It is thought that the first blend of a chair and daybed originated in Egypt. The earliest known models were made from palm sticks lashed together with pieces of cord or rawhide. Later, Egyptian bed-makers introduced mortise-and-tenon construction and wood bed frames veneered with ivory or ebony, in common use with many examples being found in the 1st dynasty (3100–2890 BC) tombs.
Ancient Greek art depicts gods and goddesses lounging in this type of chair. The modern Greek word symposion comes from sympinein, which means "to drink together". In ancient Greece this word conveyed the idea of a party with music and conversation. The principal item of furniture for a symposium is the kline, a form of daybed. The Greeks changed from the normal practice of sitting at a table to the far more distinctive practice of reclining on couches as early as the 8th century BC.