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When it comes to versatile designs, few inventions top the daybed. Essentially a bed masquerading as a sofa, the daybed is a harried parent’s answer to how to put up guests in the playroom with a bit of decorum and a viable solution for studio apartments too small to accommodate both a sofa and a bed. It’s also a hero outdoors. Its lounge-y silhouette invites occupants to stretch out the way they would in a hammock but comes with the added benefit of gravitational awareness. (If you’ve ever lost your faculties while asleep in a hammock you know how beneficial that can be).

Still, despite all daybed’s high marks, it still flies somewhat under the radar. It’s often passed over in favor of functional favorites like the futon or the pull-out sofa. Those who are devoted to daybeds are a passionate bunch, however. And once you own a daybed of your own, it’s easy to see why. Here, we delve into all your daybed-related questions, from what size is a daybed comparable to, to, are daybeds exclusively for children, or are daybeds for adults a thing?

What is a Daybed?

A daybed is essentially a cross between a sofa and a bed. The typical daybed is constructed of a mattress platform surrounded by a frame on three sides. These sides can be straight panels made of wood or metal, or they can be elaborated curved sides that are padded and upholstered. The former typically resemble beds more than sofas, while the latter typically resemble sofas more than beds. Increasingly, you’ll also see two-sided sofas or benches (a mattress platform equipped with no back, but high panel arms on either side) marketed as a daybed. Although these styles could perhaps be more correctly marketed as “divans,” they’re often categorized as daybeds.

Traditionally, a true daybed would come equipped with a bed mattress. This is opposed to a tailored cushion filled with down or polyfill like a normal sofa or bench. That said, as the term “daybed” continues to broaden, daybeds with mattresses are increasingly rare. So if a daybed with a mattress is important to you, be sure to seek that feature out. Generally speaking, daybeds with mattresses will often be boxier and more bed-like than models that do not have mattresses.

What Size Bed is a Daybed Comparable to?

Most traditional daybeds that are designed to accommodate a mattress can accommodate a twin size mattress. For this reason, daybeds are often marketed toward children rather than adults. Not all is lost if you are looking for a daybed for adults, however. Full size daybeds do exist. Since full mattresses measure 53” wide x 75” long, these full size daybeds tend to be very boxy pieces. Some look predominantly like a three-sided bed while others look like a high-armed sofa, similar to a Chesterfield.

If you’re looking to put up two adults on a daybed, but the full size daybed simply seems too large for your space, consider shopping for a twin daybed with a trundle. A twin daybed with a trundle consists of a daybed frame that can accommodate two twin mattresses stacked atop one another. The top mattress stays stationary while the bottom mattress is attached to a roll-out mechanism that allows it to slide out when needed. When not in use, the bottom mattress tucks beneath the top mattress. Oftentimes, the side panel of the bottom mattress is encased in fabric or wood to make it look like a continuous part of the daybed frame.

What Rooms are Daybeds Best For?

Daybeds can be used in any room, but, generally, because they tend to look more like a bed than a traditional sofa, they’re best used in bedrooms. New parents tend to be fond of daybeds in nurseries, as it can offer a place to steal a nap alongside their little one. In smaller homes, parents often use daybeds in childrens’ rooms where they can be used to accommodate out-of-town guests for a night or two. They’re also a favored item among families that routinely host overnight cousins or friends of their children.

Daybeds can also be used in offices. Depending on the mood of an office, you may want to opt for a daybed that feels tailored and sophisticated, or spring for one with more of a relaxed boho vibe. Daybeds can also be used in lieu of a normal bed in a guest room. Especially if you don’t want to devote an entire room to hosting when you don’t often have guests, a daybed can be an ingenious way to utilize a guest space in a more personalized way. When not accommodating guests, a daybed can be used as a place to read, watch TV, or even work from home.

Studio apartments tend to be the one exception to daybeds typically being used in bedrooms. Oftentimes, in studio apartments, daybeds will be used in the main living space. In the event you are using a daybed in a living room, it can be helpful to play down its bed-like connotations by outfitting it with a surplus of throw pillows. Throw pillows can assist in making a daybed look more like a traditional sofa.

Do Daybeds Have Storage?

Yes, daybeds can come equipped with storage. While not the easiest feature to hunt down, daybeds with storage are somewhat common among models that come equipped with traditional mattresses. As mentioned earlier, twin daybeds with trundles feature a twin mattress tucked under another twin mattress. In lieu of the second mattress, some makers opt to make that area into a large pull-out drawer. Drawers like this can be especially useful for housing extra linens, blankets, and pillows. In a child’s room, it can also be an inspired place to stash extra toys or out-of-season clothes.

Questions & Answers

What are some popular daybed styles?
Popular daybed styles are Mid-Century Modern, Contemporary, and Modern.
How many vintage daybeds does Chairish have in stock?
We have 700+ vintage daybeds in stock.
What are the shipping options for daybeds?
Daybeds can be shipped to you, and many can be picked up locally.
Which brand has the largest assortment of daybeds at Chairish?
Auping is our most popular daybed brand, with 10+ items in stock.
What are some popular daybed brands?
We have daybeds from popular brands such as Auping, Hans Wegner, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.