How to Choose a Mattress Topper For A Sofa Bed
Mattress toppers serve many useful purposes. They are designed to enhance the level of firmness and comfort of a regular mattress so that it feels like new. They can be used on top of a bed, a futon, or a sofa bed. A sofa bed serves as both a seating and a sleeping surface. It accommodates guests and is a great investment for limited spaces like small apartments, studios, and offices. So you might be wondering, how do you choose a mattress topper for a sofa bed which is designed to be versatile?
To choose a mattress topper for a sofa bed, first determine the current comfort level of the sofa bed and what needs improving. Then determine the size of the sofa bed. Choose a mattress topper that adjusts the softness or firmness of the sofa bed while remaining within a budget.
Sofa beds are versatile pieces of furniture however they have their pros and cons. Sofa beds tend to have very thin cushioning, usually half the thickness of a regular mattress, which can cause the springs to protrude through the mattress over time. Furthermore, the frame of a sofa bed is usually made of metal. The metallic edges of the bed are rigid and may cause discomfort during sleep. To solve those issues, choose a thicker full-length mattress and lay a mattress topper on top of your sofa bed. You also want to make sure you're not to putting too much weight on the frame of your sofa bed. Take a look at what's the weight of a mattress topper for more information.
We’ll provide specific examples and techniques to choose the right mattress topper for your sofa bed in this article.
Read our memory foam mattress shopping guide to become more familiar with mattress sizes and types to suit a specific budget. For more information about the multifunctional properties of a sofa bed, read this article titled New Concept Of Furniture Design By Using Space Saving Approach.
What is a Mattress Topper and What are its Benefits?
A mattress topper is an additional cushioning layer that rests on top of a mattress to enhance its level of comfort and to increase its life expectancy. The benefits of mattress toppers include extra cushioning and support, temperature regulation, motion isolation, and mattress protection, all of which ensure a good night’s sleep and longer mattress durability.
Choosing the right mattress topper is a challenging task as there are so many different choices in the market. Continuously sleeping on a sofa bed without adding a mattress topper will cause the softer top components to compress under the body weight and wear out the mattress inside and on the surface. We've discussed general ways to use a mattress topper to soften a bed in our article. You'll also find this article on mattress topper types useful.
The frequent transition from a sofa to a bed and vice versa puts pressure on the mattress and damages it over time. Therefore, adding a topper will cover the lumps and indentations formed on the mattress, and will also protect the mattress from further damage while extending its longevity.
A mattress topper will also create a barrier between the body and the mattress, which prevents body sweat, dead skin transfer, bacteria, and spills from reaching the core of the mattress. We like this gel-infused memory foam topper from Amazon because of its dense cooling pad and removable bamboo cover. For more information about the benefits of mattress toppers and other cushions, read this article by Finucane from the International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation.
- How do you choose a comfortable pressure-relieving mattress topper for a hospital bed?
Reasons Your Sofa Bed Might be Uncomfortable
Sofa beds are multifunctional and work well in limited spaces. However, they can deteriorate and become worn over time, which will make them very uncomfortable to sleep on.
Reasons a sofa bed might be uncomfortable include that they usually have very thin cushioning, the mattress rest on a frame made of steel or metal, and the mattress tends to sag because of the frequent transition from bed to sofa, and back again, which causes additional wear on the mattress.
Reason 1. The Sofa Bed Has A Very Thin Cushioning
Sofa beds tend to have very thin cushioning and are built to be very thin overall when they are extended into the bed position. This means that the springs that provide support during sleep are much more prominent and can irritate the body and cause discomfort. Additionally, the mattress that sits on a sofa bed is usually half the thickness of a bed mattress.
Reason 2. The Sofa Bed Has A Metal Frame
The sofa bed’s frame is usually made of steel or metal and the edges are not covered or soft. This might cause discomfort during sleep.
Reason 3. The Sofa Bed’s Mattress Is Saggy
Although the convertible mechanism from a couch to a bed and vice versa is easy, the mattress may show signs of wear over time from being repeatedly opened and closed. The mattress can flatten out or become lumpy due to frequently applied pressure, causing discomfort during sleep.
How to Choose a Mattress Topper for a Sofa Bed
Sofa beds are good for overnight guests. The mattress quickly pulls out of the couch, transforming a living space into a temporary guest room. This sofa bed from Amazon provides an attractive place to sit during the day, and with a quality mattress topper like this one it becomes a luxurious bed at night. Sofa beds may not be as comfortable as a regular mattress but adding a mattress topper can add some needed comfort and can assist in getting a good night’s sleep.
To choose a mattress topper for a sofa bed, first determine what level of comfort and support the body needs, and then fix the issue by choosing the right topper by determining the best mattress topper material for your needs, thickness of the topper, overall desired comfort, and price.
Step 1. Determine Why Your Sofa Bed is Uncomfortable
There can be various reasons why a sofa bed feels uncomfortable. Identifying the problem is the first step towards choosing the right mattress topper for a sofa bed. If the sofa bed is made of metal, the bars might be felt through the mattress. The mattress may be too firm or too soft for the body, it might cause sweating or cause backaches. So before buying a mattress topper, know what the body needs in order to have comfortable sleep. Our table below will help you determine a solution based on your analysis. If your sofa bed has memory foam, you may also want to make sure that your mattress is fully expanded.
Step 2. Fix the issue by choosing the right material and thickness
Once it is established why a sofa bed is uncomfortable, solve the issue by choosing the correct mattress topper. If the mattress is already firm on the sofa bed for instance, then look for an extra layer of softness in a mattress topper made of down which will give a plush feeling.
Memory foam mattress toppers are also a great option because they conform to the shape of the body and offer bounceback. If the steel underneath the mattress can still be felt, then choose a thicker more supportive mattress topper to cover the entire length of the sofa. Choose a latex or a hybrid mattress topper for enhanced comfort and support. Bear in mind that comfort is based on personal preferences. Read our mattress topper hack article to find out how to prolong mattress life and make a mattress firmer or softer.
Below are recommended mattress toppers that can make an uncomfortable sofa bed more comfortable:
|Reasons your Sofa Bed might be uncomfortable||Recommended Mattress Topper + Link from Amazon||How does this Mattress Topper help?||Price of this Mattress Topper|
|The sofa bed has very thin cushioning||Classic Brands 4.5-Inch Innerspring Replacement Mattress for Sleeper Sofa Bed , Queen, White||This mattress topper provides more comfortable sleep because it provides a thick 4.5 inch layer of material, support, and a medium-plush feel.||~$110|
|The sofa bed has a metal frame||SleepJoy 2-inch ViscO2 Memory Foam Mattress Topper with Breathable Design, Made in The USA – California King Size||You can lay this mattress topper on top of your mattress and get additional comfort, support, and relieve pressure points. |
It’s only 2 inches thick so it’s easy to carry and store.
|The sofa bed has a saggy mattress||BestPrice Mattress 4 Inch Memory Foam Topper with Cover, Mattress Pad with Calming Green Tea Infusion, CertiPUR-US Certified, Queen||This mattress topper can revitalize a sofa bed by relieving pressure points, ensuring even weight distribution, and by regulating body temperature. |
The green tea is supposed to be soothing and anti-microbial so your guests won’t feel allergic to this mattress topper.
Yes! A mattress topper like the one above can make your bed less allergic to guests. Koburger et al. discussed how ‘hygenic wood’ could help relieve allergies by being used as part of a mattress topper.
Can You Fold a Memory Foam Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper needs to be stored away when not in use. If you properly fold and store a memory foam mattress topper in a vacuum bag you can use it a few times. However, continuously folding and unfolding a mattress topper is not recommended because it damages the integrity and structure of the topper. Read our article called: how to use a mattress topper, clean a mattress topper, and when to replace a mattress topper to learn about taking good care of a mattress topper so it lasts longer.
Fold a memory foam mattress topper in a vacuum sealed bag or in the original bag it came in when purchased. Roll-up and trifold memory foam mattress toppers can also be purchased and stored folded when not in use.
Note: The pressure from folding a foam mattress topper can cause creases and folds, which can damage the effectiveness of foam. If space is limited, it is recommended to roll the memory foam mattress topper for storage instead of folding it. We've discussed how to roll up a mattress topper in our article.
Here are our recommendations for foldable memory foam mattress toppers:
- This waterproof roll up mattress topper is 3 inches thick and designed for camping. So it’s light and foldable.
- This tri-fold memory foam mattress topper is also zippered so it’s easy to clean
Can a Mattress Topper Fix a Sofa Bed That's Not Level?
The sofa bed’s mattress starts deteriorating over time and loses its shape, causing an uneven and lumpy mattress surface.
A mattress topper can fix a sofa bed that is no longer level by covering the lumps and indentations, and making the uneven mattress more uniform which will give the mattress a steadier and newer feel. Choose a thicker mattress topper for fixing a lumpy mattress.
We discuss some more details about using a foam mattress topper on top of a memory foam mattress to reduce sagginess in our article.
Can You Use Sheets On A Pull-Out Sofa Bed With a Mattress Topper?
Sheets add luxury and coziness to the bed, because they provide an extra layer of smooth fabric between a person’s skin and the mattress. We like these ultra-soft bed sheets from Amazon because they are hypoallergenic.
Sheets can be used on a pull-out sofa bed with a mattress topper on because they are designed to protect both the mattress and the topper, and to provide softness and breathability to the sleeping surface. Make sure the sheets fit over both the mattress topper and the mattress to ensure minimal shifting during sleep.
The mattress topper risks slipping off if not tightly secured in place. One way to prevent the mattress topper from sliding is by using upholstery pins at the edges and anchoring the fitted sheets. For more ideas to stop your mattress topper from slipping, read our article about how to hold down a mattress topper.
In a nutshell
The convenience of a sofa bed for overnight or unexpected guests when space is at a premium, makes it a multi-functional piece of furniture. And now comfort no longer needs to be sacrificed for that convenience, because the ordinary sofa bed can be made more comfortable with the addition of a quality mattress topper and cozy bedding. We recommend taking a look at our comparative guide “Murphy beds vs. day beds, sofa beds and futons” to become more familiar with the various types of beds available for different spaces.