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How to Open a Sofa Bed: Tips & Tricks

Great for guest beds, couch beds, futons, folding beds, pull out couches, sleeper sofas and convertible sofas perform two-in-one functions. Sofas when you want one, beds when you need one — these designs are efficient and small space-friendly. Learning to operate one is also a breeze: follow these steps to get sleeping (or sitting) in no time.

How to Open a Sofa Bed

Whether you’re dealing with a modern sofa bed or an older model, the way it works is mostly standard across the board: a center bar for pulling up and outwards makes the bed frame easy to unfold. Follow these steps to get to a comfy sleeping space in no time.

  1. Remove All the Seat Cushions

    Remove the back cushions, as well as the box cushions (the cushions you sit on). Place all cushions to the side.

  2. Locate the Bar

    With all cushions removed, you will see a bar/handle in the seat. This is the standard opening mechanism in all traditional sofa beds.

  3. Pull the Bed Mechanism Bar Up and Out

    Grip the bar with two hands and pull up and out. As you pull, the bed frame will unfold, and the bottom half of your sofa bed will lie out fully.

How to Close a Sofa Bed

  1. Remove the Pillows.

    Remove the pillows, sheets and blankets from the pull out sofa bed.

  2. Lift the End of the Sleeper Sofa Bed.

    Grip under the frame as you pull up. Do this until you have raised the legs off the floor.

  3. Angle the Bed Into the Lower Back of the Sofa.

    As you push, the bed’s metal frame will slide into the sofa frame, forming the backrest of the sofa.

Do All Types of Sofa Beds Work the Same?

There are slight variations in how the bed is stored in the sofa. The “book” type is outlined below (in the futon section); the idea behind it is that one piece is involved, and it’s folded up similar to how a piece of paper would be folded down the middle. The other type is the pull-out sofa bed, which keeps the sofa frame static while the bed frame is a separate piece that pulls out.

What Is the Opening Mechanism of a Futon?

A metal bar is involved in the process of opening a futon: it’s there for you to pull on, so you can pull the bottom half of the bed out and flat. Unlike sofa beds, futon mattresses aren’t tucked into the sofa frame - and they don’t need to be untucked and unfolded. Rather, think of futons as simpler, as just one giant piece. (They are like a giant sheet of paper with a crease in the middle; you want both halves of the paper to be flat so you can lie down completely.)

How Does a Sectional Sofa Sleeper or L Shaped Sleeper Work?

A sectional design isn’t that different from a sofa bed design. The main type of sectional sleeper is one in which a mattress is tucked into the sectional frame, and can be pulled out by a metal bar. There is another type in which there is no mattress, but rather a way of pushing all components of the sectional (ottoman, chaise, seats) together to form one giant flat surface without gaps and perfect for sleeping; however, this type is less common and is usually referred to as a convertible sectional instead of a sleeper.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.