If you have kids who love sleepovers, it might be time you thought about investing in a trundle bed (especially if you don't have room for twins or bunk beds). This space-saving piece of furniture gives you two beds within the footprint of one! Plus, they’re far more comfortable and easy to unfurl than air mattresses. Read on to learn more about trundle beds and to determine if one is right for you.
What is a trundle bed?
A trundle bed is a small bed that’s tucked underneath another bed, set on a frame with rollers or wheels so you can easily pull it out when you're ready to use it. While many trundles are paired with daybeds, they can also work well with standard beds of all sizes, captain’s beds, bunk beds, and even chaise lounges. You’ll most commonly find them in children’s rooms, or sometimes in vacation home rentals that want to maximize the number of beds within a set space.
But trundle beds can also be great for small-space living even if you don't have kids. “Trundle beds work well in a variety of spaces and for surprisingly different functions,” Allison Spamanato, SVP of Product Development for Pottery Barn Kids & Teen, tells House Beautiful. “We often associate trundle beds with kids’ rooms and sleepovers, but a daybed with trundle is a wonderful space-saving solution in a library or lounge space.”
There’s also such thing as a pop-up trundle bed, in which the lower bed can actually be raised flush with the upper bed when it’s extended, so as to create a much larger bed. (Picture two twins pushed together to make a king-size bed.) This would be an ideal option for adults, as you can easily convert a small daybed in a guest room or office into a bed that can accommodate a couple. Since a standard trundle beds is very low to the ground, it's not best for those with mobility issues. A pop-up trundle might be what you want instead.
Are trundle beds comfortable?
Trundle beds can be comfortable, but that all depends on the mattress. Some trundle beds require thinner mattresses (usually eight inches or less), which could be more uncomfortable than standard 10- to 14-inch thick mattresses. There are, however, thin memory-foam mattresses on the market that do offer an impressive level of comfort. This one, for example, has over 5,000 5-star reviews on Amazon and is literally $130—so that would be a good place to start.
Serious comfort-seekers, however, should look for a trundle that allows you to use a full-thickness mattress, so you can customize your guests' comfort level. And keep in mind that mattresses are often sold separately from a trundle bed frame! Even if your trundle does come with a mattress, you might want to swap it out for a more comfortable one.
Ultimately, a trundle bed is not necessarily the best choice for daily use. But it's ideal for impromptu sleepovers!
What size mattress works for a trundle bed?
Since trundle beds need to fit underneath another bed, the vast majority require twin-size mattresses. Occasionally you’ll be able to find a model that uses full-size mattresses—but those models will have to be stored underneath an even larger bed to accommodate for their size. As for queen-size or king-size trundles? You’re probably out of luck, unless you commission a custom piece of furniture. Given their small size, trundles are best suited to kids and teens rather than adults, which is why you’ll often find them in children’s rooms.
What else can you use a trundle for?
Storage! Picture it as one gigantic under-bed storage drawer. “A trundle can be so much more than a comfortable extra bed for overnight guests,” says Spamanato. “You can also use the trundle without a mattress to create extra play space for a favorite toy, for example, a train set, or to store blankets and keepsakes.”
So even if you no longer have a need for a spare bed, you should keep your trundle and convert it into hidden storage space. We can always use more of that!
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