sleep foundation
author

Written by

Daniel Noyed

A trundle bed is a compact bed frame and mattress that sits low enough to the ground to be stored underneath another bed. The frame has wheels, making it easy to roll out and use. This space-saving design is ideal for people who want to be able to comfortably accommodate guests but have limited room available.

Most trundle beds are twin sized and support a relatively thin mattress, enabling it to fit more easily underneath another bed or a daybed.

Are All Trundle Beds the Same?

Not all trundle beds are the same. Some are constructed as a full unit, offering a “bed underneath a bed.” These complete sets come with a larger frame plus the trundle frame and mattress that is designed to fit below.

Trundle beds can also be sold separately from the bed that they will go underneath, and the frame may be sold with or without a mattress. People purchasing a separate frame and/or mattress should carefully measure their available space to make sure everything will fit.

The height and dimensions of a trundle bed can vary as well. Some trundle frames are built to remain close to the ground while others have a design that lets them pop up to a more normal bed height after they are rolled out from underneath the other bed.

In addition, not all trundle beds are the same because they can be built with different levels of quality. The weight rating on a trundle frame as well as its look and longevity can depend on whether it’s made with durable, high-end materials or somewhat lower-quality but often more affordable parts.

What Are the Benefits of a Trundle Bed?

The primary benefit of a trundle bed is that it has an extremely small footprint when it is not being used. Because it fits under another bed, the only thing it displaces is room for underbed storage.

In addition to being space-efficient, most trundle beds have a mattress that offers a notable step up in comfort compared to other temporary options like inflatable air mattresses or camping ground pads. Most guests are more comfortable sleeping on a trundle mattress compared to sleeping on a couch.

What Are the Downsides of a Trundle Bed?

While a trundle bed is an appealing option for a guest bed, it isn’t without downsides. Because a trundle has to fit underneath another bed, both the frame and mattress have to be less robust. This means that the frame usually can’t support people of a higher body weight. On top of that, a thinner mattress may offer less comfort and spinal support, which is part of why trundle beds aren’t intended for everyday use.

Furthermore, while a trundle is very space-efficient when put away, its footprint grows significantly when in use. Customers should make sure to check the dimensions of the trundle bed and their available floor space to make sure it won’t make the room too cramped.

What Are the Types of Trundle Beds?

While you can purchase a standalone trundle frame, you can also find options for complete trundle beds. Designs of these sets include:

  • Trundle Bunk Bed: Offering even more bed-to-space efficiency, a trundle bunk bed puts the trundle under two already bunked mattresses, creating three sleeping spaces.
  • Trundle Daybed: This places the trundle under a daybed, which is typically enclosed on three sides and functions as a hybrid between a couch and a bed.
  • Trundle Drawer: A sleek and stylish option, this set puts the trundle bed into a built-in compartment, making it easy to hide away and pull out when needed.

How Much do Trundle Beds Cost?

The cost of a trundle bed can depend significantly based on the type you’re buying and whether or not it includes a mattress. Low-cost, trundle-only frames can be found for around $75 while luxury trundle bed sets can cost up to $500.

Where is the Best Place to Buy a Trundle Bed?

Trundle beds can be purchased online or in-store. They are offered by most furniture retailers and mattress stores. Online, they are offered by many sites including third-party sellers like Amazon.

Whether buying online or in-person, customers should pay close attention to whether they are buying just a frame or a full trundle bed with a mattress. Taking note of the bed’s dimensions is also vital for ensuring that you have a proper fit.

Shoppers should also look at the cost of delivery. Some trundle beds may come with installation while others may require the customer to set it up on their own. In the latter case, the ease of installation may be a meaningful consideration.

What Are Alternatives to a Trundle Bed?

Customers looking to offer guests a place to sleep can consider some options that are alternatives to a trundle bed:

  • A temporary air mattress is easier to stow away and often less expensive but is typically less comfortable and less durable.
  • A sleeper sofa or pull-out couch is space-efficient like a trundle bed and may be available in sizes larger than a twin. To use a sofa-bed, the cushions are removed and the frame and mattress fold out. Comfort is often limited on a pull-out couch because the mattress is typically quite thin.
  • A futon is like a sofa-bed in that it can be used as a couch or a bed. The difference is that it uses the same mattress in either configuration. What changes is the frame, which can be set at an angle or completely flat.
  • A murphy bed stores a frame and mattress vertically inside a cabinet. It can have a similar comfort level as a trundle bed and offer a different aesthetic look that fits many home spaces.