The basic income (BI) scheme is a fundamental reform of the welfare state that has recently gained widespread attention. Proposals for different variants of BI schemes have emerged to account for varying political and societal goals. This study investigates what citizens think about the idea of a BI, and to what extent citizens’ perceptions depend on the exact design of such a scheme and the context in which this policy is embedded. Empirically, we rely on conjoint experiments conducted in Finland and Switzerland – the two countries in which the introduction of a BI scheme has recently been discussed most intensely. We find that the level of public support for BI is higher in Finland than it is in Switzerland. Moreover, despite the contrasting designs of the BI proposals in the two countries, both Finnish and Swiss citizens tend to favor more generous schemes restricting non-nationals’ access to the provision.