What Is a Trundle Bed?
If you've been looking for a sleeping solution suitable for small spaces and kids’ rooms, you might have encountered the term “trundle bed.” In a nutshell, a trundle bed is a type of bed frame that houses a second mattress underneath a standard bed.
The second mattress is usually set on casters so it can easily roll out from underneath the bed, and it can be camouflaged into the bed frame as solid wood or storage drawers. In other words, with a trundle bed, a single bed provides sleeping space for two, making it the perfect solution for tight spaces.
What is the point of a trundle bed?
The main advantage of a trundle bed is that it allows you to keep a second mattress stored underneath your bed until you need it, providing an extra sleeping space without adding an additional piece of furniture.
Trundle beds are the perfect solution for sleepovers in kids' rooms or for occasional overnight guests. Because they don’t take up too much floor space, they can also be used in studio apartments, guest rooms, and other small spaces that could occasionally use an additional bed.
Drawbacks of trundle beds
It’s clear a trundle bed could potentially be the perfect solution for a small space that needs an extra sleeping surface. However, before making the decision to purchase one, keep in mind the following drawbacks:
- A trundle bed can't support as much weight as a standard bed. A typical weight limit for a trundle bed is 250 pounds (compared to 400 pounds for a daybed). This limits who can sleep there or how many people can sleep in it at the same time.
- A roll-out trundle bed needs a thinner mattress (less than 8 inches thick) and thus may not be supportive enough for some people.
- Because the roll-out mattress is so low to the ground, it might create accessibility issues for some people.
- Since the roll-out bed is stored underneath the main one, you can't use that space for storage as you would with other bed types.
Types of trundle bed frames
If you’ve set your eyes on a trundle bed, keep in mind there are a few different types of trundle bed designs available on the market today.
Roll-out trundle beds
A roll-out trundle is the most popular type of trundle bed. The second bed here is set on casters and is easily pulled out of the bed frame when needed. It also sits lower than the main bed.
Pop-up trundle beds
Another popular type of trundle bed is a pop-up trundle. Unlike the more common roll-out trundle beds, the extra bed underneath a pop-up trundle "pops up" to the same level as the main bed.
Pop-up trundles are typically built on a metal frame. Keep in mind that when the extra bed is rolled out and the two beds are on the same level, it may look like one big bed, especially with sheets on—but, in fact, they're still two distinct bed frames, possibly with a space between the two mattresses.
A trundle daybed is essentially a hybrid between a daybed and a trundle bed. Like a typical daybed, it has three sides that are set up along a wall. Also like a daybed, it can easily pass for another type of couch or chaise lounge. That means it would look good in living rooms or other shared spaces outside of bedrooms.
This trundle design adds to the multifunctionality of the daybed: where you had a cozy couch that could serve as a bed you now have a cozy couch that can serve as two beds. Like daybeds, trundle daybeds are usually twin beds.
Trundle bunk beds
Another popular type of trundle bed is a trundle bunk bed. These look just like typical bunk beds, except the lower bed doubles as a trundle bed.
Trundle bunk beds are usually roll-out trundles, though you can find trundle bunk beds with pop-up trundles as well. These types of trundles are fantastic in kids’ rooms and can be used for sleepovers and family visits.
Trundle captain beds
A typical captain bed is a twin-size bed with a headboard, footboard, and extra storage space underneath. A trundle captain bed is a trundle bed that's designed to look like a captain bed. Here, the lower bed underneath the main one is disguised as drawers.
Trundle bed sizes
You'll find that twin-size trundle beds are the most popular trundle bed size, but trundle beds come in a variety of other sizes as well. These include full sizes, queen sizes, and king sizes.
When choosing a mattress for your trundle, keep the size in mind, as twin trundles will need twin mattresses, full sizes will need full mattresses, and so on.
What type of mattress can be used for a trundle bed?
When choosing a mattress for your trundle bed, any type of mattress (including memory foam, latex, and innerspring) should work. It's particularly important to pay attention to the thickness of the mattress, though.
The main bed can hold a mattress of any thickness, but a thinner mattress (between 6 inches and 8 inches thick) should be used for the lower bed. Anything thicker won’t be able to slide underneath the main bed.
It's also worth noting that with a trundle bed, you don’t need a box spring for the lower bed because it would unnecessarily raise the height of the mattress. Plus, trundles usually have slats, which provide enough support for the mattress without a box spring.
Other types of space-saving beds
A trundle bed is just one of the many different types of furniture that can provide extra sleeping space for guests. Besides trundle beds, here are some other popular options you can try.
Sofa beds are couches that house a pull-out bed underneath the seat cushions. The bed is typically supported by a thin metal frame with a thin mattress on top that unfolds along with it.
Sofa beds are the ultimate multifunctional furniture as you can't tell a sofa bed is anything but a couch until you take off the cushions and pull out the bed.
A futon is a wooden or metal bed frame and mattress set that can fold up into a couch or lay flat as a bed. When set up as a couch, nicer futons will look just like a regular couch.
Futon mattresses are typically thinner than standard mattresses as they need to be malleable enough to fold up into a bed. Therefore they're not as supportive as a regular mattress and some may find them not as comfortable.
Air mattresses are inflatable mattresses, also known as airbeds or blow-up mattresses. Air mattresses can be rolled up when not in use, so they're very easy to store until you need them.
When needed, air mattresses are plugged into a wall and inflated within minutes. They come in all sizes: twin, full, queen, and king.
Can adults sleep on trundle beds?
Trundle beds are the best option for kids—but depending on the quality of the mattress you buy, overnight guests who are adults may also find them comfortable for a few nights. Keep in mind, however, the maximum weight a trundle bed can support is 250 pounds.
Can a trundle bed be used every day?
Depending on the quality of mattress you get, a trundle bed can definitely be used every day—just like a normal bed.
What is the difference between a daybed and a trundle bed?
A trundle bed is a type of bed frame that can house an additional bed underneath the main one, while a daybed is a regular bed frame with a single mattress. While trundle beds and daybeds are two different types of beds, when combined, trundle daybeds are one of the most popular styles of trundle beds.
Which bed frame size is right for you? Check out our guide to bed frame sizes to find your perfect match.