A Place to Sleep Night or Day: a Daybed Buying Guide
A daybed is ideal for bedrooms, children’s rooms and home offices. They are beds that do not convert into a sofa, but can be used as a couch in a multipurpose room such as a TV room, a sun room or family room. In homes where space is at a premium, a daybed can be a welcome addition. During the Victorian era, daybeds became a popular household furnishing because they combined form with function. They are versatile and attractive, available in a variety of styles and materials, typically wood or metal or wood/metal, and are suitable for any décor, from modern to traditional.
The frame of a standard daybed is comprised of two arms and a back, imitating the basic structure of a sofa. Depending on the brand or manufacturer, daybeds can be one of two types, either link spring or platform-style, which refers to the method of how the mattress is held in place.
A link spring is a metal grid that acts as a box spring, and is attached to the frame to support the mattress. There is usually a gap between the frame and mattress to allow for bedding and making the bed.
For platform-style daybeds, the mattress is supported by either a bunkie board or a slat rack. A bunkie board, resembling a box spring without the coil work but thinner, fits inside the frame and is designed to support the mattress evenly.
Slat racks designed for platform-style daybeds are a series of metal or wooden slats that are connected o the sides of the frame with screws.
The frame of a standard daybed is comprised of two arms and a back, imitating the basic structure of a sofa. The back of the daybed is often elaborate, creating visual interest and providing a focal point. It also gives this type of bed its character and charm, making the back of the daybed its most distinctive feature. An integral part of the frame, the deck of daybed supports the mattress, keeping it in place. The two main types of daybed decks are link spring and slatted.
A trundle unit is a bed frame specifically designed to hold and store an additional mattress underneath the daybed. The most common types of trundles are pop-up and pull-out.
A pop-up trundle unit with a built-in link spring specifically designed to be used with standard daybeds can be conveniently stored underneath the daybed. When needed, it can be rolled out and elevated to same height as the daybed, converting it into a standard king size sleeping area, or two twin beds.
A pull-out trundle accommodates a mattress like the pop-up kind, but does not usually elevate. It is pulled out from beneath the daybed like a drawer or rolled out on wheels or a glide mechanism.
What Type of Daybed Should I Choose?
A daybed is a very versatile piece of furniture and can be used in virtually any room of your home. The type of daybed you choose will ultimately depend on the room you intend to use it in; the existing décor; and who will be using it.
Canopy daybeds have four posts which supports a metal frame usually covered in fabric that hangs over the sleeping area. It is a classic choice for a child’s or teen’s room, because the canopy gives it an elegant, softly romantic feel. Canopies come in a variety of styles, including canopies made of a roped wire detailing. For a more romantic feel, create a canopy with lots of draped material. A canopy frame can be added to most four poster daybeds where the posts are of equal height. Most canopies will not include the material; this will allow you to match it with any bedding or window treatments you already have on hand.
A chaise daybed is an ideal place to sit, or have a good night’s sleep, depending on the manufacturer, brand and type. They are available in a number of styles, designed as a place to stretch out for a nap, as a comfortable place to read or relax, as a place to sleep or as a lounger.
Reminiscent of the Victorian era, a sleigh day bed combines traditional elements with contemporary comfort. Even though this type of bed is most closely associated with the traditional style, sleigh daybeds come in a variety of different finishes, including lighter ones that will fit in with almost any décor, both classic and modern.
Standard daybeds are available in a number of styles, and can feature trundle bed additions. Even though they do not convert from a couch to a sleeper like a sofa or a futon, the one thing all standard daybeds have in common is they are adaptable. They can be made to appear like a couch while functioning as a primary or additional sleeping space.
What Kind of Material Should I Choose?
Engineered woods are processed by using heat and pressure to glue wood fibers together. One type of engineered wood is medium density fiberboard or MDF. MDF is more affordable than solid wood, but just as strong and durable. A daybed made of MDF and a combination of veneers or laminates will give it the strength and feel of a hardwood.
Considered to be the most durable material for furniture, genuine wood daybeds are constructed from wood cut from the trunks of trees like pine, mahogany or oak. They are more expensive than engineered wood products. If your budget allows for a daybed made of real wood, it will be durable and long-lasting.
Metals are a popular material for daybeds because they are strong and easy to keep clean. Pure metals are generally too soft, too brittle or chemically reactive. Alloys, made by combining two or more elements, make the metal stronger and more stable. Choose a durable finish or one that is resistant to corrosion. Frames made from sheet metal are more solid than ones made from tubing, but a daybed made from heavy gauge tubing will retain strength and durability, while being lighter and less expensive to ship.
What Style of Daybed Should I Select?
There are some kinds of beds, like the sleigh bed that we immediately identify with the traditional style because of their silk finishes, graceful curves and flowing lines. Inspired by the trends and social customs of the past, traditional daybeds can vary from the sleigh bed, which first emerged in the Victorian era, to more simple forms as reflected in Colonial designs.
Transitional style contrasts austere lines with gentle curves, and natural wood finishes with lustrous metal accents. It also utilizes neutral palette finishes like taupe, tan and vanilla. Since it merges contemporary with traditional, a transitional daybed will easily blends in with a wide range of designs and fashions.
Emerging from the second half of the 20th century, contemporary style underplays the ornate lines and rich textures of traditional furnishings. Modern/contemporary bedroom furniture is known for its simplicity of line, shape and form. Geometric and minimalist, contemporary frequently mixes textured elements such as chrome accents with wood tones.
Country style daybeds combine more formal stylings with rustic charm for furniture that is cozy and welcoming. They can retain a distinctive period flavor like Mission, Shaker or English Country. Country style furnishings are almost always constructed of wood, ranging from light to medium finishes, but metal country style daybeds are becoming an increasingly popular choice.
What Else Should I Keep In Mind When Choosing a Daybed?
If you would like the daybed to seamlessly blend in with the décor of a living room, family room or den, choose one that is made of wood. Wood daybeds tend to resemble traditional sofas more than metal or wood/metal daybeds.
When using a trundle unit, plan on stripping the mattress before retracting it beneath the daybed: this will prevent the bedding from becoming torn or caught up in the link spring or other parts of the frame.
If you are purchasing a daybed with a pull-out trundle unit, check the manufacturer’s description for weight specifications, especially if you are buying the bed for older children or adult guests.
When shopping for daybed bedding, look for comforters and accessories made of microfiber or a heavy-weight fabric; this will ensure that your bedding is durable and long-lasting. If the design of the daybed has a low back and sides, keep this in mind when purchasing a mattress: you don’t want its height to cover up the details of the bed that you found so attractive in the first place.