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Trundle Bed Guide: What Is a Trundle Bed?

Double the comfort – without taking up any extra floor space – with a trundle bed!

What Is a Trundle Bed?

In short? It's a two-in-one design.

Trundles Defined

A trundle is a large platform on wheels that tuck under a standard bed to save space. Interestingly, the word appears to come from an old word for the sound of something rolling across the floor, which is exactly what a trundle does. The platform is designed to match the bed and maximize the use of under bed space, while modern casters make it easy to roll the platform out over hardwood floors or carpet.

A trundle is often a Twin-sized frame that is low to the ground and on wheels, but Full-sized trundles are also not uncommon. In order to ensure easy storage and pull-out mechanisms, the lower mattress is usually thinner than that of a standard mattress. A typical trundle mattress is 8" thick.

What Is the Purpose of a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed is used for keeping an extra bed on hand without taking up more space. In a trundle bed, one bed is kept underneath another for space-saving storage – and can be pulled out at any time when extra sleep space is needed. If you need the extra sleep space but want to save on floor space, then go with a trundle!

Is a Trundle Bed a Good Idea for You?

Whether or not a trundle bed is right for you depends on a few factors:

  • Do you often host overnight guests, or do you have children who often host sleepovers?
  • If you do host overnighters, how regular are they?
If you answered yes to the first question, a trundle bed may, initially, be a good idea. However, if you answered 'frequent' to the second question, you may want to consider skipping the trundle and investing in an actual bed and mattress for guest sleepers.

How Does a Trundle Bed Work?

A trundle bed is a two-in-one design, so it is essentially two beds: one on top of the other. While the top bed will be a traditional bed with a traditional bed frame, the lower bed will be composed of a slim, mattress platform on wheels. When you need to access the trundle, it simply wheels out from underneath the top!

Are Trundle Beds Comfortable for Adults?

Because of their streamlined designs, trundle beds are a common fixture among studio apartments, guest rooms, kids bedrooms and other small spaces.

Due to their limited sizes, thinner mattresses and low-to-the-ground stature, the trundle portion of the bed is often reserved for children, teens and young adults who may have an easier time climbing in and out of the trundle (compared to older visitors). Trundle beds are also commonly placed in bedrooms of children or teens who regularly host friends for sleepovers – and in guest rooms of households that often receive overnight or extended visits from out-of-town family and friends.

What Are the Types of Trundle Beds?

When it comes to trundle beds, there are several different configurations in terms of size, style and storage options.
For instance, in a small child's bedroom, a standard-sized Twin bed with a Twin trundle may be sufficient. In a guest bedroom that will house both adults and children, a Queen over Twin trundle may be a better option.


In spaces like studio apartments, where space and storage are often limited, a captain's bed with a trundle may be more sufficient due to the added storage drawers affixed to the trundle frame. In other frames, like daybeds and bunk beds, Twin over Twin or Twin over Full sizes are also popular options for use with a standard trundle or a popup trundle.

Likewise, the materials used for construction will also vary. Depending on the existing décor in your home, you may opt for a traditional upholstered trundle bed – or one made entirely of wood for a country appeal. Or, for more of a rustic finish, you may choose to go with a more robust wrought-iron frame.

What Size Is a Trundle Bed?

Trundle beds can be Twin, Full or Queen. The beds which trundle beds are attached to are usually the same size as the trundle or a size larger. (This means that for a Full bed, the trundle will most likely be a Full or a Twin.)

What Size Mattress Is Best for a Trundle Bed?

Most trundle beds are Twin, meaning the trundle part of the bed is designed for a Twin mattress. Trundle beds can vary in sizes ranging from Twin to Queen, with each size requiring a mattress of the same. In purchasing a mattress for a trundle bed, the most important consideration is mattress height, as too high will make it impossible for the trundle to close. (Average height of trundle mattresses is six to eight inches.)

Different Styles of Trundles

The beauty of a trundle bed is that the convenient rolling storage can be used in a variety of ways. Traditionally, trundle beds hold a mattress to provide additional sleeping space that can be tucked back under the main bed during the day to increase floor space in the bedroom. This allows you to double your sleeping space while maintaining a compact footprint with your bedroom furniture. Trundles can also be used for storage. If you choose not to add a mattress, you can use the platform like a shallow drawer to hold out of season clothing, extra bedding, and even children’s toys. Some trundles are even designed with additional drawers to further maximize storage space. Whichever your preferred choice of trundle bed frame style, trundle beds are one of the most versatile and useful pieces of furniture and a timeless staple for any space – no matter its size!

Whether a guest bedroom, child's room or studio apartment, accommodating additional guests on a whim is as simple as pulling out the trundle – and, when the frame is no longer in use or space is needed for other purposes, clearing the trundle is as simple as tucking it back in place.

What’s the Difference Between a Trundle Bed and a Daybed?

A trundle bed is a 2-in-1 bed design, meaning that a trundle is designed to hold two separate Twin mattresses and sleep two people. A daybed, on the other hand, is a type of sofa that is spacious enough and designed in a way that it can be used for both sitting and sleeping. Unlike a trundle, a daybed can only sleep one person.

History of the Trundle Bed

Medieval times saw the beginnings of the standardization of bedrooms. During these times, a bed would often include another bed underneath – the first trundle. Often used for personal maids or servants, trundles helped to save space – and keep help close by.

How to Furnish a Small Bedroom with a Trundle Bed

When it comes to saving space in a smaller room, a trundle bed is a decorator’s best friend. Trundles come in many styles and are particularly useful when shopping for a child’s bedroom or outfitting a spare room.

Trundle Bed Tips

Try these ideas to get the most out of your trundle bed:

  • Sleepover Fun: Trundles are a great choice for kids and teens who like to have friends spend the night. Just pull out the bed for a cozy get-together.
  • Big Kid Beds: Switching from a crib or toddler bed to a "big" bed can be stressful. A trundle gives parents a place to crash when children are getting acclimated or need to be nursed through the flu.
  • Great Guest Rooms: A small guest room can accommodate additional people with the convenience of a pull-out trundle and mattress.
  • Office Daybeds: For a multi-purpose spare room, choose a daybed-style trundle bed for a piece you can use as a sofa during the day. When guests arrive, add bedding and pull out the trundle to accommodate sleepers.
  • Air Mattress Versatility: If you host guests only rarely, use the trundle for storage most of the time, but keep a Twin size air mattress handy for a quick switch when you need the extra sleeping space.

The Best Trundle Beds

Best Features: Solid wood - Cinnamon finish
Size: 60"W x 79.5"D x 32.6"H
Verified Customer Review: "This bed was the perfect combination of solid wood, a full size, height and a trundle which I was not able to find anywhere else. The price was also attractive." - Sandy
Best Features: Affordable - Solid poplar wood
Size: 78.5"W x 43"D x 47"H
Verified Customer Review: "Absolutely adorable. Really well made, trundle is easy to open and close. We got this set for my daughter and it's adorable in her room." - rkwarren21
children's trundle bed
Best Features: Upholstered - Euro slats
Size: 82"W x 44"D x 44"H
Verified Customer Review: "The Daybed is beautiful! The construction is solid and was easy to assemble. Fits great in my office/guest room!' - Kathy W
Best Features: Solid wood - Upholstered
Size: 84"W x 46"D x 34"H
Verified Customer Review: "It's good and the perfect size for my kids' rooms!" - Oscar G

Best Trundle Mattresses

Best Feature: Hybrid material
Verified Customer Review: "Excellent Quality at a great price! Very satisfied with the comfort and rest this provides." - Anonymous
Best Feature: Shorter height
Verified Customer Review: "Comfortable enough and not too firm or too soft for guests." - Patricia
Best Feature: Medium comfort level
Verified Customer Review: "Perfect affordable mattress for my teenager. It’s comfortable and has good support." - LeslieB
Best Feature: EcoFlex High-Density Foam
Verified Customer Review: "I bought two of these mattresses for my kids. They love them and have slept very well on them ever since." - DH of CA

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.