What is a Day Bed?

Day Beds are wonderfully versatile items which can be used either for sitting or sleeping on. With this in mind they can be used in various ways. Typically people are unlikely to use them instead of a living room sofa, but they are becoming a popular choice for conservatories, spare rooms, kids bedrooms and even hallways and corridoors.

In some instances people are starting to use them in the living room but it usually depends on the size and layout of the room, as you usually won't be able to buy a set of matching arm chairs, unlike with a three piece suite. In a large enough living room, it would make sense to have two day beds facing each other with perhaps a coffee table in the middle, or alternatively one Day Bed may be placed away from the main seating furniture, possibly against a wall. What is a Day Bed? - a perfect solution for many rooms.

What is a Day Bed? - a perfect solution for many rooms

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There's a few reasons why Day Beds are a superb alternative to sofas, chairs and benches. Everybody at some point will have had a nap or even a full nights sleep on a sofa. It might have been the most comfortable sofa in the world, but it still won't have been as comfortable (or as good for your back), as sleeping on a proper bed. Day beds are generally made to take a standard single mattress - 3'0" x 6'3" imperial or 90cm x 190cm in metric. Some day beds are made to take 2'6" x 6'3" mattresses as well. Not only does a mattress provide a surface which is actually designed to be slept, but this means you can purchase whichever level of quality you desire. Once the mattress has worn out, it can be easily replaced with another - something you can't do with the seats on a sofa.

Another definite plus for day beds, is the price. Even with buying the frame and mattress separately, you'll typically find that it's a much cheaper option than buying a sofa, despite being such an attractive piece of furniture. Wooden day beds and metal day beds, have a very different look to them - consider how they fit in with the decor of your room. People tend to go for white or ivory frames for use as a kids day bed, as it adds a fresh, bright look to the bedroom.

What is a Day Bed? - half way between a bed and a bench



Click your mouse over the image on the left or simply touch it on a smart phone/tablet, to view the animation

Another emerging trend is purchase of the Trundle Day Bed. This is especially useful for if your child is likely to have sleepovers with friends.

It's also a great way of being able to use a spare room for a dual purpose. The room can be used for watching TV or relaxing, using the day bed as a seat. When guests stay over, the trundle underneath folds out and extends so the mattresses are the same height. Voilà! Suddenly you've got a sleeping surface equivalent to a Super King Size (or two singles if used separately).

The Trundle Day Bed may also be referred to as the:
  • Day Bed with Trundle
  • Day Bed with Guest Bed
  • Full Size Day Bed
  • Double Day Bed
  • Visitor Bed


The Serene Furnishings Eleanor Day Bed is a wonderful example of a product which not only looks the part but is built to last too! Wooden day beds provide a rustic look, which are classy in their simplicity. This design is often referred to as the 'Shaker' style - inspired by the carpentry of the original British settlers on America's east coast.

This makes the Eleanor Day Bed instantly impressive, not by its fancy colours or showy shape, but by a level of quality that is as clear as day.

Available in Honey Oak and Opal White, this product is made from Solid Hevea Timber


The Metal Day Bed comes in a range of colours and styles. More often than not they are fashioned around the staples of Victorian design. The great thing about these day beds is that they work well in either a modern or traditionally furnished home.

These work well in most rooms in the house, with conservatories and children's bedrooms being the most popular locations. If purchased with an underbed, this enables a sleeping area twice the size - an ideal alternative to a fold out sofa bed. In addition, each frame can be used as a separate single bed as required. Order a 'slimline' mattress to ensure the trundle can fold neatly away.


Something that most people do not realise is that bed frames puchased from IKEA, do not take regular size mattresses. The same is true for IKEA Day Beds as well. The reason being is that their products conform to European standard sizes; the same design products being sold by IKEA in the UK as in Scandinavia. This can present a problem for consumers when the time comes to replacing their mattress. An even worse problem occurs if a customer has not bought an IKEA mattress at the same time as buying a new day bed from them. It's not the end of the world however...

Click here to view our Special Size Mattress Page

We specialise in making custom size mattresses, so you can have one specially made for your IKEA Day Bed - Delivery Next Day!


So where did these wonderful items come from? The earliest evidence of day bed use dates back to Ancient Egypt. Unlike modern day bed designs which are generally influenced by Victorian tastes, these were very simple in design and constructed from palm sticks. Used for sleeping and lounging on, the idea became an instant hit with the ancient Romans as these two great civilisations began to trade. Ever seen a picture of a Roman lounging around eating grapes? In these pictures they're lying on a day bed.

Day beds also became popular in China and India.

The Victorians popularised the cast iron day bed and also had a similar upholstered item, the 'fainting couch'.