Day beds are pieces of furniture that double as both beds and sofas. In other words, they are sofas that convert into beds, or the reverse, beds that convert into sofas. Some people refer to chaise lounges as day beds, but this is an incorrect use of terminology.
Overview of Day Beds
Day beds are the size of a twin bed, and are slightly different in size from a typical couch. The other main difference is the use of a single cushion versus the typical three cushions that a couch has. As with couches, there is a back and two armrests to either side. Most day beds are not upholstered, although they can be. Most have a wood, wicker, or iron openwork frame that supports the back and arms. This framework is a decorative feature as well as a functional one. Because the back of the day bed is not usually solid, bolsters and pillows are placed along the back of the day bed for support.
Day Bed Construct
Day beds are similar to pullout sofa beds in that the cushion of the couch forms the mattress of the bed. Also, there is no box spring or a solid platform base to hold the mattress cushion. Instead, there is a link spring platform similar to what is used to hold a crib mattress. A link-spring platform consists of a series of coiled springs that are linked to form a flat base to rest the cushion on.
Because there are no box spring or wood slats within the framework to provide extra firmness, the quality of the mattress is perhaps the most important feature when buying day beds. As an added feature, many day beds have trundle beds that slide underneath them and pull out for guests. These trundle beds can also be raised on pop-up trundle link-spring platforms that raise the trundle to the height of the day bed to create a double mattress.
Bedding for Day Beds
Due to its compact size, day beds are great for guestrooms, small bedrooms, or small apartments where space is at a premium. Most day beds use twin size sheets, but if there is a trundle associated with the day bed, the mattresses may be thinner than normal. As a precaution, it pays to measure the depth of the mattress for the day bed before purchasing any sheets for it. If necessary, twin sheets made especially for day beds can be purchased as can bed skirts and comforters.