Once we bit the bullet and ordered a sleeper sofa for our guest room, I started thinking: how many nights in a hotel would this same amount of money buy? Would we actually come out ahead by paying for our guests' lodging instead of a piece of furniture?
Let's say the average price of a sofa bed is $1,500 (I did not arrive at this number mathematically, but I have looked at hundreds of sofa beds in the last few weeks.) and that the average night's stay in a hotel/motel is $150. That means that over the lifetime of our not-yet-arrived sleeper sofa, we would have to have guests stay with us 10 nights. (I will confess that in my post-purchase panic, I thought it equaled 100 nights.) I certainly hope this happens, but as we've only had people stay with us 3 nights in the last year, it won't happen right away. If we'd splurged on one of the luxurious $3,000 models, we'd need 20 nights' worth of guests to make up for the cost. If we'd skipped this purchase, we might have ended up saving money over the years— and we wouldn't have had weeks worth of online shopping and spreadsheet-making headaches!
Of course, there are other ways this particular piece of furniture can add value. The one we ordered will look fabulous (we hope) in our office/guest room, will act as a non-cushy couch for me to work from home on, and will provide refuge when one of us is sick and needs to sleep alone. It will also provide a downstairs sleeping option if you happen to have, oh, say, fractured your foot on a Slip-n-Slide.
We also love the slumber party aspect of having guests— staying up late drinking wine, falling asleep watching a movie, and making breakfast together. Having to head out to a hotel means staying sober and alert, and adds transportation stress at the end of a lovely evening. Besides, out here on the prairie, the nearest motel is 20 miles away! Better to suck up the price of a sleeper sofa and keep our loved ones safe and close.
Is having a spot ready for guests to sleep totally worth it for you, or would you rather just wing it when someone comes to town?