Death of the Manstad: Enter Friheten, Moheda, Lugnvik IKEA sofa bed review


“What happened to the Manstad?!” was probably your reaction when IKEA decided to spontaneously discontinue the very popular sofa bed late last year (2012).

The same thing might have happened when you’ve decided on the Fagelbo sofa bed and found it unceremoniously discontinued (this was back in 2007). Fagelbo Lino Vintage Slipcover (Still can’t tell the difference between Manstad and Fagelbo? Check out our article here!)

It wasn’t difficult to see why the Manstad replaced the Fagelbo; the chaise storage just wasn’t easy enough to open! As for the 2 extra pillows the Fagelbo had, well it is probably more comfortable as a whole sofa but arguably more cumbersome when transforming into a sofa bed. Also, wouldn’t you like to lie on the entire chaise lounge instead of three fourths? But with the awesome Manstad discontinued, we can’t help but ask — which sofa bed deems itself good enough to replace the magnificent Manstad? Or rather — which sofa beds? We took a day off to IKEA and spent a few hours lounging around.

Here’s what we found:

The IKEA Friheten

IKEA Friheten

First up, the Friheten. This sofa bed most resembles the “super sofa bed” Manstad. Its arms are a wee bit skinnier and it has 3 color options; a sand beige, dark grey and a bold colour of pink, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same thing. (Comfort Works now sells IKEA Friheten Slipcovers!)

Also, they’ve shorten one armrest — most likely to cater for the taller people when it goes into sofa bed mode. I suppose that’s why they named the sofa “Friheten” which is Swedish for liberty, related? Maybe. Worth mentioning also that this sofa DOES NOT have pipings like the Manstad used to, we believe it’s one of the cost cutting exercise by IKEA (price did not change from what Manstad’s price was, $699 also then).

Once converted into a double bed, the cushions are rather firm, so we’d actually recommend getting a mattress topper if you have guests/friends crashing over. However, if said guest is drunk, it really wouldn’t matter.

Price: AU$699 in Australia, US$699 in the US
Colours: Grey, Beige and Pink
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 230 x 151/78 x 66 cm
Design: 7
Comfort: 6
Function: 9
Overall : 8 out of 10

The IKEA Moheda

IKEA Moheda

Well we really liked the Manstad’s design, so we found the Moheda to have a bit of an identity crisis. The main problem was that IKEA tried to combine the Ektorp with the Manstad sofa bed. The end result was a combination of classic rounded arms sofa (Ektorp), mini pleated corners, and rounded arms that kinda offsets the structured look of the Manstad. Also, the Moheda sofa bed actually has six decorative cushions acting as back cushions. SIX! I dare you to wriggle into this couch and not make a mess. Like the previous Manstad, it also comes in two colour-ways; Brown and Grey-Blue. Someone please toss in some real back cushions and throw on a new slipcover for the Moheda Sofa Bed!

Overall, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as we’d like it to be. On the plus side, this was a more solid (structurally) and warmer choice when compared to the Friheten. The double arm support was a plus and one of the better options when designing a more traditional/classic living space. I can definitely imagine this sofa bed in a space where family truly live; where practical furniture, fully stocked bookshelves, complete with a cozy fireplace where the kids get some homework done. A space where it’s meant to be comfortable.

Price: AU$999 in Australia, US$799 in the US
Colours: Brown and Grey-blue
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 246 x 150/77 x 87 cm
Design: 5
Comfort: 7
Function: 8.5
Overall score: 7 out of 10

The IKEA Lugnvik

IKEA Lugnvik

Finally, the Lugnvik. This was slightly tricky to transform at first — unlike the Moheda and Friheten which have hidden bed compartments that pull out (front wards) to form a bed, the Lugnvik’s 2 seater is extended forwards to reveal a storage firstly. Subsequently the back frame of the 2 seater is folded downwards to cover the storage and make up the rest of the bed. This means you should not put this sofa right next to a wall as you’ll need space to maneuver. Having said that, the storage isn’t the easiest to access.

Once converted into a “bed”, the sleeping surface is smaller than a double bed. While sofa beds like the Manstad can sleep 2 persons + a cat, comfortably. The Lugnvik sleeps one nicely. The bed is pretty comfortable as are the cushions, but the “extra” legs on this sofa makes it look slightly offbeat. Currently, it comes in two colours, black and red. Most suitable for eclectic living spaces and smaller homes as the size of the entire sofa doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Price: $499 in Australia and US
Colours: Black and Red
Size/Dimension (W x D x H): 223 x 136/83 x 90 cm
Design: 6
Comfort: 5
Function: 7
Overall score: 6 out of 10.

The Verdict:

We’re pretty biased towards the Manstad clone. We still email IKEA once in a while asking them why would they do such thing. The Ektorp hybrid and tiny Lugnvik didn’t stand a chance against the Friheten, in terms of aesthetics and practicality. These 3 new sofa beds are all non-slipcoverable so be sure to visit IKEA to check on the colour hue. If one of them were to replace the Manstad, I’m glad the Friheten was part of the lineup. But hey, don’t take my word for it, if you own one of these sofa beds — let us know what your experience has been like with them! :)

Thinking of slipcovers for these 3? Let us know! :)

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Article written by

A Search Marketing specialist with a multitude of exposure on both physical and digital products, Chuck's also a passionate analyst who loves crunching numbers and big data. Out of the office, he's a singer/guitarist, Ping-Pong master, and a fitness enthusiast; A true Chuck of all trades.

31 Responses

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  1. Mackenzie
    Mackenzie at |

    Great review! I’m currently considering the above mentioned sleeper sofas, so this was very useful. One question though: how would you rate these three strictly as sofas? I can’t help but notice that the Friheten seems to have a rather low back to it. How comfortable is that for sitting?

  2. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    Personally the moheda is probably slightly ahead in terms of functionality as a sofa, the other two feels a bit light in weight and somewhat ‘unsubstantial’ if you get what i mean.

    Having said that, we’d consider these 3 to be on the lower end of IKEA’s sofa line-ups, but considering how affordable they are, it’s really hard to fault :)

    Hope that helps

  3. SM
    SM at |

    After 2 days research – online and in-store – I settled on the Friheten and was smacked with buyers remorse so I was glad to read your article – Ah. Now everything is justified. I agree with your review. The only thing is that the The IKEA Moheda was more difficult to convert to the bed than the Friheten and kept coming off the casters. Could have been a one off but you never know. I would say to anyone – make sure you test it first :)

    Great review. Thanks!

  4. Rex Curtis
    Rex Curtis at |

    I’m agonising about the possibility of fitting one of these into my caravah…has anyone done that?

  5. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    As a sofa itself, i think both moheda and friheten are actually very very similar.
    I think comes down to which style you like better. Moheda and Friheten were modelled exactly like the original Manstad, so they feels exactly the same when sat on actually. Hope that helps – H

  6. Anthony COCCAGNO
    Anthony COCCAGNO at |

    Will you or do you have available for sale covers for the new moheda by ikea?

  7. Alina
    Alina at |

    I have the Moheda couch for over a year and I’ve been looking for slipcovers. There is no such thing!
    Will you guys make Moheda slipcovers? I cannot bear the brown anymore. Pretty please.

  8. Sowmya Balakrishnan
    Sowmya Balakrishnan at |

    We bought Lugnvik sofa (Red) in December 2013 and I must say we have really fallen in love with it! The seating is comfortable and it very easily converts into a bed and the storage is neat and compact! We evaluated different options for sofa bed at different stores and Lugnvik was the obvious choice in terms of price and utility. We really did not see much of a difference between Lugnvik and Friheten in terms of comfort. We did not think of covers then but we felt it would be really great if IKEA came up with more colour choices for Lugnvik. The black one at the store attracted a lot of lint – the red one did not. So we settled in for the red and used light coloured cushions to tone it down. Assembling was very easy and I must say it was the best buy for its price and we love it!

  9. Cindy
    Cindy at |

    Have you looked at the Linden convertible sofa bed by Baxton Studio? It looks exactly like the Manstad to me, yet has an additional feature with a hidden tray and cup holders. I would love to see a comparison of this sofa to the others from IKEA, and find out if your slip covers would fit it.

  10. Akis
    Akis at |

    Which one is more comfortable kivik or Friheten?

  11. Rae
    Rae at |

    Nice review. We’ve been looking for a slipcover for the Lugnvik model for awhile now. We love the sofa, but the original fabric attracts an absurd amount of dust and hair. Are you able to make a cover that fits the Lugnik model as well? Any suggestions on fabric choice that would alleviate our problem?

  12. Khail
    Khail at |

    I know this is an old(ish). I’m trying to find out the storage dimensions of the Friheten. Thanks to anyone who responds

  13. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    The lugnvik’s slipcovers are going through final stages of prototyping at the moment; we’ve been scratching our head as to how we can allow the slipcover to provide access to the bedding as well as the storage compartment. The thing is, the lugnvik sofa ‘transforms’ quite differently to a typical sofa bed where the beds are a pull-out component. Anyhow, keep an eye on this blog post as we’ll be updating it once they’re announced.
    Cheers, H

  14. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    Definitely the Kivik (you’ll need to rotate the sofa every once in a while), but i must say the Friheten definitely more functional with the hidden bed and storage compartment.

  15. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    They are quite practical aren’t they; my personal qualm with the lugnvik is partly because i’m quite lazy once i’m plumped on the sofa and basically i don’t have to get up when my partner needs to access the bed/storage, ill simply roll over to the other side. with the lugnvik, i kinda have to get my bum off the couch :)

  16. shauna
    shauna at |

    I have tested the Lugnvik and the Friheten in the store as I am remodeling my office. Without a doubt the Lugnvik was softer to sit on and to lie on. The Firheten was hard as a rock! I wanted to see the Cerise Friheten, but they had no model and they said I would have to buy it to look in the box. Online I have seen it in so many renditions of pink it scares me. And the sales person kept saying, oh you want to see the HOT PINK one. So I am settling with the Lugnvik in black. From what I am reading, I may be crazy as I have animals. But if I keep on top of using the roller on it, I should be ok. I will let you know how it goes over the next week. And YES! I will love to hear when you make a ski cover for it! :)

  17. Ryan
    Ryan at |

    I have been living with the moheda for 6 months. I looked at the friheten but I wanted to have armrests on both sides. I prefer the moheda and have totally fallen in love with it. My wife scotch guarded the heck out of it when we first bought it because of the no slip cover thing. It still looks new. I pull out the bed section everyday with no issues. The friheten is nice but the moheda seems way more solid. I would recommend it to anyone who wants the benefits of a sectional and a sofa bed but doesn’t have the space and or wants the convenience of pulling out the drawer and popping it up into a bed instead of removing all the cushions and yanking out an uncomfortable spring mattress.

  18. Henry Chandra
    Henry Chandra at |

    Totally agree with you; i think the friheten was designed for ‘longer’ people so that when they sleep on it their legs wont get blocked by the armrests. If i’m not mistaken, the Moheda was recently discontinued again by IKEA though.

    I think IKEA replaced it with another 2 sofa bed series that actually comes with slipcovers. Here’s our coverage on them new sofabeds:

  19. Andrea
    Andrea at |

    Any update on Lugnvik slipcovers? I am excitedly awaiting something fresh, bright and machine washable!

  20. Leo
    Leo at |

    Comfort Works,

    What do you mean exactly by the Friheten “sofa DOES NOT have pipings like the Manstad used to?”

    I’m a bit afraid of Ikea furniture build quality now since my current Ikea couch frame has literally fallen apart.

  21. Rae
    Rae at |


    I would be interested in the Lugnvik cover even if I needed to take it off whenever I need to transform the sofa to a bed. How do I go about ordering?


  22. Grace
    Grace at |

    I also have the LUGNVIK sofa bed and would like to know if Rae and you created a solution that I might also purchase?

    Thank you,

  23. Shari kain
    Shari kain at |

    I have a tan manstad and a charcoal gray freheten.
    Bottom line, they are both used in basically the same shape.
    I’m only keeping 1.
    In your opinion, with grandkids sometime sleeping over my 1100 square foot home, which one would you keep.
    Argument with my daughter needs to be settled.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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