Narrowboat Sofa Bed (Different Options)

Are you the kind of person who is happy in their own company? Or are you a socialite who has lots of company. There are some things that you just can’t do without, and if you are the latter, you may want a steady stream of guests to visit even though you live on a narrowboat. If this is the case then you’ll need a solution for when you have company. A narrowboat sofa bed gives you this option. In this article we are going to look at why it is well worth getting one.

Why buy a Narrowboat sofa bed?

If you have seen our article on space saving ideas and on living on a canal boat you’ll already be aware that empty space is at a premium onboard a canal boat. It might not be of benefit for you to have valuable room taken up by an extra berth that is only used a couple of times a month. But here is a solution.

Enter, the sofa bed.

But what makes them the ideal choice? Well, for a start they are not permanently in situ. When they are not being used for sleeping, they fold up, giving you much more room. Some models even give you room when they are deployed!

If you are living onboard you are going to need a sofa anyway. So why not use this fact to your advantage? You get to use it for the rest of the time when no one is sleeping on it. For us it sounds like an ideal solution.

Even if you are more of a solitary soul and aren’t looking for company, a narrowboat sofa bed can be of real benefit. It might even allow you to free a large portion of your bedroom for other things, as you won’t need a bed!

What to Look for in a Narrowboat Sofa Bed

There are a few features that you will need to think about before you invest. Let’s take a quick look.


We aren’t just talking about your hooves sticking out of the bottom when you are lay down, although that said that is important too. The first step in ensuring success is being able to actually get it onboard… Seriously, consider it and do your measurements. If your narrowboat sofa bed can’t fit through the main cabin door (or by removing a window in extremis) then it is going to useless, unless you want to sleep on the cabin roof. What we are trying to say is measure whether it will fit when folded up as well as considering the size when it is unfolded in ‘bed’ configuration.

When considering size also consider orientation. Some larger beds fit… Just. If you are sleeping with one end curled up against a wall chances are you (or heaven forbid your guests) are not going to get a good night’s sleep, making the ‘bed’ part of narrowboat sofa bed pretty useless.

If you have the option to store and deploy it lengthways along the boat instead of horizontally then go for it. It will give you room to walk alongside and you could even leave it folded out during the day if people are staying for an extended stay.

Look for options that offer some under sofa or underbed storage on a narrowboat. Remember space is a valuable commodity so by allowing extra items to be stored underneath you’ll probably be doing yourself a massive favour in the long run.

A popular choice amongst boaters is the Sofa Bed Barn Belvedere Futon. It is custom designed sofa for narrowboats, and it has all of the features above that we have described. It fits through most hatches, has underbed storage and is even compact enough to give you a little room to manoeuvre. Oh, and it is pretty comfy too! Ok it may set you back by a few quid, but that said you have to ask yourself how much a normal bed would cost anyway, not to mention how much space it would use. It would be a shame for guests to always be ‘busy’ when invited because of substandard sleeping arrangements!


Sofa beds are not always the easiest things to buy. Even more so when you are buying a Narrowboat sofa bed. You are playing a juggling act between comfort, space saving and accessibility. Fortunately, our suggestion, or one like it may very well give you the answer. Have you got any other suggestions? If so, we’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below!




Leave a Comment