What if you could lay on a couch and a bed at the same time? What if there were a seating hack that instantly opened up your living room, whether big or small? And what if there were a single piece of elevated and upscale furniture that could do all of that at once?
Introducing: the daybed, the it living room piece of the moment. Part couch, part, well, bed, this functional 2-in-1 seating hack works as both a place to dreamily lounge and lay as well as sit and chat. Variations have cropped up in pre-Black Friday furniture sales from Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, CB2, and Wayfair, among other retailers, and we're betting the hype is just getting started.
'I love daybeds because they're double-sided — you can sit on one and part of you can face the sofa in one direction, the other part can face the dining table — it’s so sociable,' interior designer to the stars Jake Arnold tells Livingetc. 'They also help to create a more intimate space as its backless nature means it doesn’t cause any sense of separation.'
To Arnold's point, a daybed in a living room can make the most of an open-concept space, one that lacks built-in divides like walls but needs a bit of organic separation, or maybe in a spot off your entryway, so that those coming and going have a place to don and doff their shoes but also mingle with anyone still at the party.
It's an excellent design choice all around — one dripping in elevated taste and interior acumen — and we're here to help you make the most of your purchase. If you're ready to commit, scroll down and shop our detailed shopping and styling guide below.
How to pick and style a daybed
1. Find the right piece for you
First things first — when buying a daybed, consider how large you want it to be and how large it can reasonably be to still fit into your space. Think of the color you'd like. Think of the style you'd like. Think of how you might pair it. Will it be mostly decorative, or do you hope visitors genuinely use it? How comfortable do you feasibly need it to be? Which room is it for? What is your budget? Once you answer all of these, you're ready to head out to the shops.
Price: $799.95 (33% off)
Dimensions: 17" H, 70" W, 26" D
We've actually written about this daybed before, and it's probably obvious why. This piece is minimalist and stylish, and signals to anyone who sees it that you know design. It's also boucle, which is soft and fun to lay against.
Price: $179.99 (5% off)
Dimensions: 24.4"D x 53.2"W x 24.4"H
The ridges in this daybed would feel satisfyingly tactile. The design is extremely modern, and the extra backrest makes for maximum comfort without sacrificing style.
Price: $389.99 (46% off)
Dimensions: 17.1''H x 71.9''W x 33.1''L
Keep it simple — in a way, this daybed is somewhat more akin to a bench, but its double-stacked cushion is certainly far comfier. Its walnut-stained legs also contrast nicely with the fabric upholstery.
Dimensions: 81"W x 37" D x 26.75" H
Semi-aniline cowhide leather encapsulates this Adam Rogers-designed and vintage-inspired daybed from CB2. Much like the Amazon option, there is a low backrest, but it's shallow enough that it wouldn't impede any socialization.
Price: $3,199 (3% off)
Dimensions: 85.5" W x 32.5" D x 28.5" H
We have thus far made a strong argument to treat daybeds more like a couch than an actual bed, but this piece from Pottery Barn plays double duty. By day, it's a sleek blue leather lounge option (if you select that colorway and fabric, of course); by night, it's a spacious sleeper.
2. Style it with pillows and blankets
Now comes the fun part — styling your daybed. Depending on the style of the specific daybed you've purchased, added blankets or pillows might come off as overkill; defer to your personal taste level here. If you are more of a clean-line-loving minimalist, you might steer clear of extra pillows and simply leave the product as is. But if you love adding accents or would like to pull the piece into the room visually with another color, now is your chance.
Price: $39 (20% off)
Two little gold medallions at either end of a daybed would enrich the lounging experience. And the pintuck detail gives it a vintage edge.
Dimensions: 6" W x 18" L
Much like the rounded armrests of a mid-century modern armchair, a bolster pillow like this would be not only comfortable, but would also punctuate the sharp shape of the daybed for an interesting visual contrast.
Dimensions: 6" H 11⅞" W 11⅞" D
Knot pillows are purely decorative but so, so much fun. A few of these scattered around your new daybed would look so on-trend.
Dimensions: 57" W x 75" L
There are a few colors folded into this throw, so it would work across multiple fabric tones and in multiple rooms.
Dimensions: 67" L, 51" W
You can't go wrong with a neutral fringed blanket. Perfect for draping.
Price: $29 (40% off)
Dimensions: 50" L x 60" W
Layer a faux fur throw with leather furniture for a three-way contrast that plays to touch, temperature and optics.
Why is a daybed a better choice than a couch?
If a couch works best for your space, by all means, go for it! Sometimes, a daybed just isn't the right option. It might be that your room is too small, or perhaps you can't find the right size or color to match up with what you already have. The sofa isn't going anywhere any time soon.
But ... if you have the choice, Jake Arnold, the designer, put it best: 'Two sofas opposite each other doesn’t feel very right for now — they’re too rigid, and create too much a zone in the middle of a space,' he says. 'Plus, why wouldn’t you want to lounge on a daybed?!'
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Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.
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