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Contemporary alternative to a sleeper sofa?

Q. I’m looking for a contemporary alternative to a sleeper sofa, something that can hide in plain sight.

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A. Sleeper sofas are so cunningly designed these days that if you’re in need of a new couch, you have to ask yourself if you’re crazy to get one that doesn’t turn into a bed. And some of them aren’t even sofas to begin with. Take the adorable Pedro, by Franz Fertig, at Mobili Mobel (549 N. Wells St., 312-329-9669). It’s a tidy upholstered ottoman (from $2,550) that comes in many colors and prints and folds out into a comfy twin bed. You can just see a fleet of grandchildren docked at grandma’s house for the night.

For maximum sofa and maximum sleeping, Mobili Mobel has another Franz Fertig piece called Scene (from $9,800). It has back sections that adjust to different angles and armrests that become nightstands. It can be configured as a sofa, a chaise, a single bed with a side table, a queen-size bed, and probably some other forms that don’t have names yet.

Another choice is the Flex sofa ($999), a fairly new arrival at CB2 (3757 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-755-3900, 800 W. North Ave., 312-787-8329). It’s a sleek piece of furniture with a retro look, available in either olivine or gravel, that re­quires neither brains nor brawn to transform it into an almost–double bed—it opens to a width of 49 inches. The back adjusts to three positions: 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and flat.

There’s also the Sliding Sofa ($3,500) at Design Within Reach (1574 N. Kingsbury St., 312-482-8661, 10 E. Ohio St., 312-280-4677, 1710 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-424-0881), which makes more of a statement. An obviously functional piece, it’s modern, stylish, and inviting. Mounted on large casters, it opens like a book to a width of 57 inches, three inches narrower than a queen-size mattress, and comes with two plump feather pillows that will fit into standard-size pillowcases.

Next: Sofa Options

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