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Daybed Buying Guide – What is a Daybed?

Daybed Buying Guide – What is a Daybed?

There’s nothing better than getting home from a long day out and collapsing onto a beautiful, cosy daybed. These underrated furniture pieces are a great addition to any home, whether you decide to feature them indoors, in the living room, bedroom or office, or as a handy (and comfy!) feature in your outdoor space.

If a daybed has been on your radar for a little while, now is the perfect time to commit – we promise you’ll be glad you did! Although they’re quite an understated, practical item, a lot actually goes into selecting the right daybed for your home. So, what should you consider throughout this process? Turn your daybed daydreams into reality with the help of this handy guide, packed full of tips from our expert team of Brosa stylists.

What is a daybed?

If you’re reading this thinking ‘what’s this daybed they’re talking about’, you might know it by its fancier moniker, the chaise lounge (or as they were originally called in their native French, chaise longues). There are a few subtle and little-known differences between a traditional daybed and the chaise lounge, though. Here’s a quick rundown…

A daybed is typically a completely flat surface that’s upholstered and stuffed for your comfort. Think of it as a bench that’s way more appealing to lie down on. The term daybed has definitely expanded in recent years, though, so you might find that furniture pieces that have more curves or functional elements are also referred to as daybeds. At their core, these kinds of items are actually chaise lounges, which support the legs and head with a little elevation or additional cushioning. Either way, this kind of piece provides an undoubtedly great opportunity to relax, nap, host guests and more that’ll suit the majority of households.

Daybeds vs sofa beds

A question that often arises when shopping for daybeds is ‘why not just buy a sofa bed?’ While they serve similar purposes, daybeds and sofa beds are ultimately quite different, so it comes down to your unique household needs.

If you’re tossing up between the two, it’s a good idea to think a little more deeply about why you need additional sleeping space in your home. Will you be hosting guests regularly, or do you just love a delicious midday nap every now and then? Where sofa beds can be made up with sheets and a comforter for days-long resting, daybeds are better for casual, short-term sleeping or lying down – for instance, if you want to stretch out while you’re watching a movie, or recline and read a book (that just so happens to devolve into a killer nap). Think about what you plan on doing more, and decide accordingly.

Everything you need to know about selecting the ideal indoor daybed.
Everything you need to know about selecting the ideal indoor daybed.
Everything you need to know about selecting the ideal indoor daybed.
Everything you need to know about selecting the ideal indoor daybed.

Selecting an indoor daybed

If you’re sold on the idea of a daybed, it’s important to note there are two types to choose from – quite simply, indoor daybeds and outdoor daybeds. While they’re structurally the same, there will be key differences in style, construction and materials.

Let’s start with the ins and outs of selecting an indoor daybed – the perfect addition to the living room, bedroom, office, or any suitable space in your home. Here’s what you need to consider before you click ‘add to cart’ on a gorgeous new daybed for your interior space.

Size

How large your daybed of choice is will dictate where it can be placed in your home, and how easy it is to access and use. It’ll also have a bearing on how comfortable it is – after all, sprawling out on a comfy daybed only becomes more enjoyable the more space you have. But, not everyone’s got the room for a giant, oversized daybed in their space.

The average length for a daybed is 2 metres, however you’ll find smaller options that hover around the 1.8m mark, and larger pieces that extend all the way to 2.5m. If length is a concern, you might prefer a single chaise lounge that has a defined headrest, and so, is likely shorter in length – a good example of this is the stunning Seta Chaise Lounge, which sits at 162cm due to the raised headrest.

Material

When you’re trying to find the perfect indoor daybed, material will be less of a concern than it is outdoors – but that doesn’t mean there’s ample opportunity to find a fabric that works for you, and to use that to elevate your interior style.

Typically, you’ll find a fabric daybed is the most popular, with options that include cotton and linen. However, you could go all out with a velvet daybed, or even a leather one, if you’re inclined to make a statement. Be sure to understand the maintenance and care behind each of your fabric choices – where a simple cotton is pretty easy to take care of, velvet is a bit more finicky and needs to be paid attention to during the cleaning process.

If you’re all about the traditional, the Theron Daybed is beautifully designed in a French provincial-esque style, and is upholstered in our durable Signature Premium fabric. For a material that’s a little more out-there, give velvet a shot with the Harper Daybed.

Colour

For many, a daybed is simply another furniture piece designed to create more seating or lying down space in a room. But, for others, it’s an opportunity to play with colour and really make an exciting statement. If the latter sounds like you, colour should be the most important element on your radar. Go pared-back with your couch and let your daybed do the talking. The Kate Daybed comes in an eclectic array of colours, including Bayou Blue, Mojave Rose and Classic Cream.

If blending into the background is the plan for your daybed, that’s okay! Opt for a neutral colour such as grey or beige for a subtle, approachable and timeless look. In the right space, neutrals can actually be quite eye-catching, too – it’s all down to how you style it. We love the classic Lottie Daybed in Stone Grey.

Style

Finally, don’t forget to select something that slots well in with your existing style. Whether you love the coastal look, are going for an eclectic, mid century vibe, or want to chill out in a Scandi paradise, every furniture piece you select should be indicative of that style in one way or another. Where colour and material might contribute to this a bit, other things to consider are the shape of your piece, and any embellishments or design elements it might have.

For instance, a very straight, sleek daybed will suit modern style well, whereas something overstuffed with rounded curves is the perfect new Art Deco piece. If you’re not sure, look at the other pieces you’ve already got in the space and take note of the throughlines – what elements keep cropping up? Chances are these are the core tenets of your go-to style, and you’ll then be able to reflect them back in the room through your choice of daybed.

Styling an indoor daybed

Now that you’ve found your dream indoor daybed or chaise lounge chair, it’s time to get styling! The first step is to determine where in your predetermined space your daybed will live. Perhaps you’ve already selected its place of pride, but if not, think about how it could be used to add functionality to your space.

Once it’s all locked and loaded in its new home, there are a few things to consider when styling your daybed lounge. Start with neighbouring furniture pieces – placing a side table at one end of your daybed, for instance, will provide some practicality (read: a place to put your snacks) and also creates an opportunity for juxtaposition with wood or metal. You might like to add plants, a table lamp or your favourite small decor pieces to this table, which ultimately, will reflect on your daybed and help establish its overall aesthetic.

The other thing to think about is adding aesthetic elements to the daybed itself, such as throw pillows, blankets and throws. Throw pillows will provide some comfort to your daybed or chaise lounge, which never goes astray, especially if it’s a spot for guests to spend the night. Select a few favourite cushion hues to contrast or complement your daybed colour, and sprinkle two or three for a soft and welcoming effect. A blanket in a contrasting texture will look gorgeous draped over the side of your piece, and will also ensure your space is ultra-cosy for whoever’s using it.

Outdoor daybeds… an essential for spoilt fur-babies!
Outdoor daybeds… an essential for spoilt fur-babies!
Outdoor daybeds… an essential for spoilt fur-babies!
Outdoor daybeds… an essential for spoilt fur-babies!

Selecting an outdoor daybed

If an indoor daybed isn’t right for your space, perhaps some additional room to relax outside is more up your alley. There are so many benefits to an outdoor daybed, but all in all, having more seating or lying-down space in your backyard, patio, courtyard or balcony will never go unappreciated. It’ll ensure you’ve got ample room to host guests for drinks and a luxe cheese board, or to simply chill out with your family on a warm summer’s evening – covering all the bases! Instead of grabbing the first outdoor daybed you like, though, we’ve got a few tips to make sure you truly love your new piece.

Size

Even when you’re not constrained by four walls, size should still be a huge factor when selecting a daybed. Where some may be working with boundless outdoor space in the form of a sprawling backyard, others are just trying to spruce up a tiny space like a balcony or miniscule courtyard. So, it’s pretty similar to selecting something for indoors – your needs will always come first. Don’t forget to measure up the space before you truly embark on the buying process.

Material

Where outdoor and indoor daybeds begin to diverge is your choice of material. Indoors, wear and tear will be slow (unless you’ve got kids or pets…), so your material selection can be a little fancier and more finicky. However, when you’re purchasing for the outdoors, there’s a lot more to lose. Whether you live in a hot, humid climate or brave the wind and snow every winter, the material you choose for your daybed needs to be weather-resistant and durable.

As well as what your daybed is upholstered in, you’ll have to consider the base material – some daybeds have much more of a frame when they’re designed to live outside. For the base, popular choices include rattan, jute and steel, whereas our go-to pick for the upholstery itself is anything synthetic, such as Sunbrella.

Colour

The final piece of the puzzle is your colour of choice. When we’re selecting pieces for outside, we tend to opt for neutral tones that reflect nature back at us, such as brown, beige, white, black, cream and olive green. These are all fantastic options, and will permit easy styling alongside any other furniture items you already have in the space. If you prefer to push the boundaries, though, don’t let us hold you back! Select from the full colour palette of hues to your heart’s content – just be sure that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Styling an outdoor daybed

Contrary to belief, a lot goes into styling an outdoor space – and making your new daybed or outdoor chaise lounge look and feel ‘at home’ is no exception. Start by carving out a spot for your new piece, and determining how it will relate to other furniture items in the space. Is it the hero of your balcony, courtyard or patio, or is it just another element that’ll help to establish a beautiful seating area in your backyard? Place it accordingly, and be sure it’s accessible for everyone who might use it.

Surrounding items are a little more limited outdoors, but a chic side table is still a great option. After all, who doesn’t want to loll around on a daybed or chaise lounge with a beverage in hand? You’ll see matching pieces very frequently in outdoor spaces, so if this is your thing, and there’s an accompanying small table for your new daybed, then this could be the way to go. Otherwise, use this as an opportunity to create visual interest with something a bit contrasting, such as a cool concrete end table in a funky colour or texture. Because you’re outside, and items can get rained on, sun-damaged or blown away, you won’t want to style its surrounds much more than this.

Then, when it comes to the chaise lounge or daybed itself, a couple of cushions will be all you need to establish the right ambiance. Once again, pick from complementary colours – just be sure they’re constructed of a durable material, and that you’ve got somewhere to stash them away safely in case it rains or gets super windy. Et voila – a stunning outdoor area complete with a must-have daybed!

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your outdoor space or add a new piece to your interiors, a daybed or chaise lounge is a great way to add more seating (or napping space, as we like to call it). It also provides a fantastic opportunity for you to play with style, colour and material to make a statement in an otherwise-simple space. Take one step closer to the ultimate relaxation zone with Brosa’s range of stylish daybeds and chaise lounges – shop our range today with Australia-wide delivery, 21-day returns, and flexible payment options.