When you don’t have a lot of space to work with, choosing the right furniture for your patio or deck can be a real challenge. Doubly so if you use the space both for hosting guests and for soaking up a little sun by yourself. The best furniture for a crowd is definitely not the best furniture for lounging (and vice versa). But in a smaller back yard, you might not have the luxury of being able to accommodate both. That said, sectional outdoor beds offer the best of both worlds. Fully assembled, they offer a comfy, cushy lounge for one or two, but you can also pull them apart and rearrange them to seat a crowd.
The very most basic sectional outdoor beds come in two pieces, like a sofa and ottoman that fit perfectly together. These are usually round, and consist of two pieces: one with a raised back, armrests, and pillows, and a second piece that’s more like a bench than a seat. When you push the two together, they make a roomy bed that’s perfect for stretching out and lounging in. When you pull them apart, they can easily double as a sofa and footrest, a sofa and table, or a sofa and a backless seat. That means more than doubling your seating capacity with a single piece of furniture.
Modular Seating Sets
Worried about sticking your guests with a seat that doesn’t have a backrest? Look for modular outdoor seating, and get ready to pick and choose. Modular outdoor sofas come in a few different building-block shapes that you’d typically use to design a custom sectional. But with the right combination of corner, armless, and single-armed pieces (plus ottomans)? You can easily assemble a set that does both: pushes together into an ideal outdoor bed, and rearranges into a seating set or sectional. To ensure you can actually use it as a bed, make sure to leave a gap somewhere – so you have room to climb in without too much trouble!
Square And Stocky
A lot of sectional outdoor beds are round or oval, and make a great centerpiece for your deck or patio. But if you want or need to put your seating in a corner or up against a wall or fence? Sticking with rectangular seats is a better bet. Rather than splitting into a sofa and ottoman, these sets transform completely, with corner chairs you can move apart, ottomans that squeeze in between, and comfy matching chairs that can either combine into one huge surface or split into a complete sectional set.
Hole In One
If your main concern is less about having seating for yourself when you don’t have guests and more about being able to make space to use your patio for something other than sitting, sectional outdoor beds are still a great option. Round ones in particular you can push together to be pretty unobtrusive and small. The round table in the center of this set makes it a little less well-suited to use as a daybed (unless you toss a cushion on top of it!), but pulled apart? It makes a really nice five-piece dining set that can easily be mixed, matched, and moved around, or pushed together and out of the way if you need to use your deck for something else.
A Little Shady
On the flip side, if you’re mostly interested in sectional outdoor beds for use as an actual outdoor bed? You want to look less for a set that’s symmetrical, and more for one that has a really nicely made “sofa” side. A big canopy makes for an obviously-skewed sectional set when you pull it apart, but is ideal for solo lounging. You’ll get plenty of light shade in addition to ample room to spread out. You’ll wind up with two curved, backless seats, a sofa, and a table when you pull the set apart, which is a tad bit less flexible, but a nearly king-sized outdoor bed when it’s all put together!
And if you’re really longing for some fresh air, but maybe not looking forward to spending the whole afternoon in the sun? Fully covered outdoor beds might be your best bet. Rather than having a canopy on one side, these have a dome that covers the top completely, paired with removable fabric curtains that help shelter the inside from light (or nosy neighbors!). This is definitely the most unusual looking set in the bunch, and not all of them are sectional, but they’re perfect if you want to spend a lot of time in a shady spot outside, and occasionally play host to a small, cozy group of guests without buying a full set of outdoor furniture.
As with most multi-function furniture, sectional outdoor beds aren’t without their drawbacks or design quirks, but if you’re looking for a way to make the most of a smaller space, this is a great place to start!