The way that futons and sofa beds are made, they just aren’t as comfortable or as supportive as a regular bed with a mattress.
We all know one couldn’t fold up even the cheapest bed mattress if you tried and therein lies the difference. A futon/sleeper mattress has to be thin enough to be easily folded back. Futons and sofa beds sacrifice comfort so they can be multi-functional.
The good news is there are ways you can make enhance your sofa bed and make your futon as comfortable the bed in your master bedroom.
I just bought a small sleeper couch — one that converts easily into a full-sized bed. A rather stiff and uncomfortable bed at that, but that was to be expected.
I knew that the make-shift bed would suit friends that were crashing or visiting for a day or two, but I knew that it wouldn’t be comfortable for longer stays. Especially if my mom and grandma came to visit me.
So I started doing some research how I could augment the bed so that it was just as comfortable as a mattress.
Pillows, sheets and a down comforter were no-brainers, but even with the most comfortable pillows, warmest down comforter, and sheets with the highest-thread counts can’t make up for a stiff bed.
Some suggested placing an air mattress on top of the bed — kind of like a mattress pad. That was out of the question: not only do I find air mattresses uncomfortable, but they require too much work before and after.
Even so, adding something on top of the sleeper was a sound idea. I obviously couldn’t just place a regular mattress, so I went looking for comfortable padding that didn’t require too much effort and was easy to store it away when I wasn’t using it.
Just Add Padding: Memory Foam and Mattress Pad
After comparing several different mattress pads and bed toppers, I ultimately invested two hundred bucks on a memory foam mattress pad from Memory Foam Solutions ($115) and an extra plush fitted mattress topper ($100) by Exceptional Sheets.
I placed the memory foam mattress on top of the sofa bed and secured it with the mattress topper.
The combination of both the memory foam and mattress pad completely transformed the sofa bed; as soon as I laid down into the bed, I sunk into the 3-inch deep memory foam all the while being hugged by the pockets of down alternative from the mattress topper.
I was pleasantly surprised. I expected the pads to soften up the bed, but I didn’t expect it to be such a dramatic improvement. What was once a stiff, hard bed in my living room now felt like an expensive bed in a nicer hotel (albeit with IKEA sheets).
The guest bed was so comfortable that I immediately bought the same memory foam topper and mattress pad for my regular bed.
If you just can’t find a comfortable futon to sleep on, the solution might not be to keep looking, but to make the futon more comfortable yourself.