Daybed vs. Futon: Which Lounger Is Better?

Daybed vs. Futon
Image by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz / Canva

It can be challenging to find which type of bed will work perfectly in your space. If you’re here, that means you’re contemplating between getting a daybed vs. futon for a bedroom or other space in your home. Well, you’re in the right place! We’ve compiled all the information you need to choose between a daybed and a futon. If you want to figure out which couch/bed hybrid is best for you — read on!

Daybed

So, what exactly is a daybed? Well, it’s a bed, generally with a regular twin size mattress, you can use it as a couch due to the framing around three sides of the mattress. You DO, however, need to have quite a few extra pillows or cushions to make for comfortable seating when it isn’t set up as a bed.

Styles, Quality & Price

Daybed vs. Futon - Daybed
Image by Canva

There are hundreds of styles of the daybed, all with different style variations, quality, and price. You can find ornate, carved-wood daybeds, which can cost somewhere in the thousands, or you can go for a standard daybed, which could be several hundred dollars. Of course, while some high-end daybeds may be more of a statement piece, you probably want something functional as a bed for guests. This means you would most likely want to find something that’s nice but not necessarily “high-end.”

PROSCONS
Has storage underneathCan be pricey
Can store trundle-bed underneathNeeds extra cushions for day use
Doesn’t need to be assembled like a futon

Futon

Futons are beds that can fold into a couch… or a couch that unfolds into a bed? You get the picture! This is a perfect option if you don’t have a lot of space or want a piece that can double as a couch or a bed on occasion. They are generally lower to the ground than a daybed, so this ISN’T ideal if you want to store anything bulky.

Another thing to note about futons is that you have to make them up with sheets anytime someone wants to sleep in them. Luckily, they’re easy to set up. Some people even leave a fitted sheet on them throughout the day, so they don’t have to completely remake it every night (if it’s getting used as a couch during the day).

Styles, Quality & Price

Futon
Image by SL&S / Canva

Some futons are sold as one entire piece, the same as a couch, just with the ability to unfold into a bed. However, there are other, generally pricier but more comfortable futons as well as the standard one-piece futons. They are avaiable only as separate pieces; a wood or metal frame and a large cushion that can be the couch cushion and a mattress for sleeping.

There are all sorts of variations to your classic futon, and they can vary in price quite substantially. If you want a comfortable and long-lasting futon, you can find one with a sturdy wood frame with a nice wood stain or with shelving underneath for storage. These, however, are quite a bit heavier than your run-of-the-mill futon and take away a lot of the convenience of a cheaper futon by being so much heavier and harder to move.

Of course, the style and quality of your selected futon all heftily impact the price, so you MUST keep your budget in mind! If you are looking for a futon for your first apartment, more than likely, you’re not rolling in cash; so this is a time to get a simple, low-priced one that serves its purpose. You can always upgrade to an “investment” futon down the line.

PROSCONS
Lower-priced than daybedGenerally not as comfortable as a daybed
Perfect for those who primarily need a couchWhen in bed form, it takes up more space
Won’t take up much space when in couch form

Daybed vs. Futon: Comparison Time!

To make things easier, we’ve broken down the various aspects you’ll need to consider when choosing between a futon vs. a daybed.

1

Ease of Access

Daybeds and futons are both simple pieces of furniture. The thing that makes daybeds slightly easier than futons is that they are already made and in “bed” form. In contrast, futons need to be unfolded and made ready for someone. Generally speaking, you’ll want to make your futon with sheets and pillows, and although you could leave it “made” and just fold it back into couch form, it won’t look very nice!

2

Storage

Daybeds have quite a bit of storage room. They have room for luggage (for your guest) or even for a trundle bed! Futons, on the other hand, are relatively low to the ground and don’t have much in the way of extra space. However, you can buy special futon frames that come with drawer storage underneath. They are more spendy than your average futon sans-storage, but worthwhile if you want to store blankets or other bedding for visitors.

3

Room Type

The space you have to work with is one of the most important things to consider when choosing between a futon or a daybed. If you are looking for a spare bed, but you don’t have a free spare room, that’s very different from having a spare room. It might look a bit odd if you put a daybed in a living room!

If you were trying to pick between a futon or a daybed for a child’s room, a daybed might be better, especially if it has a trundle. An added trundle is ideal if your kid wants to have sleepovers, so no one is left sleeping on the ground.

4

Comfortability

This one goes along with the price. Generally speaking, the more you are willing to spend, the more comfortable your futon or daybed will be. However, if you want the more comfortable of the two, a daybed will typically be your better option. At the same time, a daybed may not be the best as a couch or lounge because of the width of the bed — it may leave your legs dangling awkwardly off the side.

So, it sort of comes down to our next point.

5

Daily Function

When choosing a daybed vs. a futon, you have to consider what daily function you want. Do you primarily want a bed that can double as a couch or a couch that is occasionally useful as a bed? This is an important question you need to answer for yourself before buying a daybed or futon. Ideally, you’ll want to buy furniture that serves your most significant needs as much as possible. All this to say, if you primarily need a couch that CAN be used as a bed on occasion, buy a futon, not a daybed!

6

Price

We’ve already somewhat covered this, but to reiterate, futons and daybeds are available at a range of prices. Futons are generally cheaper, but you can still find high-quality, high-priced ones depending on what you want. However, daybeds (even lower-quality ones) typically start at a higher price than futons due to their size and structure.

Our Top Choices

To give you some ideas, we’ve made a shortlist of the best daybed vs. futon models on the market.

Daybeds

Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse Larry Daybed
Image by Laurel Foundry

1. Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse Larry Daybed

The Larry Daybed is one of our favorite daybeds from Wayfair. Its frame is metal and the design is remarkable. It’s also under $250, which is a great deal as far as good-quality daybeds go. However, you can find some metal framed daybeds that are even less expensive than this one! Keep in mind that the mattress is not included.

2. Andover Mills Potts Daybed

Another fantastic option is the Andover Mills Potts Daybed, a stunning daybed. It is quite a bit more expensive, but it accommodates a full-size mattress and has shelving underneath. Again, the mattress is not included in this model; but it is a good quality piece that can last a very long time.

Futons

The Serta Corwin Futon
Image by Serta Futons

1. Serta Corwin Futon

For starters, we have the Serta Corwin Futon. This is a lovely twin-size futon that is currently on sale. It’s very modern and is a typical-looking futon that could work in just about any room you put it in. Although this one is blue, it also comes in black, grey, navy, and a deep brown.

2. Red Barrel Studio Queen Futon

Next up is the Red Barrel Studio Queen Futon, a high-quality, expensive futon. It is queen-size and has a very plush, comfortable mattress. The frame is made of natural and manufactured wood and is very neutral to match any decor.

Daybed vs. Futon: The Final Word

When deciding between a daybed or futon, your choice primarily comes down to if you would rather have a couch or a bed for your space.

If you need it for a spare room, we think a daybed is better. Daybeds are more bed than the couch, so to speak. While you can use them for lounging, you’ll primarily use it as a bed for your guests. Futons, on the other hand, are ideal if you want a couch that can be turned into a bed when needed. They are preferable when you have a smaller space. Even though you may need to shuffle things around when you turn it into a bed, this is a pretty minor inconvenience if it is just for occasional use.

Of course, price is important too! If you have a very tight budget, a futon is a better option, although a daybed is a great investment and is quite a bit more comfortable than a futon (in most cases).

Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences, how much space you have, and your budget.


Further Reading

Best Futons
The 10 Best Futons
Microfiber vs. Cotton Sheets
Microfiber vs. Cotton Sheets
Best Eco Friendly Detergents
The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents
Best Futons for Everyday Sleeping
The 9 Best Futons for Everyday Sleeping
Best Organic Sheets
The 9 Best Organic Sheets
Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
Best Eco-friendly Toilet Paper