What Is a Trundle Bed?

If you’re interested in alternative bed frame options for children or guests, you may have heard of trundle beds. This specialty bed type consists of a thin mattress mounted on wheels or rails that is designed to slip under another bed. Trundle beds are convenient because they offer a relatively comfortable place to sleep, yet they virtually disappear from sight during the day.

We’ll explore what trundle beds are made of, what styles of trundle beds are available, and other factors to help you decide whether you should get a trundle bed.

What Do You Need to Know About Trundle Beds?

The defining feature of a trundle bed is its ability to fit underneath another bed when it’s not in use. Most trundle beds are twin or full size, and they can be practical space savers in kids’ rooms, guest rooms, or other areas with limited space.

What Styles Are Available?

Trundle beds come in an assortment of designs. Most fit into one of several broad categories, although manufacturers may offer extra features such as additional drawers. Certain styles allow the trundle to pop up from the ground when someone is sleeping in it.

  • Trundle-only: A trundle-only bed is designed to fit under any regular bed that has sufficient clearance.
  • Basic Trundle: In the basic trundle design, the trundle bed is integrated into an accompanying frame and can slide out for use.
  • Daybed and Trundle: Those who want to place the trundle in a common area, such as a living room, might prefer a daybed and trundle setup, which has a backrest and armrests that allow it to function as a couch during the day.
  • Trundle Drawer: To keep the trundle out of sight when it’s not being used, a trundle drawer seals the bed in a closed compartment.
  • Trundle Bunk: Ideal for those with more than two kids, trundle bunks incorporate a bunk bed frame with two or more bunks, as well as an additional trundle at the bottom.

What Sizes Are Available?

Because trundle beds are intended to save space, most manufacturers offer this style in a twin or full size. Twin size beds measure 39 inches wide by 75 inches long, whereas full size beds are a little wider at 54 by 75 inches.

It’s important to note that trundle beds are typically sold with just the frame, without the top or bottom mattress. Be sure to take note of the mattress size as well as the height recommended by the manufacturer. Since the trundle bed must slide under the primary bed, the trundle mattress may need to be a little thinner and may not offer sufficient support for adults.

What Are Trundle Beds Made Of?

As with regular bed frames, trundle beds can be constructed with wood, metal, or a combination of the two. Manufacturers offer a broad range of styles designed to match the decor of different areas in the home. Shoppers may find everything from basic metal frames with visible trundles underneath to elaborate wooden frames that include drawers and embellishments.

Mattresses are usually sold separately. Shoppers often have the freedom to choose any mattress they like, as long as the dimensions are appropriate for the trundle model.

How Much Do Trundle Beds Cost?

The average price for a trundle bed begins at less than $100 for a trundle-only design and can reach as high as $600 for a trundle bunk. While price can fluctuate based on the manufacturer, design, and materials, trundle bed frames are usually quite economical. In many cases, the accompanying mattresses cost more than the frame.

Should You Use a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed is a specialty bed frame that might not be right for everybody. However, if you have children, want to save space, or anticipate occasionally hosting guests or having children’s sleepovers, a trundle might be an attractive option.

Trundle Beds

Pros
Cons
  • An affordable alternative to a classic bed frame for those who have children or who host guests
  • A safer option for young children or those who feel nervous about sleeping in a top bunk
  • Can accommodate two or more sleepers without taking up as much floor space as a conventional bed frame
  • Many trundle styles are unobtrusive and can be used in common areas of the house
  • Typically more comfortable than a futon or temporary air mattress
  • Can be more cost effective than buying two separate beds
  • Most trundles are sold in smaller bed sizes and may not be comfortable for adults
  • Generally lack support for long-term use by adults
  • May have limited weight capacity
  • Twin trundles can only fit one person on each mattress, which is a consideration when hosting couples
  • Sliding mechanism may wear down prematurely if the trundle is frequently used, particularly with cheaper models
  • Some styles may scratch floors or may not be compatible with carpets
  • Thin profile may limit trundle mattress options and decrease durability