If you have guests coming in for the holidays and you don't have a spare room, the couch and the living room are generally the de facto place to put them. Even if your couch is a lumpy, uncomfortable mess, there are some tips to making the experience less terrible.Photo by Bogdan Seredyak.
First, you want to create a space that's akin to a room. Whether it will be you or your guests taking on the couch, you want it to feel as much like a bedroom as possible, but still be quickly changeable into a living room space. Making a room more familiar is half the battle and it might be easier to deal with an uncomfortable couch if you're comfortable with everything else.
Make the couch as much like a bed as possible: Unless you have an incredibly spectacular couch, it's probably not the most comfortable place to sleep. The first and easiest thing to do is get rid of the back cushions if you can so as much space as possible is available. Toss on some sheets, pillows and blankets, and it's a reasonable little space to sleep on.
Perform some minor service on your couch ahead of time: On the same note, flip the bottom cushions or mattress if it's a pullout sofa before they arrive. It might not seem like much, but it makes a big difference. When you're doing that, you can clean out all the chips crumbs too. If your couch is still horribly uncomfortable, it might be time to pick up some new foam. This guide from eHow walks you through the simple process of installing it. If your couch doesn't use foam, you can restuff it with cheap stuffing. The nice thing about stuffing the couch with new foam is that you'll have a better couch when your guests leave then when they arrived. Of course, if you're feeling especially crafty, you can always hack a mattress into a couch.
If it's an older, saggy couch, you can also cut out a piece of plywood the size of the bottom cushions and place it underneath to add more support. It might seem like a lot of work, but you can leave it there year round to add a little comfort. It's worth flipping the couch over and seeing if any of the support beams have busted and repairing those as well. Most repairs and stuffings can be done on the cheap, and not only will they make your couch comfortable for your guest, they'll make your couch more comfortable in the long run.
If the problem is the opposite and the couch is too firm, you can always cut a sheet of foam mattress pad to fit the couch, or if you have enough room, stuff it inside the padding. If you have camping gear, repurpose your mats for the couch. Some people might find a sleeping bag helpful as well, since the usual association with sleeping in one is of a hard, uncomfortable surface.
Photo by Stephen Pierzchala.
Convert your end tables into a nightstand: If you don't have lamps, consider moving some to the living room. You might also want to make sure there's an outlet so they can make a charging station for their phones or gadgets. You can prepare a handy information packet for them so they can contact you, log in to your Wi-Fi network or get your complicated home theatre system working.
Make a fake wall: If your guests like at least a little privacy and your house or apartment can't offer it, you can easily make a fake wall from a shower rod and a sheet or curtain. It's not going to work in every home, but if it does, it will at least provide a little bit of a barrier between your loud morning routine and their sleeping area.
Give them a place to store their things: If your guest is on the couch, that means all their stuff is in the living room, which might mean that a lot of junk is strewn about everywhere. If you have something in or near the living room that can be converted into a dresser, do it. It might be as simple as clearing off a bookshelf or cabinet, but as long as their things are off the floor, it will help keep the area clean.
If you combine these tips for couch comfort with our previous guide to being a good host, you'll certainly win over your guests.
How do you usually make the couch and living room a more comfortable space?