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IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed - Review

Should you Buy the IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed?

What a luxury it was to move into my new Melbourne home recently and have a spare room big enough to use as an office and guest bedroom. With most of our friends and family in Sydney, we’re expecting a few interstate visitors from here on in, so making this zone function and look good was imperative. Keep scrolling to read my IKEA sofa bed review.

Updated: See 6 more sofa bed designs here – all for under $1000!

IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed in Charcoal Grey

I gave the office component of this space a makeover recently, so the bedding aspect was all that remained to make the room feel complete.

I’d been on the hunt for a sofa bed the last few weeks. Truth: as soon as we got approved for this place I began looking for furniture to fill it with. That’s what occupies my mind most of the time, actually; thinking about what decor I can buy, where it can go, and what pieces in my home it’ll work with. That’s what a decorating addict does and I won’t apologise for it! I searched high and low for a decent IKEA sofa bed review, couldn’t find it, so decided to turn my own thoughts into one!

The biggest issue I faced on the search for the idea sofa bed was coming across a whooole lotta ugly. And I mean ugly. I think you’ve seen the types I’m talking about; puffy arms, chunky cushions, thick bases that go all the way to the floor. It felt like nobody had invented a new sofa bed since 1992, and I really didn’t want that typical two-seater that folds out with all the springs and steel.

IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed Review

The IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed

A friend of mine actually purchased the Friheten Sofa Bed for his living room. This was when I was living in Sydney a few months back and I was really impressed with how it looked. So it was always a frontrunner unless something better caught my attention. Clearly nothing did, because I purchased it this weekend just gone (and no, IKEA did not give me the sofa. Trust me, I asked and they declined lol).

I went into Richmond IKEA when the doors opened at 10am, purchased it, organised delivery and was back home within half and hour. The sofa bed got delivered the next day and my partner Gavin and I put it up a LOT quicker than some of the other IKEA furniture we’ve purchased in the past. And there were no arguments – bonus!

IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed - Chaise Lounge Storage

What’s good about the IKEA Friheten Sofa

  • It comes in a variety of colours – five to be exact – and the fabric is pretty soft
  • It folds out easily – not in the traditional sofa bed style (you’ll see what I mean in the pictures)
  • There’s no creaky metal bits and pieces like in sofa beds of the past
  • The chaise can go on either end of the sofa (so it’s versatile if you move house)
  • The chaise lifts up so you can store bedding or anything else inside
  • One end features no arm, which means it works well in small spaces (your eye glides over it)

What’s bad about the IKEA Friheten Sofa

  • You might find the three large boxes the sofa comes in hard to transport
  • You won’t fit the boxes in a standard hatchback car, so delivery or a ute is your friend
  • The boxes are heavy and you’ll need two people to put the sofa together
  • It’s not going to win awards for the comfiest night sleep. It’s firm. But it’s fine for a few nights

IKEA Friheten Sofa Bed - Review on The Life Creative IKEA Friheten Corner Sofa Bed Review

 

The Verdict

If you want something that’s suitable for a few nights of rest, or to sit on during the day (which I do when I need a break from the computer) the Friheten is ideal. Your guests aren’t going to declare they’ve had the coziest of sleeps on it by any means, but if you put a mattress protector on top to thicken the base of the bed I think it’ll work a treat. I give it an 8/10.

>>> The IKEA Friheten Sofa retails for $699 for the three seater, or $849 with the chaise. Click here to discover more.

Have you encountered an awesome sofa bed or do you own this one? What did you think of our Ikea sofa bed review? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts with me and other TLC readers! 🙂

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (98)

  • Charmaine Campbell

    Lol, you asked, pity they declined! You were home within half an hour???????????? How is that possible?

    reply
      • Prarthna

        Hi
        How would u say ur experience was after 2 years of use? I’m planning to buy this but I’m not so sure abt the quality, does it last for 2-3 if basic use??

        reply
  • designlady94

    A bit blocky for me (I have the sofa set with the puffy arms 😉 but it looks very sleek and slim. Love the storage component!

    reply
  • Jaki

    Hehe, had to giggle that they wouldn’t give it to you;) We have been looking for a sofa bed(2 actually) for about 2 years. I agree, they are mostly some king of ugly. We did look at the IKEA ones, but with so much vary feedback we walked away. This has definitely helped, I think we will give one a go. Thanks Chris.

    reply
  • Aja

    We recently went through the same process when we moved into a 3 brm house (with the third bedroom too small for a double bed) We have family in Sydney and Melbourne so also needed to be able to host when required. As I’m in the process of taking my loungeroom in a more mid century direction I went with the Doze sofa bed from Freedom. Its very sleek and not ‘sofa bed’ looking at all. However the lack of arms means I can’t sloth on it as much as I’d like – I’ve decided that what I REALLY need now is an Arro Home ottoman to help make it more comfortable 😉

    reply
  • Penny Diekman

    Hi Chris, we are thinking of buying this sofa bed from Ikea, wondered if you had any problems with making the bed? I’ve been told that with some sofa beds there is no way to “tuck” the sheets down beside the mattress. Would love your feedback.

    reply
  • Jasmine

    I just bought this yesterday for my living room, exactly same color. I’m excited to style it!

    reply
  • giddygirlie

    What’s your impression about this sofa for daily use? We are considering it for the living room so that we have a place to let friends sleep over (or just stretch out for a really good movie night) but the sofa in the Ikea showroom was really beat up. The cushions were already pretty flat and so it felt like sitting on particle board – very hard on the buns with very little cushioning. We’re upgrading from the Klippan so it’s not like we’re accustomed to featherbed luxury! 😉 I’m just worried that if this is our daily sitting couch that it won’t be comfortable for us and then when the time comes to share with guests the cushions will be flat and unappealing. We don’t host any week-long visitors or anything, mostly our 10 year old nephew who is perfectly fine with a sleeping bag on the floor so anything else is an upgrade. Not too worried about the firmness of the mattress for guests, I’m more concerned about MY comfort on a daily basis! 😀

    reply
  • Maria

    Would it be possible to assemble it without the arms on either side? My space is only 83″ wide, and fully assembled, it is 90″ (I’m in the US, so operate in feet and inches – sorry!).

    reply
  • Lumina

    We have this couch. We didn’t put the arms on either side.

    reply
  • Hi,

    We are planning to have in our living room too. I am concerned about stains. Did you wash them ever? Did you or your friends had any tough time with stains?

    Thanks,
    Praveena

    reply
    • Tami Mitchell

      The fabric this sofa is covered in is TERRIBLE. It cannot be washed, only spot cleaned. Every time you try to clean it, it only makes it WORSE. For how functional and cool it is, they chose a terrible material.

      reply
      • Michelle Matthews

        Yep, It’s the worst for stains, it’s a stain-magnet and as Tami says, nothing seems to clean it. Stains only move and change shape. I’ve got the beige version which is obviously the worst for stains.

        reply
  • I just bought this piece of shit today and I’ve been at it trying to assemble it for over a couple of hours. The problem is that the threads just don’t line up! It is so frustrating to try and piece them together when they want you to keep flipping the thing around and it obviously won’t hold the pieces together because the fucking threads don’t line up!

    reply
    • Frank

      I’d have respected your view more w’out the swear words.

      reply
      • JAN

        I SECOND YOUR VIEW FRANK. LADIES DONT USE THAT LANGUAGE IN A BLOG.

        reply
    • Jimmy Tuazon

      I didn’t have a problem assembling mine at all. The threads will line up, but it’s up to you to get the bolt level and aligned with the threads in the hole. This is not a product issue, I can assure you.

      reply
    • You really need two people to assemble this. I did it by myself, three times actually — twice because I changed my living room setup to switch the short side of the sofa, and then set it up again after I moved — but it’s very frustrating to assemble alone. But then I get some joy from completing challenging tasks on my own, so it was my choice to tackle it this way.

      If you can help it, plan to have a mechanically-inclined friend assist!

      reply
  • Who going to buy such sofa bed that will too difficult to handle and could be the cause of discomfort. And if it’s costly then more tension as soon it will be useless. I think it’s not perfect for a house where family live together but yeah….a single person its good not best.

    reply
  • Raya

    I just bought the sofa bed without the return. The sitting portion is so hard it feels like cardboard. Went back to the store and sat on the models and they all felt fine. The salesperson said another had been returned and it could be a manufacturing issue. I am waiting for a return call from after purchase customer service. VERY disappointed.

    reply
    • diane howarth

      I wish I had read your review before we bought it.raya.we got the same one yesterday and yes its like sitting on a rock.have you heard back from them yet ??

      reply
  • Hi there! I am planning to buy this sofa bed to use it as a bed every nights as I have a small flat. What do you think about it? It is really uncomfy? Or would you suggest an other sofa/suggestion? Thanks in advance

    reply
  • Curious to know your recommendation on a mattress topper for this sofa/bed. Size and type?

    reply
  • Danbobbbb

    Please don’t. If you sleep on this thing every night, it will surely deteriorate th was padding and you wash definitely feel the wood bars under the cusions. I have this and the padding broke down after 8 months.

    reply
    • Tomasz Banas

      I just called IKEA as we had the problem wtih this sofa. I was informed they revamped this on January 2017 and started selling new model that looks the same.

      reply
  • Atom

    I loved this couch when I got it but it has been two years now and I am already looking to replace it. It was never really comfortable to begin with, but over time it gets worse and worse. Plus, I’ve had to move with it twice. Even though we were very thorough in disassembling/carefully moving/reassembling, the couch has never been the same since. The arms are always at an angle and the sofa bed rolls away from the rest of the couch.
    I really wish Ikea would make a higher end version of this because I love the design but it doesn’t work well as a heavy use couch and sofa bed.

    reply
  • Ashley

    I had the manstad– the predecessor– and found it the most comfortable sofa bed I ever slept on. It’s firm (but that means no bouncy sagging springs and back pain)– the key is to get a really good, thick featherbed mattress topper– size is US full. Then you can get a sheet that goes directly in that and zips on like a pillow case– and you just fold it and it fits right in the storage chaise. When it’s time to go to bed, just pop it on, along with a diver and pillows, and you’re good to go– so so easy, and no making and remaking the bed every night. I’m currently buying a studio and need a sofa to be my “evey night” bed and am deciding between this and an American leather mechanism from pottery barn that costs 10x as much– only downsides to this frighten for me are that its a bit hard and uncomfortable as a sofa, and I find it a bit ugly. But for ease of use and as an every night bed, and multi function (sofa, storage, movie snuggler) I really don’t think you can beat it, even at the very high end shops.

    reply
  • Zareen

    My sofa bed rolls away from the couch. Did I miss something during assembling?

    reply
    • Lesley

      Mine rolls away too. Did you ever figure out why?

      reply
      • Yup — there are two hooks on the bottom and it hooks to the main piece. Push it back in and wiggle until it hooks. 🙂

        reply
  • Natasha

    Debating this vs the Lugnvik! Would like to have it as a light usage everyday couch. Might have overnight guests every 6 months who stay for a couple of weeks. Will this hold up?

    Also a bit tight on space. Could I use it without the armrests? Do the legs go under the armrest or under the couch itself?

    Would love your feedback. Thanks!

    reply
  • Natasha

    Thanks Chris. Just bought one today! The regular one without the chaise though. I hope it’s not too different. I don’t have too much room. Thanks for the feedback!

    reply
  • teg122

    Hi Chris, I noticed you mentioned that you have cats. Are yours interested in the material or is it too tightly woven to scratch? We are looking for a sofabed this style. In the past, our cat scratched furniture with the exception of those with microfiber like fabric, which is what is making us a bit uncertain about the Ikea model. Thanks!!

    reply
  • Hi Chris, I have cats too and I was wondering if the weave of the fabric makes it difficult to remove fur. Some fabrics I find it vacuums right off, but some fabrics the fur almost gets woven into it! Let me know.

    reply
  • Rob

    I bought this sofa in the Bomstad black version (the fake leather). It’s incredibly uncomfortable to sit or sleep on. The fabric versions might be slightly better, but I would seriously not recommend you buy the fake leather version. I am regretting it!

    reply
  • Sarah

    I slept on this for a few nights when I was staying in Seattle. I slept just fine but I can sleep anywhere really, especially for just a few nights. I’m moving in June and I definitely can’t afford a 2br where I am going to be living so I will most likely get this for my couch and a place for my guests to stay! Hopefully I don’t get one with the issue mentioned above about being hard as a rock :/

    reply
    • Renie B

      I’ve slept on this bed multiple times when visiting friends in Chicago. With the addition of a feather mattress topper, it’s been the most comfy guest bed I’ve ever slept on, and mitigates the joints in the cushions and hardness. I’m getting it for my guest room!

      reply
  • Weeza

    Aside from the bed comfort how comfortable is it to sit on? Is it good for everyday use?

    reply
  • Sarah

    We’ve had a Friheten (the same grey as the one pictured) as our main sofa since Feb 2014 and it’s still going strong. We bought it as as we had a one bed apartment at the time and needed something easy to use for the occasional overnight guest without the hassle of a traditional sofabed which requires unfolding. The Friheten was the most elegant solution available without spending a small fortune and considering we’ve now had in over 2 years, has also proven itself to be great value. We’ve moved house once in the time we’ve had it and not had any major issues with assembly – the most inconvenient thing (as with all large furniture pieces when you move) is transporting it. I’d definitely recommend it for spare room/study use – as others have mentioned it is comfortable but quite firm, so if you like to sink into something cushy it’s probably not for you.
    It’s worth noting that the guys at the excellent ComfortWorks (an Aussie Textile Workshop) make custom covers specifically for the Friheten with lots of different fabric choices – great for anyone who fancies a revamp or if you like the shape and function of the Friheten but want outside the limited Ikea colour range. They also have links to instructional videos for anyone who needs a video tutorial for assembly:
    http://comfort-works.com/en/friheten-sofa-covers/friheten-snug-fit-slipcover-401

    reply
  • Ria

    $699? At ikea it retails for $799 and the black colour is $899 currently?

    Is the current ikea sofa is a newer version than yours $699?

    reply
  • PleasantPlainer

    Did anyone find any info anywhere (or can they share) on how best to clean this thing? We bought one used on CL. The seller told us their dog laid on it, occasionally and only during the day (did not sleep on it). Alas, we found after we set it up (easy!) it has a pretty strong odor of dog. Also some very minimal stains that we’d like to clean. Any thoughts on this particular model or Ikea similar fabrics generally. I see nothing on Ikea site nor in instructions on cleaning. Any good products you can recommend? Is steam cleaning ok for this fabric? Will that remove the odor and minor stains? Thanks!

    reply
  • Jae Dollason

    This couch is at the top of my list, but I’m wondering how it holds up with every day use overtime? After two years or so, can you tell a difference in the two cushions when the bottom is pulled out to make a bed for guests? The hardness doesn’t bother me a bit, but I think that would.

    reply
    • Ours is going pretty well, but it’s not our every day couch. It’s only used occasionally and as a spare bed sometimes.

      reply
      • Jae Dollason

        Thank you!!!

        reply
  • Jean Bustamante

    Can two of this be attached, so to make a large wide u shape couch, with a chaise at both ends?

    reply
    • Hey Jean. I’ve never seen this done, and I don’t believe it would work because the end without the chaisse on it is not the same as the end with the chaisse. There would be nothing to connect the pieces together. I hope that helps.

      reply
      • Cplus Here

        This would work. You’ll just put the chaise on opposite ends, and you’ll have a little dip or divet where the two sofas touch because the lower armrests will be butted up against each other right there — but it shouldn’t look bad. The side low arm rest is not removeable because it’s how the base is bolted in on that side.

        reply
    • Rachel

      We did it! It worked great!

      reply
  • L L

    Hi there, Can anyone tell me what size sheets they use for this sofa bed?
    Also, I have a pretty large SUV – would the boxes generally fit in there, or do you recommend delivery?
    Thanks!

    reply
    • Hey LL. I’ve tucked in a fitted queen sheet around the edge of the sofa bed and it’s worked just fine. Where you tuck the sheets in is not super-deep, but it will still hold throughout the night. Hope that helps 🙂

      reply
  • Tanya

    Hi we bought this sofa bed about a month ago and I’m really happy with how modern it is. It is for our spare room/games room so isn’t used for hours on end….BUT my only question is…how do you get your bedding and what size do you use???? I have queen sized fitted sheets and I couldn’t tuck it in on the side where the back is. I have just bought a memory foam topper for it, so that should make it cosy for sleeping on, just the bedding is my issue….any thoughts???

    reply
  • Joy

    Has anyone tried to switch the side of the chaise from one end to the other? Would this be difficult to do? I’m looking to purchase this sofa and there’s one on CL for sale but the chaise is on the opposite end of where i’d like it. Thanks for any help you can offer!

    reply
  • Mickie

    After spending a frustrating half hour trying to put fitted queen size sheets on the sleeper, my husband and I decided that the designer of this sofa bed didn’t consider how this would be done. I’d love to know if they tried to put on a fitted sheet and how long it took them. I think the flat sheet idea is probably the best solution. Consider this issue when deciding to purchase!

    reply
  • Nora

    Do the handles that release the “bed” part tuck into the sofa or are they always hanging out?

    reply
  • Chelsea

    Do NOT buy this sofa. We bought it and it is terrible to sit on or lay on. You can feel the frame of the sofa when you lay on it or sit. Around the edges as well as where the chaise meets the rest of the sofa. This will definitely be returned, which sucks because t is SUPER heavy. Laying on it now and it feels like laying on a pillow with two by fours underneath. 🙁

    reply
  • Garner

    Chris.

    One thing that concerned me was that the size of the bed does not seem to correlate to standard fitted sheets. Did you find that. Or did you forgo fitted sheets. I would like to use fitted sheets if possible without them being too sloppy or too tight.

    reply
  • Charlie

    I have had this sofa almost 2 years. It’s developed a small tear along one of the seams (mine is the faux leather) but otherwise in great shape. It isn’t the most comfortable as you say, but a great design. I find myself pulling the bed out just to be lazy and watch TV sometimes, it is so easy to do and you can spread out.

    When I have guests I use King sheets, they work fine and you can tuck them in most of the way around. Although it doesn’t necessarily look great it works.

    I put this together myself so it is possible, it is a lot easier I’m sure with two people. As far as switching the sides, yes it is possible and you can download the instructions online. However you basically have to take it fully apart and put it back together again. Make sure you get the tools with purchase or plan to buy some.

    reply
  • Sam

    Hi guys,

    Does ther sofa comes with cushions? I have called Ikea and they told me I need to payn £27 per cushions wich add up £81 to the total price. This seems really weird to me. Did you have to buy them?

    Thanks

    reply
  • Claire

    Hi Chris! Now that you’ve had the sofa for a while, have you found the seat cushions to sag or soften? I know you just use this as an office sofa, but it seems to be one of the big complaints people have with this design.

    Thanks!

    reply
  • Jude

    We bought this for our study/guestroom as our old one was worn out. My parents were coming to stay and they are in their late 70s, so we bought a mattress topper to make it slightly softer. My dad said it was comfortable ( they were here for a month) I have also slept on it ( husband snores!!!) and find it really comfortable. Our dogs and cat find it comfortable too.

    reply
    • Chris

      Hey Jude, we bought this recently and I’ve only had two sleeps on it — because I snore — and it is terribly uncomfortable. I wake up unable to move and feel like I’ve been in a boxing match the night before.

      What kind of topper did you get? It sounds like I really need to get one too.

      Thanks.

      reply
  • I have had this sofa for a year and a half and love it! I actually came across your blog because I was looking if anyone had hacked it to make it bigger by adding a second chaise to it on the other side. I would love to make it more like a giant sectional. Do you have any ideas about that?

    reply
  • Tammy

    I have this sofa and have been having problems with it lately. I’ve pulled the part out to make it a bed but when you sit on this collapsible part it gives away!! It’s unpredictable and causes you to fall off. Anyone else have this problem and a fix?? Im afraid to sit on it when it’s bed now.

    reply
  • Pat

    Chris, I love those pillows you’ve chosen. Especially the black&white patterned on in the first pic. Where can I find one for my Friheten?

    reply
  • The Friheten Corner Sofa Bed I just purchased emits a very strong toxic like smell. The strong smell fills the entire apartment. I have had windows open, put pillows outside, used 8 baking soda boxes to try and absorb gassing off fumes, but not helping. Anyone else have this issue. Purchase March 2018.

    reply
    • Same for me ! Assembled mine 2 days ago, still smelling strong. Has yours improved yet ? How many days did it take to improve ?

      reply
  • Josh

    Hi there, I’m currently looking for a sofa bed and came across this. I’ve heard sofa beds aren’t really good for long term use (sleeping on it every night). However, due to my current situation of needing space and having a bust double bed, I found that a sofa bed may be quite handy. Would you recommend this for a full time bed granted it had a mattress/mattress topper on it?

    reply
  • TN

    Good review. Did it come with the two back support cushions? Or Do you have to order them separately – it’s really not clear from the ikea website!

    reply
    • Gavin Thomas

      It comes with all of the back cushions.

      reply
  • Chris

    Wondering if someone who has bought a mattress topper for this sofa bed could specify which brand/size worked for them? I love the sofa bed, but hate that it’s between standard sizes for bedding!

    reply
    • Gavin Thomas

      Have used queen size sheets and protectors on it without too much issue

      reply
  • KJ

    That’s a great post! Given the popularity of this sofa bed, I was surprised that there were not many reviews of it.

    Have you had a chance to compare this sofa bed with the Holmsund version? I do understand that there is a price difference but just wanted to understand if it was worth spending extra in terms of increased comfort?

    reply
  • Jindrich

    Hi Chris, its been 4 years now since you purchased this sofa. Are you still satisfied? We have a lot bad reviews about this sofa on Czech IKEA web. People complain that the textil is not a good quality, it has puffs after few months of ussage. And they also complain about butt dent they´ve molded soon on their sofa. But I really like the design, so despite the negative reviews I´d like to buy it.
    Than you for your review
    Jindra

    reply
  • Jam

    Hi! Has anyone had experience switching the chaise lounge from left to right?

    reply
  • Tina Hutton

    I bought this sofa bed a little over a year ago and am extremely disappointed. The fabric on the seat has worn so badly, sagged and bobbly.
    I am shocked it only has z 12 month guarantee.
    Extremely bad quality from a store that prides itself on design and value for money.
    I would advise anyone looking for a sofa NOT to consider this one.

    reply

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