What to Look for in a Daybed

A living room with a Garden Gate daybed
Photo (c) Universal Furniture

The top reason so many people buy a daybed is the functionality it offers. It can be used as both a sofa and a bed. The space underneath can house a storage drawer or an extra trundle bed for even more functionality. It sometimes even acts as a space filler when people don't know what to do with a spare room.

Since daybeds come in a variety of ​styles, configurations, materials, and price points, you might find it helpful to look at some of their different features and aspects before making a decision on which type is right for you.

Uses for a Daybed

The most common use for a daybed is in a spare room or home office. While it can be used as a sofa or chaise lounge in these rooms, it is often added to accommodate guests. It can transform a home office or sewing room when there is no separate guest room when overnight visitors arrive.

Daybeds are also often used in a child's room for sleeping, and the trundle can be conveniently pulled out from under the bed for a sleepover. The trundle effectively hides an extra bed underneath, opening up space to be used for play.

Material Choices

Daybeds come in wood, metal, or a combination of wood and metal. You can also find daybeds in wicker or upholstered in leather, although these are not as common as wood or metal.

The material you choose has a lot to do with your own needs and preferences. Metal daybeds tend to be used more for sleeping, while wood daybeds are thought to look more like sofas and may also be used for sitting and lounging.

Metal daybeds are also generally considered to be a more traditional style than wood ones, which are often thought to be more contemporary.

However, it is possible to find contemporary-looking metal daybeds and traditional wood ones. The important thing to consider is your own preference for a material or a style and what feels comfortable to you.

Daybed Styles

Choose a style that complements the rest of your interior decor. Just to give you an idea, daybeds are available in the Mission style, sleigh style, or Victorian. And you can find as many choices in contemporary styles as traditional ones.

Choices include daybeds with small, simple profiles; larger and more elaborate ones; or styles with intricate carving, which complements a formal and traditional look.

Along with style, you have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a color. Light, dark or painted wood is available, along with choices in metal, too. Choose from chrome, silver, or brass and non-traditional colors.

Quality Issues

You will find daybeds in a range of different levels of quality and price points. You should always go for the best quality you can afford. You might have to assemble the furniture yourself, but consider the quality of the material and look at the finish.

The material will give you some clues, too. For instance, an iron daybed is superior in quality to many other metal daybeds. There is a difference in the quality of different woods, too. You probably will find quality differences reflected in the price. 

Daybed Trundles

Trundles are pull-out beds on casters that can be stored under a daybed. Not all daybeds come with trundles, but it is a good option to explore because you get two beds that use the space of a single one most of the time. The hidden bed can be pulled out when needed and put back when not in use.

A trundle can be left low to the ground or lifted up to the same level as the daybed. An advantage to this feature is that you can roll it up to the daybed so that the two together form a large bed that is only slightly smaller than a king-size bed.

Mattress

Daybeds usually come in twin-size and use regular twin-size mattresses. The daybed mattresses are supported on wood slats or link spring.

Select a mattress type and firmness that you find comfortable. If the daybed will get heavy use, it makes sense to buy a good-quality mattress.

Bedding

While you can easily use regular twin-size sheets and pillows with a daybed, you might want to pay extra attention to the cover and add extra pillows if it is to be used for sitting and lounging as well as sleeping.

You could opt for just a fitted cover for the mattress if the bed will primarily be used for sitting. A cover with a tailored look is a good option for this purpose.