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Outdoor Beds For The Ultimate Lounging Experience

Soaking up a little sun is one of the great joys of summer – basking in the warm glow, enjoying the fresh air, and just kicking up your feet poolside to enjoy a long summer day. But while pool loungers are a dime a dozen, and they’ll certainly get the job done, they aren’t always the most comfortable, and they certainly aren’t the most luxurious. If you really love lounging out in the sun, but want a slightly more decadent experience, it’s time to ditch the plastic poolside loungers and upgrade to a full sized outdoor bed.

Bed Style Outdoor Beds

So what is an outdoor bed, and why are they so great? The simple, obvious answer is, they’re beds you can put outside, but maybe not beds in the sense you’d normally think of. Outdoor beds aren’t necessarily rectangular (though they can be), and rather than having conventional mattresses, they have large cushions, and are either piled high with pillows or come with built in adjustable backs. Most outdoor beds are really more like big, pillowy nests that are big enough to stretch out and really get comfortable in. Depending on the size and shape, you can either lay out fully or lounge like you would on a reclining sofa, and they’re often big enough for multiple people. Unlike traditional loungers, outdoor beds are very plush and soft, and allow you to curl up comfortably with a book, a drink, or a friend while you’re enjoying your summer sun.

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Lounge Style Outdoor Beds

Convene Double Outdoor Patio Chaise in Espresso and White EEI-2177-EXP-WHI from Modway Furniture
Convene Double Outdoor Patio Chaise in Espresso and White EEI-2177-EXP-WHI from Modway Furniture

Some outdoor beds are a bit less like beds and a bit more like traditional loungers, at least in that they have adjustable backrests that can be laid out either relatively or completely flat or tilted up into a sitting position. But unlike traditional loungers, they can come in a variety of shapes, with multiple movable parts, to accommodate two people. They’re also made of much more comfortable, cushier material, and sometimes come with built in storage underneath the cushions, or cup holders between the two long seats. In some cases, both ends of this type of outdoor bed will be adjustable, making it possible to lay on comfortably in either direction without moving it, or even for two people to lay facing each other with their own backrests.

Outdoor Canopy Beds

Not all outdoor beds are meant to be slept in, but if you do plan on catching some Z’s while you’re lounging outside, you definitely want to look for one that has some kind of sun protection. One of the simplest ways to add a little shade to your lounger is to choose a model that sports a canopy. These look a little like the convertible top on a car and function in a similar way: they can be folded flat against the bed’s backrest when they aren’t in use, and folded up and over the top of the bed when you want to get some shade. The size and shape of these canopies varies a little from one outdoor bed to another, and they’re largely intended for shading your face and upper body rather than your legs, but they do help block sunlight on a bright day.

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Outdoor Beds With Umbrellas

Alternatively, some outdoor beds have built in umbrellas either attached to one end or sometimes stuck right in the middle. This gives better overall shade coverage, particularly when the umbrella is positioned directly over the bed, but also gives the outdoor bed a fantastic tropical look and feel. Like most patio umbrellas, these can usually be adjusted, tilted, closed, or even removed depending on your needs. This feature is really a must-have if you plan to actually sleep in your outdoor bed, as a simple canopy won’t protect your entire body from the sun, but a well positioned umbrella can. You should, of course, still use caution and your best judgement, but an umbrella is the best kind of sun protection you’ll find on an outdoor bed.

Outdoor Lounge Sets

If you really love the idea of having an outdoor bed, but don’t want to sacrifice space you need for other outdoor furniture, look for an outdoor bed that comes in multiple parts. These sets typically consist of a large, sofa-like piece with cushy seats and a pillowy backrest paired with one or more smaller ottomans shaped to fit snugly up against the sofa. When pushed together, all these pieces form a full sized outdoor bed. But the real advantage of this design is that the pieces can also be pulled apart, and the ottomans used as seating or in some cases even side tables. This allows you to have the best of both worlds: a decadent outdoor bed when you want to lounge by the pool, and a fully functional, fairly conventional outdoor seating sets for your guests.

What do you think of these outdoor beds? Do you want one for reading, lounging, catching some sun, or something else? Let me know in the comments below!