What Is a Daybed—and Why You Should Consider Having One in Your Home

May 27, 2024

What Is a Daybed—and Why You Should Consider Having One in Your Home

Daybed with throw pillows underneath a window

Not quite a sofa and not exactly a bed, daybeds are one of the most flexible and useful pieces of furniture you can have in your space. Daybeds offer an extra place to sleep, lounge, sit, and store your things, and better still, they never go out of style.

Just like standard sofas and beds, daybeds come in a wide range of styles, allowing you to integrate one seamlessly into your existing home decor. Before purchasing a daybed, it’s important to understand the difference between a sofa, a daybed, and a sleeper sofa, as well as the different types. We turned to interior designers to explain the benefits of owning a daybed and how to select the right one for your home.

What Is a Daybed?

Gray Velvet Tufted Upholstered Twin Daybed with Trundle, Twin Size Day Bed  Frame with Drawers and Headboard ZT-LP000120AAE - The Home Depot

"A daybed is a piece of furniture that may be used for sleeping, sitting, or lounging,” says Shani Core, founder and principal designer of Shani Core Interiors. In other words, a daybed is an incredibly versatile piece that falls somewhere between a sofa and a bed. Unlike a sleeper sofa, a daybed does not need to be physically converted into a bed. You can sit on a daybed during the day, take a quick nap on one in the afternoon, and simply add blankets and pillows at night for sleeping.

Types of Daybeds

There are three primary types of daybeds: traditional, upholstered, and outdoor daybeds. It’s important to consider where you intend to put a daybed and how you plan to use it when choosing which type is best suited to your space.


Traditional daybeds often resemble a chaise lounge, and they are typically used in living rooms or other common areas of the home. "A traditional daybed is made of wood and has an upholstered cushion the size of a twin bed and may be used for many purposes, but mainly as a sofa and a bed," says Core. "An upholstered daybed is great for rooms with multiple functions. For example, a daybed may serve as a sofa by day but then convert into a bed in the evening."


A trundle daybed will include a pull-out bed underneath the main cushion, usually a twin size, providing two distinct sleeping areas. "Some upholstered daybeds also hide a separate trundle underneath which is a great bonus for out-of-town guests," says Core.


Outdoor daybeds are excellent additions to a patio or front porch, and they can even be used poolside. "An outdoor daybed is perfect for more than one person to lounge by the pool together," says Maggie Griffin, founder and principal designer of Maggie Griffin Design. 

The Difference Between a Daybed and a Sofa or Chaise Lounge 

Though they are certainly similar and share some of the same functionality, daybeds and sofas are not necessarily interchangeable. "A sofa is typically three seat cushions, three back cushions, and more used for sitting," says Griffin. "A daybed is for lounging and sleeping." Daybeds usually sit a little bit higher than a standard sofa, and many do not have a back. 

You might wonder how a chaise lounge is different from a daybed; it generally comes down to functionality. While the daybed can be used for sleeping, a chaise lounge is more like a long chair and is used for sitting comfortably, often with feet up, but with a high back to support your back and shoulders so you can do things like read or write while sitting. Chaise lounges are also typically designed for only one person to use at a time.

Benefits of Having a Daybed

South Shore Sweedi Twin Solid Wood Daybed With Storage Drawers Natural Wood  & Reviews | Wayfair

Daybeds pull double duty, offering both seating for your family and guests as well as a cozy place to sleep. Whether you have a large home or a smaller living space, a daybed can really come in handy. Lounging on a daybed to read or watch TV offers the same luxurious feeling of relaxing on a chaise by the pool.

"It's nice in a flex space to have a piece of furniture that can be multi-purpose," says Griffin. If you have a home office that sometimes functions as a guest room, a daybed is a smart choice to save space. In apartments, a daybed that doubles as a sofa is a space-saving solution for hosting guests from out of town.

Daybeds are also a great addition to kids’ rooms, making sleepovers and slumber parties as easy as putting out a fresh set of sheets. Daybeds offer a versatile way to have a little extra space to kick back, relax, and rest.

Tips for Placing a Daybed in Your Home

If you’re thinking about adding a daybed to your living room, guest room, home office, or child’s room, there are a few important factors to consider.

Size and Dimensions

"While daybeds don’t typically take up as much room as a sofa, they are still the size of a standard twin-sized bed,” says Core. Be sure to measure your space, leaving room to walk around your daybed. Some daybeds have larger frames than others, therefore taking up more space. Choose one that improves functionality without taking over the entire room.

Materials and Construction

Just like any other piece of furniture, the materials and manner in which a daybed is built play a key role in their look and feel, as well as their longevity. Some are made from wood, while others are made from metal. If you need additional storage space, look for a daybed with built-in drawers, or if you intend to sleep multiple guests look for one with a trundle bed.

"I look for durable upholstery materials and classic style that may be updated periodically with new throw pillows," Core says. "During holidays when we have a full house, everyone wants to be on the daybed! So durability is key, along with plenty of neck roll pillows for comfort and support."


Consider where you’d like to place your daybed and how it will blend into your existing decor. "In my own home I have a daybed in my living room in front of a bank of windows overlooking the back porch," says Core. "When lying down on the daybed you get a unique perspective of the outdoors." In guest rooms, home offices, or children’s rooms, daybeds work well when styled like a standard sofa. Daybeds are timeless and in casual environments, they "offer a different look from a sofa and bring a unique element to a space," Core says.


Source: MarthaStewart.com, Nina Derwin

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