fold-out chic: the sofa bed finds new following
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Once regarded as a clumsy thorn in the eye and belittled by overnight guests for lack of comfort, this convertible sofa bed has become one of the most popular furniture on the market.
Private-held companies dominate the industry, making accurate measurements difficult, but analysts estimate that the market is growing by 5 to 10% a year and by up to 2.
Sofa Bed-8 million
More than $1 billion in sales
It will be sold this year.
For most homeowners and apartment residents who lack room space, the sofa bed is a hidden option to turn any room into an impromptu room. The one-
The time of the studio apartment and the nest the ugly duckling has become fashionable, thanks to the improved works, the spring mattress, the stylish design and a wide variety of fabric coverings making it difficult to distinguish the sofa bed from the ordinary sofa.
\"The sofa bed has found its place in the world;
\"Now it\'s an accepted piece of furniture,\" said Peter Cassidy, a buyer of Bloomingdale mattresses and sofa beds . \".
There are more and more advertisements. that place is the front and center of the apartment and house.
According to the National Home Association of Chicago, they did not catch up with the average sofa, which sold 3 to 1 higher than the sofa bed.
However, with the increase of living space, especially in the city, the customer\'s demand for goods is getting higher and higher.
Look for sofas for their living room and other rooms that also fold into comfortable beds for the guests and themselves.
The ad \"it makes a smaller room look like a dormitory,\" said millionaire publisher and athlete Malcolm Forbes, who recently bought a sofa bed for his children and grandchildren for them
Don Imus, a disk rider on New York\'s WNBC radio, said, \"I\'m shocked that you can get a convertible that looks so good. \'\' Mr.
Imus recently bought a sofa bed as a study in his Manhattan apartment.
Depending on the dealer discount or custom design, the price of the sofa bed is usually between $650 and $1,500.
They have two single beds, full or Queen size.
For smaller units, special sales can cost about $300, while the cost of segmented grouping or custom coverings can be as high as $5,500.
Many upholstered furniture manufacturers offer their best convertible versions
Ordinary sofa for sale.
These cost about $100 extra.
The boom also helped the futon and lower-priced sofa makers whose cushions were pulled out to form a bed but lack of foldingout mechanisms.
The folding Army bed has been used since the Roman era, and on the 19 th, the bed hidden in armoires was made
Century automobile manufacturers.
The bed linen legend is that at some point in the 1920s S, the decorator began to hide the bed in his seat --
Sofa, chair, even footrest.
Manufacturers and retailers say the story of today\'s jazz sofa bed began about five or six years ago.
Fred predi, president of Sealy Connecticut furniture, said: \"Before that, it was a heavy square item, placed in a remote room, \"One of five US private companies licensed under the name Sealy.
As demand increases, houses become more expensive and rooms become smaller, and manufacturers are beginning to realize the potential for dual use.
They have developed a stronger spring mattress so that two people can sleep on the bed without tilting.
Other design innovations were followed up quickly. Fold-
The Out mechanism is now made of steel and aluminum instead of iron, shedding 50 to 75 pounds from the bulky shape of the sofa bed, making them easier to handle. Most queen-
For example, the size of the convertible goods weighs about 200 to 250 pounds.
The weight of the traditional sofa is about 150 pounds.
The advertising frame for most sofa beds is made of solid hardwood floors with a deeper cavity inside which can lower the base, allowing for a fatter seat cushion.
In most cases, the main support bar of the bed, known for poking a defective sleeper, has now been recessed.
Of all the technical improvements, perhaps none of them are more competitive than their respective mattresses.
It used to be just a soft foam, a stronger foam and a compressed air mattress are the norm now.
\"The arrival of seven people --
Bruce Lawson, executive vice president of Flexsteel Industries Inc, said last year the inch spring mattress was the most significant change in 20 years.
A manufacturer in Dubike, Iowa
This is not the case, other manufacturers say.
\"It\'s not the thickness that matters, it\'s the hardness,\" says Karen D . \"
Carpenter, national marketing manager for Simmons American upholsteryS. A. , the Atlanta-
Leader in sofa bed manufacturers.
Simmons\'s trademark hiding-a-
Standard or five-inch
Deluxe inner spring mattress in inches.
The Castro convertible now has a built in model
In a compressor with an inflatable mattress up to 7 inch.
Other major manufacturers, including Stearns & Foster, Michael-Kaye and La-Z-
Boy, also improved their mattress design.
Removing lumps and dents from sofa beds has improved their reputation, but dealers say styling changes are essential to convince consumers to buy sofas for their living rooms.
Now manufacturers send their designers to Europe to study and incorporate the latest trends.
\"Now, it\'s imperative to buy a sleeping sofa that you can decorate,\" he said . \"
Brumingdale\'s Cassidy sold 6,000 sofa beds in 1985, up 30% from this year.
All of this means that the competition for 75 to 100 sofa bed experts is even more intense, and their profit margins are being squeezed by hundreds of upholstered furniture companies that are adding sofa beds to their product line
Wallace W. said the ad \"I can\'t think of a company that can\'t produce at least ordinary sleeper sofas with upholstered furniture \". Epperson Jr.
He is a furniture analyst at Richmond Wheat First Securities.
Manufacturers and retailers advise consumers to find answers to the following questions when purchasing sofa beds.
Appearance: what material is used for cushions and pillows?
Is the curtain attractive?
Is there enough padding for the armrest?
Sit on the sofa for comfort.
Mattress: How thick is the mattress?
Does it have inner springs, foam or other material?
How long should the mattress last?
Lying on the bed to check the lumps, dents and overall hardness.
Folding mechanism: try to pull the bed out and fold it back to test the ease of use of the mechanism.
How is the mattress suspended on the bed? With canvas? Springs?
Check if the bed legs are strong.
How many sofa beds?
Frame structure: it is a frame made of cork or hard wood, which is strong and durable.
Warranty: does the retailer or manufacturer provide a warranty for the mattress or sofa bed?
What are the terms?
Fabric: How durable is the fabric?
Is it easy to wash?
Can Retailers cover the sofa with their own fabric?
If so, what is the additional cost?
Option: Does the sofa bed have options such as folding headboard or inflatable mattress?
A version of this article was printed on page C00006 of the National edition on July 24, 1986 with the title: Fold-
Out chic: the sofa bed has the following new findings.