Some sleepers have to make the most of a studio apartment with a bed that doubles as a sofa. Other sleepers who have a traditional bed frame may still want a couch-like bed around for visitors. There are many options to consider, such as pull-out sofa beds and foldaway Murphy beds. However, one of our favorite options is a daybed.
The concept of a daybed is simple. First, take a basic bed frame design with a headboard and footboard at each end. Then, raise the head and footboard while giving the bed backing on one side. Now you have a frame that can double as a backrest, giving it a sofa-like feel.
Naturally, you need one of the best mattresses for a daybed to create a truly comfortable spot to relax. So we’ve chosen to spotlight our top four recommendations for a daybed mattress to make your shopping experience easier.
Best Daybed Mattresses
The AS3 mattress from Amerisleep is our top recommendation because it suits most sleep styles. This medium mattress is perfect for guests and sleepers who intend to use the mattress daily.
Amerisleep also offers a bouncier counterpart in the form of the AS3 Hybrid. We chose to spotlight the original AS3 because it is the model that shoppers first fell in love with and has a more accessible price. However, sleepers who need a responsive bed with edge support may prefer the AS3 Hybrid.
The Amerisleep AS3 includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
How It Feels
As a medium mattress, the Amerisleep AS3 is neither too soft nor too firm for most sleepers. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the many mattress options available, it’s difficult to go wrong with a bed like the AS3. Shoppers testing out the AS3 in an Amerisleep showroom often find the mattress feels just right when they lie down, saving them time and hassle.
Thanks to the foams’ breathable structure, the AS3 also stays cool at night. Even as the pressure-relieving memory foam hugs the body and absorbs heat, that heat is quick to be carried off by airflow.
When treating it as a sofa, people may find that varying areas of the mattress feel different to sit upon, due to the bed’s targeted support features. The middle part of the mattress will likely feel less yielding than the shoulders and hips sections of the bed does.
The first layer of the AS3 is the exclusive Bio-Pur® foam. While traditional memory foam is wholly synthetic, this foam is partly plant-based. Not only does this create a more eco-friendly foam, but Bio-Pur® foam also stays cool better than traditional memory foam. In addition, Bio-Pur® foam responds to changes in movements within seconds.
The second layer is Affinity foam with HIVE® technology. The hexagonal cutouts in this layer create five separate zones of support. Cutouts in the head, torso, and feet promote support, while the shoulder and hips have cutouts to increase cushion. This feature is excellent for people who plan to frequently sleep on their daybed and want to do so comfortably.
The base layer is Bio-Core® foam, a sturdy material that inspired Amerisleep’s lengthy mattress warranty. With Bio-Core® foam for support, there’s no need to worry about your daybed mattress sagging from extensive use.
It can feel soothing to lounge on a daybed with a cooling mattress during the heat of the day. Similarly, sleepers whose bodies naturally run hot find a cooling mattress helps them sleep undisturbed. When it comes to beds that stay cool, our top recommendation is the Zoma Mattress.
Zoma’s mattresses are designed primarily to boost recovery rates in athletes as they sleep, though anyone can reap the benefits of a Zoma Mattress. There is also the Zoma Hybrid for shoppers who want a bouncy gel foam mattress with edge support as a surface for sleeping and sitting.
The Zoma Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
How It Feels
Like the Amerisleep AS3, the Zoma Mattress features targeted support in its design. Sitting in the middle of the daybed may feel different from sitting at the end of the mattress, where the design focuses more on flexible cushion.
Lying down on the Zoma Mattress means enjoying a bed that meets the body’s curves without feeling too soft. Its medium feel hugs the shoulders and hips of side sleepers, while back sleepers can stretch across the surface without fear of bowing too far into the mattress.
The Zoma Mattress has three foam layers. The top layer is gel memory foam with triangular cutouts in the head and foot areas. These cutouts help the mattress flex with movements, increasing the amount of pressure-relieving cushion.
The second layer is Reactiv™ foam, a buoyant material that mimics latex foam’s responsiveness. Reactiv™ foam makes it easy to move across the surface and keeps you sitting comfortably.
The base layer is appropriately named Support+ foam, a material that strengthens the bed’s structure.
Many shoppers choose a daybed because they want to conserve their funds. Why buy a couch and a sofa when you can have both in a daybed? Similarly, they may want to save their money by investing in a high-quality budget mattress. When it comes to mattresses with great and lasting value, our top recommendation is the Vaya Mattress.
We choose to focus on the Vaya Mattress over the company’s other option, the Vaya Hybrid, simply because the former is more affordable. However, the edge support of a hybrid mattress can make a daybed more comfortable to sit upon, so some shoppers may want to consider the Vaya Hybrid instead.
The Vaya Mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
How It Feels
The Vaya Mattress possesses a medium feel that suits all sleeping styles and feels soft when you sit down. Because it has no targeted support features, the Vaya Mattress promotes a consistent feel across the surface, which can be helpful when you’re just looking to sit down.
The bed keeps its design simple with two foam layers, both certified by CertiPUR-US®. This third-party organization examines a foam’s production to ensure it’s free of harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde and heavy metals.
The top layer is Vaya Comfort Foam, a material designed to be lighter than traditional memory foam. The lightweight design helps air circulate to wick away heat, keeping the mattress cool. Underneath the comfort layer is Vaya Base Foam, a material that supports the spine’s alignment in any position.
Many people love a soft mattress, but choosing a soft daybed mattress can be challenging. After all, you need a bed soft enough for sleeping yet supportive enough for sitting. The AS5 Hybrid meets the challenge, though, and generally exceeds expectations with its soft yet responsive feel.
The AS5 Hybrid is the new, bouncy redesign of Amerisleep’s original AS5 mattress. We chose to hone in on the updated hybrid version for its added buoyancy, but the classic AS5 still has its charms when it comes to durable, supportive softness.
Like the AS3, the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
How It Feels
While the AS5 Hybrid has the same comfort material as the AS3, it feels far more like lying on a squishy cloud thanks to the bed’s setup. The two top foam layers work to create a surface that hugs the body when a sleeper is lying down, yet quickly springs back into place as a sleeper changes position or moves out of bed.
The AS5 Hybrid’s responsiveness and edge support also help the mattress double as a daybed, ensuring daytime users won’t feel that their sofa is ‘swallowing’ them and that it’s not only easy to get comfortable but also easy to get up.
The top layer of the AS5 Hybrid is Bio-Pur® foam. It’s made with plant-derived oils, and the memory foam stays cool even as it envelops the body. Plus, the thick material responds swiftly to movements, quickly adapting to changes in positions.
Next is Active Flex foam, a responsive material designed to work with the plush top layer and not against it. The buoyancy of Active Flex means you won’t sink too far into the mattress, keeping people from feeling stuck.
The mattress’s support core is pocketed coils on a sturdy foam base. Every coil inside the hybrid is wrapped to keep movements from rippling across the surface. So if two people are sitting on the bed, the mattress won’t jiggle when one of you stands up.
The hybrid’s coils also offer edge support, a feature that firms up the sides of the mattress. Thanks to edge support, the AS5 Hybrid can still feel supportive even after years of doubling as a couch.
Our final recommendation is an Amazon-exclusive gel memory foam mattress, the Zoma Start. This bed has a similar construction to the original Zoma Mattress, consisting of three foam layers. Its affordable design focuses on cooling comfort and durability, making the Zoma Start one of the best mattresses under $500.
Purchase of a Zoma Start includes a 10-year warranty.
How It Feels
The Zoma Start feels firmer than the original Zoma mattress or other mattresses on this list, due to its thin comfort layer. The top layer of gel memory foam is only an inch thick, providing pressure relief without feeling too soft or yielding. The Zoma Start is closest to what we call a medium-firm, a firmness that may better suit back and stomach sleepers than side sleepers.
This firmness is helpful when the mattress also serves as a daybed, as it means people who sit on the bed won’t feel the mattress bow under their weight, creating a ‘sinkhole.’
The first layer of gel memory foam maintains a cool surface and provides a supportive cushion. As a result, aches and pains can just melt away while lying on the Zoma Start. Underneath the gel memory foam is the Reactiv™ foam, a material made to provide a dynamic feel. Reactiv™ makes it easier to comfortably sit on the Zoma Start’s surface and buoys the body when lying down.
The bed’s base layer is Support+ foam. This material was engineered to resist sagging and prevent the bed from developing soft spots. With the Support+ base providing stability, you can expect the Zoma Start to last you quite a number of years.
Benefits of a Daybed Mattress
Perhaps the most common reason a daybed mattress is chosen is the bed’s versatility. Because it can be a couch and a bed, it can help you make the most of a small space. Frames may even include other storage features, such as shelves and drawers.
Daybed mattresses are also an excellent decorative piece and can be made up to resemble a sofa. Plus, it’s easy to switch out parts to change the bed’s overall appearance. Lastly, a daybed is sturdier than many similar pieces of furniture.
Makes the Most of Living Space
People who don’t have space for a guest room will appreciate the versatility of a daybed. You can use it as a couch during the day, then lie down on it to sleep at night.
Plenty of daybeds go beyond just doubling as a sofa. They include trundle beds, storage drawers, and shelves to establish an all-in-one bed.
More Comfortable for Lounging
Some couches aren’t that comfy to lie on, leaving you sore and stiff when you get up. If you like to lie down when reading or watching TV, a daybed might be your key to comfort. You can even take a quick nap on your daybed.
Similarly, the frame-in design of a daybed can provide more back support than a traditional couch. This makes sitting up more comfortable, perfect for accomplishing various tasks.
Divides a Space
Do you have an open floor plan, such as a kitchen leading to a living room or a small studio apartment? You can use a high-backed daybed to divide the area by creating a “wall” effect. Using your daybed as a divider can also disguise it as a couch, so it feels less like a bed.
Considering the dimensions of your daybed can help you make the most of your space.
Adds to Decor
While a traditional bed frame can look quite nice, it will still obviously be a bed frame. If you want a furniture piece that can look more like a regular sofa, a daybed is the better option.
There are a few tricks to dress up a daybed to look like a couch, including:
- A set of larger pillows along the back to duplicate couch cushions. Also, consider a pile of smaller throw pillows for a pop of color.
- A throw blanket that’s carefully hung over the edge of the daybed.
- A bed skirt to cover the frame’s legs and help the base mimic the structure of a couch.
- Special daybed sheets to complete the look. While you can use standard twin or full size sheets, daybed sheets can create more of an art piece.
Also, consider your surrounding decorations. A daybed will look more like a couch if it’s ringed by a floor lamp, coffee table, and potted plants. An end table could also double as a nightstand, giving guests a place to set their drinks or personal items. Finally, you could complete the look with a matching ottoman, giving you a place to rest your feet.
As we noted above with our decoration tips, you can dress up a daybed in various ways. This versatility makes a daybed more customizable than the average couch. If you’re the type of person who loves to switch up decorations, a daybed is a perfect piece. You can easily switch out sheets, pillows, and blankets to create a whole new sofa.
A daybed is usually thicker and sturdier than a sofa bed or futon mattress. Pull-out couch beds and futons rely on thinner mattresses that are more likely to wear out from use. If you want a multipurpose bed that you can expect to last, a daybed is the best choice.
Daybed Mattress Shopping Considerations
When choosing a daybed mattress, you want to look at its materials, firmness, thickness, mattress size, price, warranty, and sleep trial.
The types of materials in your mattress are a key factor that will determine how the bed feels. The materials used will also affect how much the mattress costs. Most mattresses fall into one of four material types — memory foam, latex, innerspring, or hybrid.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are excellent if you want a bed that’s comfortable and affordable. The surface foam conforms to the body for pressure relief, while the base foam provides support. Many couches rely on cushions filled with poly-foam, a material similar to memory foam. So a memory foam mattress works well as a couch and as a bed.
Latex mattresses are a natural alternative to memory foam beds. However, because of latex foam’s production costs, they cost more than the average memory foam mattress. Still, because latex is a durable material, many consumers are willing to pay a fair price. Natural latex is excellent if you want a material that can withstand daily and nightly use.
Innerspring mattresses are a buoyant option. However, the coils are usually not arranged to bear the weight of a sitting individual. The idea behind the design is you lie down and evenly distribute your weight across the mattress. Because of this, an innerspring mattress is likely to sag when used as a couch.
A box spring can increase the support of a traditional innerspring mattress. However, many modern daybed frames are not designed to contain a box spring and mattress.
Hybrid mattresses are an excellent alternative for anyone who wants a bouncy surface. A hybrid’s base contains pocketed coils instead of a traditional innerspring system, helping the mattress isolate movement and remain resilient after years of use. A hybrid’s top layer is 2 to 3 inches of foam, thick enough to relieve pressure points across the body.
Mattress firmness is essential to consider because it determines how comfortable the bed feels to you. Some shoppers struggle with choosing a firmness because there is no one mattress firmness that’s universally comfortable. What mattress firmness feels right for you depends mostly on your preferred sleep position:
- People who sleep on their sides prefer a soft, medium-soft, or medium mattress.
- Back sleepers often enjoy a medium-firm to firm mattress. Medium mattresses with targeted support features are also a good choice.
- Stomach sleepers require a firm mattress to prevent spinal misalignment.
For a daybed you plan to use for sitting mostly, a medium-firm surface might be best. Likewise, we recommend a medium mattress if you intend to use it as a bed and couch in equal measures.
For the average bed, you usually don’t have to reflect too hard on how thick the mattress should be. Most people find a bed height within a 16 to 25-inch range perfectly comfortable.
However, a daybed mattress is different because you must think about the frame’s depth. A mattress that’s too thick creates a higher surface that may make sitting uncomfortable. We do not recommend mattresses more than 14 inches thick for daybeds.
The most common size for a daybed is a twin size mattress. This small frame fits in most rooms and can accommodate an adult under 6 feet tall. People who need extra sleep space may choose a twin XL or full size daybed.
Budget and Price
Mattresses for daybeds are usually fairly cheap since you’re choosing a smaller twin or full size bed. Exact prices depend on the materials and mattress height, but you can usually snag an excellent twin mattress for under $500. Full mattresses tend to cost more, but you still have a wide array available for less than $1000.
Daybed frames are also relatively inexpensive, with many costing between $150 to $500. Shoppers hunting for a certain look or material may find frames in the $500 to $1000 more to their taste. Higher-price models may also include a trundle bed or a set of storage drawers. These features are perfect for people who want to stretch their dollars’ value.
Any bed that’s worth its price tag includes a mattress warranty. If your mattress is defective and lacks a warranty, then there’s nothing else to do but buy a new mattress. When you have a warranty, the company will repair or replace your defective mattress, usually for free.
Most mattress manufacturers offer a warranty that’s at least 10 years long. Some manufacturers do include longer warranties that cover 20 or 25 years of ownership.
When it comes to judging the quality of your mattress warranty, we recommend looking at the sagging coverage. Mattresses grow extremely uncomfortable if they sag more than an inch, and the bed’s lackluster support can cause back pain.
Fair-minded companies will offer to replace a mattress that sags more than an inch. Scrupulous companies concerned with customer satisfaction will do so even sooner, usually at the ¾ inch mark.
Along with a warranty, many mattresses include a sleep trial that gives you a few months to test it out. With a sleep trial, you can receive a refund if the bed is not right for you. The home trial starts once the mattress arrives, so try to set up your mattress as soon as possible.
Our mattress recommendations include beds with 100-night sleep trials. However, some brands offer 120 nights or even a full year to try the mattress. That said, many sleepers will know after a month if a mattress is right for them. So you don’t necessarily need a long sleep trial to decide if it’s the best mattress for you.
Alternatives to a Daybed
A daybed is a great space-saving resource, but it is not the only option if you want a hide-away bed. Some alternatives are better suited for guests, while others are excellent for nightly use.
Sofa beds with a pull-out mattress are a good choice if you want a bed for the occasional guest. However, if you plan on sleeping on the bed regularly, a daybed tends to feel more comfortable. This is because a daybed tends to have a thicker and more durable mattress.
Murphy bed frame cabinets are another option if you want a bed that you can fold away. However, a Murphy bed isn’t made to double as a sofa. Some people may find the bed cabinet is less decorative than a daybed.
Bunk beds are another option if you want a space-efficient bed. The typical bunk bed can accommodate two sleepers, much like a daybed with a trundle bed can.
People who sleep alone and want to save space might also consider a lofted bed frame. This frame is similar to a bunk bed, essentially consisting of the top bunk only. The frame might have a built-in desk and a set of shelves where the bottom bunk would be.
Daybeds can provide 24-hour comfort, serving as a place to sit during the day and a sleeping area at night. However, your comfort will depend on the mattress you choose, with a lackluster mattress translating into an uncomfortable couch. A bed with durable, comfy materials and cooling features is often the key to a good night’s sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Daybeds don’t require a specific type of mattress. That said, you do want to consider the mattress’s materials, height, and weight. High-quality mattress materials stand up to daily wear and tear, perfect if you’re sitting and sleeping on your daybed. A too-thick mattress can be uncomfortable for sitting, while a too-heavy mattress may damage the daybed’s frame.
You can sleep on a daybed every night for years if you want. However, your choice of mattress significantly impacts how well you can expect to sleep. If you pair a low-quality mattress with your daybed, you may not be able to fall asleep quickly.
The difference between the two is that a sofa bed must be transformed into a bed. Sleeper sofas have the bed fold out from underneath the cushions. A daybed is essentially a ready-made twin bed with an unusual frame.