If you’re thinking about buying a new daybed and aren’t sure if it’s the right choice, this is the right article. We’ll explore how comfortable a daybed is and what can be done to improve it.
Are Daybeds Comfortable? Daybeds are a little less comfortable than couches to sit on and a little less comfortable than beds to sleep on. Thankfully there are ways to easily improve comfort for both scenarios.
As with many things, the answer to the question: “just how comfortable are daybeds?” depends on a few different factors.
Being a dual-purpose furniture item, the answer will vary wildly between its different uses.
Let’s explore each one…
Are Daybeds Comfortable to Sleep On?
The surface of the daybed is flat, just like a mattress on a bed, so the difference between the comfort of a bed and a daybed is minimal and depends more on the mattress than the daybed itself.
You can put a great mattress on a pretty crummy daybed and you’ll still sleep like a baby. Conversely, if you put a crummy mattress on a good daybed, you’ll find it very uncomfortable.
A good choice would be a quality, 8 to 10-inch memory foam mattress. We have compiled a list of the best daybed mattresses here.
As far as the daybed itself is concerned, here are a few things to consider to ensure it’s comfortable to sleep on:
Make sure it’s a least a twin size (39″ x 75″) frame. If it’s a narrow twin, the average person will find it a little too narrow to sleep on comfortably. Check out our article on daybed sizes here.
2. Weight Capacity
The higher the weight capacity, the less likely it will wobble or feel flimsy. It can make any sleeper quite uncomfortable if it feels like it’s going to fall apart each time you move. On a twin daybed, try for a max weight of at least 350 pounds (or higher). The extra stability will translate into some extra comfort for sure. The DHP Manila is our favorite daybed on amazon and can comfortably handle 400 pounds.
3. Metal vs Wood
Wood can be creaky at times but it’s often sturdier than metal. If you really want your daybed to look and feel more like a bed, a wood frame is a good choice. These are usually quite a bit more expensive though.
4. Upholstered Comfort
You can take it a step further and get and an upholstered daybed which will fee a lot more like a luxury bed with the plush, comfortable armrests acting like a soft headboard and footboard.
If you’re planning on sleeping on it regularly, you should check out our article called can daybeds be used every day as a normal bed.
Are Daybeds Comfortable to Sit On?
A daybed is further from a couch than a bed, so being a comfortable couch is the biggest challenge the humble daybed has to face.
If you’re wondering: “Can a daybed be used as a sofa?” Here are a few key comfort issues you’ll need to consider.
1. The Non-Slanted Seating Surface
A normal couch usually has a slanted seating area which allows you to “sit back and relax”. Even if this isn’t visually obvious art first, it’s built-in to the way the seat supports your weight.
A daybed, however, can’t be slanted otherwise you’d roll to the one side while lying down.
This creates the feeling like you’re constantly “sliding down” the seat since there’s nothing supporting your butt and keeping you up.
If you ask me, this is the biggest issue with using a daybed as a couch and expecting it to be as comfortable.
The quickest way to resolve the problem is by adding footstools or a coffee table which raises your legs and keeps you from sliding down.
Some people have even resorted to placing spacers on the front feet of their daybed to make it more comfortable. This looks like a cheap hack and should be avoided.
2. Seat length
The width of a twin mattress (39 inches) is a bit too long for you to sit on and catches you around the middle of your calf. (The average sofa depth is around 22 to 24 inches) This is why a daybed has large (or many) cushions at the back to push you forward and “shorten” the seating length.
This is of course not a problem if you’re getting a full or queen daybed for sitting on because your feet will be raised all the way up as your entire leg will be supported.
3. Comfortable Armrests
Another way we keep our bodies from sliding down while sitting is by having comfortable armrests which prop us up at the elbow. Sure you can sit on any couch without armrests but for long sessions in front of the tv, you’ll want some support after a while.
If your daybed had thin metal frame armrests, it will feel nothing like a couch and you’ll need to place pillows over the armrests each time you want to rest your elbow on them. There are however daybeds with large, comfortable, upholstered armrests which will feel very similar to (if not more comfortable than) a super comfortable couch.
How to Make a Daybed More Comfortable
Here are a few aspects to consider to make your daybed more comfortable…
As mentioned before, a good dual-purpose mattress for sitting and sleeping will make a world of difference in comfort. If it bottoms out or starts to divot around the butt areas, you’ll find it uncomfortable no matter what you’re doing on in.
You need enough cushions at the back to create a comfortable backrest (unless you have a plush, upholstered daybed/couch) and to shorten the seat length so your legs will fit. Then you’ll need more cushions to help pad the arm-rests and make it comfortable to rest your arms on. And lastly, you may need some extra throw pillows to add a designer look to the daybed. Either way, cushions, cushions, cushions!
Some daybeds don’t have a backrest at all. In this case, even though it will more comfortable for sleeping, expecting it to feel like a couch is highly unreasonable. You’ll end up having to use the wall as a backrest and because it goes up vertically, you’ll have a hard time making it comfortable. You’ll need to get very resourceful with cushions here.
Make sure you’re daybed has armrests!. Otherwise, it’s just an oddly designed bed.
5. Side Tables
Part of making a daybed comfortable actually lies in its surroundings. If you place side tables either side of the daybed, you’ll make it much easier to place down drinks, a tv remote or a cellphone and this will make a significant difference in making it serve as a comfortable living room couch.
6. Foot Stools
Raise your feet up to relieve some of the pressure on your lower back while sitting on your daybed. The ergonomics of raising your legs will make a huge difference in comfort. (resource)
The Most Comfortable Size?
For sleeping, it’s a twin or bigger but for sitting, a narrow twin (with it’s shorter seating surface) is pretty comfortable too. Going too big means your actually “lounging” rather than sitting because your feet can no longer touch the floor. This is OK for patios, reading rooms, etc but doesn’t work great as a living room couch and becomes cumbersome and uncomfortable to sit on.