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What is a Chair Bed? Taking Advantage of Small Spaces

  • Chair bed
  • How to
  • Sofa bed
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Ed Hawes
What is a Chair Bed?

Living in a tight, compact space doesn't have to leave you yearning for more space. Cleverly thought-out furniture can solve most small space conundrums. The chair bed is one of those. The rise in popularity of the small sofa bed, armchair bed or single sofa bed chair - whatever you call it - is a small space saviour that has transformed homes. 

Simply put, chair beds are revolutionary. Sounds dramatic, but they optimise space perfectly without sacrificing on style or comfort. It‘s a win, win scenario. Chair beds transform effortlessly from a cosy armchair during the day to a comfortable single bed at night. It’s almost therapeutic. Chair beds are the definition of versatility paired with convenience, which is the one-and-only reason why we need to talk about them.

So, without further ado, in this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about chair beds: 

  1. What is a chair bed?
  2. What’s the difference between a chair bed and sofa bed? 
  3. What are the benefits of owning a chair bed? 
  4. How do you build a chair bed? 

What is a chair bed?

It’s simple: a chair bed is a small sofa bed; the only difference being size. As we know, a sofa bed usually comes as a two seater or three seater sofa, with a pull out UK double mattress. Sofa beds are an excellent convenience, yet many homes aren’t generously sized to fit a two or three seater sofa bed. That’s where the problem-solver, the space-giver comes in. Aka, the chair bed. 

The Model 08 Chair Bed

The chair bed is an armchair bed. A single seater that unfolds into a single bed. Chair beds are perfect for those with small spaces, who’d like to have the option for guests to stay. As you can imagine, chair beds take up very little space. 

And form an armchair by day. Magic. 

Whether you're curling up with a good book, watching your favourite show, or taking a power nap, a chair bed offers the perfect spot to do so. And for your guests. They create a reading nook, an escapist corner, or just simply another seat in a space-limited room. When not in use as a bed, the chair bed is a perfect place to relax and unwind.

What’s the difference between a chair bed and a sofa bed?

The difference between a chair bed and a sofa bed is that a chair bed is a single seater, a one man (or woman) band, if you will. It’s an armchair that has a single mattress pull-out hidden beneath it.  A sofa bed, on the other hand, is usually a two or three seater sofa with a UK size double mattress, that mirrors a double bed. 

A small sofa bed is the definition of ‘party for one’. Yes, a chair bed limits the number of guests you can have over at one time (some might say that’s a good thing). But, if you don’t have the space for a sofa bed, then this is the perfect solution; the next best thing. Also, not everyone is partnered, so a double isn’t necessary. And, if you have children, a chair bed is ideal for sleepovers. I-deal. 

If you do have space for a full size sofa bed, do not fear. At Swyft, we have two sofa bed options; the Model 04 and Model 08.  

What are the benefits of owning a chair bed? 

Chair Bed

Here‘s the benefits of owning a chair bed broken down into four areas: 

Space-saving saviours

As already mentioned, an armchair bed is designed to save space. Perfect for space poor living rooms and apartments. Chair beds function as comfortable armchairs and statement pieces that double up as a sleeping area at night. They’re smaller than a sofa bed, acting as an incredible space-saving tool. 

Not 100% sure on which room you’d place your new chair bed, do not fear. Most chair beds are light, so they can be transported from room-to-room easily. 

Affordable furniture piece  

Chair beds are a great option for those on a budget. Instead of purchasing two pieces of furniture; an armchair and a bed, the chair bed offers an all-in-one solution at an affordable price. Excuse the plug, but the Swyft Model 08 chair bed starts from £1,395. Saving both time and money. 

Comfortable and stylish 

As the chair bed is half bed, naturally it’ll have comfort at the heart of its design. At Swyft, our sofas come with memory foam, which means your guests will dream in comfort and sleep in style. The best of both worlds.  

Versatility is the key 

The chair bed can be used as an armchair by day and a cosy bed for sleeping at night, making it one of the most versatile furniture items you can own. 

Not only can an armchair bed take up less space than a bed or sofa bed, but it can be placed in most rooms around the home. The most obvious is the living room; it can be paired with a sofa and used as extra seating for guests. In the hallway, in the study, or the bedroom, an armchair bed can be used as a reading nook for novel escapes. It’s like a chameleon – camouflaged. Perfect to get away from the madness of heavy-traffic areas.

We do not joke when we say there’s a colour and fabric for every interior, every personality. At Swyft, our chair bed comes in 55 colours, across linen, royal velvet, mottled velvet, faux suede, faux leather, cotton, wool and boucle. The world is your sofa, as they say. 

How do you build a chair bed?

We can only speak for ourselves, but building a Model 08 chair bed is easy, the quickest transformation yet. So, here’s your step-by-step guide on how to turn an armchair into a bed: 

Step 1: 
Take off the cushions and put them to the side

Step 2: 
Lift the tab in the middle and flatten out the base 

Step 3: 
Pull out the legs and set it onto the floor

Step 4: 
Push down the back on the chair

Step 5: 
Time to enjoy your single bed.

Building a chair bed is that simple, we completed it in 25 seconds. Watch here: 


The chair bed is a game-changer. Hands down, it’s guaranteed to transform your space and how you live in that space. Especially for those with compact spaces.

Chair beds combine comfort, style, convenience and functionality perfectly, whilst enhancing the living area. It’s also a solution for those on a budget, who don’t want to splash out on a bed and an armchair.

A small sofa bed means you will no longer have to confine your guests to night on a blow up mattress; you will no longer need to end the night early so your guests can get home, or limit alcohol consumption on those spontaneous wine nights. Sleepovers for your children will no longer be a logistics nightmare - just a simple matter of carrying the chair into your child’s room before transforming it into a bed for your child’s companion. 

Chair beds are one of the most versatile furniture items one can own. And ever-so easy to style - a simple cushion and throw that fits your interior’s aesthetic. Transform your small space into a place where you, and your guests, can relax in style with the convenience and versatility of a chair bed. 

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