Finding contemporary sofa beds used to be difficult, now the difficulty is deciding which one is best. The development of the sofa bed market means that it is now possible to get a stylish sofa which is also a bed.
So what should you be looking for in a sleeper sofa? Firstly you have to work out what you can fit in your space. Size really does matter with a sofa bed, more so than with a standard sofa as the size of the sofa defines the size of the bed.
There are a couple different basic formats for a sleeper sofa. The first, and my favorite is where the bed is folded up and when not in use sits inside the frame of the sofa. These are particularly good for sofas which are going to be used all the time, as the comfort of the bed is independent of the sofa seating. These will usually have a metal frame and the mattress will be separate and supported on a mesh or fabric which is pulled taut with springs holding onto the metal frame. This makes for a very comfortable bed as it is a proper mattress with an independent support system.
The second design of sofa bed is where the bed forms part or all of the seating. This category can be broken down into two further sections. The first is the old style foam sofa seats which fold out to form a bed on the floor. These are fine if neither the sofa or the bed are going to be used a lot. However, with consistent use the foam compacts and then you have a sofa bed which is not comfortable as either a sofa or as a bed. The second is the design which has been inspired by the futon market. This is where the back and seat of the sofa flatten out for form a bed. This can suffer from the same problems as the foam bet, but they are easier to solve.
With the futon style beds the mattress is usually detachable; this is actually rather essential. By having a detachable mattress it means that you can turn it around. If you thing about the wear on a sofa the cushions on the seat always compact and suffer significantly more wear than the cushions on the back. So if these were to become one bed, half the bed would be much more worn than the other. Hence you need a mattress which is detachable and can be rotated to ensure that wear is even across it.
The other advantage of a detachable mattress is that it is replaceable when it gets old. It is also easier to get covers for and hence you can keep it looking clean and contemporary.
So the key to choosing between the many contemporary sofa beds is actually to be practical about what you are getting and to consider how much wear it will take and where the wear will be. Once you have established this you will be able to work out if your sofa and your bed will be a good investment or will quickly become uncomfortable.