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Anyone who has hosted an overnight guest can tell you about the struggles and stress that come with trying to find a suitable sleeping spot. This is particularly problematic when you don’t have a dedicated guest bed.

Maybe your two seater sofa proves too small and uncomfortable for long-legged guests. Or perhaps you’re just fed-up scrambling for enough spare bed sheets as the night ends. Regardless of the reason why, buying a proper guest bed can solve many headaches associated with accommodating guests.

Want to know how to create the perfect sleeping set-up for overnight lodgers? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about guest beds in this buying guide.

what is a guest bed

What is a guest bed?

In simple terms, a guest bed is any bed that provides a comfortable night’s sleep to friends, family members, or overnight lodgers. The only difference from normal beds is how you use the bed day-to-day.

For example, you might need a guest bed (or several!) to host your family around holiday periods, or you might have a friend turn up on your doorstep needing a place to stay for the night. Whatever the occasion, owning a guest bed ensures everyone in the house has a comfortable place to rest.

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best option

What is the best option for a guest bed?

Whether you have a spare room primed and ready for a guest bed, or you’d prefer to swap out your current sofa for something more sleep-friendly, there are many options to keep overnight guests comfortable.

Finding the best guest bed for you and your home is a matter of personal preference, but we do have some tips and advice on which types are best suited to different spaces and situations. You can read more information about all the different types of beds available over on our beds buying guide.

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Divan beds

Divan beds shine best when placed in spare, second, or guest bedrooms. Not only do they offer guests a sound night’s sleep, but you can also make good use of their extra storage capacities.

For example, you can fill their drawers with spare bed sheets and linens, saving space elsewhere in your house. However, you can also use this storage for other items - helping you to keep the guest room tidy. Or, it provides handy space for extra touches to make your guests feel welcome.

Divan beds are available without extra storage, but it’s their 2 drawer and 4 drawer options that make them brilliant guest beds.

day bed

Day beds

A happy medium between a normal bed and a sofa bed, day beds are designed to serve as sitting areas during the day, and then act as sleeping spaces at night. Simply replace the scatter cushions with proper pillows and you’ve got a sound sleeping space!

We’d recommend placing single day beds in spare rooms for a solo sleeper. However, if you opt for a day bed with a trundle, you can fit a second guest on the pull-out mattress. This makes them a great option for overnight lodgers with small children.

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Sofa beds

If you regularly have overnight guests but do not have the luxury of a spare bedroom to fit them in, then we’d recommend buying a sofa bed.

When not operating as a sleeping space, a sofa bed serves as a seating area, just like any other sofa. The only difference between a sofa and a sofa bed is that, when you remove the sofa cushions, there’s a pull-out bed frame. There’s such a range of sizes too, from single sofa beds to king size frames hidden within corner sofa beds. No matter what space you’re hoping to turn into a temporary guest room, there’s sure to be something to fit.

folding beds

Folding beds

Conveniently, folding guest beds can be easily placed in almost any room of the house.

All you need to do is fold the frame up into its compact shape and carry the bed to where it’s needed for the night. Then, when the foldable guest bed is not in use, you can store it away and out of sight. This type of guest bed is a good option for those who do not have the space for a permanent piece of furniture.

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air beds

Air beds

Similar to folding beds, air beds can be pitched up anywhere in your home. Just pump up the inflatable mattress, find a set of bed linens, and your guest is good to go to sleep.

Particularly useful as guest beds for small spaces, inflatable mattresses are a versatile option that doesn’t require a significant investment. What’s more, you can even take your air bed to other people’s homes when you become the overnight lodger, ensuring you have a comfy place to sleep.

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Different guest beds sizes

Finding the right size for your guest bed largely depends on how much space you have to spare. While you might want to be the best host possible and provide a super king size bed for your overnight lodger, it’s about finding the right dimensions for your home.

Below, we’ve broken down the most popular sizes for guest beds. For more information, you can read our beds and mattress size guide to dive deeper into the dimensions.

The smallest adult-sized bed available, single beds are perfect guest beds for small spaces. Even a small spare room, such as a ‘box bedroom’, could fit a single day bed sofa against the wall. This means they don’t take up too much room during the day, whilst doubling as a sleeping space for guests throughout the night.

single beds

Shop single beds

If your spare room has a little more space to fit a bigger bed than a single, opt for a small double bed. These grant guests more of a mattress to spread out on, without overwhelming a smaller bedroom. Save even more space by choosing a small double divan bed with drawers, minimising the amount of storage you need in the room.

small double beds

Shop small double beds

Double beds are our most popular size of beds, offering solo snoozers and couples alike a sound night’s sleep. From double sofa beds to double ottomans with additional storage, there’s plenty of versatility with double guest beds. All you need to do is pick the type of bed best suited to your home and your overnight guest will thank you come morning time.

double beds

Shop double beds

Are guest beds comfortable?

While some types of guest beds, such as air beds and folding beds, aren’t suitable for day-to-day use, they still offer a sound sleep for one-off lodgers. The trick is to match the guest bed to the right mattress, ensuring optimal comfort throughout the night - so here are our recommendations!

For more, you can also read our mattress buying guide, if you want more information on the different designs.

As a solid bed base, you have the widest available choice of mattresses to pair with a divan bed. All you need to do is ensure you are matching sizes between the bed and the mattress, such as a double mattress with a double divan bed.

To please all your guests, we recommend choosing a medium mattress for your divan base, which accommodates most types of sleepers.

Day beds in the UK are typically available as singles or small doubles, so you need an appropriate mattress to match. Always check the dimensions before placing an order on a mattress.

You should also bear in mind that many day beds are used as seating when not hosting an overnight guest. As such, we’d recommend pairing a day bed sofa with a firm mattress, ensuring optimal comfort through the day and into the night.

When it comes to sofa beds, you typically do not need to worry about finding a suitable mattress. That’s because many sofa beds either have a mattress included in the frame or the sofa cushions double up as a comfy mattress.

For sofa beds that do not include a mattress, check out the model’s product page on DFS to find the right size for your hybrid furniture.

Guest bed FAQs

Here at DFS, we have many years of experience selling beds and mattresses, helping customers find the perfect fit for their homes. Within that time, we’ve heard all the different questions about guest beds, helping customers determine which type is right for them.

Overnight lodgers won’t be using the guest bed frequently enough to truly reap the benefits of different designs. For example, memory foam mattresses are great for bad backs, but it’s unlikely every occasional guest you have will need a mattress for back pain. With this in mind, the main factor for considering a mattress should be its size.

Does the mattress fit on your chosen guest bed? Is there any part of the mattress overhanging the frame? Is the mattress too tall for a particular type of bed? Always consult the product dimensions online to answer these questions in advance.

While not the same, day beds and trundle beds often go hand-in-hand. Essentially, a trundle bed is a 2-in-1 bed design, with the second mattress pulling out from underneath the frame. On the other hand, a day bed is a normal bed that can be used as extra seating.

Functionally, sofa beds and day beds are similar. Both serve as comfortable seating when not deployed as sleeping spaces. However, sofa beds look like sofas when not operating as a bed, complete with sofa backs and armrests.

Another difference is where these two types of guest beds are often placed. Sofa beds are typically positioned in lounges, living rooms, conservatories, and other recreational areas of the house. On the other hand, day beds are usually placed in spare rooms or at the foot of beds in the master bedroom.

If you have any more questions about guest beds, please get in touch with our friendly customer service team. They will answer any queries you may have and provide expert advice on your purchase. Alternatively, if you’re ready to start shopping, browse our beds and mattress collection.

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