Day beds keep the function of a room flexible. Having one in the home office makes an informal place to read, or to take a power nap. In the kids’ room or guest room it’s a more compact sleeping option than a sofa bed.

Mostly, they’re suited to occasional use rather than as everyday beds, although some are surprisingly comfortable for a night’s sleep, and feature a trundle for extra capacity. The traditional Victorian-style bed has a metal frame on three sides, but wood is warmer and better suited to children’s rooms. More grown-up styles take the form of a chaise longue for casual sitting and lounging.

Mattresses usually aren’t included, and might be a non-standard size, so check carefully before you buy. Trundle mattresses can usually be no higher than 20cm.

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Softline Frame Day Bed: £815, Nest

This minimal design by Danish brand Softline puts comfort and quality first. The mattress is covered in a felt-like mix of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent polyamide that comes in dark blue and grey options. There’s no bulky frame, just a thin contrasting platform of ash wood. Taken off the frame, the mattress folds out to a double (200 x 160cm). The design is made to order in eight weeks.

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Ikea Brimnes Day Bed: £290, Ikea

This versatile bed from Ikea functions as a single bed or seat for the day, with two drawers for storing pillows and blankets. The base also pulls out to become a small double bed measuring 160 x 205cm. The reasonably priced design is made in particle board with pine slats, and includes two foam mattresses designed to give firm support. A great multifunctional piece.

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Burford Painted Day Bed: £325, Cotswold & Company

At 100 x 205cm this day bed is small, without the option to convert it to a double for guests. It would, however, make a great bed for the kids’ room, with a fresh white-painted finish that can be endlessly updated as your interior style changes. It also has the benefit of being made from solid pine, so it should be sturdy enough to take a few knocks.

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Loaf Digs Day Bed: £995, Loaf

The Digs day bed has a metal frame that flips over to convert into a sizeable double: 160 x 190cm. The foam-filled mattress is also in two halves, stacking when used as a single so you don’t have to find storage for an additional mattress. There’s no back to this day bed, so some additional cushions are needed to make it comfortable as a small sofa by day.

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Laura Ashley Hastings Day Bed: £756, Laura Ashley

Based on the quintessential Victorian day bed, Laura Ashley’s offering has three sides with metal railings, cast shell details and traditional bed knobs. It comes in a contemporary ivory finish as well as pewter. Underneath there’s a trundle with legs that raise to the same height of the bed. The bed has comfortable sprung slats and two tufted single mattresses are included.

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Noa & Nani Hove Day Bed: £129, Noa & Nani

Designed for kids, the Hove bed comes in white-painted pine and has a pull-out spare bed underneath that makes it ideal for hosting last-minute sleepovers. With a low back along one side it makes a good occasional sofa too. It’s a simple bed that’s great for small budgets, with self-assembly required. Delivery is free.

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Birlea Torino Day Bed: £159.99, Amazon

This is a good option if you’re after the classic style of a day bed at a reasonable price. This bed has all the hallmarks of the traditional style: metal railings, shell castings and a striking black finish to the frame. There are sprung slats to give a comfortable night’s sleep and a Birlea trundle bed can be bought separately to fit underneath. The mattress is not included.

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CB2 Lubi sleeper Day Bed: £721.39, CB2

The hip sister company of US retailer Crate & Barrel has a range of modern furniture that’s well made, without the designer price tag. The Lubi bed has a feel of a therapist’s couch with a bolster cushion at one end. The stacked mattress opens up to a double (check it will suit UK sizes if you want to use a fitted sheet). The legs are birch and the woven fabric cover can be removed to dry clean.

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Dreams Tabitha Fabric Day Bed: £319, Dreams

A practical day bed that’s good value. It works fairly well as a sofa, although the low back isn’t comfortable for long periods and the seat is higher than usual thanks to the trundle bed concealed within. It’s easy to convert it to a bed and double up the sleeping space with the trundle. The grey fabric upholstery is smart and helps this day bed blend with other sofas and armchairs.

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Habitat Isabel Two-Seater Sofa: £995, Habitat

Technically, this is a two-seater sofa, but it makes a great day bed choice for modern tastes. The back is profiled from high to low, giving support for sitting and stretching out your legs. The padded seat and back are comfortable, and the curving shape makes this a very stylish piece. It comes upholstered in velvet with a choice of six fashionable colours.

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Aubrey Day Bed with Trundle: £499, DFS

The wooden frame of the Aubrey guest bed packs in plenty of storage and an extra pull-out bed. It has traditional style with a white finish that would suit the kids’ room. The bed has a sprung slatted base that makes for a good level of comfort. The three deep storage drawers are handy for extra blankets. The bed is high and small children may find it difficult to climb in and out of.

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Sophie Day Bed: £199, Next

The crystal-like details on the Sophie day bed make it fit for a princess. It has a white metal frame that fits the traditional style. Layer it with cushions and blankets to improve comfort during the day, and provide a softer headrest for bedtime reading. It’s simple but well priced, and at 97 x 201 cm it fits a standard single mattress easily. Self-assembly is required.  

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The Verdict: Best day beds

If you’re looking for a contemporary day bed that can easily convert to a double, the Softline Frame bed from Nest is a good option. It’s a little larger than average, making it suitable and comfortable for kids and adults alike.

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