How To Choose A Daybed

Daybeds offer a purposeful yet stylish option for those looking for an alternative to the standard bed or sofa. These hardworking pieces have become a must-have for small homes and apartments where multi-function is desired.

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Due to their popularity, daybeds come in a myriad of types, styles, and designs to fit your home and taste. If all the exciting possibilities overwhelm you, we are here to help. Below you’ll find all the details on how to choose the perfect daybed for you.

What is a daybed?

Having evolved to this day since ancient Egyptian times, a daybed is neither sofa nor bed, but a clever combination of both. Today, they are made to be space-saving for use in dual-purpose spaces such as guest room/office or studio living room/bedroom.

Daybeds are used for lounging, sitting, and sleeping. Typically, they take on the same shape as a standard sofa with a long back and short sides with an open front. They are most often found in the size of a standard twin bed (38” x 75”) but can come in other standard bed sizes of full (54” x 75”), queen (60” x 80”), and king (76” x 80”).

What types of daybeds are there?

While the most common type of daybed is the three-sided variety that looks like a cross between a twin bed and a sofa, other types warrant mentioning.

All-Purpose Daybed

This is your typical go-to type great for use in a studio apartment, teen’s room, or guest room/study with a long back, two sides, and an open front. The all-purpose daybed is fitted with a twin mattress that is supported by slats or spring suspension with an open space underneath. The open space can be used for a trundle bed or for tucking away storage boxes behind a bed skirt.

Brown Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle
Brown Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle
Black Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle
White Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle
Black Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle
Brown Classic Metal Daybed With Trundle

Storage Daybed

Daybeds with drawers built in underneath provide an extra space-saving feature. Storage daybeds are most often made of wood with a single or double row of drawers built-in under the mattress. These units offer storage for clothing in a kid’s rooms or a college student’s dorm.

Gray Single Drawer Wooden Daybed With Trundle
Gray Single Drawer Wooden Daybed With Trundle
Black Triple Drawer Wooden Daybed With Trundle
Gray Double Drawer Wooden Daybed With Trundle
Black Double Drawer Wooden Daybed With Trundle
White Classic Wooden Daybed With Trundle

Outdoor Daybed

Made for lounging, an outdoor daybed comes in a variety of versions with or without a canopy. The mattress of these daybeds is upholstered in UV and mold resistant fabrics made for outdoor applications. You will also find a fun outdoor daybed that hangs and swings. They can be outfitted with toss pillows for extra comfort.

Brown Classic Solid Wood Patio Daybed
Brown Classic Solid Wood Patio Daybed
Brown Classic Wicker Patio Daybed
Black Modern Wicker Patio Daybed
Brown Classic Wicker Outdoor Daybed
Brown Classic Solid Wood Outdoor Daybed

Typical Daybed Styles & Correlating Materials

As with a regular bed or sofa, daybeds come in all décor styles, including traditional, transitional, contemporary, modern, eclectic, country, rustic, vintage, bohemian, and more. As you’ll discover, there are specific features of daybeds that are more common than others.

The materials, design, and finish of the daybed correlate with its décor style, for instance:

  • Raw iron with sharp edges – industrial
  • High polished steel with scrolled design – transitional
  • Fabric upholstered with button tufting, scalloped edges – traditional or contemporary
  • Leather upholstered with button tufting, straight lines – contemporary
  • Rough-hewn wood, raw finish – rustic or country

What is a trundle, and why do I need one?

A trundle is a low bed frame on wheels that can hold a twin mattress. It slides under a daybed when not in use and can be easily rolled out to allow for use as an additional bed.

Some trundles have a mechanism to raise it to the level of the other daybed mattress, or it can be rolled away from the daybed altogether for more privacy. Some trundles have a solid front that fits perfectly into the frame of the daybed for a smooth look, while others will need a bed skirt to be hidden.

If you plan to entertain and require extra sleeping space, a trundle is ideal. Additionally, if you live in a small apartment with multiple children in one room, a trundle can provide room for activity during the day and sleep at night.

Can I use a standard size mattress with a daybed?

The most common mattress for a daybed is twin size (38” x 75”). Besides a crib mattress, a twin is the smallest size mattress made and allows the typical daybed to fit in small spaces advantageously. Twin mattresses are sold in various ranges of firmness to suit your comfort. If you will be using the bed as a sofa and a bed, consider getting a mattress on the firmer side to offer more support for sitting and getting up from a seated position.

Some daybed models do come with a mattress, and some don’t. It depends on the manufacturer. For those that don’t, you’ll easily be able to find a mattress for your daybed.

Do I need special bedding for my daybed?

Yes, you will need bedding explicitly made for daybeds. Daybeds have rails to accommodate on the back, and sides so require bedding with strategically placed slits and overhanging fabric. You can find daybed bedding sets easily both online and in-store.

How do I make my daybed look more like a couch?

To make your daybed look like a couch when not being used for sleep, get some plump bolster pillows for each end to stand in for the “arms” of the sofa, then line the back with large accent pillows.

Gray Classic Manufactured Wood Couch
Gray Classic Solid Wood Daybed
White Classic Manufactured Wood Daybed
Gray Classic Manufactured Wood Couch
Gray Classic Manufactured Wood Couch
Gray Classic Manufactured Wood Couch

What are the advantages of having a daybed in my home?

There are many pluses to having a daybed or daybeds in your home. Just a few of the top ones are:

  • Great for use in small spaces.
  • Doubles as a sofa.
  • It doesn’t require as much space as a full or queen bed.
  • Makes a great guest bed in the study or office.
  • Offers many options in style, materials, and colors.

Best Tips & Ideas for Choosing a Daybed

  • Daybeds are great for use as both a sofa and bed.
  • Use a daybed in a college dorm as a sofa bed.
  • The most common daybed is the size of a twin bed (38” x 75”)
  • A trundle provides a second bed that tucks under the daybed when not in use.
  • You will need special bedding for your daybed, so it fits properly.
  • Get bolster pillows and big accent pillows to make your daybed look like a sofa.
  • Choose a firm mattress to support sitting if you plan to use your daybed as a couch most of the time.