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What is a trundle bed?

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A trundle bed is a low bed that can be stored underneath another bed and easily pulled out when in use by visitors.

A trundle bed is a low bed that can be stored underneath another bed and easily pulled out when in use by visitors. It may also be referred to as a 2 in 1 guest bed and can be made in various materials, such as wood, metal, and fabric. Some wooden trundle beds come with integrated drawers for extra storage.

Trundle beds often include mattresses, but they are usually thinner than standard mattresses to allow one bed to fit underneath the other easily. However, some trundle beds do not come with mattresses. In this case, it is essential to ensure that the bed bases and mattresses are compatible.

light wood bed frame with pull out bed underneath

A trundle bed is a clever space-saving solution because most of the time, the underbed is stored underneath another bed and does not take up additional room space. However, you should consider how much room space is available when both beds are in use and whether there is sufficient access in and out of the room.

The underbed usually has wheels or castors so that it can easily be rolled out or pushed underneath the main bed. It often comes with legs to raise it to the same height as the main bed. This allows the beds to be pushed together to create a larger bed for two people to share or kept apart as twin beds.

Alternatively, the underbed can pull out and remain at a lower level close to the floor to create a safe sleeping space for a child.

So whether you have children that enjoy sleepovers with friends or need to accommodate visitors for special occasions, a trundle bed is the perfect solution for hosting overnight guests.

Can a trundle bed be used every day?

A trundle bed typically requires a thinner frame and mattress so that one bed can easily fit underneath the other. Because of this, trundle beds tend to be not as comfortable or as durable as standard beds and are not intended for everyday use.

It may be possible to upgrade to more comfortable mattresses, but if you intend to push the beds together, both mattresses will need to be the same height. Also, be aware that if the underbed is deeper, it may not fit underneath the other bed. It is also important to ensure that the mattress and base are compatible, as a thinner bed base may not provide sufficient support for a heavier mattress.

Some people make the mistake of converting a trundle bed into a day bed for seating. Sitting on the edge of the bed places undue strain on the mattress and can damage its components, so it should be avoided.

Are trundle beds suitable for adults?

To allow one bed to fit easily underneath another, trundle beds consist of a relatively thin and lighter mattress that rests on a shallow frame or base. Because there is generally less padding in the mattress, trundle beds tend to be less comfortable than standard beds and are not designed to withstand heavier weights.

Sometimes, the underbed is smaller than the main bed to allow it to fit underneath and may not provide sufficient sleeping space for an adult.

Because of this, trundle beds are not recommended for regular use by adults. It may be possible to upgrade the mattress on the main bed for something more comfortable, supportive and durable. But, keep in mind that the frame may not support a heavier mattress. Also, if you intend to raise the trundle bed to the same level as the main bed, you may need mattresses that are the same height so that you can push the beds together. As there is limited space underneath the main bed, a thicker mattress may not fit underneath.

If you intend to upgrade the mattresses, memory foam is a good option. Memory foam comes in various densities and thicknesses and offers good support and pressure relief. Some good quality memory foam mattresses are around 15 to 20 cm deep, so they should fit comfortably in the space underneath the main bed. However, it is important to ensure that the mattress and bed base are compatible and that there is good ventilation underneath the bed so that air can circulate freely.

As the mattresses are lighter and thinner, a trundle bed may not be suitable for a heavier person who weighs more than 102kg (16 stone), even as an occasional bed. A heavier person may not feel adequately supported by a trundle bed and may find they ‘bottom out’ on the mattress.

Trundle beds tend to be popular with children as they have an extra bed for sleepovers. Also, children tend to be lighter and do not require the same level of comfort and support as an adult. If the bed is for regular use by a child, you may want to consider a lower bed in case they fall out of bed.

Despite their limitations, trundle beds are more comfortable for guests than other guest room sleeping options, such as sofa beds, futons, or inflatable air mattresses.

Trundle bed mattress sizes

Most trundle beds are single-sized, consisting of a relatively thin mattress of around 15 to 20 cm deep (6 to 8 inches).

If the trundle bed has a pop-up mechanism, when the two beds are pushed together, this often creates a king or super king size sleeping space.

Typical trundle bed sizes include:

 Imperial sizeMetric size
Small single2 x 2’6” x 6’3”2 x 75 cm x 190 cm
Single2 x 3’0” x 6’3”2 x 90 cm x 190 cm

The underbed can sometimes be smaller than the main bed to allow it to store underneath easily. Also, keep in mind that if the mattress sits inside a bed frame, the overall dimensions of the bed frame will be bigger than the mattress.

As most trundle beds are standard sizes, standard bed sheets should fit. But, if the underbed is smaller, you may need special sized bed sheets. Avoid using a valance or bed skirt with a trundle bed, as this can restrict airflow to the underbed.

Finally, check your dimensions carefully before ordering.

Do trundle beds require assembly?

Most trundle beds will require some form of assembly. Assembly of bed frames can take around twenty to thirty minutes, depending on the design. If the trundle bed provides storage, additional time will be required for assembly.

Trundle bed divans often require minimal assembly. It may just be a case of removing the polythene packaging and safety straps that secure the legs.

Most retailers provide an assembly service where they can build the bed in the room and remove its packaging. There is often a small charge for this service, but it will take the hassle away of assembling the bed yourself, ensuring that the bed is built correctly.

Are trundle beds easy to move?

The underbed usually has rollers or castors attached underneath so that it can easily slide when required. Most modern trundle beds typically have metal or wooden folding legs that allow the underbed to be raised to the same level as the main bed.

There is usually some sort of release mechanism, such as a button or lever that allows the legs to pop up, making it easier to lift. Trundle bed mattresses tend to be lighter, making them easier to move.

However, some people may find lifting the underbed awkward or heavy, so it is generally best to get someone to help keep the physical effort to a minimum.

Final thoughts

Trundle beds are a practical and functional solution for occasional overnight visitors. Its two-in-one design allows two people to sleep together, apart, or even in separate rooms. While a trundle bed is perfect for sleepovers and overnight stays, the mattresses tend to be thinner and are generally less comfortable than standard mattresses. Therefore, trundle beds are not ideal for everyday adult use.

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About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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