by

Chuck

2013/08/05

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Comfort Works Custom Friheten Slipcover Before & After in Kino Orange
IKEA Manstad Sofa with slipcover from Comfort Works with Nomad Red fabric customized with white contrast piping
Manstad Basic Fit slipcover from Comfort Works with Nomad Red fabric customized with white contrast piping

“What happened to the Manstad?!” was probably your reaction when IKEA decided to spontaneously discontinue the very popular sofa bed in 2012.

Fagelbo Loose Fit Slipcovers in Lino Vintage fabric from Comfort Works
Fagelbo Loose Fit Slipcovers in Lino Vintage fabric from Comfort Works

The same thing might have happened when you’ve decided on the Fagelbo sofa bed and found it unceremoniously discontinued (this was back in 2007). (Still can’t tell the difference between Manstad and Fagelbo? Check out our Manstad FAQ page here!)

It wasn’t difficult to see why the Manstad replaced the Fagelbo; the chaise storage just wasn’t easy enough to open! As for the 2 extra pillows the Fagelbo had, well it is probably more comfortable as a whole sofa but arguably more cumbersome when transforming into a sofa bed. Also, wouldn’t you like to lie on the entire chaise lounge instead of three fourths? But with the awesome Manstad discontinued, we can’t help but ask — which sofa bed deems itself good enough to replace the magnificent Manstad? Or rather — which sofa beds? We took a day off to IKEA and spent a few hours lounging around.

Here’s what we found:

The IKEA Friheten Sofabed

IKEA Friheten

First up, the Friheten. This sofa bed most resembles the “super sofa bed” Manstad. Its arms are a wee bit skinnier and it has 3 color options; a sand beige, dark grey and a bold colour of pink, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same thing. (Comfort Works now sells slipcovers for the Friheten Corner Sofa-bed and also for the Friheten 3-seater Sofa-bed!)

They’ve shortened one armrest — most likely to cater for the taller people when it goes into sofa bed mode. I suppose that’s why they named the sofa “Friheten” which is Swedish for liberty, related? It’s also worth mentioning that this sofa does not have piping like the Manstad sofabed, we believe it’s one of the cost cutting exercise by IKEA (as price didn’t change from the Manstad’s price was, $699 back then).

Once converted into a double bed, the cushions are quite firm, so we’d recommend getting a mattress topper if you have houseguests or friends staying over. However, if said guest is drunk, it really wouldn’t matter, would it 😛

Price: AU$799 in Australia, US$599 in the US (2017 prices)
Upholstery options: Black leather and 4 varieties of fabric – beige, brown, dark grey and dark orange
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 230 x 151/78 x 66 cm

Our rating:
Design: 7
Comfort: 6
Function: 9
Overall : 8 out of 10

The IKEA Moheda

IKEA Moheda

We really liked the Manstad’s design, so we found the Moheda to have a bit of an identity crisis. The main problem was that IKEA tried to combine the Ektorp with the Manstad sofa bed. The end result was a combination of classic rounded arms sofa (Ektorp), mini pleated corners, and rounded arms that kinda offsets the structured look of the Manstad. The Moheda sofa bed actually has six decorative cushions acting as back cushions. SIX! I dare you to wriggle into this couch and not make a mess. Like the previous Manstad, it also comes in two colour-ways; Brown and Grey-Blue. Someone please toss in some real back cushions and throw on a new slipcover for the Moheda Sofa Bed!

Overall, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as we’d like it to be. On the plus side, this was a more solid (structurally) and warmer choice when compared to the Friheten. The double arm support was a plus and one of the better options when designing a more traditional/classic living space. I can definitely imagine this sofa bed in a space where family truly live; where practical furniture, fully stocked bookshelves, complete with a cozy fireplace where the kids get some homework done. A space where it’s meant to be comfortable.

Price: AU$999 in Australia, US$799 in the US (2017 update: The Moheda sofabed has been discontinued too!)
Colours: Brown and Grey-blue
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 246 x 150/77 x 87 cm

Our rating:
Design: 5
Comfort: 7
Function: 8.5
Overall score: 7 out of 10

The IKEA Lugnvik

IKEA Lugnvik

Finally, the Lugnvik. This was slightly tricky to transform at first — unlike the Moheda and Friheten which have hidden bed compartments that pull out (frontwards) to form a bed, the Lugnvik’s 2 seater is extended forwards to reveal a storage firstly. Subsequently the back frame of the 2 seater is folded downwards to cover the storage and make up the rest of the bed. This means you should not put this sofa right next to a wall as you’ll need space to maneuver. Having said that, the storage isn’t the easiest to access.

Once converted into a “bed”, the sleeping surface is smaller than a double bed. While sofa beds like the Manstad can sleep 2 persons + a cat, comfortably, the Lugnvik sleeps one person comfortably. The bed is pretty comfortable as are the cushions, but the “extra” legs on this sofa makes it look slightly offbeat. Currently, it comes in two colours, black and red. Most suitable for eclectic living spaces and smaller homes as the size of the entire sofa doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Price: $499 in Australia and US (2017 update: discontinued, but we’ve started making slipcovers for it if you want to save your old Lugnvik sofabed)
Colours: Black and Red
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 223 x 136/83 x 90 cm

Our rating:
Design: 6
Comfort: 5
Function: 7
Overall score: 6 out of 10.

The Verdict:

We’re pretty biased towards the Manstad clone. We still email IKEA once in a while asking them why would they do such thing. The Ektorp hybrid and tiny Lugnvik didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Friheten, in terms of aesthetics and practicality. If one of them were to replace the Manstad, I’m glad the Friheten was part of the lineup. But hey, don’t take my word for it, if you own one of these sofa beds — let us know what your experience has been like with them! 🙂

Thinking of slipcovers for these 3? Let us know! 🙂

Alternatively you can click on the relevant links below: