Which folding bed is best?
If you frequently have guests over but don’t have a spare bedroom or your couch is too small and uncomfortable, consider a folding bed. If you live in a small apartment such as a studio, folding beds are also excellent for maximizing your space. And standard-size sheets fit them perfectly, so there’s no need to hunt for anything special.
The best folding bed is the Milliard Diplomat Folding Bed. It uses a reinforced steel frame for stability and durability, and it includes a mattress.
What to know before you buy a folding bed
Why use a folding bed
There are several reasons to use a folding bed over a standard bed, but here are the main three.
- Space: They save a surprising amount of it in small or one-room apartments.
- Comfort: They are more comfortable for guests than couches, rickety cots and air mattresses.
- Price: They are much cheaper than standard mattresses and bed frames.
Folding beds have two sizes: open and folded.
- Open: Folding beds use the same terminology as standard bedding, such as full and queen, making it easy to find matching sheets. Most folding beds are twin size. Larger sizes are available but uncommon. Smaller sizes are more common, as they’re intended for children.
- Folded: Folding beds fold down to different sizes. This is most important for ensuring it will fit in your storage space, but knowing how much space you’ll save if it’s your main bed in a studio apartment is also crucial.
Folding beds have their total weight and a weight limit.
- Total: Most folding beds weigh 30-60 pounds. Heavier beds may have wheels to help you move them.
- Limit: Most folding beds have weight limits of 250-300 pounds.
What to look for in a quality folding bed
There are two key aspects of the included mattress to consider.
- Material: Most included mattresses are made of foam, though the foam used differs. The most common is high-density foam, inexpensive and reasonably comfortable. The best is memory foam, though it can be pricey. Some mattresses mix them to improve comfort while keeping costs down.
- Thickness: The mattress’s thickness helps determine how plush it feels. Most are 2-5 inches thick.
Frames also have two key aspects to consider.
- Material: Most frames are made of metal. Steel is more durable but aluminum is lighter and more affordable.
- Base: There are two kinds of bases — slats and springs. Slats run thin pieces of metal across the base in a latticework, while springs hold up a trampoline-like base. Spring bases are better — they are more supportive, more comfortable and more durable.
How much you can expect to spend on a folding bed
Folding beds typically cost $100-$250. Some are available for less than $100, but these either don’t include a mattress or have a barely serviceable one. Others are available for $250-plus and can be as good as a regular bed.
Folding bed FAQ
How do I know what size folding bed to buy?
A. That depends on your needs and how much space you have. If the bed is for a child, you can get a size smaller than a twin. For adults, you should get at least a twin or, if you know you have guests regularly, the largest size your home can afford — both in terms of space and cost.
Do I need a dust cover?
A. No, but it can be useful. Dust covers help keep the mattress fresher for longer, which helps it to last longer.
Should I buy a better mattress than what comes with my frame?
A. That depends on how often it will be used. The occasional one- or two-night guest should be comfortable enough that it won’t be an issue. If you know you’ll be having guests regularly for long periods, or you’ll be using it as your main sleeping setup, it’s worth investing in a high-quality folding mattress.
What’s the best folding bed to buy?
Top folding bed
What you need to know: This excellent frame and mattress combo has wheels for easy mobility.
What you’ll love: The frame is steel with a full wire lattice base that can hold up to 300 pounds. It’s 75 by 38 inches with an included foam mattress that’s 2 inches shorter to allow for optimal folding.
What you should consider: The mattress is firm — those who prefer a softer sleep will find it uncomfortable. Some consumers received mattresses that were an inch less deep than advertised.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top folding bed for the money
Amazon Basics Foldable Bed Frame
What you need to know: It’s a great frame for those who already have the mattress.
What you’ll love: It’s available in all major sizes from twin up, in both 14- and 18-inch heights. Assembly is simple and doesn’t require any tools, but expert assembly is offered for those who need it, though it’s expensive. The bed rarely, if ever, squeaks from movement.
What you should consider: Some of the edges are sharp, enough to cause minor damage if hit just right. A few customers had issues with wire supports breaking or coming loose.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It uses a spring-held hammock base instead of wire.
What you’ll love: It’s available in twin, twin XL and small single for the especially space-conscious. It has wheels for easy mobility, and they lock into place to prevent sliding. The spring-supported bed is comfortable without sacrificing stability and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
What you should consider: A few purchasers didn’t receive all the parts needed to complete assembly, while others received parts for a different sized version.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.