How High is a Daybed?

We needed to know whether we could store some bins under our daybed so the height limit was important. We even considered adding a trundle bed underneath later. I also wanted to know how high the seating and sleeping surface would be. After looking at several different daybed models, this is what we found out…

How high is a daybed? The average height of a daybed frame from the floor the mattress base is 14 inches with the lowest being 8 inches.  After that, the seating/sleeping surface height depends on the thickness off the mattress you choose.

How High Should a Daybed Mattress Be?

Daybeds for adults should be at least 8 inches thick.

If you choose an 8-inch mattress on a 14-inch base, you’ll have a seating/sleeping height of 22 inches. It’s also the minimum thickness for the average person to sit or sleep on comfortably.


22 inches is the ideal height for a daybed with a mattress, and in this article, we’ll explore why…

In the end- the very best way to be sure is to order the daybed first, and measure exactly what your model’s height is. That way you can start looking for bins, baskets, trundles, and mattresses to suit your daybed perfectly.

By the way… check out our Best Mattress for Daybeds Review here.

Comfortable Sitting Height


According to the Smithsonian Institution Accessibility Guidelines, a seating height should be between 16 and 20 inches. Let’s average that to 18 inches…

Comfortable Sleeping Height

Now, let’s explore what a normal bed height should be.


The most popular bed height is 18 inches. If you add an 8-inch mattress, you’ll have a total sleeping surface height of 26 inches which is comfortable for most people.

18 + 8 = 26

It means that your feet will be placed firmly on the floor with your legs comfortably bent when standing up from the bed. It’ll also be high enough to stand up easily.

OK, so a chair’s height is ideally around 18 inches and bed’s height is ideally around 26 inches…

Comfortable Daybed Height

The goal of the humble daybed is to act as a practical dual-purpose furniture item that is both comfortable for sleeping on as well as for sitting and lounging on.

The definitive answer to “how high should a daybed be” lies in finding the average between the most comfortable seating height and the ideal bed height.

  • Ideal Seating Height: 18 inches
  • Ideal Sleeping Height: 26 inches
  • The average between 18 and 26 is 22…

Therefore, the ideal height for a Daybed including a mattress would be 22 inches!


Easy enough to get up from after a good night’s sleep and comfortable enough to sit on a relax with your feet on the floor.

Thankfully, this matches up perfectly with the daybed height described at the beginning of this article…

Daybed height: 14 inches

Mattress height: 8 inches (this is the average mattress selected by people)

Total sitting/sleeping surface: 22 inches!

Space for a trundle bed

Given that you have around 14 inches of space below your daybed, it usually allows just enough space for a 4-inch trundle and a 6-inch mattress under the daybed. You’ll want to leave a little space for movement.

Make sure to have enough room so that you can leave your trundle bed “made up”. This saves a lot of time when guests arrive as well as making storage of the bedding a breeze.

Storage bins and toys

There are of course several different designs and each has slightly different dimensions. Don’t forget to calculate the full height of any rolling storage drawers or bind including their wheels and lids.

One of the most frustrating things we find is when kids toys stick out above the height limit. It makes it difficult every time you want to push the drawer or bin back under the daybed. Lids help a lot for this. Also, don’t pack it too full and avoid large oddly shaped toys that will tend to get stuck.

Another SUPER important consideration is that you need enough space between the daybed and the bins for fingers!

If fingers get caught between the daybed and drawers or bins, it’ll really hurt. The weight of the drawer carries a lot of momentum when loaded and pinching is a real concern. Leave at least 2 inches between the daybed and heavier drawers or bins.

Backrest Height

The average backrest height for a Daybed, if it has one at all, is around 40 inches. Some models have a “half-backrest” which is essentially a low edge meant only to keep your cushions from falling off the back.

A backrest isn’t always necessary since daybeds are often pushed up against a wall (which acts as a backrest).

You’ll have to decide whether you want your daybed to look and function more like a bed or more like a couch.

If you want a “bed” look, opt for a model with no backrest. It’ll make sitting a little more uncomfortable though.

Daybed Armrest Height

This really depends on the design. Some armrests are curved making it impossible to give an actual height measurement. That being said, the usual height is about 25 inches from the ground.

You’ll still want to cushions or another form of padding if you intend to use your daybed armrests as a functional, practical rest for your arms.

Can Pillows Add Height?

For the most part, pillows, cushions throw blankets and other loose items don’t do too much to add height. These serve more as backrest cushioning while seated and will often be removed when the daybed is made up for bedtime.

What About a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper can be used to add some height if you have a thin mattress. This will also help if the daybed mattress has developed seating divots. It’s essential to get the right mattress topper that will perform well for sleeping and couch-sitting on the daybed. A medium form option will even out the divots but a softer topper will ensure a better sleep experience. Either weight, you’ll add about 2 inches of height to your daybed surface which will make getting up after a night’s sleep a little easier. No-one wants to feel like they have to strain to get up out of bed… even if it’s a temporary sleepover guest.

In Summary

Getting the height of a daybed just right is essential, especially if you’ll be using it daily.

Daybeds have about 14 inches of space below them. This is great for trundles or storage.

You should add a mattress to your daybed which adds up to around 22 inches, which is considered the most comfortable middle ground between sitting and sleeping on a daybed.