and in my eco-friendly air mattress article, I concluded that air mattresses make a great temporary bed for guests.
But, could a sofa bed be a more stylish and more permanent solution to the problem of sleep space for unexpected guests?
I tested some of the best eco-friendly sofa beds available in the U.S. to find out.
They Say: Eco Sofa - Natural Couch Latex Upholstered Sofa Sleeper - No Petro Chemicals - No Fire Retardants - Stain Resistant. Our latex-based best modern sofa bed is designed with your comfort and health in mind. Featuring micro pocket coils, natural coconut coir, natural Dunlop latex, and PLA fiber. Add it all up and it's the perfect solution for a healthy and happy surface for both sitting and sleeping. Perfect for small space living.
We Say: When I found this cozy eco marvel, I got waaaaaaaaay too excited. The excitement was totally justified, though. I’m not just a sad old eco-warrior…honest! 😁
This sofa bed is actually the best of three worlds:
This handmade sofa bed is not cheap (sustainable products cost more in general), but it’s worth every cent.
You’re paying for some seriously high-quality eco-friendly components, including:
I love that no petrochemicals are used to make this sofa bed, yet it’s still flame retardant, waterproof, and stain-resistant.
The thickness of the latex core is perfect for me. It’s comfortable and supportive in both sofa and bed mode. However, if you prefer a more pillowy sleep surface, you might want to use a mattress topper.
They Say: If you want to "dress to impress," then you need a Tuxedo. The same is true for your home. The Tuxedo 2pc Sleeper Sectional Sofa is a refined, elegant, luxurious piece that also features a Queen Size sofa bed for a dash of secret agent coolness. The high-end, contemporary design of the Tuxedo gives it a sharp, eye-catching figure that's as comfortable as it is attractive.
We Say: I slept on this sofa bed for three nights when visiting a colleague in Seatle not so long ago. Two things immediately jumped out at me:
This beast of a sofa bed is made in the U.S. using eco-friendly materials and construction techniques and delivered free to your door within 6-8 weeks.
This is not a ticket price to take lightly, but Apt2B offers a hassle-free 100-day return policy on all orders so you can try it out in your home. However, there is a restocking fee that could be costly.
Not that you'll likely be returning it. If you're in the market for a sectional sofa that will last you a lifetime and sleep multiple guests easily, then this is a winner all day…every day!
They Say: This modern sofa can provide ample seating when guests are over. Perfect for a small space and easy to lay down on for a nap. Mechanism to ensure conversion between seating/sleeping positions. Two angles for adjusting. The cushions you sit on are nice and firm. You'll never have to worry about sinking in. Perfect for a small apartment, upstairs loft, and more.
We Say: The sofa bed options on Etsy were surprisingly limited when researching/testing for this article.
That's not to say there was nothing to whet my appetite. Etsy always delivers at least one or two products that meet my needs.
This small sofa bed is the perfect solution for both those on a budget and/or those with limited space.
The mechanism for changing between sitting and sleeping is simple but effective. The foam cushions are firm and supportive.
I love the soft-touch fabric and the diamond pattern.
As with the overall winner, I would describe the sleeping surface as firm. Perfect for me. Maybe consider a mattress topper if you like something a little softer.
This small but perfectly formed sofa bed will be shipped for free in the U.S., and Etsy will offset the carbon emissions from the delivery and packaging.
They Say: Multifunctional sofa bed. Can be used as a sofa, lounge chair, or single bed. Very useful and practical. Simple design decor fits the living room, bedroom, dorm, or office. Assembly is simple and quick. Its design allows the backrest to recline back, which is great for lounging and sleeping.
We Say: This minimalist option is also another excellent budget option as well.
Visually, these couches look far more expensive than they are. I love the contrast of the grey linen fabric against the metal of the legs and frame.
However, this is the least comfortable option I’ve tested. I would not recommend it for sustained or regular use, or for particularly fussy guests. But I'm confident it would be fine for occasional use, for one or two nights at a time.
U.S. shipping is free, and Etsy will offset the carbon emissions from the delivery and packaging.
They Say: Add some chic to your dining space! HOMCOM Multifunctional convertible sofa bed can be used as a tea table, corner stool, footstool, or single bed. With a little pocket on each side, you can put some books, magazines or newspapers in it. Basking in the sun, lying down, reading a book, enjoy your lovely noontime.
We Say: This is marketed as a sofa bed, but it's most definitely not a sofa (unless you’re Frodo Baggins…and even then, there are no arms or back!).
It’s actually a compact and stylish ottoman that converts into a single bed.
The bed can hold up to 264lbs and is pretty comfortable to sleep on. I wouldn’t want to use this as my permanent bed, but it's more than acceptable for a single guest for a few nights.
I love the look and feel of the linen (a sustainable fabric) used to cover the soft sponge padding.
The two side pockets are also a great addition. Perfect for storing books, magazines…or snacks!
If you’re in the Northeast or San Francisco Bay Area, then check out AptDeco for an extensive range of pre-loved furniture options, including sofa beds.
A key pillar of sustainability is reducing waste. Buying second-hand furniture ticks that box perfectly.
As mentioned in my eco-friendly furniture article, chemicals used to manufacture sofa beds can leak VOCs into your home.
To reduce heavy metals and indoor air pollution, look for sofa beds made from natural and sustainable materials.
Recognizable and respected certifications will help give you peace of mind that you’re not bringing loads of chemicals into your house.
They also let you know that the planet has not suffered unnecessarily during the production of your couch bed.
Some of the couch bed specific ones to look out for include:
To ensure that your couch bed is as sustainable as possible, you need to look beyond the materials it was made with.
You should also consider the company behind it and the production process used.
Certifications that help give you peace of mind that your couch bed is as ethical as possible include:
Joybird is not a brand I chose to test. However, looking at their website, they do appear to use natural materials and have some excellent environmentally friendly ethics. In particular, they’re helping keep the planet lined with tress by supporting the following projects:
Metal, in general, is one of the safest materials for furniture. It can be easily cleaned to strip away any impurities. It’s also reusable and recyclable and doesn't off-gas into your home.
Yes, solid wood from responsibly managed forests is sustainable. Responsibly sourced wood is usually FSC certified.
Gone are the days of hard lumpy couch beds that are rubbish as a couch and even worse as a bed.
It’s now possible to get a couch bed that's kind to your guest's backs and the environment.
Natural materials (and even recycled water bottles) are making their way into more and more couch beds.
If you’re planning on using your couch bed all the time, then I’d recommend spending as much as your budget will allow, to ensure you get the very best quality.
However, if it's only going to be used occasionally, I’d recommend buying secondhand…or even opting for an air mattress instead.
For more on couches, sofas, fabrics, and all things sustainable furniture-related, check out my Eco-Friendly Furniture article.
Where do you buy your eco-friendly couch beds? Have I missed your favorite? Or do you use something else when guests come a-knocking? Drop me a line and let me know.