Home :: The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Sofa Bed Mattress

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Sofa Bed Mattress

"The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Sofa Bed Mattress"

5 Easy Steps to Selecting a
Sofa Bed Mattress and Picking the Right Retailer

It can be confusing shopping for a sofa bed mattress. The good news? It doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide which makes shopping for a sofa mattress a synch. We're always adding more elements to this guide so feel free to book mark it. If you have any suggestions on what should be included in this guide, feel free to call us at 888-488-1468.

Without further ado...

Step 1) Determine Your Size
If you prefer video, watch the video below to see how to measure your sofa bed mattress.

The most accurate way to determine the custom mattress size you need to order is to measure your sofa bed frame. We don't recommend measuring your existing mattress because due to wear an tear, it's likely the dimensions of your mattress have changed over the years.

Measure the width and length of the inside of your frame and round down to the nearest inch.

For example, if the width of your frame is 52 3/4", write down 52". If the length is 72 1/2 then write down 72". In this example, your size would be 52"x72".

Taking Measurements:

Listed below are all of the common sofa mattress sizes (all of which MattressInsider.com carries). Notice that most of these sizes have 2 or more options to chose from.

Common Sofa Bed Mattress Sizes:
Queen: 60"x72" or 58"x72" or 64" x72"
Full: 52"x72" or 54"x72"
Three Quarter: 48" x 72" (this is a common rv sofa bed mattress size)
Twin: 38"x72" or 35"x72"
Single: 24"x72"

Mattress Thickness:
The standard height of a sofa mattress is 4.5". If your current mattress is between 4" to 5" thick, a 4.5" thick replacement mattress is usually not an issue. However, if it's less than 4" in thickness (3.5" or 3" for example), it may have issues folding into your sofa bed. If your mattress is less than 4", we strongly suggest that you call us for a quote on a special size (888-488-1468). Most companies will not take a return due to the wrong size being ordered so double check your measurements.

Note: Mattresses are soft goods. This means they are partly made by both machines and humans. If you take 10 out of stock you will see a little fluctuation in size.

If you a different size, call us at 888-488-1468 for prices on affordable custom sizes.

Will your mattress fold into my sofa?

Step 2) Determine What Type You Want
Currently, the five most common replacement mattresses are
  • memory foam
  • natural latex
  • urethane foam
  • air over coil
  • coil
We will go over them in detail throughout the next few steps.

Memory Foam Sofa Bed Mattress : Because of it's cushion firm feel (not too hard...not too soft), it is by far the most popular replacement sofa bed mattress. This is an excellent choice for every night sleeping.

For the exact same reason, it is perfect for the occasional out of town guest. A variety of sleeping preferences (guests that usually sleep on a hard mattress or a soft mattress at home) are usually content with a medium firm sofa mattress.

Memory foam is recommended by chiropractors and physicians because of it's pressure point relieving benefits.

Did you know? Memory foam technology was originally designed by NASA for use in the seats of the space shuttle. It was designed to help cushion the impact of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

In a mattress, memory foam does a great job of eliminating motion transfer between two sleeping partners. If one person gets out of bed, the other person usually won't feel it.

Memory foam sofa bed mattresses will respond based on your individual body temperature so make sure to go with a model that uses open cell technology memory foam (not closed cell) so you don't sleep warm. Also consider a model that uses soy-bean plant based memory foam as it's more eco-friendly and doesn't give off any odors like 100% petroleum based foams.

Gel Memory Foam and Adjustable Comfort Design (New): We're now offering a model that utilizes a soy based middle comfort layer with a gel-infused memory foam in the top layer. Gel memory foam is designed to keep you 1-2 degrees cooler than traditional memory foam. We're currently the only company in the US offering this feature! This mattress is also the first in the country to be double sided! One side is cushion firm and the other side is firm!

Latex Sofa Bed Mattress : If you like your mattress more towards the firm side (hard), then we recommend going with a latex sofa bed mattress. Latex sofa mattresses are also the most eco-friendly being constructed partly from rubber trees and soy plants.

What's the most important thing to look for when choosing a latex sofa bed mattress? Make sure the latex is natural as opposed to synthetic (ours is natural).

Synthetic latex will tend to break down much faster.
Synthetic latex will also discolor when exposed to sunlight (bad if you have a sofa near a window).

Also, depending on the company you choose to buy from, the term "synthetic latex" often is used to refer to material which is simply cheap foam (and contains NO latex).

If you decide that latex is the right option for you, make sure you are selecting a company which uses real latex.

Foam Sofa Bed Mattresses: This style is somewhat less luxurious when compared with a soy memory foam or natural latex sofa bed mattress.

However, high density foam is an excellent alternative to the uncomfortable coil sofa bed mattress you (most likely) want to replace.

A foam sofa bed mattress is an affordable alternative to some of the "higher end" sofa bed mattress replacements.

Make sure to ask about the density of the foam.

Foam sofa mattresses range in density between 1.5 pound to 2.0 pounds.

The higher the density, the more durable and the more supportive the foam. Low density foams are cheap, but they break down very quickly. Our "Zen Sofa Bed Mattress with Baby Soft Cotton" is about a 1.8 pound density. Soy based foams Some factories (like ours) are now making a soy based foam sofa bed mattress. This is an eco-friendly and more breatheable alternative to a traditional foam mattress which is 100% petroleum based.

Air Over Coil Sofa Bed Mattress: This is an air mattress with coils in the base.
  • Adjust comfort. The benefit is the ability to adjust the firmness of the mattress using a hand held inflator.
  • Further away from mechanism. When inflated, the mattress expands to approximately 10" in depth getting you further away from the dreadful sofa bed mechanism. This technology is patented and there is currently only one model out on the market that goes by 2 different names.
  • Why we don't offer it? We've been approached by the manufacturer to offer this mattress, but have declined due to our concerns about the design, quality of components, and warranty.
  • Negative feedback from consumers. Several times a week, we receive calls from frustrated owners who have been put through numerous warranty exchanges with this product. Most of the issues are a result of faulty valve stems, burned out air pumps, or faulty air bladders. Many callers have stated that they initially work just as promised but after only a few months (even weeks) of use, the mattress just won't hold air pressure.

    One frustrated customer told us that after the bladder on his air-mattress started to leak, the retailer he purchased it from told him to go purchase a bicycle tire repair kit and to fix it himself. Another customer told us that they had to replace the valve stem 3 separate times before deciding to look for something else.

  • High Price Tag. Higher than average retail price for a sofa mattress.
  • No return policy. Most retailers do not offer a return policy on this mattress.
  • Frustrating Warranty Process. The manufacturer that makes this product is the largest bed component company in the world. Sofa mattresses are a very small sliver of their business and it can be difficult navigating to the right division to obtain service. Once you do obtain service, you are responsible for dis-assembly/reassembly, packaging, and freight costs both ways. If you're outside of your warranty, you're responsible for the retail cost of the replacement parts.
  • The shortest warranty period in the industry. Only a 3 year warranty on the mattress, air chamber, and air chamber valve. The inflator is only covered for one year. Other mattress styles have warranties ranging from 5-10 years on average.
  • Loud air inflator. Attempting to re-inflate the sofa mattress at 2 am with an air-pump as loud as a cheap vacuum cleaner can be both frustrating and embarrassing for overnight guests.
  • Inflator must be stored. The pump is not attached to the mattress which means you must find a place to store it when the sofa mattress is not in use. If you lose this pump, your sofa mattress can't function until you obtain a replacement.
  • Easily punctured air chamber. If you don't completely deflate this mattress before you fold it into the sofa bed for storage, you risk popping the air bladder.
  • Longer Setup and Breakdown Time. This mattress must be inflated before each use and completely deflated before storage. All other sofa mattress types can be used instantly with no additional setup.
  • Economy bonnel type innerspring construction designed for only average support. This is the type of innerspring used in economy level guest room mattresses. This type of innerspring has been known to cause "roll together" where two people sleeping in the mattress may roll to the center.
  • Lots of motion transfer. Unlike highend airbed mattresses that use two air chambers (his and hers), this sofa mattress only uses one. Which means, if one person moves or gets out of bed, the other person feels it.
  • Not available in most standard sizes. No custom sizes. There are about 12 different standard sofa mattress sizes currently out on the market. This model is only available in 3 of those standard sizes.
  • Won't fit in older sofa beds. Older sofa beds require thinner mattresses.

Coil Sofa Bed Mattress: This is most likely the mattress that's causing all of your current problems. It's what comes standard with most sofa bed's.

Coil sofa bed mattresses have a reputation for being the least comfortable of the sofa mattress types. That's because the average coil sofa bed mattresses has only a 1/2 inch of padding on top of a 3" steel coil. Now you know why you're waking up with back pain! Sofa bed manufacturers use a coil sofa mattress because it significantly cuts down on the cost for the retailers carrying their lineup. Unfortunately, the consumer is the one who has to suffer.

Because the mattress must be around 4 1/2 inches thick to fit into a sleeper sofa, manufacturers can't put enough turns in the coil to give you adequate support. This is why someone of even average weight easily crushes the mattress when they sit on it. Coils were really designed for mattresses measuring 8 or more inches (like the mattress in your master bedroom).

Hydrogen embrittlement is also a concern during the manufacturing of the innerspring. When the individual coils go through a process called electroplating, the hydrogen absorbed in carbon steel can cause the coil to become extremely brittle. As a result, cracking, stressing, and ultimately failure of the coil can occur. In addition, if coils aren't electroplated, they're more susceptible to rust. The manufacturer can coat the coils in plastic to prevent this from happening but most factories don't want to spend the money.

In addition, stress can occur during the winding process of a coil. If you're going to get a coil sofa bed mattress, we suggest going with a model that uses heat treated coils to be stress relieved.
Step 3) Ask the Right Questions and Read the Fine Print

When choosing a retailer, read through their policies. Make sure to ask the following questions:
Do They Offer a Return Policy?
You need to have peace of mind that if you don't like your mattress, you can send it back for a refund. If a distributor offers a return policy, make sure to ask them to provide you with details on their policy.

Our 121 Day Return Policy: We ask that you try our sofa mattresses for at least 30 days. If after 30 days you don't like it for any reason, you can return it to us up to the 121th day.

Do I need a custom size?
It can be confusing measuring for a new sofa bed mattress. If you have any doubt on whether or not you need a special size, ask them.

Is your sofa bed mattress designed to fit into and sofa bed? Can it be easily folded and unfolded into the sofa without causing stress on my mechanism?
All of MattressInsider.com's sofa mattresses are 4.5" thick and are designed to fit into 99% of sofa beds. If your frame takes a special thickness, give us a call (888-488-1468) for a quote and lead time.

Double Check Their BBB Rating.
Do they have complaints filed? MattressInsider.com is an "A" rated business and we've won a Gold Star award from the BBB for having zero complaints filed since 2008. We are one of only a small handful of sofa mattress suppliers with no complaints on record.

Do They Hide Their Specs or Evade and Avoid Your Questions?
Make sure you're dealing with an honest company that is up front about the specifications of their products. MattressInsider.com strives to be as transparent as possible on product specs and service because we believe you deserve to know what's in your mattress.

Do they have testimonials from customers who have used the product?
Our testimonials for the Deluxe Sofa Bed Mattress can be found on the product page (in written form) and also in audio form (voicemails from customers) found here:

Written testimonials for all our products (including our sofa mattresses) can be found here:

Beware of Fake 5 Star Product Reviews
There are several sofa mattress suppliers that are posting fake 5 star product reviews. One company in particular is notorious for hiring foreign contractors to post dozens of reviews on their products overnight. They went from having zero reviews to 59 reviews for their memory foam sofa mattress within 24 hours. 2 years later, this product still has 59 reviews. They have another website with 124 five star reviews for the same product but oddly, there is no page on this website to even submit a review!

Is Your Website Secure?
Make sure you're placing an order on an SSL encrypted website that is scanned daily for security. We use McAfee Secure to test our website daily against vulnerabilities. We use a 128 bit encryption SSL through GoDaddy to ensure that your transaction is secure. For security purposes and PCI/DSS compliance, no credit card data is stored on our servers.

What method of payments do you offer?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Paypal, Google Checkout, Checks, and we now offer 6 months financing through Bill Me Later.

Made in the USA
Ask if the mattress is made in the USA using USA made components. Several companies claim their product is made in the USA but they use foam and fabrics imported from Asia and then assemble the product in the USA. Many foam factories in Asia will cut corners in order to hit the low price points expected by US importers. Chinese foam may contain PDBE's, fillers, boric acid, or other toxic chemicals.

If you do choose to go for a mattress that's imported or uses imported components, ask if the mattress uses foams which have been Certipurus Certified. Our Cool Meadow Sofa Mattress found in the clearance section is the imported version of our Deluxe Sofa Bed Mattress and it utilizes Certipurus certified foam. Our Natural Latex Mattress utilizes latex from rubber trees which can only be found in the humid climates of Brazil and Sri Lanka. All foam in this product is also Certipurus Certified.

Are Certipurus Certified Foams Used in the Mattress?
All MattressInsider.com sofa mattresses use foam that passes this voluntary certification. Certipurus is an independent laboratory that tests foam for chemical composition, durability, and performance. Certipurus foams have low emission (low VOC's), they're made without chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), ozone depleters, PDBE flame retardants, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, or prohibited pthalates. They've also been tested for durability and performance.

Have You Had Your Sofa Mattress Rollator Tested?
A rollator test simulates 10 years of life on a mattress. A 240 pound cylinder is rolled back and forth over the top of the mattress 100,000 cycles over the course of a week to measure durability. Firmess and loss of height are measured at the beginning, halfway through, and at the end of the test. Our Deluxe Sofa Bed Mattress with Memory Foam has placed in the top .005% of sofa mattresses tested.

Has Your Sofa Mattress Been Pressure Map Tested?
Pressure map testing gives you a sense of where the mattress is creating pressure points. Our Deluxe Sofa Bed Mattress with Memory Foam went through this test and was also ranked in the top 1% of sofa mattresses for pressure point relief.

What's the total cost including tax, shipping, handling, etc?
Choose what you can afford. If this is your only bed, invest in one of the higher quality models. You'd rather be comfortable than have the "metal bar" poke you in the back. On the other hand, if this is for a guest room or it's for the short term, you may want to keep it more affordable (see our Zen Sofa Bed Mattress or Cool Meadow Sofa Bed Mattress found in the clearance category).

What's the average cost of shipping?
We offer free US (lower 48) shipping on all of our sofa mattress models. Although a few offer free shipping, others average around $49-$79 dollars.

What about sales tax?
Unless the retailer is based in the same state, you usually won't pay tax.

Does it have a warranty?
Warranty's on average range between 0 to 5 Years. They are in place to protect you against any kind of manufacturer defects. You want to make sure that if your mattress is defective you can get it fixed or replaced. That's the purpose of a warranty. All of our sofa mattresses carry a minimum of a 5 year warranty. Our Deluxe Sofa Bed Mattress with Memory Foam recently became the first in the industry to have a 10 year manufactures warranty.

Also...make sure to ask if the warranty is offered through the retailer or through the manufacturer. If it's through the retailer and they go out of business, you won't have anyone to service your mattress. All our mattresses are warrantied through the manufacturer.

Is it a "manufacturers warranty" being offered or a "protection plan"? A "protection plan" is not a warranty at all. It won't protect you from manufacturer defects. It protects you against "stains and spills" on your mattress. Beware of protection plans (they are definitely out there!) as they are a sign that the mattress being sold was returned or is re-furbished.

What's the production time?
Most manufacturers average around 10 business days production time. We average between 3-5 business days depending on the model. If you're in a hurry, ask us about expedited shipping options which would get your order out the door within 24-48 business hours!

What's the shipping time?
We ship via FedEX or UPS Ground (depending on the model). Transit times can be found towards the bottom of every product page under "transit time".
Step 4) Buy

You've heard, at some point in your life, "Would you like fries with that."

If you've ever bought anything online, you've also seen it say "Customers who bought this also liked...", and then there is a list of products you can add to your order.

This is called an "upsell" or a "cross sell", and it happens all the time when you are buying something.

Companies want to sell you more of the products and services that are going to help make your life and experience better.

Sofa mattress companies are the same.

They want to bring you exactly what you want and need (at least we do here at MattressInsider).

But there are some companies that will take the opportunity to sell you additional products you don't really need or want. So be careful.

Examples of other products you might want while ordering a sofa bed mattress would be sofabed sheets, or a waterproof mattress encasement.

A penny saved is a penny earned, so get the products you need and want, while leaving the rest for someone else.

While you are here, take a look at our memory foam sofa bed mattress , foam sofa bed mattress, and latex sofa bed mattress.

Step 5) Enjoy and Share!

Most successful businesses are built based on word of mouth advertising.

This is the kind of advertising where you buy something, you like what you've gotten, and you

  • Provide positive feedback to the company (that they can use to share with others)
  • Tell your friends/family about your positive experience

At MattressInsider, we always love to hear from you, and you can read hundreds of testimonials here on our website from happy and satisfied customers.

No matter who you get your sofa mattress from, you are the most important part of their business, before you buy, when you buy, AND after you buy. You are, after all, the reason that they have a business in the first place.

So if you have a positive experience with a company, be sure to share with the company that you had a great experience, and be sure to share that experience with your family and friends as well.

For more information about Latex, Memory Foam, and Foam Sofa Bed Mattresses Click Here.

Note: This article is copywrite protected. Reproduction of any part of this article is strictly prohibited without express written consent from Mattress Insider LLC.

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We are loving our new mattress. It is so comfortable and the fitting is great. Thanks for making that happen. We should have done this much earlier!
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