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Are Outdoor Day Beds As Comfortable As a Couch?

Just picture it now – lying back on your outdoor day bed in the heat of summer, a gentle breeze blowing to keep you cool. A cold glass of lemonade next to you (perhaps wine or beer), and a new book to dip into.  

Sounds glorious! But hang on a minute, are these day bed things actually all that comfortable? Are they as comfortable as the couch?

Outdoor day beds are definitely as comfortable as a couch, but they are also much more versatile. They can be used as a couch or lounger by day, or a comfortable bed to sleep on all night in your outdoor bedroom under the stars. Adults, teenagers and toddlers will all love relaxing on a day bed.

Let’s dive down into this subject in more detail and look at what makes outdoor day beds so comfortable, and consider the multiple use cases possible with these versatile and luxurious pieces of yard furniture.

Are Outdoor Daybeds Comfortable For Adults?

Absolutely yes! Daybeds, at first glance, may seem an over-the-top luxury. You may be thinking of an outdoor daybed as rectangular and boring. But you’d be wrong about both.

Granted – some outdoor daybeds are super fun, eye-catchingly delightful extravaganzas.

But many daybeds are very practical additions to your outdoor space. Daybeds are part bed, part chaise lounge and part couch. Chaise lounges, or sun loungers, are low to the ground and have adjustable backs that recline. Outdoor couches are proportioned to sit in, while outdoor daybeds have proportions to sit in – and nap in.

There is a huge selection of outdoor daybeds. The one thing in common for all daybeds is that they are long enough for a person to stretch out and sleep on.

Before purchasing one, check your available space and consider what you might use it for. Daybeds come in all shapes, sizes, and beautiful fabrics. Generally, daybeds come in one piece or as a sectional.

One-piece daybeds are large and deep. Although perfect for snoozing, you may want to add more cushions to make it comfortable as a couch.

Sectionals offer the greatest flexibility and make extremely comfortable couches. Many models come as two pieces that fit together to make the bed. The main piece has the dimensions and seating comfort of a couch. The second piece is a long, cushioned ottoman that is pushed up against the couch piece for sleeping. 

Having a long ottoman is helpful in many ways. Sure – put your feet up and read. An ottoman is also a handy tabletop for your coffee or lunch tray. Set up a board game or laptop. Move the ottoman aside and use it for overflow seating.

There are lots of choices in outdoor daybeds, from extravagant to practical. If you worry that a daybed won’t be as comfortable as a couch, consider buying a daybed that actually comes as two pieces: a couch and an ottoman. In addition to comfortable couch-like seating, you will have a long, padded ottoman for snoozing in the afternoon or for your morning coffee.

Are Patio Daybeds Comfortable For Kids?

Oh, heck yes – kid heaven! From toddlers to teenagers.

Little kids will want to spend all their time there. For toddlers, outdoor furniture has fewer hard edges and fewer rules. They can color and eat. Spill stuff. Get messy.

The good news is that, unlike your living room sofa, outdoor furniture fabrics are stain-resistant and washable. You can actually hose down your daybed! Gently, of course.

Many outdoor daybeds come with canopies attached, some fold down like a convertible. Your teenagers (plus friends) will love the privacy and – the endless lounging opportunities.

Does a Canopy Make Your Outdoor Day Bed More Comfortable?

Yes, for all day long lounging around, a canopy or some cover is essential. Essential for you, your loved ones, and your friends. A canopy allows for day-long outside living without the rain and sunburns. Protect your loved ones with some shade.

Rain and UV ray protection is good, but a canopy around your day bed is also – romantic. For a bit of privacy, choose a daybed with an attached canopy or make one yourself with plenty of gauzy, floaty (but private) fabric.

Many outdoor daybed models come with a canopy attached. These day beds give you the choice of having another living space away from your covered patio, pergola, or hardtop canopy. Set up a daybed with a canopy next to the rose garden, the pool or beside a water feature.

Check whether the attached canopy will cover you up during the heat of the day. If you live in a sunny climate, consider moving your day bed under a tree or underneath a covered patio, hard or soft top canopy. 

If you don’t have a canopy or covered patio, and your favorite day bed doesn’t come with one, consider DIYing one. You can build a frame for your daybed and suspend fabric from it to shade you. Or position your daybed under a tree and suspend some fabric from a limb. Here are some ideas.

With an outdoor daybed and a canopy, you can snooze away listening to the pitter patter of raindrops. Ahhh. Just like a relaxation app, but so much more.

Are Outdoor Daybeds Actually Comfortable To Sleep On?

Yes. Outdoor daybeds are actually comfortable to sleep on. If you check reviews of recommended models, people LOVE them.

As always, you get what you pay for. There are many outdoor daybeds – and couches – that have hard, cheap cushions. You can amend hard, cheap cushions to some extent with foam, replacement cushions and pillows.

Read the reviews carefully before purchasing – there are lots of models out there and lots of reviews to help. These pieces of outdoor furniture are surprisingly popular, and there are tons of happy people writing reviews on how comfortable their daybed is.

If possible, visit a place that sells your dream model and check it out in person.

Will your daybed cushions be as comfortable as your indoor mattress? Probably not, but you will be outside. Outside, you can snooze while your kids laugh and run around the yard or play on the swing set. Outside, you can relax while waiting for those ribs to smoke – and smell them, too.

Luxury day bed

Can You Sleep All Night On Your Outdoor Day Bed in Summer?

Of course, you can! But let’s be perfectly honest here. Sleeping outdoors is different in many ways.

Sleeping outdoors reconnects you with nature. Owls hoot. Bats fly around. You can build a fire in the fire pit and watch it burn down. You can check out the summer constellations and watch the moon rise. Feel and smell night breezes.

Start a summer tradition. Have a slumber party in the back yard with your kids. OK – you may not get the most restful night’s sleep, but your kids will never forget the experience. 

With an outdoor daybed, your kids can have their own slumber parties in the safety of your backyard. 

Spending time outside reduces stress and depression. Going to sleep around sunset and getting up at dawn can reset your internal rhythms. Experts say that too much indoor light affects sleep quality. Time spent outdoors can increase your immunity levels – something we all need these days.

Sleeping outdoors is different – better – in so many ways.

Patio Day Bed Vs Outdoor Sleeper Bed Vs Patio Futon (What’s Best?)

What’s the difference between outdoor day beds, sleeper sofas and futons? The differences are with the cushion (or mattress) and the footprint.

First, let’s talk about the cushions or mattress. For a daybed, the cushions lie flat. For a sectional, two or more cushions may fit together, but they all lie flat – no folding.

For a sleeper sofa, the mattress folds to fit into the frame under the sitting area. To fold, these mattresses must be thinner. On a futon, the cushion folds to form the back and the sitting area. For futons and sleeper sofas, the mattress must fold – they are not flat like for a daybed.

Another difference is footprint. When folded up, futons use up the space of a sofa, the same as a sleeper sofa. During much of the day, these two take up less space than many day beds, but not all.

Some outdoor daybed models take up a large space, but sectional day beds are more versatile. 


In conclusion – yes outdoor day beds are as comfortable as a couch, but they’re also so much more than that.

These flexible and versatile pieces of patio furniture can be used as a couch and lounger by day – or a fully fledged ‘proper’ bed at night, as part of an outdoor bedroom under the stars.

Outdoor day beds are comfortable for adults, teenagers and toddlers alike – and if you invest in a quality example from a brand name manufacturer, then you’re sure to enjoy this luxurious piece of yard furniture for years to come.

Mark H.

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >