Are pullout couches worth it for STRs?

7 Replies

Hey all.  I am working on fitting out our new place and we are considering different options for couches, futons, daybeds for our place.  It has one level that is a loft that is the main sleeping area that will host the only traditional bed and likely a day bed as well or possibly a futon.  The main level has the kitchen and dining area as well as some living space.  I am considering a couch that has the ability to convert to a bed but notice that many of the current models don't have a traditional mattress that you can put a cover on but use the cushions as the bed itself.  This makes me wonder if people would feel comfortable as it can't be wrapped in a standard mattress protector and the couch would be exposed to more wear when people sleep on it.  I could be overthinking it, just looking for some feedback on traditional "hide-a-bed" versus the newer style couch to bed conversions.  I could also just go with a regular couch.

I would not buy a futon.  They are awkward to sit on and a poor solution for extra sleeping capacity.

Get a mid-grade leather sofa sleeper from Bassett for $1400 and call it good.  You can put a mattress protector on it.  

Yes, a sofa sleeper is a good investment - more sleeping capacity will make your STR attractive to a wider audience of prospective guests. You'll pay for it with a few extra bookings and it will last 10 years or more.

@Jonathan Stone in most cases I have them but don’t advertise them.

The type of folks that are ok with sleeping on a couch are not the greatest guests in general.

Big rule of thumb in this biz... “the more they pay the less they complain”

NOTE: I’m renting nice to very nice single family homes in drivable vacation markets that are worth up to and over one million dollars each. Your market may be different!

I've got 83 beds, 4 of which are sofa beds. Based upon my experience, I would advise against relying upon sofa beds to provide a quality stay at an STR. I would only go with them if you are trying to provide an economy stay.

@Jonathan Stone Pullout couches can absolutely be worth it.  Here are my examples.. I have a 2 bed cabin that sleeps 6, it has 2 rooms with real beds then a pullout.  Without the pullout it would only sleep 4.  There goes the family that has 3 kids or even 4 kids.  The reality is that the pullouts are really for the kids cause lets face it not many people want to sleep on the pullout, but generally the kids don't mind and some of them like it just because it is different.  Now having said that, if 6 adults book that cabin we have a discussion with them to make sure they know up front that 2 of them are sleeping on the pullout.  It is very clear in our listing what the sleeping arrangements are but some folks don't read and I want them to know for sure.  

Another 2 bedroom cabin I have sleeps 8.  It has 2 king suites on different floors.  Then it has a pullout in the living room and in the theater/game room.  In this scenario what I pickup is the the two family scenario.  Each floor sleeps 4, so 2 adults in each king suite and 2 kids on the couches.  I also pickup the extended family where the grandparents are in one bed, the parents are in another and the kids again get the pullout.

So yes they are absolutely worth having in these types of scenarios.  Having said that, you need to make sure you get a good commercial sleeper sofa.  We also have upgraded the mattresses to thicker commercial grade mattresses as well.  Even though, it still won't compare to a regular bed, they do up the comfort level considerably over the stock mattresses.  Although these two cabins that I mentioned are small, they are high end cabins with indoor heated pools that bring in excellent rents.  Never had a complaint about the sleeper sofas and I continue to build my list of repeat guests at these cabins.

Thank you all for the feedback!

I am leaning toward having them but not advertising them as our house is really ideal for 1-3 guests and will hold 4 but I wouldn't want to entice bigger groups as I think it will wear hard on the house and lead to less enjoyable experiences.

It’s interesting reading all of the different perspectives on this. I rent cabins in areas where people do a lot of hiking. Most of my cabins are two bedrooms, but the custom sectional sofa turns into two daybeds if a group of 6 wants to stay at our cabin.

It is clearly stated in our listing that two of the guests will be staying on daybeds. I’ve never had anyone have issues with it. And they are very nice and pretty comfortable. I’m a furniture designer so they are designed and built by me. 

I charge $50 per person, per night after the first 2 people (on top of the base price), so financially it really makes sense to have the day beds.

We have a sofa-bed in one of places and it is absolutely mandatory! Opens up the options for people with kids among others. It is a queen, we got it at a second-hand store, in like new shape for $200. We purchased a 3 inch foam pad (nice one) to go on top and it makes it pretty comfortable (so we hear) No complaints, people love it.....