Sometimes there is no choice but to sleep on the couch. We have all been there; house guests come around, you wind up at a friend’s house for the night, or you happen to fall asleep on the couch before making it to bed.
This happens to everyone, and we have all heard the story that sleeping on a couch will ruin it, but is this story true?
Sleeping on a couch for an extended time can ruin it. Sleeping causes more wear than regular couch use, and sleeping on a couch for many nights in a row is likely to cause harm and reduce the lifespan of the couch. Sleeping on a couch very infrequently will not cause much damage.
Sleeping on a couch is not ideal for anyone, and even a great couch is no substitute for a good bed, but there are times when sleeping on the couch is the best option.
Let’s explore the potential damage, if any, that may be caused by sleeping on a couch and why this damage may occur.
Can Sleeping on a Couch Damage It?
Couches are sturdy things. The truth is that couches are designed to be used, and they are meant to withstand the weight of people sitting on them and to soak up any wear and tear that comes from shuffling around on them or even from the pressure of knees and elbows pressed into them.
However, we all know that couches do not last forever, and there are some use cases that drastically diminish the lifespan of a couch or that may even cause irreparable damage to it.
Unfortunately, sleeping on a couch long-term is one of those use cases. Using a couch for sleeping is likely to cause severe damage to a couch over time and ultimately ruin it or at least make it very uncomfortable to use.
Couches are meant to be used for sitting on and let’s face it, very few of us are privileged enough to spend all day every day sitting on a sofa. For this reason, couch manufacturers do not design couches to be durable enough to withstand constant use.
Most couches are designed to last for several years if they are used intermittently for sitting, but the lifespan of this type of furniture is significantly reduced if it is used for extended periods of time.
Sleeping is one way to use a couch for extended periods. If a couch is used for sleeping, it is used for several hours without intermission, and then it is likely to be used for seating during the following day as well.
If this pattern occurs for a long period, or if a couch is used instead of a bed on a regular basis, the couch is likely to wear out much more quickly than it would under normal use. For this reason, the unfortunate truth is that sleeping on a couch for a long time is very likely to ruin it.
How Does Sleeping on a Couch Ruin It?
As we have already discussed, using a couch for extended periods is likely to cause harm to the couch and reduce the longevity of the furniture. This may be confusing because couches are designed to be used for seating, so how does sleeping on them cause so much harm?
When a couch is used for sleeping over a long period of time, the couch, its support structure, and the cushions on the couch are subjected to large amounts of pressure and wear.
Couch cushions are designed to be used for a while and then released to aerate and reinflate. This keeps the cushions light, comfortable, and functioning well.
If the cushions are compressed for a very long time under significant weight, the fibers of the stuffing material begin to break down and lose their ability to puff up back to normal size. The longer a couch is used for sleeping, the less comfortable the cushions will become and the more damage they will sustain.
The same I true for the support structure within a couch. Each area of a couch is intended to bear the load, but when a person sits on it, the load is localized to one area of the couch, preserving the rest of the couch and minimizing overall wear, which in turn prolongs the lifespan of the structural components of the couch.
If a couch is used for sleeping, more of the couch is used at once, and thus the structural components of the couch are put under more strain than they would otherwise be, and so they will wear out more quickly.
This means that using a couch for sleeping on over an extended period will ruin the couch eventually, and after a long time of using the couch as a bed, it will simply never return to its former state of comfort.
How Long Does It Take for Damage to Occur?
We have established that sleeping on a couch is harmful to it, but the good news is that sleeping on an acouchi infrequently or only using it for sleeping once or twice every month or so is not likely to cause significant damage.
Sleeping on a couch for a very long time, every night over a period of consecutive weeks and months is likely to cause significant damage to the couch, but sleeping on a couch once in a while or only on rare occasions will not cause noticeable damage.
This type of use will reduce the lifespan of a couch overall, but in the same way that spending a day on the couch does.
How to Mitigate the Damage
If you have no choice but to sleep on the couch, whatever the reason may be, there are some ways that you can reduce the harm caused by using the couch as a bed.
To mitigate the damage caused by sleeping on a couch, try to change position regularly. Switching to the other side of the couch will help to wear the couch more evenly, reducing overall harm.
Be sure to not spend too many consecutive nights on the couch, and try not to use the couch much the day after sleeping on it. This will allow the couch cushions time to puff back up to where they should be and reduces harm overall.
Certain couches will sustain more damage from sleeping than others but be sure to not use a couch for sleeping very often, and the couch will last much longer.
At the end of it, sleeping on the couch for one night here or there is not likely to cause much harm, but try not to do it too often. Using a couch as a bed for extended periods will ruin the couch over time.
Couches are meant for seating, not for sleeping, so try not to use your couch as a bed if you can help it. Sleeping on the couch is not very good for your health anyway, so sleeping in a real bed is preferable for everyone!
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.