Designed by George Nelson

Nelson Daybed

A light gray Nelson Daybed in the sofa position, viewed from a 45-degree angle.

Simplicity and serenity

A light gray Nelson Daybed in the sofa position, viewed from a 45-degree angle.

Nelson Daybed

Sleek, versatile, and timeless, the Nelson Daybed fits effortlessly into a myriad of settings—including the bedroom, living room, office, or nursery. With removable back or side bolsters, it easily transitions from a sofa to a bed for a momentary respite or a full night’s rest.

Originally designed in 1949 by George Nelson, its reissue retains original specifications and crafted details like the beveled edges of the wood platform and rounded welt-cord piping of the cushions, a feature that distinguishes the original from imitations. Stainless steel hairpin legs or the tapered wood legs give it the classic Nelson touch. The cushioning is enhanced with dual-density foam for more support and durability while maintaining its lightweight aesthetic. As homes and apartments shrink in size, multipurpose furniture like the Nelson Daybed add a practical and sophisticated presence to any room.

Design Story

One of the most influential designers of mid-century modernism in America, George Nelson joined Herman Miller in 1945 and served as director of design for over 25 years. During this time he curated what became known as the Herman Miller Collection, a comprehensive set of products designed for modern living.

A vintage black-and-white photo of two Nelson Daybeds used as sofas in an office lobby.
A vintage black-and-white photo of two Nelson Daybeds, one in the bed position and one in the lounge position.

Evolving needs

Nelson designed an early version of the Daybed for his own use in 1941, then refined the original design and launched it in 1949. Nelson advocated that design should evolve as human behavior changed. In his ideal interior space, furniture was designed to be in relation to the whole. With flexibility inherent in its form and use, the Nelson Daybed exemplifies this philosophy. As an archival advertisement points out, the Nelson Daybed is “ideal for the bedroom that has to double as a sitting room.”

“In an era of movement, we find that planes set the style.”

More about George Nelson

Product Designer George Nelson