What Is A Daybed? 

Last Updated On December 26th, 2023
What Is A Daybed? 

Key Takeaways

  • Functionality and Versatility: Daybeds are highly functional and versatile pieces of furniture suitable for various living spaces. They can serve as both a bed and a sofa, making them perfect for small apartments, guest rooms, or home offices.
  • Size and Features: Most daybeds are designed to accommodate a standard twin-size mattress, but some can fit a full-size mattress. They typically have three sides, resembling a sofa, and are deeper than regular couches. Daybeds often come with a foundation, such as a link spring or slatted base, and some feature a trundle bed or storage space underneath.
  • Advantages of Daybeds: Daybeds offer benefits like affordability, comfortable sleeping space, and the ability to save space in smaller living areas. They are comfier for sleeping than pull-out sofa beds and can be used in various settings, from guest rooms to studio apartments and home offices.

Daybeds are functional, versatile, and look great in most spaces. Many people, especially those living in small studio apartments, utilize daybeds to maximize their living space. These beds are also ideal in a kid’s room or a guest bedroom to accommodate guests.

But what is a daybed, and how do they differ from other types of beds? Below, we outline the dimensions and uses of a daybed and some of the variations you might find while shopping.

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What is a Daybed?

Most daybeds are made to accommodate a standard twin size mattress, 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. Although they are not as common, some daybeds are larger and designed to fit a full size mattress, which measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Daybeds have three sides, giving them the look and feel of a sofa. Many people describe them as a bed, couch, and chaise longue all in one. However, it is more comfy than standard couch sleeping as a daybed involves more supportive mattresses.

Most daybeds sit between 9 and 14 inches high—this is the distance between the floor and the top of the mattress. However, the height of the frame itself can vary between 22 to 28 inches.

A daybed with a standard twin size mattress has a depth of 38 inches. Most sofas have a depth between 18 and 22 inches, so daybeds are quite a bit deeper than most couches. Therefore, larger throw pillows are placed along the back of the daybed frame to create a seating area with a depth similar to a couch.

Some sleepers may even want to arrange pillows in layers, largest in the back and followed by smaller ones in front. However, make up the bed as you wish so you can sleep in comfort and still enjoy a cozy look during the day.

Daybeds are often made of either wood or metal and have a foundation to support the mattress. The most common type of mattress support for a daybed is a link spring foundation. This is a grid-like structure with wires that run vertically and horizontally. These wires attach to four side panels with springs, creating a strong, stable base that takes the place of a traditional box spring.

Some daybeds have a slatted mattress foundation in place of a link spring. These slats are typically made of wood or metal and are placed 2 to 2.75 inches apart.

Trundle Beds

Daybeds are sometimes called trundle beds if they have an additional mattress that fits beneath the bed. Though in some cases, a daybed may not have a trundle mattress. Instead, drawers or cabinets may sit beneath the top mattress for extra storage.

The trundle mattress is usually the same size as the top mattress, twin or full, and can be pulled out for guests. To fit comfortably under the bed, most trundle mattresses are no more than 8 inches thick. Some trundle beds have a slider or pop-up mechanism that allows the trundle mattress to lift to the height of the upper mattress, creating one large sleep space.

Advantages of a Daybed

Daybeds are affordable, versatile, and available in several different styles—from rustic to modern,letting them fit into a living room or guest bedroom with ease. Below, we outline why a daybed might be right for your living space.

  • Comfier than other multipurpose furniture: Many will find a daybed promotes more restful sleep than other options, such as the thin pull-out bed of a sleeper sofa or sofa bed.
  • Extra sleeping space: A daybed with a trundle is perfect in a teen’s bedroom for sleepovers or in a spare bedroom to accommodate out of town guests.
  • Studio apartment: If you live in a small studio apartment bedroom where your living room doubles as your sleeping space, a daybed can be used as a couch during the day and a bed at night.
  • In an office/den: In an office space, a daybed can function as a sofa, and the trundle can be pulled out for guests. Without a trundle mattress, the extra space beneath the bed can be used for storage. You can even make up the bed to look like a couch with pillows and a cozy throw blanket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a daybed need special bedding?

Daybeds don’t necessarily need special bedding—standard twin size comforters will fit a twin daybed. However, some bedspreads are designed specifically to accommodate the three sides of the daybed frame. Daybed bedding typically has slits on each corner to ensure the comforter lays flat and doesn’t become bunched in the frame.

Why is it called a daybed?

The term “daybed” traditionally applied to sofas and chaise lounges used for socializing during the day. Modern daybeds can be used in much the same way, so the term is now used to describe these bed frames. If the bed has a trundle, it may be called a trundle bed.

Does a daybed need a box spring?

No. In fact, you should not place a box spring on a daybed. The weight of a box spring and mattress may be too much for the traditional link spring foundation.

Additionally, daybeds tend to sit higher than most bed frames to accommodate the trundle mattress. If a box spring is added, the mattress may sit too high on the frame.

What is the difference between a futon and a daybed?

A futon is a wooden or metal frame shaped like a couch that transforms into a bed by sliding into a flat position. Futons have a thinner pad or mattress placed on top of the slatted beams.

Unlike functions, daybeds do not transform. Daybeds are similar to a standard twin size bed frame, but they are slightly higher to accommodate the trundle. Daybeds also have a headboard that extends around three sides of the mattress.

Can you use a memory foam mattress on a daybed?

A memory foam mattress needs a stable foundation to prevent sagging. Daybeds with wooden or metal slats spaced no more than 2.75 inches apart are safe for a memory foam mattress.

However, a daybed with a link spring may cause the soft memory foam to sink, creating indentations that change the mattress’s support. If you are considering a daybed with a link spring foundation, it is best to pair it with a hybrid mattress, which has a sturdy spring coil base to prevent sagging.


No matter what size room or type of decor you have, a daybed can make a great addition to any space. With a pull-out bed, you always have a comfortable sleep space ready for guests. If you live in a small city apartment, a daybed can provide you with a cozy, comfortable bed without sacrificing living space.

About the author

April Mayer is a sleep expert and writer with a degree in exercise physiology. She has dedicated her career to exploring the relationship between sleep and productivity. Her insightful articles, such as "The Surprising Way Your Mood Might Be Messing With Your Productivity" and "Wake Up to More Productive Mornings," have been featured in reputable publications like Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That. With a passion for helping others lead more productive lives through restful sleep, April offers valuable expertise on foods and vitamins for better sleep. As a trusted member of the Early Bird team since March 2020, she continues to provide informative and well-researched content.

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