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A daybed is a multifunctional piece of furniture that fits well in a living room, guest room, or home office.

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What Is a Daybed?

A daybed is a piece of furniture that functions as both a sofa and a bed. A daybed features a three-sided bed frame, with two sides that serve as a headboard and a footboard, and a third side that functions as the backrest of a couch. Daybeds consist of solid wood or metal frames with an upholstered mattress. Most daybeds do not have box springs.

If you want to make a small space serve multiple functions, you might benefit from a daybed. A twin-size daybed can serve as a home office sofa and quickly transition into sleeping space for overnight guests. Daybeds also function nicely in kids' rooms as sofas and play spaces that transform into beds for sleepovers.

How to Use a Daybed

If you plan to use your daybed primarily as a sofa, find one that is comfortable for lounging. You may want an upholstered daybed, which features fabric on all three sides. Button tufting, nailhead trim, or a faux leather surface can make your daybed feel like a traditional couch.

If your daybed is in a guest bedroom, you may wish to forgo upholstery and opt for a metal daybed frame. You can cover the mattress with a sheet and line the backrest with throw pillows for added comfort.

The majority of daybeds feature a twin-size mattress—full-size and queen-size daybeds are far less practical as sofas since their seats are so deep. Use a twin daybed for living spaces and larger-sized daybeds for dedicated sleeping areas.

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Daybeds, Trundle Beds, Sofa beds, and Futons: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to space-saving sleeping arrangements, today's buyers have multiple options:

  • Daybed: A daybed is a hybrid of a sofa and a bed. It does not contain moving parts, and it almost always comes with a twin-size mattress that sits on slats or a platform. Daybeds work best with a spring mattress, as a memory foam mattress will provide too much sink when used as a couch.
  • Trundle bed: A trundle bed is a two-in-one bed: One mattress tucks underneath the frame of another mattress. Roll-out trundles and pull-out trundles make good use of small spaces, and trundle bunk beds offer expanded sleeping in a kid's room.
  • Sofa bed: Like a daybed, a sofa bed doubles as both a couch and a sleeping space. However, a sofa bed has moving parts that make its surface flat (for sleeping) or angled (for sitting). Sofa beds tend to make better couches than daybeds, and daybeds make better sleeping spaces because they can accommodate high-quality mattresses that do not fold.
  • Futon: A futon is a simplified sofa bed. When used as a sofa, one side of the mattress functions as the sofa backrest, and the other side functions as the seat. When transformed, the futon can lie flat so that the entire sleeping surface is level. Futons come with both metal frames and wood frames.

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