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What is a Trundle Bed?

What is a Trundle Bed?

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 8 minutes

  • Trundle beds are designed to maximize space by featuring a lower bed, called the trundle, stored underneath the main bed, making them ideal for small bedrooms or rooms with limited space.
  • Some trundle beds come with a pop-up feature that elevates the lower bed to the same height as the main bed, creating a larger sleeping surface, while others have built-in drawers or storage compartments for added functionality.
  • Trundle beds are available in various styles, including pop-up trundle beds, drawer trundle beds, bunk bed trundle beds, daybeds with trundles, and sofa trundle beds, offering versatility to suit different preferences and needs.

Trundle beds are a versatile and practical solution for maximizing space in your home. Whether you have a small bedroom, need extra sleeping options for guests, or want to create a multi-functional space, a trundle bed can be an excellent choice. This comprehensive article will explore what exactly a trundle bed is, how it works, and its various benefits. We will also discuss the different types of trundle beds available and provide some tips for choosing the right one for your needs.

What is a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed is a space-saving piece of furniture comprising two separate beds, one nestled underneath the other. The lower bed, often called the trundle, usually has wheels or casters, making it simple to pull out from beneath the main bed when necessary.

Trundle beds are designed to provide an additional sleeping surface without taking up much space when not in use.

How Does a Trundle Bed Work?

Trundle beds are designed to be compact and easy to use. The trundle bed is stored underneath the main bed and can be pulled out whenever extra sleeping space is needed. Some trundle beds feature a pop-up function that elevates the lower bed to the same height as the main bed, expanding the sleeping surface. Others have drawers or storage compartments built into the trundle unit, providing additional functionality.

Are All Trundle Beds the Same?

Not all trundle beds are created equal. Some trundle beds come as a complete unit, including a larger frame and a trundle frame with a mattress that fits below. These complete sets are convenient for those who want a bed underneath a bed. However, trundle beds can also be sold separately from the main bed, and the frame may be available with or without a mattress. When purchasing a separate frame and/or mattress, it is crucial to measure the available space to ensure a proper fit.

Trundle beds can also vary in height and dimensions. Some trundle frames are designed to remain close to the ground, while others have a pop-up feature that allows them to reach a more standard bed height. Additionally, trundle beds can differ in terms of quality and durability. Higher-end trundle beds are typically made with more durable materials, while more affordable options may compromise on quality.

Benefits of a Trundle Bed

Trundle beds offer several advantages for those in need of extra sleeping space.

  • Space-Saving Solution: A key advantage of a trundle bed is its design, which saves space. By utilizing the vertical space in your room, a trundle bed allows you to have two beds in one footprint. This is particularly beneficial in smaller bedrooms or shared spaces where maximizing floor space is essential.
  • Ideal for Small Bedrooms: In cramped bedrooms or studio apartments, a trundle bed can be a game-changer. It allows you to have a comfortable sleeping space for yourself without sacrificing valuable floor area. During the day, this bed can be neatly stored, providing you with more space to move around and use the area for other activities.
  • Accommodates Guests: Trundle beds are perfect for accommodating guests, especially when you don’t have a dedicated guest room. Instead of investing in a bulky and space-consuming sofa bed, a trundle bed offers a more streamlined and efficient solution. When guests come to stay, simply pull out the trundle bed and transform your living room or office into a comfortable sleeping area.
  • Versatile and Multi-Functional: Trundle beds are very versatile and can fulfill multiple roles in your home. During the day, the trundle bed can be used as a seating area or an extra storage space. It can also be a cozy spot for reading or lounging. With the ability to quickly convert from a single bed to a double bed, a trundle bed adapts to your changing needs effortlessly.

Downsides of a Trundle Bed

While trundle beds have advantages, they also have some downsides. Due to their design, both the frame and mattress of a trundle bed are usually less robust than those of a standard bed. As a result, trundle beds may not be suitable for individuals with higher body weights, as they may not provide adequate support.

Another downside of trundle beds is the increased floor space when the trundle is in use. While they are compact when stored away, trundle beds can take up a significant amount of space when rolled out. It is essential to measure the dimensions of the trundle bed and the available floor space to ensure that the room does not become too cramped.

Types of Trundle Beds

Trundle beds come in various styles and designs to suit different preferences and functional requirements. Here are some of the most common types of trundle beds available:

Pop-Up Trundle Beds

Pop-up trundle beds feature a mechanism that allows the lower bed to be elevated to the same height as the main bed. This creates a larger sleeping surface, making it suitable for adults or couples who want to share a bed. When not in use, the trundle can be easily pushed back down and stored underneath the main bed.

Drawer Trundle Beds

Drawer trundle beds have a trundle unit with built-in drawers or storage compartments. This type of trundle bed is perfect for rooms that require additional storage space. The drawers can store extra bedding, pillows, or other items, removing the necessity for additional storage furniture.

Bunk Bed Trundle Beds

Bunk bed trundle beds combine the functionality of a trundle bed with the space-saving features of the bunk beds. The trundle unit is located at the bottom of the bunk bed frames, offering an additional sleeping surface without requiring extra floor space. This is an excellent option for children’s or guest rooms with multiple beds.

Daybeds with Trundles

Daybeds with trundles are a stylish and versatile option for both seating and sleeping. During the day, the daybed functions as a comfortable seating area, and at night, the trundle can be pulled out to create a larger sleeping surface. This type of trundle bed is often used in living rooms, home offices, or guest rooms.

Sofa Trundle Beds

Sofa trundle beds are a practical solution for those who want a combination of seating, sleeping, and storage. These trundle beds feature a sofa or loveseat design with a hidden trundle unit underneath. During the day, the sofa can be used for lounging or entertaining, and at night, the trundle can be pulled out to provide an additional bed for guests.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Trundle Bed

When choosing a trundle bed, it’s important to consider several factors to make sure you select the one that suits your needs. Here are some key considerations:

Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of the trundle bed are important considerations, especially if you have specific space constraints. Measure the available space in your room to determine the maximum bed size that can comfortably fit. Trundle beds are available in various sizes, including twin, full, and queen, so you can choose the one that suits your needs.

Mattress Type and Thickness

The type and thickness of the mattresses used in the trundle bed are important for both comfort and practicality. Consider the preferred mattress type, such as memory foam, innerspring, or hybrid, and ensure that the trundle bed can accommodate the desired mattress thickness.

Quality and Durability

Investing in a high-quality trundle bed is essential for durability and long-term use. Seek out a robust frame constructed from durable materials like solid wood or metal. Review customer feedback and ratings to assess the overall quality and dependability of the trundle bed.

Style and Design

Trundle beds are available in various styles and designs, so choose one that matches your current decor and personal taste. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist look or a more traditional, ornate design, there is a trundle bed to suit every taste.

How to Use a Trundle Bed

Using a trundle bed is simple and straightforward. Here are some basic steps to follow:

  • Setting Up and Assembling: When you first receive your trundle bed, you may need to assemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves attaching the wheels or casters to the trundle unit, securing the frame, and installing any additional components.
  • Operating the Trundle Mechanism: If your trundle bed has a pop-up feature, familiarize yourself with how to operate the mechanism. This usually involves unlocking and lifting the trundle to the desired height. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper usage.
  • Care and Maintenance: Regular maintenance and care are vital to keep your trundle bed in optimal condition. Clean the bed frame and trundle unit regularly using a gentle cleaning solution. Rotate and flip the mattresses periodically to prevent uneven wear. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for any specific maintenance requirements.

Tips for Decorating with a Trundle Bed

Once you have chosen a trundle bed, you can improve the functionality of your space through thoughtful decorating. Here are some tips to consider:

Choosing the Right Bedding

Choose bedding that complements the style and color scheme of your room. Opt for comfortable and high-quality linens that are easy to clean and maintain. Think about using matching throw pillows or blankets to add visual appeal and establish a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Styling the Space

Arrange the furniture and accessories in your room to maximize the functionality of the trundle bed. If you have a daybed with a trundle, consider adding a side table or bookshelf nearby for convenience. Create a welcoming and inviting ambiance by incorporating soft lighting, artwork, and decorative accents.

Storage Solutions

Utilize the space underneath the main bed or within the trundle unit for storage. Invest in under-bed storage containers or baskets to keep extra bedding, pillows, or other items organized and out of sight. This helps to maintain a clutter-free and tidy environment.

Creating a Cozy and Inviting Ambiance

Enhance the comfort and coziness of your trundle bed by adding plush pillows, blankets, and a mattress topper. Consider using soft lighting, such as bedside lamps or fairy lights, to establish a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Personalize the area with artwork, photographs, or other decorative pieces that showcase your style and personality.

Alternatives to a Trundle Bed

While trundle beds are a popular choice for accommodating guests, there are alternative options to consider:

  1. Temporary Air Mattress: An air mattress offers a portable and easy-to-store solution, but it may not provide the same level of comfort and durability as a trundle bed.
  2. Sleeper Sofa: A sleeper sofa or pull-out couch serves as both a seating and sleeping solution. However, the comfort level is often limited due to the thinner mattress typically used in these designs.
  3. Futon: A futon can be used as both a couch and a bed, with the same mattress serving both purposes. The frame can be adjusted to create different seating angles or a flat sleeping surface.
  4. Murphy Bed: A Murphy bed is a vertically stored bed that can be concealed within a cabinet when not in use. It offers a unique aesthetic and can provide a comfortable sleeping surface.


Can adults sleep on a trundle bed?

Yes, trundle beds can accommodate adults, depending on the size and weight capacity of the bed. Consider choosing a trundle bed with a pop-up feature or a larger size if you plan to use it for adult sleepers regularly.

Can trundle beds be used as storage?

Certain trundle beds include built-in storage drawers or compartments, offering extra storage capacity. However, the amount of storage available will vary depending on the specific trundle bed design.

Are trundle beds comfortable?

A trundle bed’s comfort level depends on the mattress’s quality and overall construction. Investing in a high-quality mattress and ensuring proper support and stability can provide a comfortable sleeping experience.

How much weight can a trundle bed support?

The weight capacity of a trundle bed varies depending on the specific model and design. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for the maximum weight limit for your trundle bed.

Can you use any mattress on a trundle bed?

Most trundle beds are designed to accommodate standard twin or full-size mattresses. However, it’s important to check the specific mattress size requirements of your trundle bed before making a purchase.

Can you convert a regular bed into a trundle bed?

Converting a regular bed into a trundle bed is not feasible without significantly modifying the bed frame and structure. It is generally recommended to purchase a trundle bed specifically designed for that purpose.


In conclusion, trundle beds are a space-saving and convenient solution for accommodating guests. They come in various types, offer benefits such as improved comfort, and can be purchased at different price points. However, it is important to consider the downsides and alternatives before making a final decision. By understanding the various options available, individuals can select the optimal sleeping arrangement that fits their requirements and space limitations.

Christine Lapp is a full-time graduate student and part-time freelancer for Sleep Junkie. Since she was a little girl on the soccer field, Christine has had a love for sports, and she believes everybody should get up and get moving once a day. Now, she incorporates her love for exercise into her studies, pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Christine understands that what you do during your waking hours has a direct impact on your night’s sleep. In our better sleep guides, she offers advice for developing healthy daytime habits to nurture a more peaceful slumber.

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