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Shopping Guide for Best Folding Beds

When friends or family visit your home overnight, where do they sleep?

Finding a place for guests to stay can be a hassle, but if you have a folding bed, you can set up a comfortable retreat in a matter of minutes.

Once you've decided to purchase a folding bed, you must decide which product would best fit your needs.

At BestReviews, it's our job to simplify this process for you!

We consult experts, analyze data, examine customer opinions, and test products in our labs to ensure that you get the information you need to make a wise buying decision.

To eliminate the chance of bias, we never accept free samples from manufacturers.

If you’re shopping for a folding bed, please check out the above product matrix to see our top five choices.

If you’d like more information about folding beds in general, please continue on to our full shopping guide.

If you don't have a spare guest room, a folding bed provides an excellent alternative for overnight guests — and you can set it up anywhere you choose.

Advantages of Folding Beds

Are you still trying to decide if you need a folding bed? Let's look at the facts.

  • Folding beds can be packed away for easy storage.

  • If you have a spare room but don’t want to fill it with a bed all the time, keeping a folding bed on hand strikes a good compromise.

  • Parents find folding beds useful when children invite friends to spend the night.

  • Folding beds cost less than standard beds. You can furnish your guest room on a budget.

  • Since folding beds are portable and often have wheels, they're easy to move from one place to another.

  • Some people find a folding bed to be more comfortable than other temporary sleeping options, like air mattresses.

Considerations

Considerations

Mattress Quality

Most folding beds have a mattress made of foam. The reason: foam folds easily with the bed.

But not all foam mattresses are created equally. Some are made of standard, high-density foam; others are made of memory foam. Still others offer a mixture of regular and memory foam. These hybrids represent a financial compromise between inexpensive foam and costly memory foam.

When shopping for a folding bed, pay special attention to mattress thickness. In most cases, a thicker mattress is probably a more comfortable mattress. The thickest folding bed mattress we found during our research was a cushy five-inch unit made by Zinus.

EXPERT TIP

If you want a folding bed that’s just as comfortable as a regular bed, look for one with a thick mattress — preferably one made of memory foam.


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Considerations

Bed Size

For the sake of easy storage, most folding beds are a little on the small side.

While it is possible to find a queen-size folding bed, most are twin-size or smaller. The standard twin size is roughly 38" x 75" (give or take a couple of inches), which should be sufficient to fit all but the tallest of people.

However, you should check the measurements on your chosen product, as some are even smaller than the standard twin size. These are generally aimed at children rather than adults.

If you're expecting guests taller than about 6'2", consider buying a twin XL folding bed; its dimensions should be a bit longer than standard.

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Considerations

Ease of Storage

Finding a folding bed that's easy to store is vital for many consumers, especially those without much storage space at home.

If space comes at a premium where you live, you may want to look for something that can fold down to an extremely compact size. For example, iBed offers some beds that can fold down to fit beneath a standard bed.

The trouble is, beds that fold down small tend to have thinner mattresses, and thinner mattresses tend to be less comfortable. When shopping, you’ll want to strike the best balance you can between storage size and comfort.

Considerations

Frame Type

Most folding beds have metal frames, as this makes them both strong and lightweight. Some frames have a slat-style base on which the mattress rests. Others have a “trampoline style” base. In our opinion, beds with trampoline-style bases are more comfortable, durable, and supportive than slat-style beds.

DID YOU KNOW?

The “trampoline style" base of a folding bed consists of a piece of nylon mesh (or another durable material) affixed to the main body of the base with heavy-duty springs.

Considerations

Ease of Use

You probably don't want a huge production each time you pull out your folding bed for a guest. At BestReviews, we tend to endorse folding beds that are easy to fold/unfold.

In fact, most folding beds are quite simple to fold and unfold, but exceptions to this rule do exist. If you’re buying your folding bed online, you can generally get a good idea as to whether your chosen bed is easy to fold by reading customer reviews.

Considerations

Weight

Before you select a folding bed, check its weight to make sure you can handle it. Although most folding beds can be moved around using their wheels, there still may be times when you must lift or carry your bed.

During the course of our research, we noted folding beds as light as 26 pounds and as heavy as 67.8 pounds.

A good rule of thumb is to never buy a folding bed that's too heavy for you (or someone in your household) to carry.

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Price

You do get what you pay for with folding beds, both in durability and comfort.

  • You could get a perfectly serviceable folding bed for under $100, but chances are high that the mattress would be thin and smaller than a standard twin mattress. If you need a folding bed for occasional use only, you might find this acceptable.

  • If you up your price range to between $150 and $200, you’re likely to find a better bed with a thicker and more comfortable mattress. However, many beds in this price range are still a bit on the small side.

  • Once you advance to the $250+ range, you can find a really nice folding bed that's sized like a real twin and more or less as comfortable as a regular bed. While this might seem pricey, a higher-quality bed will likely last longer.

EXPERT TIP

Sleeping on an uncomfortable or poorly made bed can cause aches and pains, so it's not worth skimping on a folding bed — especially if it will get regular use.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Box spring mattresses are nice, but they just can’t fold “up and away” like foam mattresses can.

  • Some folding beds come with their own storage bag or dust cover.

  • Folding beds with thicker mattresses cost more, but they’re also much more comfortable.

  • A folding bed with wheels eliminates the hassle of lifting or carrying the bed — unless you’re toting it up or down the stairs, of course.

  • Beds that fold down small are easier to store, but the tradeoff is that they're generally less comfortable than those that are larger when folded.
Perhaps you want a folding bed that's lightweight and portable. Or perhaps comfort is your main consideration. To find the perfect folding bed for your needs, think first about what you want and need the most.

FAQ

Q. Do I need a dust cover for my folding bed?

A. While a dust cover isn't completely necessary, it minimizes dust and dirt and keeps the bed fresh between uses. Not only is this more pleasant for your guests, but it can also help your bed last longer.

Q. What size folding bed should I buy?

A. The answer to this question depends on who will be using it and how often. If young children will be using the bed, something smaller than a twin would probably suffice. But if adults will be sleeping on it, we recommend that you opt for the full twin size — especially if it will be used regularly.

If you have the storage space, you could go even larger and buy a queen-size folding bed. This would probably be big enough for a couple (or two to three children) to share.

Q. Should I spend more money on a bed with a higher-quality mattress?

A. This depends on how much you plan to use the bed and how much you value the comfort of your guests. If the bed will only be used for the odd night here and there, it's probably unnecessary to spend a significant amount of money on a high-quality folding bed mattress.

If guests will be sleeping on it for days or weeks at a time, however, we recommend shelling out more for a better-quality mattress so they won't be tossing and turning.

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