​How to Fix a Sagging Sofa Bed

​How to Fix a Sagging Sofa Bed

4th Apr 2017

Sleeper sofas are notorious for being the beds of last resort. They have a reputation of being uncomfortable for good reason. Hard support bars and sagging mattresses can make a good night of rest challenging for even the soundest of sleepers. On top of that, sagging mattresses can make even sitting on the sofa an ordeal. If you’re tired of your sagging sofa bed and ready to do some DIY handiwork, here’s how to fix a sagging sofa bed.

How to fix a Sofa Bed

The average sofa bed has three main parts: the sofa frame, the bed frame, and frame mechanism. Fixing a sofa bed requires that you inspect each section to identify weaknesses or broken parts.

The Sofa Frame

  1. Pull your sofa away from the wall, remove the cushions and mattress, and pull out the mattress frame. Use a flashlight and inspect both inside and outside for tears, missing screws, broken or cracked wood, and any other problems you might notice.
  2. Measure and replace missing screws.
  3. Reinforce broken or cracked wood with a 2x4 cut to size and either wood screws or nails.
  4. Sew up torn sections or patch them with fabric if the tear is too large.

The Bed Frame

  1. Use your flashlight and inspect both the top and bottom sides of the frame for bends, missing screws, or loose or missing springs.
  2. If your frame is metal, hammer out any bends you find.
  3. If your frame is wood, measure a piece of wood to fit the space and reinforce the frame using wood screws or nails.
  4. Replace the missing screws and/or springs.

Sometimes the bed frame which the mattress sits on is too damaged to repair. If this is the case for your sofa bed, don’t call the junk haulers just yet. You can find new sofa frames online, which can make your sleeper sofa like new. Just be sure to have the length, width, and height measurements of the sofa frame ready before you start your search!

The Frame Mechanism

  1. Turn over the sofa bed if you cannot easily access the folding mechanism, or if this part is stuck. Use a flashlight to inspect the folding mechanism carefully. It may be a good idea to take pictures for reference.
  2. Check to see if any fabric or other items are stuck in the gears. If fabric is caught in the gears, remove it carefully with a pair of needle nose pliers. Do not use your fingers.
  3. If needed, apply some metal lubricant to help keep the parts moving smoothly.
  4. Some sofas come with a locking mechanism. If your sofa will not open, check the manual or contact the manufacturer to verify whether or not the sofa is locked.

Fixing a Sagging Sofa Bed

Sagging mattresses are common in older or well-used sofa beds. The problem is usually a combination of the mattress itself as well as the support that props up the bed when in use.

Some sofa beds have webbing that hangs over the frame and keeps the mattress supported. This webbing may be metal mesh, synthetic, or a combination. After prolonged use, the webbing loses its tension and causes dips in the mattress.

Even if you don’t use the bed portion often, regular use of the couch cushions puts strain on the bed components beneath. Before you know it, the sofa is sagging and proper nighttime comfort is impossible.

You can solve this problem by creating a base that acts much like the top of a box spring mattress. Instead of being a solid piece, this support will fold in and out with the frame so you don’t have to place it under the mattress with every use.

Here’s how to create a new mattress support for your sagging sofa bed:

  1. Measuring out a piece of ¼” plywood or fiberboard.
  2. Cut the board into two or three pieces depending on how the mattress frame fits into the couch.
  3. Test the fold and estimate the amount of give that you will need so that the individual panels can fit neatly into the couch frame.
  4. Lash the individual pieces together loosely using trimmed zip ties, small binder rings, thin braided rope, or wire as hinges. This step may take several tries before you find the perfect fit.
  5. Place the new mattress support on the frame.
  6. Add your mattress and fold back into the frame; top with couch cushions.
  7. You’re done!

Fixing a sagging sofa bed takes some handiwork skills and some patience, but this is absolutely worthwhile for the comfort of your guests. You’ll likely notice a difference when you sit on the sofa as well!