What is a Daybed and How Do You Snag That On-Point Look?

updated Aug 11, 2022
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No matter your opinion of the hotly contested daybed, the fact remains it can be a total lifesaver when it comes to small space design. 

Whether you’re using a daybed as a place for friends to crash in your living room, as a hybrid sofa-bed in your home office, or as your main bed/couch in a studio apartment, the endlessly versatile daybed has now been elevated to a stylish and super functional piece of furniture that you’ll actually want

What Is a Daybed?

A daybed is a sofa and a bed all in one, making it a smart solution to small-space living. A daybed can be styled with pretty pillows and throw blankets while you’re not sleeping on it, so your space comes off more like a living room than a bedroom. Daybeds are as wide as twin beds, so when being used as a sofa, they are extra deep and downright delicious to cuddle up on. If you don’t want to go the murphy bed or loft bed route, the daybed is a perfect choice for small bedrooms and apartments.

Different types of daybeds

The daybed comes in many varieties. Some take the form of an extra deep bench, which lends a very European sense to your home. Others are more traditional with a back and arms, and can be used anywhere from the bedroom to the living room or a porch/balcony/patio to a den and home office.

Popular types of daybeds include the following: 

  • Daybed with Built-In Trundle. This type of daybed features a second twin-sized bed that pulls out from underneath. It’s an amazing space-saver and perfect for siblings or multiple overnight guests. 
  • Outdoor Daybed. This type of daybed features weather-resistant fabrics that can stand up to wind, rain and snow with proper maintenance. Still, proper storage will extend the life of your outdoor daybed mattress. 
  • Daybed With Storage Space. For additional storage of items and linens rather than a second place to sleep, look for a daybed with storage drawers underneath. 
  • Daybed Couch. Some daybeds tend to resemble beds, while others perfectly disguise as a couch. If you’ll be using your daybed as sleeping quarters only occasionally, you may want to look for one that looks and feels more like a couch.  

How to Style a Daybed to Look Like a Couch

How do you make your daybed look less like a bed during the daytime? It’s all in the accessories. Here’s a simple guide to getting your daybed ready for the, well, day! 

  • Start with a row of two or three large throw pillows against the long side of the daybed. Feel free to use your sleeping pillows back there, too, if you want to keep them handy.
  • Next, layer in smaller throw pillows, one on each end minimum, to give your daybed more of that couch look. 
  • A lumbar pillow or two for back support can really make the difference between your daybed feeling like an awkward bed and a comfortable couch. 
  • Artfully arrange a throw blanket and voila, couch-mode activated! 

If the daybed also serves as your main seating area (looking at you, tiny studio apartment dwellers!), arrange the space like a living room. Add a cozy area rug, hang some art above the daybed, and bring in a side table or c-shaped table that can serve double duty as your nightstand

How to Style a Daybed In Your Home

Check out these six gorgeous rooms where the daybed is the star of the show.

Credit: Amazon

Opt for a cool texture.

Three words: Pink. Velvet. Daybed. Perfect for a kid’s room or home office, this daybed also has a bonus bed in the form of a trundle. It’s also under $600.00 and comes in multiple colors if pink isn’t your jam.

Keep a low profile.

This stylish San Francisco apartment features a custom daybed from Alexis Moran in the living room for extra seating or overnight guests. A great tip for placing a daybed is to back one up into a wall as opposed to floating it in the middle of a room. That way, you’ll get the most out of your square footage—and people will be able to move around it easily.

Choose a wooden daybed.

Who says the daybed is only for indoors? This Australian home’s modern wooden daybed is perfect for lounging—or even a nap—on sunny days.

Make a sectional out of two daybeds.

The living room of Kristine Claghorn and Mark Harrison’s minimalist LA home features not one but two daybeds. They pushed together two of Modernica’s Case Study Daybeds to form a sleek L-shaped sectional that can seat—or sleep—tons of people. “We spend a lot of time on these, and it’s nice to have something where we can both comfortably lie down… and they fit a lot of our friends!” says Claghorn. “When we have multiple friends staying with us, they’re also extremely convenient because they turn into a king-sized bed when they’re side-by-side.”

Incorporate basket storage below.

Where do you put guests when you live in a vintage RV camper? The humble daybed makes the impossible possible. “We replaced a pullout sofa with a custom built daybed, which takes less room and is easier to set up every day,” says Evelyn Bielmann. “Baskets below provide extra storage for clothes while still being decorative. Having as much storage as possible without feeling packed in is the secret to small space living.”

Fill your space with daybeds.

Just as Dani Nagel and Phillip Butler’s funky LA home doubles as the headquarters of Dazey LA, their home office also doubles as an art studio. What does this mean? Double the velvet daybeds! The blue one is the Chelsea Daybed from Joybird, and the pink one is the Rohini Velvet Daybed Cushion from Urban Outfitters. Both come in tons of fun colors for whatever shade of velvet suits your style.

Want to make your own daybed? Check out these easy tutorials for DIYing one.