What to Look for in a Daybed: Daybed Buying Guide

White comforter covering daybed with a variety of patterned throw pillows

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Daybeds are a highly versatile piece of furniture that serve two purposes: to function as a bed or seating area. Featuring three sides, a back, and two “arm” sides, daybeds can be styled to look like a chic lounging area while still being large enough to act as a bed. Most daybeds accommodate a twin-size mattress, though some are available in full-size mattress options. However, full-size daybeds do lose the sofa appearance, as the depth of the bed becomes much deeper.

Daybeds are a flexible option for adding more sleeping space to a room of your home that might also double as an office, den, or other seating area. However, there are quite a number of options to choose from when purchasing a daybed. Learn the important factors you need to consider before purchasing a daybed for your home.  

Before Buying a Daybed

Before purchasing a daybed, you should first consider what it is you want the daybed to accomplish. By considering what the daybed will be used for most often, you can decide whether or not a daybed is actually the best choice for you. 

This versatile furniture option is ideal for adding more sleeping space without dedicating an entire room to a bed. Daybeds are also a good choice if you want a comfortable lounging area in rooms such as offices, dens, or multi-purpose rooms. 

If you are looking to include a seating area and a bed in a small area, daybeds allow you to include both with only one piece of furniture. Daybeds with trundles are also popular for children’s rooms, as they can use the bed as a sofa during the day, and have another sleeping area for sleepovers.  

However, if you’re setting up a dedicated guest room, a standard bed frame with mattress may be better. Or if you plan on using the space primarily for lounging and seating, a sofa may suit your space better. But in situations where you are looking to include both options, a daybed offers a two-in-one solution. 

Buying Considerations for Daybeds

Room Layout

The size of the room will determine whether a daybed is an ideal fit. If the space is quite large, a single daybed may look lost in all the space. On the other hand, if the space is very small, a sofa or pull-out couch may fit the space better during day-to-day use. Daybeds are well-suited for rooms that are too small for both a bed and a seating area but large enough to hold at least a twin-size mattress comfortably.  


The bed frame of a daybed can be made of many different materials. The most common options are wood, metal, wicker, and upholstery. Which material you choose is a matter of personal preference and style. However, it is a good idea to match the style of the daybed to the aesthetic of your room. For example, a whitewashed wooden daybed would look right at home in a farmhouse-style room.


Similar to the room layout, you also need to consider the size of the daybed itself. Most daybeds fit a twin-size mattress, which is 39 inches wide by 75 inches long. The dimensions of the daybed will be slightly larger than this to ensure the mattress and blankets fit comfortably in the frame. However, for those looking for a roomier lounging and sleeping area, some daybeds are designed to hold a full-size mattress, which is 54 inches wide by 75 inches long.  

Daybed Styles

Simple or Open Daybed

Simple daybeds are a frame-only style. These daybeds have open space underneath the mattress, much like the legs and open space under a couch. If you’re looking to keep the space simple and streamlined, then this type of daybed may be your best option. Keep in mind that this open, airy look means that the bed doesn’t offer any built-in storage. Of course you can always make the most of the storage space under the bed by adding bins or boxes underneath the frame.  

Pop-up Trundle Daybed 

Pop-up trundle daybeds have an additional mattress underneath that can be pulled out and then lifted to the same height as the daybed mattress. These daybeds are perfect for those looking to maximize the amount of sleeping space available. 

Drawer Trundle Daybed

Drawer trundle daybeds have a built-in drawer at the base of the frame that houses another twin mattress. This drawer can easily be slid out to create more sleeping room. However, these trundles cannot be lifted, so the second bed stays on the floor. These are perfect for children’s rooms or for guests who don’t mind sleeping at floor level. Sometimes, these drawer trundle daybeds also feature a set of functional drawers above the second mattress. This is a feature worth looking for if you’re looking to increase storage while doubling the sleeping space of the daybed. 

Daybed with Storage 

Some daybeds feature plenty of drawers and storage space underneath the mattress. These are similar in appearance to the drawer trundle daybeds, except that the drawers are not large enough to fit another mattress. Instead, the entire space is used for storage. Some storage-focused daybeds even have shelving behind the daybed. These are great for small spaces where extra storage space would benefit the room. They also provide a convenient place for guests to keep some of their belongings. 


Because daybeds come in a wide variety of materials, styles, and brands and can be found with different features, the price varies widely. Generally, daybeds cost between $250 and $800. Some name-brand daybeds or those with extra features can cost between $1,000 to $2,000. 

Furniture sales that happen around major holidays or at the end of the year may present the best opportunity to buy a daybed at a discount. However, as a more niche item, you may not find daybeds as deeply discounted as other popular furniture items, like couches and dining sets. 

How to Choose a Daybed

If you are thinking that a daybed would fit your needs, there are a few things to ask yourself before purchasing one. With so many options available, these few questions will help you narrow down your choices. 

How often will it be used?

Consider how often the daybed will be used and for what purpose. If the daybed will regularly serve as a bed, it is best to invest in a quality mattress. For this scenario, it is also important to consider what size mattress you want. Most daybeds are designed for a twin mattress, though there are models that hold full-size mattresses and provide more sleeping space.

If your daybed will be used mostly as a lounging area and occasionally used as a bed, you may opt for a more budget-friendly mattress or a style of daybed that accommodates other purposes, like a daybed with storage in the form of bookshelves to hold your favorite novels. 

How many people does it need to sleep?

Thinking about who will use the daybed and how many guests you often have at once can help you decide what style daybed to choose as well. If you have a couple who often visits, it would be best to purchase a full-size daybed or a daybed with a pop-up trundle. On the other hand, if you only have one guest at a time, a simple twin daybed is likely sufficient. 

Daybed vs. Sleeper Sofa

Another option for those looking to combine a lounging area and a sleeping area is a sleeper sofa. How do you choose? When deciding, it is best to think about how it will most often be used, along with comfort and convenience factors. 

For situations where it will be used for sleeping often, a daybed is ideal. Daybeds house real mattresses, so they are typically more similar in feel to a standard bed. A sleeper sofa is ideal for situations where seating is the main function. These offer the comfort and looks of a sofa while still providing a sleeping area for occasional use. 

Generally, the mattresses of sleeper sofas are not as comfortable to sleep on as a daybed, but offer convenience and often take up less space. However, it is important to measure how far the sleeper sofa extends when the bed is pulled out. Since it extends out into the room, you need to ensure that its full length will fit in your space. 

Daybeds, on the other hand, are much easier to turn into a sleeping area. There’s no pull-out mechanism for a standard daybed and you’ll usually only need to rearrange a few pillows and blankets in order for the bed to be ready for use. 

Where to Shop

Buying in-Store

Buying a daybed in stores allows you to see the daybed in person. If models are set up, you can even test how easy trundle beds are to pull out and lift. Before leaving to shop, be sure to measure your space so you know how much room you have to work with. When shopping, be sure to check the dimensions of the product to ensure it will fit your space. Ask a salesperson about the return policy and if the product comes with a warranty. And of course, keep in mind the room style, since you want to choose a daybed material and design that matches your space.   

Buying Online

 Buying online does not allow you to see the daybed in person before purchasing it, but this option often gives you a much larger selection to choose from. When shopping online, be sure to pay attention to the material, dimensions, and features of the daybed. Be sure to research the return policy and any warranties. 

Where to Buy a Daybed

 Daybeds can be found when shopping big box retailers, furniture stores, and online furniture retailers. Some popular stores that may carry daybeds throughout the year include Home Depot, Ikea, Target, West Elm, and Pottery Barn. Online retailers to check include Amazon, Wayfair, and Overstock. 

  • Can a daybed be used as a regular bed?

    Yes, daybeds can be used daily as a regular bed. It is important to invest in a quality mattress if you plan to use it regularly. This is ideal for small bedrooms where you want the flexibility of having a bed and seating space. 

  • Do you need special sheets for a daybed?

    A regular set of sheets will work just fine on a daybed since they are designed for a standard size mattress. However, you may want to consider daybed-specific comforters and blankets, which are designed to accommodate a daybed’s back and side panels.  

  • Can two people sleep on a daybed?

    This depends on what size mattress the daybed accommodates. A twin-size mattress daybed without a trundle would be too narrow to sleep two adults comfortably. However, a full-size mattress daybed would be more feasible. Another option would be a daybed with a trundle, since it provides two sleeping areas.