When space is at a minimum or a traditional bed frame with box spring and mattress won't do, there are always alternatives. Here are some things to look for when purchasing water beds, sofa beds, and daybeds.
A daybed typically consists of a three-sided decorative frame with a link-spring platform. On top of the springs sits a standard-size twin mattress. Daybeds generally do not use a box spring.
Backed with bolsters or piles of pillows, daybeds double as sofas. Some styles have collapsible trundles that slide underneath out of sight to be pulled out when needed. Because daybeds have a link-spring platform with few or no slats and no box spring, mattress quality is critical.
Standard twin sheets fit most daybeds, though always pay attention to your mattress depth when purchasing sheets or comforters. Also, look for bedskirts and comforters designed especially for daybeds.
Today's sleeper sofas are improved over older versions. The sofa is more comfortable and often not recognizable as a foldout unit; the bed is less cot-like and usually has a sturdy mattress that offers support, and the folding mechanisms work easily.
Sofa beds range in size from twin (a large chair) to queen (a large sofa), but are sometimes shorter than a conventional bed, and often have a thinner mattress. Because of size considerations and the folding mechanisms, sofa beds do not include a box spring.
Determine your priority when purchasing a sofa bed. Will it be used as a sofa daily? If so, the comfort of the sofa is the most important. If it will be primarily used as a bed, either for you or a guest, the comfort of the bed is of utmost importance.
When planning a room arrangement around a sofa bed, be aware of the length of the bed when it is folded out. In addition, there should be adequate space on either side to access the bedding and open and close the mechanism.
Furniture placed in front of the sofa bed (such as an ottoman or coffee table) should be lightweight or easily movable.
Water beds have come a long way. Far from the crudely designed beds of the past, beds today have new designs and more user-friendly features.
Soft-side water beds have a quilted shell that makes them look much like regular innerspring mattresses. The center usually consists of water-filled cylinders.
Hard-side water beds rely on the bed frame to keep the bladder-style mattress in shape.
Without a padded cover, traditional water beds must be used with a heater because in a cool room, cooler temperature water will draw heat from your body, causing a chilly sensation.
The vinyl covering should be at least 20 millimeters thick; check to see if sturdy patch kits are available. The bed should also have a liner in case of rupture. Baffles, cylinders, and anti-wave devices control the amount of movement.