Small Space Solutions: Editor's Pick | Sleeper Sofas

Posted By Antarc Admin

July 12, 2017

If you live in an apartment or other small space, you already know how multifunctional furniture and decor can go a long way in elevating your living space. One of our favorite solutions? The sleeper sofa!

First Conceptualized in 1899

The sleeper sofa, or sofa bed, has been a popular solution for small spaces for decades. The first concept of a foldable, portable bed came on the scene way back in 1899. Then in 1908, William Murphy solved the issue of having no space to entertain in his one-bedroom, San Francisco apartment by inventing a “pivot bed” which would flip his mattress into a wall cavity when not in use (hence the Murphy bed was born.) But the modern sleeper can be traced back to Bernard Castro,
an Italian immigrant who designed the concept of a pull-out couch back in the 1930s.

The genius of his design was baked into the concept that the sofa could completely conceal the fold-out frame and mattress, allowing a space to transform instantly from living room to bedroom without compromising style.

While the basic concept of Castro’s sleepers has essentially remained the same, the mechanisms, frames, mattresses, and sofa stylings have seen a major upgrade in recent years. Sleepers of the mid-century, while functional, tended to have mattresses so thin one could feel the bars of the metal frame when sleeping. What’s more, the frames of the sofa had to be boxy, and somewhat shapeless, to effectively conceal the pull-out bed.

Nowadays, high-quality sleeper sofas have upped the anti on comfort, functionality, and style. Our own Joybird sleepers have a high-resiliency memory-foam mattress to ensure a good night’s sleep, and sturdy, yet lightweight framing that’s easy to pull out. But even with their superior functionality, these sleepers don’t make any sacrifices to style. Charming mid-century silhouettes, tufting, clean lines, and tailored details all transition to our sleeper selections. The minimal bulking makes it difficult to spot the difference between a sleeper and a regular sofa.

With more and more people downsizing their space and working from home, the traditional lines between rooms are continuing to blur. Spaces that can serve dual purposes – like an office and bedroom, or living room and guest room – are quickly becoming more of a necessity than novelty.