Convertible sofas? When I first heard about these furniture wonders of the modern world, I honestly didn't know what to make of it. I knew that a convertible is a type of car. I get it that there is no roof and all that. I also know what a sofa is. A couch, right? But somehow, putting the two words together just didn't register anything in my head. But I'm a relatively bright person, so before long I had it all figured out. Convertible didn't refer to something not having a top, but to something that can "convert" from one thing to another. See the light coming on?Modern living arrangements, at least for many people, are small and restricted. We don't all have endless space and square footage. We don't all have guest bedrooms and extra beds and furnishings. For many people, living in an apartment or in an adequate, but tight house is a reality. This means that any time we can combine the function of one thing with the function of another, that's a good thing. And this is exactly what convertible sofas do. They combine the function of a couch, or sofa, with the function of a bed. Being able to convert from one to the other is what justifies the name.Some people call convertible sofas by other names. Growing up we always just called ours a hide-a-bed. I have heard others refer to them as different things as well, but the main thing is that no matter what you call them, they do the same useful thing. Now that we know what we are talking about, we can take a closer look at why we might want, or not want, to use one of these bad boys.On the down side, convertible sofas are heavy. This gets crystal clear on moving day. Some of these are constructed so heavily that when you go to lift your end it feels like it is bolted to the floor. Taking the mattress out can help a bit, but the frame inside can be a real bugger to lift. The more people the better. I have also found that even a simple dolly truck can be a huge help when moving these. Just position the dolly and lift the couch up on end so that the bottom frame lands on the plate of the dolly. Now it is just a matter of keeping the thing from springing open. Usually you can do this by tying a rope, string, or even your belt around the bottom of the frame and the handle of the bed mechanism. I can't tell you how irritating it is to have one of these things pop open on you when you are in the middle of a doorway or part way down the stairs.On the plus side is the obvious benefit of being able to offer your guests a bed rather than the floor to sleep on. When your company is there they have a place to sleep. When they leave, you have your sofa back. Pretty slick, eh?Convertible sofas serve a really good function in today's world. They are heavy to move, but at least they last a long time and give you options for sleeping arrangements. I recommend them highly, especially if you can hire someone to move it for you when the time comes.