Feb 27, 2024

Burrow Shift Sleeper Sofa review: The best sleeper sofa we’ve ever tried

For so long we’ve had to accept that sleeping on a sleeper sofa means not sleeping well. In the past they’ve been most commonly made up of a thin, lumpy mattress that sits on top of a squeaky metal frame, which you have to dangerously unfold from the sofa whenever you want to get some shut-eye. Even just recently, more stylish-looking sleeper sofas always have the caveat of not being that comfortable to sleep on all night. That is, until Burrow, one of our favorite sofa-in-a-box brands that takes durable furniture to the next level, entered the sleeper sofa scene.

On June 13, the brand introduced its first-ever sleeper sofa that revolutionizes what a sleeper sofa is, how it works and what it looks like. As a huge fan of Burrow — its pet-resistant fabric has made having a cat and nice furniture actually possible for me — I had to give this new sleeper sofa a shot.

Burrow's sleeper sofa is innovative and extremely comfortable, and it looks just as modern as all its other furniture. Though it's got a steep price point, the sofa has proven to be durable and a totally life-changing addition for all guests.

There were three basic sleeper sofa designs that I was familiar with. One was a couch with a folded mattress and metal frame tucked inside. Another was a basic sofa that had a back that laid down flat. And then there’s the kind where you have to pull out a drawer from underneath the sofa to reveal a mattress. While the first kind clearly has its issues (squeaky metal, thin mattress), the more modern designs meant you were always lying across either a distinct gap between the sofa’s bed and back or between two mattresses.

Clearly neither option was great, so Burrow figured out how to change that entirely, starting with the inside. The Shift Sleeper Sofa seat is made up of two mattresses stacked on top of each other, which makes sitting — and napping — right on top of it incredibly comfortable too. When you want to turn the couch into a bed, you simply lift up the top mattress by its integrated handles and lay it down on the ground, where it then sits level with the mattress still resting on the base of the sofa. Voilà! You’ve now got a queen-size mattress on your floor.

There’s no metal. There are no creaks. And it’s not a two-person job to create and put back together again. I, a not-very-physically-strong-5-foot-tall person, can do it with one hand. Plus, because it’s a queen-size mattress, you can just use queen-size sheets on it too. Not only that, but the arm cushions are actually standard sized sleeping pillows in disguise. Just zip off the cushions’ covers, slip on your favorite pillowcases and snooze away on some truly hotel-level plush pillows.

In addition to the innovative design, it’s got an innovative assembly process. Like other Burrow furniture, it ships in as few manageably sized boxes as possible. This whole sofa ships in just three: one box with the two mattresses and seat deck; another box with the legs, arm panels and mattress cover; and a final box filled with the pillows that make up the arm and back cushions. The splitting up of these pieces also means that no box was too heavy to push up a flight of stairs. For anyone living in an apartment or dealing with stairs, this is a massive game changer.

In typical fashion, this Burrow sofa comes together with exactly one tool: a slim screwdriver that also doubles as a bottle opener — a cute-as-hell touch that also means you can enjoy a refreshing adult beverage once your work is done.

From start to finish, the two of us were able to assemble the sofa bed in under 45 minutes. The packaging clearly states what to open first, and the instructions were exceptionally clear. All screws were large and screwed in with just a few twists of that tool.

This is what really matters to me in a sleeper sofa, and I say confidently that this Burrow sofa is the comfiest sleeper sofa I’ve ever slept — and sat, and napped — on. The magic is again from within: Each mattress has a layer of cushiony memory foam that makes it feel like not just a mattress but a good mattress. (Burrow’s actual bed mattresses are great too.)

One thing I was worried about is that since it is technically two mattresses shoved together, wouldn’t I feel the gap between the two? Burrow already thought of this issue, though, and sewed in a thick layer of fabric that keeps the two mattresses together and makes it so that, with a fitted sheet, you barely notice the gap at all. You can really sleep right across it with no problems. And since it is queen size, anyone from myself to someone who’s over 6 feet tall can sleep comfortably on it, which you can’t say for many of the sofa beds where you just fold back the back cushions to create a bed.

So many sofa beds tend to look larger and heavier than an average sofa, but with its minimalist design, Burrow’s avoids that. The sofa itself is designed with Burrow’s Field silhouette, which is the slimmest and most modern of Burrow’s sofas, with thin back and arm panels that give it a lovely midcentury edge. It’s got dark walnut legs and comes in two easy neutrals: either a gray or navy blue. And of course the fabric itself is typical Burrow — we’ve already spilled red wine on it (don’t judge us) and with a simple stain remover it lifted up quickly. Even my cat’s incessant scratching hasn’t left a mark.

While it’s incredibly comfortable to sleep on and looks fantastic, my only complaint is that it can be a little difficult to put the fitted sheet on all the way around the mattress itself. Because the mattress fits tightly into the frame, you really have to shove the two sheet corners that are against the frame in super, super deep in order for the sheet to stay. It can be a bit of a struggle, so using something like a shoe horn or really anything long and flat to shove in those two back corners can help. It does take a little practice, and leaving on the back pillows to hold the sheet down help, but once you’ve done it once you can replicate your technique again.

If you’re in the market for a sleeper sofa and you’re dreading being stuck with one that’s uncomfortable, unstylish or just annoyingly heavy, I cannot recommend the Burrow Shift Sleeper Sofa enough. Though it’s an investment, like all good couches are, it’s truly the only sleeper sofa I’ll have for the rest of time. The fabric’s already proven to be durable against stains and cat scratches, and I’ve never seen a design like it. What’s most important is that all our guests who have slept on it so far sleep like a baby — and are already looking forward to sleeping on it again.