"daybeds" what the...???

[ul][li]What the hell is a daybed specifically designed to do? [/li][li]Why are they called a “daybed?”[/ul][/li]
They look too small, for most people, to sleep in comfortably.
[sub]unless vertically challenged or a child.[/sub]

They seem too deep to comfortably use as a sofa.

AFAIK, they are just for “prettying up a room” and have no real functionality.

What’s the deal with “daybeds?”

According to http://www.tctimes.com/features/HomeInterior/daybeds.html]this site

Go to the link for all you ever wanted to know about daybeds.

It’s a twin sized bed (usually) that has a frame on 3 sides so you can pile up pillows on it and pretend it is a couch.

My mother used to collect Victorian and Mission style antique furniture.

When you say “daybed”, I think of an early version of a sleeper sofa, a mechanical contraption that sleeps one–sort of. A daybed (the pullout kind) is a sleeper sofa that says “this isn’t for serious sleeping”. I’m not sure exactly when they were invented, but I have the impression it was back in the early part of the 20th century, and it was considered tacky back then to have “sleeping arrangements” in the living room. Respectable middle-class folks were expected to “sleep” in “sleeping rooms”, i.e. the bedrooms. Only “po folks” had people sleeping in the living room.

Hence, the “daybed”, a sleeper sofa with a respectable name. It’s theoretically, officially, for “resting”, not for “sleeping”.

Like a chaise. And like a chaise, it’s not really designed for serious sleeping, being just a teensy bit too small for comfort.

But, see, that’s okay, since it’s not for “sleeping” anyway–it’s for “resting”. :smiley:

Other than that, for the modern version, what Opal said.

I can’t answer your two specific questions. However, I own a daybed. Most daybeds seem to have chintzy construction, and a typically feminine style to go with lots of frilly pillows or perhaps stuffed animals. Mine is a more subtle black frame which is only slightly better-built.

The ones I have seen all use standard twin bed mattresses. This is not a size I would call generous, but it’s pretty common, and cheap to boot.

Although I am 6 feet tall, I have no trouble sleeping in it unless I want to stretch out my arms very far. If I’m lying down reading a textbook, usually I have to hang my feet through the rails at the foot of the bed. This was actually why I bought it; the other twin beds I looked at didn’t have enough space to squeeze your legs through the rails.

It did come in handy as a couch when I lived in a studio, but as you note it was too deep without pillows.

I know what a daybed is. [sub]Thanks, though[/sub]

I just don’t get what purpose there is for using them in this day and age. The article that Jophiel cited was interesting, (Thanks, Joph’) but mainly addresses the historical applications of the daybed.

In a contemporary setting, I don’t see why anyone would want a daybed. They seem to be strictly a “woman’s thing” in today’s world, as mentioned for “prettying up a room.” I have never seen a daybed that wasn’t all frilly, fluffy, lacey, and Martha Stewart-looking.

The way these things are set up, seem they would also possibly require specially shaped linens to accomodate their “boxed-in” style. (correct me if this is erroneous)

Where the heck does a daybed go in a modern home? The daybed seems utterly pointless in modern society, IMHO.

I own a daybed. I don’t know that I would go out and buy one, but this one was a hand-me-down. We keep it in our spare room/library/guest room. It is a handy item for that room. With a few extra pillows, it makes a nice place to lounge around and read. Take the pillows off, and it’s a twin bed. And no, you don’t need special linens, although it’s kind of a pain to change the sheets.

I guess in our case, it is an alternative to a plain twin bed. I suppose it makes the room look a bit less bedroom-like, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m glad to have it, but I’m not going to tell you that it’s really especially useful except as a bed.

I sort of consider the day-bed to be a really girly futon and would assume that the usage would be similar.

I do know that some people (the Japanese, for instance) use the futon as their regular bed, but I don’t think it’s that popular in North America, so my answer has to be confined to here.

The daybeds I’m most familar with are the metal scroll work type that I couldn’t lay down on if you sawed my legs off at the knees. I agree those would be mainly for decoration and to toss pretty pillows on.

Apparently longer types exist which I guess are basically a glorified couch so you’d toss one where you’d toss a couch, I guess. Maybe not in the living room to watch television on, but in a den, rec room, guest room/TV room, etc.

My mother always kept a daybed in the living room instead of a couch. She didn’t have a spare bedroom and whenever one of us kids would visit we’d sleep on the daybed. It was much cheaper than a sleeper sofa which she couldn’t afford. As a bed it was pretty comfortable but as a couch it was a bit awkward being too deep as people have mentioned previously.

Also, don’t most daybeds include trundlebeds as well?

I have a daybed. I actually like it (and I never knew there was a subset of people who hate them…geez). I like it because I CAN fit on it (and I’m not a child, or ‘vertically challenged’). It’s smaller so it fits in my room better than a huge clunky bed, and I can keep all of my pillows on it. I don’t normally use it as a couch or for any fashioney stuff. It’s just a bed.

As someone who sleeps on a day bed its not bad … its about the size of a trundle bed and rather comfortable

Also I found out the the metal bars do have uses for handcuffs ect … :smiley:

To make a daybed into a comfortable couch, you need more than pillows. You need a good firm bolster for the back, and two for the sides. I don’t know where you find them nowadays. The back one needs to be at least 18" thick.
My folks had one in the den when I was a kid. It was comfy as a couch during the day, and great as a bed for a teenage kid (me) who was sick of crowding into the bedroom with my two sisters.

I also have a trundle bed, but there was no particular reason I needed a daybed to buy a trundle bed, or vice versa. They are completely independent of each other, other than you can fit the trundle under the day bed, just as you could fit it under a twin bed (so long as it’s a twin without a box spring).