What's your preferred guest bed?

We have a couple of these sleeper sofas/chairs, and they are very comfortable. The bed is foam and there is no bar that digs into your back. They come in various sizes so you don’t have to do a big sofa unless you want to.

This is the bed in my youngest’s room:

As a couch, it isn’t great - deep. Since they are in college, I keep thinking I’ll make some back cushions to shorten the depth for when they aren’t home, but I haven’t done it yet.

As a twin bed its pretty comfy. Pulling out the trundle and separating the mattresses gives you two mattresses so you get the divot between the two, but the mattresses fit tight on the frame, so it isn’t really noticeable.

The trundle is a little difficult to pull out on the carpet - but we only do it a few times a year for guests. When the kid is home, they use the twin.

And the drawers underneath are really nice.

In my experience, you’ll use the couch in the office if you work from home some much more often than you’ll use a bed. Curling up on the office couch to work is a nice feature of a home office.

I think if you’re going to have anyone of any sort of advanced age or with any sort of mobility issues, or just anyone who typically gets up to pee at night, you want to avoid something that’s low to the ground - be it an air mattress, trundle bed (unless the lower bed is for the able-bodied only) or one of the fold-out chairs @lobotomyboy63 linked to. If you’re going to make an investment, make it so that it ages with your guests.

It seems like a pretty normal compromise when you’re traveling and I wouldn’t read anything into it. This is what our guest room looks like: two long twin beds separated by a big library table that doubles as the bedside tables for both beds. I actually had to use it as my office when we had water damage in my actual office and the library desk worked well. The twin beds are more flexible: it makes it easier to host people who aren’t couples and I feel real beds are more friendly to guests (especially older or more infirm guests).

FWIW, this is the air mattress I have now:

We’ve had one couple stay on it already this summer; they’re in their 30s and claimed it was comfortable. I’m not sure about what older guests we might have in the near future. Both my parents and my husband’s are local, which means not only are they unlikely to stay over, but if any of my beloved aunts come to visit, they might stay with my folks regardless. I do hope my BIL, SIL, and niece will come stay with us; BIL and SIL are also in their 30s. The air mattress we have can be used for said niece in the living room once we get something better for the adults.

I found IKEA’s Friheten sofa to be more comfortable than my bed, and so I often sleep on it in summer (so I only have to aircon one room) or when I have houseguests. It’s in the bedroom I use as my office, where the TV also is.

It’s not a traditional sofabed, but a three-cushion sofa whose seat cushion extends to be the width of a queen mattress. I’ve never actually pulled mine out all the way: I just take off the back cushions and it’s wide enough for my comfort. I have a little foam-pad-in-a-sheet-with-snaps that I made to act as the “bottom sheet.” I just throw that on the unpillowed sofa and pull a sheet or blanket over me for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep.

Like all IKEA sofas (made for tall Scandinavians?), the Friheten has a seat that’s two inches too deep for my optimal comfort while sitting. I keep the aforementioned foam pad doubled lengthwise behind the back cushions to solve that, though the Friheten has an ample storage area underneath for pillows and blankets.

I voted for Murphy bed. If it’s possible, it’s one of the best possibilities because it’s an actual bed, without taking up the space of a bed.

Some of the options are too low to the ground for people with mobility issues. I know both of my parents would have problems getting up from an air mattress.

Daybeds can be interesting, but it seems that most of them have a frame around the mattress, which means it will be restrictive for someone who is 6’ or more.

I am actually thinking of changing our guest bed. We currently have a futon, which has no storage and is a bit small. I am considering to get two singles, as this would mean we have more flexibility for the room, as it is used as a guest room about once every three years. Most couples will survive being in two singles for a few nights.

That one or something like it in the US might actually be good as a sofa and a bed. But it’s pretty expensive.

Also bear in mind male guests. Lots of men are 6’+ and wider in the shoulders. What is comfortable for you might be uncomfortable for them. I have a wide u-shaped sofa that (for various reasons) I slept on quite happily for two years, but when a male friend went to sleep on it we could hear him repeatedly falling off it because he just didn’t fit.

A trundle bed where something pulls out - well, the problem there isn’t really that they might feel odd sleeping at different levels, the problem is that they might roll over and fall onto the lower person. They’re generally intended for kids who are small enough that they can roll over and not tumble. Grown people are bigger, and generally used to double beds.

Even with the best airbeds you can buy, they are made of air. If it’s just you, you have to wait for half an hour before you’re not at risk of being tossed off one side. As a couple, it’s great, until about 3am, when you wake up nose to nose. They’re fine as an extra emergency bed.

Heh, basically nothing you buy will fit everyone. Get what you want. Maybe just get a really lovely long Chesterfield and if a couple comes to stay, give them the option of one on that and one on an airbed, or both on the airbed.

My mom has one of these. The second bed rises to the same level as the regular bed, and if you shove them next too each other the couple can be close. I suppose you could even make them up as one bed with king sheets.

It’s as comfortable as any other bed. It’s a mediocre couch. No, i wouldn’t feel weird staying in that with my husband when visiting a friend. I’ve been put up on much worse.

Murphy beds are great except they chew up a lot of wall space. I have bookcases and windows lining the walls of the guest bedroom.

We have a sofa bed, but we use it much more as a sofa than as a bed. It’s a nice sofa. It’s a mediocre bed.

Add me to the “doesn’t like air mattresses” group, but maybe I’ve never slept on a good one.

Every trundle bed I’ve ever seen or owned has had a mechanism to raise the trundle to the same height as the other mattress, making them effectively the width of a king mattress. If you don’t know to look for the mechanism, you might not know it’s there.

Depends- I’ve seen more than one from Ikea where the trundle is essentially a large storage drawer holding the mattress (and Ikea slat system ) that can’t be raised.

I said every trundle bed I’ve seen raises up. Some posters here are assuming that they don’t. Typically, they do raise up. Looking at Ikea’s website, I do now see one that doesn’t seem to raise, though I see more that do (including the Hemnes one that dangerosa linked to).

Well, whether or not ones that DON’T rise exist, if you buy one, I’d recommend getting one that rises. It would feel weird to lie on the floor below someone else like that, and it’s easy enough to get ones that rise.

My daughter’s bedroom has a single bed that is set up as a daybed - i.e. with enough pillows that you could use it as a couch (albeit an oddly-shaped one) - no trundle. When we were hosting exchange students a few years back we put a daybed with a popup trundle in the basement for the 2 girls to sleep on. In all cases, they have real mattresses, i.e. are a LOT more comfortable than any sofabed I’ve ever tried.

It all boils down to how much room you have. A daybed doesn’t look lovely in a living room and isn’t necessarily the best for seating since it’s a lot deeper than a regular couch or chair - but in an office that can sometimes be a guest room it’s a decent option. A murphy bed would take up a fair bit of cubic when put away, and can’t really be used for much else. When we moved to this house, we did get rid of our traditional foldaway sofabed because we now have a spare bedroom with an actual bed in it, so it’s sort of a moot point.

An advantage of the daybed + trundle - though we have not used it thus - is that if you raise the trundle, you can put it by the daybed and it’s roughly the size of a king-sized mattress.

Not roughly. A king-size bed is exactly the same size and two twin beds next to each other. I think my mother’s king-size mattress is resting on two twin-size boxsprings.

This is what we are thinking of getting. I take it that there aren’t noticable gaps where the cushions come together, or at least, your foam pad is enough to make it not an issue?

We also have an airbed that is as tall as a regular bed, and can be pressurized enough to feel like a firm mattress, which is what I need in order to not have back pain. There are definitely modern airbeds that feel generally like regular mattresses. Except for the temperature issue. The one we have does not bounce like old style ones, and we don’t roll to the center – it doesn’t noticably lose air. It does stretch a tiny bit, so you might have to top it up after a couple of days. And I’m saying this as someone who needs an extremely firm mattress.

Speaking of that, I’m curious if anyone gets lasting aches and pains from a too firm mattress (of any kind)? The bane of my existence when traveling is soft beds. Many people seem to think of it as a plus, but my back can’t take it. I can wake up in tremendous pain, and be hampered in doing anything for the day. It’s nice when there’s a firm mattress, and then a featherbed or other mattress topper that can be offered or removed depending on preference. A super soft mattress just can’t be remedied.

My in-laws have a trundle bed where the pull-out part rises up to be level with the other mattress. There’s a noticable gap, which is not ideal, but it’s fine. And much better than one of us having to sleep lower than the other.

I’ve seen doohickeys for sale to fill in such gaps, though I can’t think of the name right now to search for them. If you put in one of those and then use king sheets, I’d think the difference would be close to unnoticeable, though I haven’t tried it. I have put couples in the two beds jammed together, either with a daybed and raising-up trundle or with two twin beds, and haven’t gotten complaints; though it’s possible they just didn’t tell me.

Interesting; maybe I’ll look more into that. The daybed I had as a kid had a frame that made it so you couldn’t get the trundle right up next to it (even though the trundle popped up); there was always a gap of a few inches. You wouldn’t want to try to cuddle with the other person, especially since the trundle could roll pretty easily. If there was a way to put them all the way together and keep them from separating, that might be the best compromise.

I think if you look at various models you’ll find something that will work. And a king sheet might be enough to keep them together – though, on a rug, I find mine stays put pretty well anyway. I can’t remember if it has brakes, or even wheels, offhand; I haven’t used it that way in a while.

The seat is wide enough for me to use as a twin bed, meaning I’ve never actually dropped down the back panel to create a queen-size sleeping surface. It looks like the “groove” would be big enough to feel through a bottom sheet, but not big enough to really bother you.

The twin-sized foam pad (it’s half-inch convoluted foam) was first created for a a predecessor, one of those cheap flip-out sofabeds. But it makes very quick work of preparing for bed because it just flips out onto the cushions—wearing a washable cover. No need to unfold and try to apply a fitted sheet.