Sofa bed mattresses tend to be incredibly uncomfortable. If you’ve experienced a night on one, you know exactly what we are talking about.
But good news! It doesn’t have to be that way!
In this guide, we’ll help you identify the underlying causes of why your sofa bed mattress is severely lacking in the comfort department, and what you can do about it.
So grab a cup of joe or your favorite drink, and get ready to take some notes.
Why Is My Sofa Bed So Uncomfortable?
Don’t skip this step — finding the answer to this question is very important!
There are several possible explanations for your sofa bed’s lack of comfort. Understanding which elements of the sofa bed’s design are causing you the most grief can empower you with the knowledge you need to find the right solution.
Below is a list of the most common issues with a sofa bed, and what you can do about it.
Problem #1: You Are 'Feeling the Bar'
Making a sofa bed is no easy task — the frame has to be solid enough to effectively and safely hold the weight of multiple grown adults, while also being nimble and flexible enough to discreetly fold into the sofa when not in use.
By its very design, the sofa bed’s frame can be (and often is) a source of discomfort.
Laying on your sofa bed, you might feel the bar poking through the mattress. This then turns into a ‘Princess and the Pea’ situation, where the pea is MASSIVE.
But let’s not put ALL the blame on the frame.
While not always the best solution, a sofa bed mattress topper is affordable and available in a range of styles to suit virtually any sleeping style.
Most mattress toppers are around 2″ thick, and can be a quick and easy fix for this issue.
However, if the underlying mattress is worn out or poorly constructed, a mattress topper will only do so much to help.
With that in mind, your investment might be best spent on a new mattress altogether.
Something else to note — if you purchase a new topper, the added thickness of it may prevent you from closing your sofa bed. In this case, you will need to store the topper elsewhere when not in use.
Sofa Bed Bar Shield
If you’re more intimately familiar with the steel support bars under your sofa bed than you’d like to be, then a sofa bed bar shield might be just the solution you need.
These ‘shields’ — often made of a foldable, vinyl-covered foam layer — are placed over the sofa bed frame beneath the mattress. Some also incorporate a 1/4” thick wood board base to add in ‘shielding’ the sleeper from the steel bars below.
That said, there are some drawbacks. For example, finding one that fits the make and model of your sofa bed might be a challenge.
Depending on the thickness and the room in your sofa bed, as well as how it folds, you might need additional storage space for the shield when not in use.
BEST SOLUTION: A New Sofa Mattress
In many cases, your best bet is to splurge on a new sofa bed mattress (versus sinking money into a worn-out mattress that you already kind of hate).
While searching for a replacement mattress, be sure to find one that has a sleep guarantee and reliable warranty. The last thing you want is to end up in the same position you’re in now!
Problem #2: Feeling the Mattress Coils
Do you feel the coils of your sofa mattress poking through, sticking it to you worse than the tax man in April? Don’t suffer in silence!
Feeling coils is a tell-tale and clear indication that you have a poor-quality mattress. Whatever cushioning it once had (or never had) no longer exists.
As mentioned above, a mattress topper is a fast and cost-effective way to improve the comfort of any mattress.
However, if you’re feeling the coils, there is only so much a mattress topper can do. So, it generally is not the best solution.
Fact is, those coils punching through will end up putting added pressure and wear on the mattress topper too, wearing it out over time and creating pockets of discomfort.
BEST SOLUTION: A New Sofa Mattress
The reason you’re feeling the coils has less to do with the sofa bed design and more to do with the poor-quality mattress atop it.
Mattresses used in sofa beds are notorious for being cheaply made and uncomfortable. Low-quality materials, bad designs, lack of support, cheap foam — and more! — all contribute to feeling the coils poking and jabbing through.
For this reason, the best option is often replacing the entire sofa mattress itself.
The right mattress can make a world of difference; transforming that uncomfortable lumpy bed into the perfect night’s rest that’ll ensure you wake up feeling refreshed, and not sleep deprived.
Problem #3: Your Sofa Mattress Is TOO Soft
Soft is good. Softball, a soft touch, soft-serve ice cream, soft blankets.
But one thing you’ll loathe is a mattress that is too soft, as all it’ll leave you with is feeling all the bumps and beams of the bed frame below.
Thing is — at first — a soft mattress might feel plush and superbly comfortable. But don’t be deceived. The lack of support for your joints and muscles will quickly become apparent, and once those rose-tinted glasses are removed you’ll be aching from head to toe.
Best Solution: A New Mattress
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot that can be done about a mattress that is too soft. The softness (or firmness) of a mattress is a feature engineered into its design and is dependent on the materials used.
Mattresses that are too soft are often the result of cheap, recycled, or fill foam.
In such cases, your money is best spent on an upgrade that is perfect for your unique specifications and custom-tailored to meet your every need.
Why Not a Topper?
This is a common question: Why can’t a topper be used to add comfort and support to a soft mattress? After all, this would be nice since it’s often the less expensive option.
Unfortunately, and contrary to belief, toppers are not designed to be supportive!
In fact, adding a topper to a soft mattress will often only make the situation worse! Mattress toppers should only be used when you want to make a firm mattress feel softer.
Problem #4: Your Sofa Mattress Is TOO Firm
Firm mattresses aren’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, a firm mattress usually means your body is being supported! However, if a mattress is too firm, it can cause other issues.
For example, pain or discomfort in the hips and shoulders is a common complaint when a mattress is too firm.
It takes just the right combination of support and comfort to provide the perfect mattress for backs and joints, while also not feeling overly rigid and stiff.
The firmness of a sofa mattress is largely the result of its design, so this leaves you with two options to improve comfort.
Best Solution: Mattress Topper
As we’ve previously explored in this guide, a mattress topper is a great way to enhance the comfort of your sofa mattress.
Toppers are designed to modify the feel of a mattress, transforming an otherwise uncomfortable surface to one that offers luxurious comfort and the support you need to get a good night’s rest.
A New Mattress
Although a mattress topper is a good solution, now might be a good time to assess the quality and lifespan of your current mattress.
In some cases, your money might be better spent on a mattress upgrade — one that’s a bit softer, and that also comes with a sleep guarantee and warranty.
Problem #5: A Sagging Mattress
If your sofa mattress is sagging, it could be either the mattress, the sofa bed frame itself, or — in extreme cases — a combination of the two.
If the issue is with the frame itself (which often includes the black fabric ‘decking’ that supports the mattress), it can cause the mattress to lay directly on top of the frame bars.
This results in the mattress having dips and lumps where the frame bars are located, rather than being smooth.
What Causes the Frame to Do This?
- Worn out or damaged frame perimeter coils
- The frame mechanism design lacks foundational support for the mattress
- The black fabric decking is stretched out and sagging
Sofa Bed Bar Shield
Once again, a sofa bed bar shield is an affordable option that may solve this problem!
It will provide a stable surface for the mattress, and should reduce the sagging issues that may be the result of a worn-out sofa bed frame.
Best Solution: A New Sofa Mattress
The issue of an uncomfortable sofa bed can oftentimes be solved by simply purchasing a higher quality mattress.
This is also the case if your current sofa bed is sagging.
If you purchase a sofa bed mattress with adequate support, it’s likely the issue of a sagging mattress will disappear altogether.
New Sofa Bed Couch
In some rare cases, a worn out frame will also cause the mattress to sag — regardless of the quality of the mattress.
If you find yourself in this position, a new mattress may help… but ultimately the issue is with the bed frame itself.
The best solution might be to invest in a new sofa bed couch; although we generally only recommend this if you know your sofa bed is going to get a lot of use.
Making Your Sofa Bed More Comfortable: A Final Word
A sofa bed is a versatile and space-saving piece of furniture. Doubling as both a sofa and a bed, sofa beds are perfect for growing households and guests staying over.
But they aren’t perfect.
New sofa bed couches are notorious for mattresses that simply aren’t very comfortable.
Luckily, you have options, and you (or your guests!) don’t need to suffer another night on a hard, lumpy, sagging mattress.
At MattressInsider, we know just how important a good night’s sleep is for your health (and sanity). We’re here to provide you with the tools, resources, knowledge, and products to get the best sleep of your life.
Have questions? Not sure what option would be the best fit for your sleep style, body type, or available space? Let us know how we can help!
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