Convertible Sofas: The Ups and Downs
Let's take a look at convertible sofas. What are they, what do they do, what are they good for, and what are the down sides of them, if any.
Convertible sofas are exactly what they sound like. They are sofas that convert, or change, from a regular looking couch to a bed. They are not all created equal. Some of these require the user to remove the cushions and pull out the mattress mechanism to reveal and use the bed. Others have a mechanism built in that ratchets back turning the sofa into a bed without removing any of the cushions.
When you have visitors, or just need extra sleeping space, convertible sofas come to the rescue. That's what they do. There is nothing worse than having nowhere but the floor to offer our overnight guests. And, unfortunately, we don't all have extra bedrooms that can act as a guest room. That's the beauty of sofa beds.
The good thing about convertible sofas is their dual function. Whether you are sitting around watching tv, eating dinner in the living room, or relaxing on the sofa with your favorite book, a sofa that makes out into a bed at a moment's notice is a thing of wonder. They are just cool. I mean, being able to get all the normal use out of a sofa, then get all the use from a bed is pretty sweet.
But not all things about convertible sofas are peachy keen. There is a down side to these that you may not have considered. A few years ago I learned about this down side the hard way. I had a used furniture store, in a college town, and I sold a hide-a-bed sofa to a girl who needed delivery. She assured me that her apartment was just up one "easy" flight of stairs, and into her living room. No big deal. My son and I loaded the couch up in the truck and headed her way. It was stifling hot outside and the flight of stairs was actually very steep and very narrow. When we went to lift it, we both felt like it was bolted to the floor. It weighed about a ton, and halfway up the "easy" stairs I felt like bagging the whole thing. We fought that thing for about an hour and a half trying to get it to fit into her apartment. I can never be blamed for giving up trying without a fight. We eventually got it in by extending the mechanism, finding just the right angle, and disassembling part of the sofa. It was hard and we vowed to never deliver convertible sofas again. The down side to these (at least the old styles) had been made crystal clear to me once and for all; they are terribly heavy to move.
In the balance, I would have to say that convertible sofas have more positives than negatives. They provide a good option when you don't have a guest bedroom or other sleeping arrangements for your overnight guests. They also allow for everyday regular sofa use. As long as you recognize that when the time comes to move it, it is going to be heavy, you can be prepared to either hire some help, or call on some friends. Convertible sofas have a place in our modern homes. Yes, they are heavy, but the upside outweighs the downside.