Options For A Guest Bed Other Than A Folding Bed



So you have got visitors from time to time, but you do not have a guest bedroom where you can have the luxury of having a full bedroom set up on the off chance someone is going to stay with you. Or you do have a full guest bedroom, but sometimes more people show up than you expect. Despite news to the contrary, you firmly believe that folding beds are the worst thing to sleep on and have a distinct aversion to them. What do you do?

 Well, the good news is that you are in luck. If you hate folding beds and would not be caught dead with one in your house (trust us, we understand) but still need a guest bed from time to time, there are options. What option you choose is going to depend on your budget, available storage space, your personal decorative style and your pre-conceived conceptions. Because make no mistake about it – few of these choices will take the place of a regular bed for an extended period of time. All of them are a compromise. Yes, some people love some of these choices and swear they are just as good as their regular bed. Everybody has their favorite, or their least hated, but this is not about what I think is the best, or what we here at The Right Bedding think is the best. It is about options. So here are some options.

First up is the classic futon. Yes, I know, those crappy things from your college years. Well, as you have grown up, so have futons. Before you dismiss them out of hand, take a closer look at what is available today. When you were in college you were buying the cheapest thing you could find, and like most cheap things it did what it was designed to do but it did it poorly. Today it is possible to spend 1000 dollars on a futon frame and mattress set that will be very comfortable. The only problem with a futon is that it tends to be either a good sofa or a good bed. It does one of those things well, but usually does both poorly. If positioned too long in the sofa configuration they can develop a ridge running lengthwise with either side sloping downwards. If you are buying one, be aware of the drawbacks to this before you spend a bunch of money. As a bed they get The Right Bedding seal of approval if you get one with lots of foam, cotton, wool and memory foam. As a sofa they are awesome, too. As double duty, well… maybe not so much.

Next up is the fold able mattress or Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon . Why a fold able mattress? Because the smaller ones can be rolled up in a very small space and yet provide a measure of comfort for occasionally guests. Not truly a guest bed, they do work quite well if the person sleeping on it does not object to the concept. Some customers have told us that it is much more comfortable  to sleep on then a rollaway bed. If you can accept the fact that many cultures have slept on the floor of the house for thousands of years, then this might be a good option.

Another option is a modern air bed. Able to be blown up in a matter of minutes due to high-powered blowers, some external, some internal, air mattresses, or inflatable beds as they are often called, promise airy comfort for a good price and a relatively compact storage footprint. Again, similar to the fold able mattress and other folding bed options in general, inflatable beds have a less than stellar reputation. Many modern manufacturers have worked hard to correct this problem and while we can not recommend all inflatable mattresses, The Right Bedding does think that they are a very viable option and one that should be explored.

In the same vein as inflatable beds and  are the folding mattresses available from many place but all working off of the same concept – pieces of foam, typically 2 or 3, with a fabric cover that connects them but lets them fold up for easy storage. Essentially achieving the same thing as the camp mattress or the inflatable bed just through different methods, this gets closer to a typical bed in feel and in storage size as well. Perhaps more compact than a regular folding bed, but definitely with more storage options (imagine lifting a folding bed up and putting it on top of something), Chair Sleepers are another option that, while not ideal, should be considered as well. 


When purchasing a guest bed, one seriously needs to consider the guest that will be sleeping on it. If you know it will most likely be one of a handful of people, like your parents or your sibling and their husband or wife, you may need to tailor your purchase more to their needs. If it is a more general cast of characters who will be sleeping on the almost-bed, you may have more latitude in your folding bed choices. Regardless, it is a good idea to purchase from someplace that will allow returns. Then, once you get it, make sure it is a decent place to sleep on by trying it out for a few nights or a week. That way you’ll get to know if it really is an uncomfortable place to sleep or not.
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