How to Make a Queen Size Bed Look Like a Daybed

Daybeds and sofa beds offer an overnight spot for guests, but the standard twin and full sizes don't fit everyone. If you already have a queen bed on hand, a few simple updates can make it double as seating by day and a comfortable place for you or guests to sleep at night.

Push the bed lengthwise against a wall. If you prefer a floating look, position the bed against the back of a buffet or long, low bookcase with a finished back. Just verify the furniture is heavy and sturdy if you place it at either end of the bed; people will lean against it, and you don't want it falling over if it cannot support their weight.

Swap the Headboard

A headboard that towers over a foot board is a dead giveaway that you're working with a regular bed instead of a daybed. Purchase another foot board to go with the one you have or purchase two new foot boards and attach them to the frame; opting for the low-cost metal frame is easier than springing for a costly wood ensemble. Look for low-profile designs, common in Asian-inspired furniture. Foot boards that are too high create the illusion of a bed and don't contribute to the look of a daybed.

Go Armless

Create a modern daybed by removing both the headboard and foot board and using just the frame to support the bed. Align the bed in a corner, filling the back and one end of the bed with two rows of pillows. For this look, opt for a box-style frame or a platform bed that isn't meant to attach to a headboard and foot board. These styles hide or eliminate the box spring, making it easier to create a clean line from the top of the mattress to the floor. A metal or different style frame works in a pinch, but cover the box springs with bed skirt to the floor.

Bookend with Bookcases

Situate two short bookcases with finished backs on either side of the bed to frame the mattress. One short end butts against the wall, the other end lines up with the edge of the mattress and looks out toward the room with the shelves facing away from the head or foot of the bed. A queen bed is about 60-inches wide, so select a bookcase of the same width. If you can't find one, 30-inch bookcases are pretty common; just snag four and place two on each end of the bed. Don't go wider than the mattress is deep; the bed may look like a cave instead of a daybed.

Nook It

If you have an opening in the room that's at least 80-inches wide, the length of a queen bed, tuck the bed and frame in it to eliminate the need for head and foot boards, bookcases or similar tweaks. If there are gaps, install shelving on the nook walls at the height of the mattress or a few inches above it parallel to the head and foot of the bed.

Ditch Standard Bedding

Fitted sheets are thin and standard comforters too bulky to create the illusion of a daybed. But you have other options:

  • cover the mattress and frame with a queen-sized daybed cover
  • find a fitted coverlet and box spring bed skirt or cover in matching colors and use them to camouflage the bed or
  • cover the mattress with a regular coverlet or thin quilt and tuck it carefully between the mattress and box spring or mattress and frame; secure with hook-and-loop tape.

Pillow Up

Daybeds typically have a lot of pillows that line the back of it when it sits flat against the wall. Use over-sized throw pillows, 20-inches square or bigger; flat floor pillows make ideal support cushions. Because a queen bed is a lot deeper than a sofa or standard daybed, two rows of the larger pillows may be necessary to create the illusion of smaller daybed. Pillows that leave 24 inches of sitting room provide enough space to simulate the right look when converting a queen-sized bed into a daybed.

Place square or bolster throw pillows along the two ends of the mattress to create the illusion of armrests. Finish the look by scattering a few small square or round pillows in front of the the large pillows or cushions resting against the wall.