Daybeds go back a long way. Reclining and lounging during social events was the thing to do in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These pleasure-seeking cultures knew how to have a good time and made this couch-bed combo a central part of their entertainment repertoire.
You may hear “daybed” and think this piece of furniture is just another guest room option. While you’re not wrong, the daybed lends itself to several other spots where its versatility can shine. If you’re in the market for a daybed, read on for ideas on where you might find one stylish and helpful.
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20 Best Places to Put a Daybed
The versatility of a daybed is really unlimited. Since they look more like a sofa than a bed, you can use them in some unusual places—places where it makes sense to put a chair or where you’d like to have the option to hang out anytime in style and comfort.
- The Porch
- Living Room Area
- The Foyer
- Home Office
- The Keeping Room
- The Den
- Kid’s Bedroom
- Guest Room
- At the Foot of the Bed
- Media Room
- Under A Window
- In the Nursery
- By the Pool
- In a Loft Room
- On a Stair Landing
- In an Apartment or Studio
- In a Tiny House
- A She Shed or a Man Cave
- Vacation Home
- In the Garden
We’ll throw out some ideas in no particular order. One caveat, though: we claim no responsibility if a Zoom call finds you lounging on the daybed when you’re supposed to be leading a workshop!
Who doesn’t love a porch? Front porch or back porch, screened-in or glass, porches evoke visions of lazy days spent rocking and relaxing while waving to the passersby on the sidewalk. While it may be reminiscent of years gone by, it doesn’t mean your porch can’t be a cozy place to lounge with family and friends.
Adding a daybed to a porch opens up a world of possibilities. If your porch is glassed in as a sunroom, a daybed can allow it to function as a guest room when all the relatives come to visit. You’ll have plenty of extra seating during the day and a sleeping spot for Aunt Hazel at night.
A daybed on a screened porch is like camping, only better! From the soft comfort of the daybed, you get to enjoy all the sounds and sensations of the outdoors without sleeping or sitting on the hard ground in a leaky tent. Owls hooting, crickets chirping, and a gentle breeze can lull you to sleep with a porch daybed.
Putting a daybed on a screened-in porch will require a little more consideration. Since a screened porch is open to the elements on the sides, the daybed will be exposed to elements like:
- Below freezing temps
Be sure you choose an outdoor-worthy daybed that can withstand this exposure. Consider storing the bed linens inside until they are needed.
Formal living rooms seem to be a thing of the past. If newer houses have a room like that off the foyer, owners often use it for something besides stuffy furniture and knick-knacks. Why not put that space to good use with a daybed or two?
With so many chic daybed options, from casual to elegantly formal, you can turn that seldom-used room into an inviting sitting area that can double as an extra bedroom. Depending on the size of the space, think about adding two daybeds there instead of the usual sofa and two chairs arrangement.
You’ll gain valuable seating when you’re hosting a crowd for the evening with the added bonus of overflow sleeping quarters when some have had a tad too much to drink.
A daybed in the entrance hall? Why not, if you have the space? After a long trip, a daybed in the foyer would be a welcome respite from your travels. Plop down and take a load off before you venture further in and remember the dirty dishes or mounds of laundry waiting for you.
Granted, a foyer daybed will most likely be used primarily for seating since you’re probably not going to stick Uncle Joe in the entranceway to sleep. But it’s good to know you’ve got the option if other beds fill up.
Working from home is the newest frontier. When a global pandemic forced millions out of the workplace and shortened commutes to a flight of stairs or down the hall, the home office skyrocketed to the top of the “Important Home Spaces” chart.
Creating an inviting work environment in your home study might include adding a daybed opposite your computer desk. Its function as a sofa offers you a secondary spot to tap away on the laptop, hopefully inspiring you to invent a new widget or make your first million. When your brain is tired, well, the “bed” in “daybed” draws you in for a refreshing siesta.
Putting a daybed in the study gives the rest of your family a spot to land on as they come in and out checking on your workday. Even Fido will appreciate a soft place to nap close to his favorite person.
The Keeping Room
Just off the kitchen, some homes have what’s called a “keeping room.” It’s different from the den or breakfast room and usually has a fireplace. The primary purpose of a keeping room is to be a place for friends and family to gather and keep the cook company.
What a perfect spot for a daybed! Furnishing a keeping room with a daybed lets everyone take advantage of a crackling fire in the fireplace and a comfortable place to lounge and relax while hanging out with whoever’s cooking. Once the meal is complete, the daybed can double up as a warm spot for the cook to put their feet up and grab some zzz’s.
Dens have come a long way since their early days when they got the cast-off, old furniture no longer good enough for the living room. Today’s den stands on its own and is furnished in style. Still the undisputed gathering spot for everyone, the den just begs for a daybed or two.
The dual-purpose nature of a daybed fits right in with the 24/7 job of the den. By day a sofa, reading spot, or toddler trampoline, the nighttime hours might find the daybed accommodating a last-minute teen sleepover.
With the heavy traffic a den daybed could see, be sure to outfit it with bed linens that will withstand daily use. Using sturdy fabric like denim or heavy cotton as the coverlet makes sense. Washable and dryable fabric is also essential.
Putting a daybed in a kid’s bedroom is an excellent use of space. Because of how a daybed is designed to hug the wall on its long side, the bedroom will actually have more usable floor space than if you had a twin or double bed perpendicular to the wall.
For a kid’s bedroom, we recommend looking for daybed features that are safety-oriented and multi-functional, such as:
- Rails on three sides: Rails on the long side against the wall and the two shorter ends will keep a child from rolling off. Add a removable rail on the fourth side if your child wiggles a lot in bed.
- Trundle bed: With a pullout trundle underneath, sleeping capacity is doubled. It’s a great solution for sleepovers.
- Storage drawers: Storage drawers underneath offer spacious storage capacity since the drawers are as deep as a twin-size mattress. More storage is always a good thing!
Note: If you decide on a daybed with an open railing, double-check to make sure the spacing is close enough together that your child can’t slide through or get a body part stuck. Additionally, a bed specifically designed for children should provide evidence that child safety standards have been met.
Hopefully, your home is laid out so that the guest room only has to be a guest room. Sometimes, however, the guest room has to function as more than just a place for guests to sleep. Either way, using a daybed in a guest room allows that room to do double duty when needed.
A daybed can turn your guest room into a guest retreat. Not only does it provide a place for your visitor to sleep, but it also offers seating during the day. Your guest may enjoy the chance for some quiet time, and a daybed gives them somewhere to kick back and relax.
At the Foot of the Bed
You can find daybeds that are low profile or have little to no height in the back or side rails. Putting one of these at the end of your bed gives you a piece of furniture that functions as a bench most of the time. Sit down to put on your shoes or drop a stack of clean, folded laundry there.
But whenever the dog or a grandchild needs that sense of security of being closer to you, the daybed at the foot of your bed is waiting.
If you’re one of those lucky people who have a designated media room complete with a big screen and theater seating, consider making room for a daybed in the back. Think of it as a “box seat” for VIPs. When the movie doesn’t live up to the hype, the daybed makes sleeping through the disappointment that much easier.
You can still put a daybed or two to good use, even if your media room isn’t that elaborate—pile on all the children or grandchildren for movie night, popcorn, snuggles, and laughter.
Under a Window
Cats love to curl up in a windowsill to soak up the sun’s warmth. Why not channel your inner kitty by setting up a daybed in front of a sunny window in your home? A low-profile daybed is the perfect window seat and an inviting place to lounge your cares away. Add some cute fluffy pillows and a nearby bookshelf for a comfortable reading nook.
In the Nursery
Having a daybed in the baby’s nursery is ultra-convenient for mom and dad. It eliminates making multiple trips across the house to get a crying, hungry baby, feed him in your room, then back to the nursery for the rest of the night.
A nursery daybed provides a comfy place to feed a baby, read those toddler bedtime stories, and rest with your little one when she’s sick or scared.
Since daybeds use twin-size mattresses, and that size is a popular one for children’s rooms, you’ll find plenty of attractive nursery-appropriate linens to decorate this functional piece.
By the Pool
Take the standard pool lounge chair up a notch with an outdoor poolside daybed. Evocative of Hollywood glamour and big-screen movie stars, a daybed by the pool makes you and your guests feel like you’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s an invitation to swimmers and splashers to grab a towel and soak up some rays while sipping a cool drink.
With waterproof cushions and framing, an outdoor daybed should hold up to weather and chlorine pretty well. Routine maintenance will keep it looking sharp:
- Wipe down the entire daybed frequently to keep it free of dirt and grime.
- Clean regularly with gentle and appropriate cleaners.
- Deal with any rust spots on the frame by brushing with steel wool and/or vinegar and water mixture.
- If mold develops, let the daybed dry out before brushing the moldy spots so that they flake off.
- Remove cushion covers (if possible) and wash according to instructions.
- Consider throwing on furniture covers during the off-season or when not in use.
- Never store cushions or pillows damp. Allow everything to dry out completely before putting away for the cold months.
In a Loft
Lofts afford us the luxury of looking down on others…literally. From this vantage point, we can survey the happenings of the house and keep up with the comings and goings.
Sleeping lofts are typically short on square footage, often just big enough for a bed and side table. By using a daybed, you will maximize this small area so that it can double as an intimate conversational zone and extra sleeping spot.
On a Stair Landing
Putting a daybed on a stair landing may not be feasible in most homes, but if your landing is big enough, it’s a great use of a somewhat wasted space. As a reading nook, bench, or gathering spot for the kids (especially if you include a television nearby), placing a stylish daybed on the stair landing is almost the same as adding another room to the house.
In an Apartment or Studio
It seems like daybeds were invented with apartments in mind (even though we know otherwise). Square footage is limited in average-sized apartments or studios, making every furniture choice important.
The duality of a daybed frees up the need to pull out an air mattress when you have an overnight visitor. You’ll be able to enjoy the evening using the daybed as a couch before pulling back the covers to accommodate the sleeper.
One bedroom and studio apartments, in particular, will benefit from a daybed. In a studio apartment, the daybed is likely to be used all the time as the regular bed since space is at a premium.
In a Tiny House
Tiny houses are all the rage, and for good reason. Retirees who don’t want the upkeep of a big home or young couples just starting out find them to be just the right size. Whether the tiny house is mobile or stationary, the keyword is “tiny,” which means space is at a premium.
That’s where the daybed comes in. Its multi-functionality proves handy when the living area is only big enough for a sofa, but some occasional guests need a place to sleep. Not having a traditional guest room or second bedroom forces tiny house owners to look for furniture that can do double duty.
Using a daybed as the focal point of the tiny house’s living area allows owners to benefit daily from the sofa side of things and still feel comfortable having an overnight guest.
A She Shed or a Man Cave
Sometimes the butt of snide comments and jokes, she sheds and man caves are common features in neighborhoods of all socio-economic levels. It might be in the garage or an extra room in the house, or possibly a totally separate structure in the backyard. Whatever the case, she sheds and man caves are furnished with an eye toward comfort, fun, and practicality.
Since you never know when the guys need to stay over after a rowdy football, beer-drinking night, or the girls want to stay and talk late into the night, including a daybed in the design of these spaces is a thoughtful and welcomed addition.
Vacation homes are all about bed count and headcount. Being able to increase the number of guests a beach house or mountain cabin can sleep wins you more inquiries and reservations.
If there is room, think about adding a daybed to a bedroom or two that hold regular beds to allow families with young children to bunk together. Or put two or three daybeds in one room so all the kids can sleep together.
Some vacation homes have two daybeds in the main common area. Not only does this increase the allowed headcount, but these daybeds are also fantastic places to lounge in the evening while playing games or watching TV.
Of course, daybeds can go anywhere in a vacation home that we’ve mentioned already. Since the purpose of a vacation home is to, well, relax and take in the view, adding daybeds to outdoor spaces like a screened porch, patio, or deck takes the vacay spot up a notch.
In the Garden
Okay, now that’s a novel idea, right? True, a garden daybed is perfect for reading a novel! It’s also a great spot for a nap or to enjoy watching birds or listening to the sounds of the evening. Believe it or not, there are plenty of garden daybeds on the market; one is bound to suit your taste and style.
Adding a daybed to the yard means you need to think about the weather and what materials can hold up to water and wind. Look for materials designed to be outside:
- Rust-free frame
- Wood such as teak or acacia
- Rattan or plastic wicker
- Retractable cover for escaping the elements
If the daybed will be in contact with the ground, consider placing pavers under each leg to limit moisture wicking into the frame.
Can a Daybed be Used as a Regular Bed?
Daybeds are super versatile pieces of furniture. They’re great to use in smaller spaces where you need a piece of furniture to handle double duty. A daybed gives you the functionality of a sofa during the day and the convenience of a bed at night.
Daybeds come in a standard twin size, making it a nice-sized sleeping spot as well as an extra-deep couch for sitting and lounging when that’s its purpose. Daybed frames range from a simple no-backboard style to fancy iron scrollwork for the sides and backboard.
If you plan to use a daybed as a regular bed that will get nightly use, you’ll want to consider a few key points to maximize your comfort level:
- Backboard: A backboard will make your daybed more functional as a couch by providing something to lean against. It will also help define the sleeping space and keep you from rolling off between the bed and the wall. A few throw pillows will provide a soft place to lean against the backboard.
- Mattress: Using a daybed as a regular bed means you’ll need a better mattress. One with a medium-firm feel will give good support and keep its shape longer when you sit on the daybed a lot. Using the daybed as a couch can leave derriere-shaped divots in a poor-quality mattress. You don’t want to bottom out in “sinkholes” when you’re trying to sleep. Memory foam is a great choice.
- Pillows: For decor, choose larger throw pillows that are quick to remove just before bedtime. They’ll be a cushy lounging accessory by day but won’t get in the way at night.
- Sheets: Buy and use quality sheets (fitted and flat) since they will get plenty of wear being sat upon and slept upon. Twin size sheet sets are easy to find in an array of colors and patterns.
- Coverlet: There are plenty of beautiful and functional daybed coverlets that will glam up your daybed as part of your living space yet provide warmth and coziness when you climb in for a good night’s sleep. Depending on the style of daybed you end up with, you may not want to keep outer bed linens on it at all. Upholstered pieces, in particular, won’t need additional coverings.
Can a Daybed Be Used as a Couch?
We’ve mentioned several places to include a daybed in your home. For some of them, like the foyer or living room, you really want that daybed to look and feel more like a couch than a bed. Everyone knows its dual nature, of course, but will be more likely to use it for seating if its design and decor say “couch” and don’t scream “bed.”
Try a few of these tips to make a daybed look more like a couch:
- Bookend it with side tables and top the tables with the usual items like a lamp or coasters.
- Place a coffee table in front of the daybed to give guests somewhere to sit a glass or book.
- Drape an attractive throw over the back for those chilly evenings.
- An ottoman or stool in front of the daybed invites visitors to make themselves at home.
- For a finished, more formal appearance, add a bed skirt around the base of the daybed. Not only will it polish up the style, but you’ll also gain extra storage underneath.
- Most sofas have plump, coordinating throw pillows that jazz up the style factor and complete your decor. Why not add pillows to the daybed for the same result? Layer pillows by placing larger ones against the wall or backboard and add smaller pillows in front to give depth.
- Don’t forget to personalize the whole area with art, family photos, lamps, antiques, and knick-knacks.
- You can find daybeds made of a variety of materials. To move away from the traditional daybed vibe, look for upholstered pieces with rolled or tufted backboards or sides. For a sleek, modern look, there are plenty of streamlined, wood-framed daybeds with a contemporary flair.
Often maligned as having no real identity—not quite a bed, not quite a sofa—a daybed is actually a super functional and versatile piece of furniture. It’s like getting two pieces of furniture for the price of one.
Just do a bit of research, and you’ll see that daybed designs have come a long way aesthetically. Yet, the simple practicality of a daybed remains unchanged. They really can go anywhere in the house to give you extra sitting and sleeping space.