I have to admit it’s fun being a futon and sofa bed reviewer. I get paid to sit, lie down and put my feet up. Okay, it’s not just that. I have to then put pen to paper (or should I say fingers to keyboard).
Below is my detailed write up on IKEA futons and sofa beds. I tested each one out and then set out what I like, dislike and overall impression.
I spent hours in a local IKEA sitting in and lying down on every futon and sofa bed in the place. Here are my impressions.
- Size: 55.875″w x 39.375″d x 34.25″h
- Color / Upholstery / Hardware: 5 fabric cover options
- Additional Notes: Folds into a full-size bed
- Removable covers are easily washable
- Variety of bright colors available, and can easily be switched out to change the look of your room
- Solid metal frame
- Very firm as a couch, and not too sure about how the bed would be
- Looks very cheap
Overall Impression: I’m pretty sure you can’t get more basic than this for a futon. It’s a folded up futon with a flimsy dust cover thrown over it. I didn’t like how the cover looked like a quilt from my grandmother’s house, despite the bright colors. It also felt very much like a cold bench when I sat on it as a sofa. While I didn’t try out the mattress itself, I’m not too confident it’d be comfortable either just based on what it’s like as a couch. But, the metal frame does look sturdy. All in all, I’d suggest this as a good option for anyone looking for a cheap futon to throw in their home as extra seating. Not something I’d purchase as a late 30’s professional, but would probably fit in well in a kid’s room or a dorm room.
- Size: 88.625″w x 41.375″d x 32.625″h
- Color / Upholstery / Hardware: 4 fabric options and 1 leather option
- Additional Notes: Also available as a 3-seat sectional with storage
- Doesn’t look like a sleeper sofa or futon
- Super easy to convert to a bed
- Not very sturdy, arms were a bit shaky
Overall Impression: If you’re looking for a sleeper sofa or futon that doesn’t look clunky or like it belongs in a fraternity house, this is a great option. I had no idea it was a sleeper until my partner easily pulled out the bottom. It glides right out like a trundle bed but then pops up to become even with the seating on the couch. If you have a sectional, this turns your couch into a large bed! I like how there’s no removable mattress hidden underneath, and that it’s just another couch cushion that fits nicely together to form the bed. It reminded me of a convertible couch in an RV that transforms into a bed pretty seamlessly. Plus, it’s much more comfortable than it looks! If we were looking for a sofa bed, this would top our list!
- Size: 83.5″w x 58.625″d x 27.125″h
- Color / Upholstery / Hardware: 4 fabric cover options
- Additional Notes: Also available as a regular sofa
- Solid metal frame for durability
- Removable cover for easy cleaning and switching out to change your room
- Ottoman attaches to left or right side to extend seating area, or detach completely
- Ottoman contains storage
- Not comfortable at all.
- Very solid construction, you don’t sink into it
- Kind of cheap looking
Overall Impression: This model is like the more affordable cousin of Friheten. It operates the same way, with a pull-out trundle type of mattress from the bottom to create a large bed. But I’m not a fan of the “cover over metal construction” that IKEA has going on here. This couch is framed out in super-sturdy metal, which makes me think that it would last. However, with the cover thrown over it, it looks very cheap. I don’t know if it was just the model they had at the store, but I wasn’t thrilled when I looked at it. When I sat on it, there was literally no give at all, which makes me think that I would not be sleeping on this overnight, let alone taking a nap. But I do think this might be a good option for a family room because it would stand-up to rambunctious kids, and I can remove the cover to wash it in case of an accident. Plus, if your kids have sleepovers, this would be a good sleeper sofa for them to gather on and watch movies. As a childless adult, I’ll pass, though.
- Size: 83.5″w x 58.625″d x 27.125″h
- Color / Upholstery / Hardware: Choose from foam or spring mattress and four different cover options
- Additional Notes: Add NYHAMN triple cushion for additional support
- Easily converts into a bed with a simple click-clack mechanism
- The cover is machine washable, and you don’t need to remove it before folding it out
- Two different mattress options, so you can choose one that’s comfortable for you
- Folds out into a queen-sized bed
- The seat is pretty deep as a couch, and you’d have to sit at an angle to get any back support
- The foam mattress was quite hard and not very comfortable
Overall Impression: When you get an image of ‘futon’ in your head, this is the style that you probably picture. It’s a very traditional look, with a metal frame that uses a click-clack mechanism to convert from couch to bed. I like that you can choose the mattress that goes with it, and that the cover stays on the mattress, whether you’re using it as a couch or a bed. But, also just like your typical futon, I noted that the mattress kept sliding down when in the couch position. That can get annoying, so I’d suggest getting one of those rubber mats to put under the seat part. All in all, it’s a pretty solid looking futon and will get the job done.
- Size: 67″w x 33″d x 32″h
- Color / Upholstery / Hardware: 2 upholstery options to choose from
- Additional Notes: Folds out to queen-sized bed
- Easily adjustable to sit up, recline, or laydown
- The cover is not removable, and there is no separate mattress
- Extremely firm
Overall Impression: I’d like to think of this sleeper as a step-up from the traditional one with a frame and separate mattress. The Balkarp features a single construction piece, where the cushions aren’t removable, but you can easily adjust the angle of the back support to recline or lay down. It was effortless to convert, and while I liked the idea that I wouldn’t need to worry about the mattress slipping off the frame, I hated sitting on this. It was like sitting on a stone bench. I like a little give in my couch because I like to cozy-up for an afternoon nap. Not so much with this one. It might be a good choice for a guest room or office, where you don’t want to encourage people to stay too long, though!
Futon/Sofa Bed Winner:
My favorite is the Friheten! It’s the sectional with the pullout – it was REALLY easy to pull out and actually super comfortable, despite not having a separate mattress! And I really liked how it didn’t scream sleeper sofa, and definitely wasn’t a futon. It was like a really good couch on its own, with a bonus of a comfortable, huge bed for guests to sleep on.
While bombing around on his bike, Nathan dreams up cool interior design article ideas for Homestratosphere.com. He loves penning the perfect introduction or clever description of a particular design. When not writing about design, he cycles, reads crime novels, barbecues (ribs are his specialty), entertains friends and hangs out with his beautiful wife and amazing kids.