The 8 Best Sustainable Sleeper Sofas of 2022

Eco-friendly and ethical sofa options for hosting guests.

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Sleeper sofas have a reputation for being the worst of both worlds — uncomfortable to sit on as couches, and wretched to sleep on at night. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and modern versions are generally much more comfortable and durable than those of the past. If you want a more sustainable sleeper sofa, in consideration of both the environment and that of your guests, many of the same companies that make eco-friendly couches from more natural materials also make sleeper sofas. 

In this category, it can be tough to “have it all” — most of the mattresses on the sleeper sofa beds, for example, are made from regular polyurethane foams, which is made from fossil fuels and can offgas over time (though some have natural latex or other mattress offerings). If you decide to go purchase a couch with a set of less-than-perfect materials, one way around the problem is to let the sofa offgas somewhere. If you have a covered area, a garage with a door you can leave open, or a less-used room where you can close the door to the rest of your house and leave windows open, you can unfold the sofa to it’s bed form, and let it sit to offgas for a few days to air out the odor.

Ahead, we researched the market to find the best sustainable sleeper sofas.

Best Overall: Gus* Modern Flipside Sofabed

Gus* Modern Flipside Sofa Bed

Courtesy of Wayfair

This goes-with-any-decor style is easy to unpack (it simply unfolds onto the floor), and doesn’t have any moving parts that could break. That cuts down on its cost a bit, so it’s relatively affordable, while still having all the eco bona fides sustainably-minded shoppers could want.

The queen-size mattress means there’s room for two guests if needed, and it includes a removable cotton top sheet sized perfectly to make the bed. The frame is constructed with 100% FSC Certified hardwood that’s kiln dried (great for durability), and the pillows are filled with an eco-friendly synthetic down made from recycled water bottles.

Best Non-Convertible: Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa

Arch Nomad Sleeper

 Courtesy of Burrow

If you don’t want the space or hassle of a pullout bed (or if you have mobility issues that would prevent easily using one), Burrow’s Nomad Sleeper is a generously sized couch (it comfortably fits three people), and transitions into a bed-for-one with a conversion kit.

It includes a memory foam topper (for both comfier sleeping and to keep guests from being in contact with the couch’s surface), a custom sheet set designed to fit around the couch and topper, a quilted cotton blanket that’s sized for couch sleeping and won’t slip onto the floor), and a pillow that fits the width of the couch too. It’s a smart solution that keeps hosting simple as it’s easy to set up and take down, and can’t break.

In terms of the couch itself, all Burrow couch frames are made with sustainable sourced hardwoods and their foam cushions are made with the promise of minimal VOCs, and are free from heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. We particularly like the upcycled olefin fabric that has such a tight weave it’s inherently stain-resistant.

Best Memory Foam: Joybird Eliot Sleeper Sofa

Eliot Sleeper Sofa

Courtesy of Joybird

The company’s most popular sleeper sofa, this one gets high marks for comfort as both a couch and a bed. The couch’s frame is made from kiln-dried, responsibly sourced wood, and joints are glued with low-VOC adhesives), stapled, and screwed to ensure durability over time.

Choose the Key Largo fabric option, for bright colored textiles produced in an environmentally friendly mill. The couches are built in Tennessee, Mexico, and Siloam Springs, Arkansas. For every order, Joybird plants trees to offset (and then some) the materials used in your couch.

Best Budget: IKEA HOLMSUND Sleeper Sofa

IKEA HOLMSUND Sleeper Sofa

Courtesy of IKEA

Unlike other sleeper sofas, this one’s bed isn’t a separate piece pulled out from within the couch frame. Instead the sleeping surface here is created by sliding the bottom cushions out, and then pivoting and sliding the back to join it, creating a flat, padded surface—with a handy storage space underneath. It's the perfect space for pillows and linens to make the bed with.

The Holmsund’s cover is made from 100% recycled material, and Ikea made a commitment that all its wood and cotton will be from more sustainable sources as of 2020. This sofa gets good marks for comfort and we like that you can wash the cover regularly, which for some means it will last a lot longer before becoming dingy.

Best King: Luonto Casey King Size Sofa Sleeper

Luonto Casey King Size Sleeper

Courtesy of Luonto

Luonto furniture is all handmade in Finland, where the family-owned company has been based since the early 1960s. The same family owns a timber business, Viitala Forest, where they harvest the Nordic Spruce and Birch used in their sofa frames. After harvesting a tree, new trees are planted to begin the cycled again.

Since the company processes its own wood, any waste is converted into wood pellets that are used in ovens for heating the company’s three factory buildings, as well as a local school and other buildings in a nearby town. The sleeper sofas are handmade, wood joints are wrapped and adhered with water-based glues, and waste is rigorously designed out of the production process.

Best Queen: Pottery Barn Chesterfield Roll Arm Upholstered Sleeper Sofa

Pottery Barn Chesterfield Roll Arm Upholstered Sleeper Sofa

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn has several styles of certified low-VOC couches that come with the option of a full or queen memory foam mattress. The Chesterfield is the one that has the most formal style, so it’s extra surprising to find a large pull-out mattress hidden inside it.

Crafted in North Carolina, the kiln-dried wood that makes up the bones of this couch is built to last, and the mattress is a full 5 inches thick — with regular foam underlying 1.5 inches of gel-infused memory foam for extra comfort when it’s a bed. Pottery Barn’s certification is via Greenguard, which means they are “scientifically proven to meet some of the world's most rigorous third-party chemical emissions standards, helping to reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure.”

Best Twin: Cobble Hill Lucali Twin Sleeper

Lucali Twin Sleeper

Courtesy of ABC Home

If you only need a twin bed, but you still want a pullout option, this loveseat sofa from ABC Carpet and Home will keep things nice and compact. Available in several colors (including a lovely subtle teal), this plush sofa is handmade in the Unites States and framed with wood from responsibly managed forests.

Seat padding is made from foam wrap surrounded by 75% recyclable fiber and 25% certified down.

Best for Small Spaces: Luonto Elevate Bunk Bed Sofa Sleeper

Luonto Elevate Bunk Bed Sleeper Sofa

Courtesy of Jensen-Lewis

Yes, this couch converts into a bunk bed that will fit two full-sized adults. It’s a pretty fantastic piece of design engineering from this Finland-based company, and would be ideal for a smaller space (with high enough ceilings)—since the beds fold up and over each other, you don’t need much floor space and you can still sleep two people.

The Luonto furniture is made with durability and sustainability in mind (see "Best King" pick above).

Final Verdict

The Gus* Modern Flipside bed (view at Wayfair) is an unfussy option that will work for most people who need an occasional guest bed. If you have a super-tight space, the Luonto bunk bed (view at ByDesign) is a pretty genius solution that takes advantage of height rather than what is likely limited floorspace, with room for two.

What to Look for in a Sustainable Sleeper Sofa

Fewer VOCs

There’s a fairly long list of chemicals used in different parts of the furniture manufacturing process. There are solvents and sealants to coat wooden parts, and coatings sprayed on fabrics to make them stain-resistant. As a group of chemicals, these are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Often you can smell VOCs (that “new stuff” smell is oftentimes these chemicals offgassing). VOCs not only worsen indoor air quality, but they also contribute to smog.

The United States government doesn’t set standards for VOCs but reports that levels of these chemicals are typically 2-5 times that of outdoor air and links that to both household cleaning products and “household materials and furnishings.” It’s not always easy to avoid these chemicals, since sleeper sofas don’t come with an ingredients list. But you can look for furniture that promises it’s not made with VOCs, wood that’s not treated with formaldehyde, and for natural materials, like organic fabrics and solid wood.

Trusted Certifications

When shopping for sustainable furniture, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for trusted third party certifications. For fabric, you can look for Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or blueSign. For wood, the top certification is the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). Learn more about different seals you may find on products, check out Treehugger’s guide to sustainable certifications

Why Trust Treehugger?

Starre Vartan has been researching and reviewing environmentally sustainable products for 15 years and wrote a book on eco-friendly, healthy living. As a traveler who has been to 29 countries and 49 of the 50 U.S. states, she has slept on many fold-out futons (some for weeks at a time) and pull-out beds. She especially appreciates new thinking of old design, so was impressed with how many different ways a couch can become a bed.

View Article Sources
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality.