Difference Between a Daybed and Sleeper Sofa

Posted In Knowledge - 08/06/2019

Able to accommodate both daytime sitting and nighttime sleeping, daybeds and sleeper sofas are both versatile additions to your home. Depending on the look and functionality you desire one may be more ideal for your space.


A daybed is a twin-sized mattress on a three-sided frame that mimics the shape of a sofa. The headboard and footboard that act as the sofa arms and a long panel across the length of one side creates a back. A daybed with a wood frame resembles a deep bench and with an upholstered frame, it more closely resembles a settee or sofa. Pillows may dot the back. On a daybed, the cushion that you sit on is a mattress, the comforter or duvet will typically stay on and be showing.

The frame of a daybed tends to be less cushioned than a sofa frame, and the seat is the width of a twin mattress, making it a deeper seat than a standard sofa. A daybed will comfortably accommodate three adults by day and one sleeper at night; however, some daybeds have an optional trundle drawer that can pull out with a second twin-sized mattress, making room for an additional overnight guest.

Sleeper Sofa

A sleeper sofa is primarily a sofa but tucked within the frame under the seat cushions is a folded, pull-out mattress. Depending on the size of the sofa, it may accommodate a full or queen mattress. In order to use the sofa for seating, the mattress must be refolded and stowed, and the seat cushions returned to their place. When stowed, the mattress and bedding do not show at all. Larger bed pillows and thick comforters will need to be removed and stored elsewhere. A sleeper sofa will comfortably seat three adults when folded closed and sleep two adults when pulled out.

Daybed or Sleeper Sofa, which is a better choice for you?

Each furnishing choice will differ, so it is smart to try them out in a showroom before you make your decision.

A daybed is best for a room that doesn’t provide room to pull out a bed. Daybeds are also perfect in kid's rooms that will be used as a bed more often than a sofa. With deeper seating and less padding for the back, they can be less comfortable than a sofa. Large toss pillows along the back can help with improving comfort.

Sleeper sofas tend to be more comfortable than daybeds as a seating surface. The back and arms of a sleeper will feel the same as to a standard sofa without the stored bed, but the seat may feel slightly firmer than a non-sleeper version. This is because the sleeper mechanism and mattress take the place of the typical spring mechanism that supports the cushions in a non-sleeper sofa. When testing the sofa in the store, be sure to sit on the sleeper version, or ask a salesperson the difference in the feel.

Sleeper sofas look more at home in a living room or family room while daybeds are more appropriate in bedrooms. If you are looking to furnish a basement, office, guest room or extra room then either may work well.

Both daybeds and sleeper sofas are versatile additions to your home. In general, people who are looking for a piece that will primarily be used as a bed will lean toward a daybed and those looking for primary seating will opt for a sleeper sofa. However, consider the look of the piece and how it will complement your current furnishings. The right choice for you is the piece that functions the way you need and has the look you love.

Related Product