Choose Between a
Daybed or Sleeper Sofa
Need some extra space for guests to sleep, but don’t have a full guest bedroom? Don’t worry! Daybeds and sleeper sofas are ready to help. These space-efficient sleeping solutions serve a similar purpose as a guest room, but they work in different ways. They’re both great for sleeping and lounging, making one an excellent choice for mixed-use rooms such as living rooms and home offices. But their styles and advantages vary, so it helps to dig deeper into your daybed-versus-sleeper-sofa decision-making process.
What Is a Daybed?
Though they come in many styles, daybeds are essentially normal twin beds on frames that borrow heavily from sofa design. Your daybed may have arms and a back made from materials such as wood or metal that resemble those on a formal bed headboard, but that headboard runs along the long side of the mattress too, rather than just on the short sides as it does on a bed frame. Some daybeds are on simple platform bases that don’t have arms or backs, and you can build up a couch-like back by providing plush pillows for guests to lean on as they sit.
What Is a Sleeper Sofa?
A sleeper sofa, sometimes referred to as a fold-out couch, is a sofa that has a mattress cleverly built into its seat. Most often, sleeper sofa mattresses fold into the interior compartment in the sofa. From the outside, these sofas look like a traditional piece of living room furniture, but when their cushions are removed and the mattress is unfolded, you have a cozy bed featuring the same upholstery and back as your sofa.
Weighing Regular Use
Both sleeper sofas and daybeds have their advantages, but being realistic about their potential snags can be really helpful in your decision-making process. Compression is an issue for mattresses of all kinds, but compression affects sleeper sofas and daybeds in different ways. The more time you spend enjoying your sofa, the more the plush materials inside the cushions compress. If you plan to use it for sleeping only infrequently, a sleeper sofa is probably your best bet in the long term. If you think you’ll need to use this piece of furniture regularly for sleeping, a daybed makes it easier to transition your space at a moment’s notice.
Some daybeds have additional features such as built-in storage baskets or cubbies underneath the mattress platform area. While some sleeper sofas have some sort of storage feature, most use their internal space to store the mattress itself. Daybeds of all styles often have storage space, whether it’s a built-in system of drawers and shelving or a simple open area where you can put your own storage boxes beneath. If you’re looking for more storage space or you want to provide guests with a place to hold their things, that might give the daybed option an advantage.
Think About Space
Sleeper sofas expand, which means you need enough room to accommodate the mattress when it folds out for use. If you’re working with a small space, a daybed may be more practical. You can find fold-out daybed styles, but on the whole, daybeds retain their size and shape whether you’re using them or not. There’s no need to move furniture around to accommodate the mattress because it doesn’t fold out into the room. This can be useful if you plan to host your spare sleeping surface in a cozy home office or small guest room space. The minimal prepping involved with daybed sofa-to-bed conversion can be appealing to people with limited mobility, too.
Select Your Size
Who comes to mind when you think about the guests who will sleep on your new sleeper sofa or daybed? Are you friends with a very tall couple who often come to stay? Do you have a niece who’s outgrown her crib and needs a place of her own to sleep when your siblings come to visit? You can think about your guests by making mattress size part of your daybed-versus-sleeper-sofa debate. Daybeds are typically available in twin and full sizes, though some larger options may be available. Anything larger than a full is generally the sleeper sofa’s domain.