Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Trundle Bed
Trundle beds have been in use since the 16th century for a very good reason: they’re cost and space-efficient, comfortable, and adaptable over time. They are still a popular way to accommodate overnight guests. If you need a spare bed, trundle beds come in a wide range of styles at affordable prices.
Of course, before you make a decision, it’s worth learning about the different types of trundle bed available. In the guide below, we cover the most popular trundle bed styles, features to look for, and trundle bed alternatives. By the end of this guide, you should feel confident shopping for and choosing the right trundle bed for you and your home.
Trundle Bed Designs
The least expensive type of trundle bed, a trundle-only frame is an excellent addition if you already have a bed frame with enough clearance for the trundle. Most trundle frames are plain steel (with wheels, and slats to support a mattress) and a nice choice for children’s sleepovers or unexpected guests.
However, some inexpensive options have lower weight limits, so keep an eye on that factor if you plan to sleep adults on the trundle.
The trundle drawer is a classic style that can be attached to both standard bed frames or day and bunk beds. Instead of providing an open space below the bed with room for the trundle, the trundle itself is in a seamless ‘drawer’ below the primary bed.
Although this style is usually more expensive, it offers a clean appearance and prevents dust from gathering below the main bed. Most have as much room for a trundle mattress as other styles.
Daybed and Trundle
Daybeds are a combination of sofa and bed. Many are enclosed on three sides, with a high “back” which supports pillows when being used as a sofa. Popular both as occasional beds or full-time beds, daybeds can be very comfortable and come in many designs.
Adding a trundle to a daybed (or buying one with a trundle included) is a great way of fitting lots of function into a small space.
Bunk Bed and Trundle
While bunk beds can be considered an alternative to a trundle bed, bunk beds with added trundles are a great way to fit sleep several people in a small space. This means your guests will share a room, but for children this is usually a lot of fun. Bunk beds paired with a trundle are also a good choice if you have two children who will be sharing the primary beds.
What To Look For In a Trundle Bed
In general, solid wood frames are classic but can be expensive, while metal frames have a modern look and are often less expensive. For most people, choosing a material based on price point and their personal style works well, as both wooden and metal frames are very durable.
Other materials often used in trundle bed frames are plastic or other synthetic materials, or particle board. These are often inexpensive options, but tend to have shorter lifespans than solid wood or metal. Frames can also be upholstered for style and comfort; luxury daybed frames, for example, are often upholstered to look like a sofa when not being used as a bed.
Most trundle bed frames require you to purchase a mattress separately. While there are a wide range of trundle bed mattresses available, it’s well worth considering who is going to be using the trundle, and for how long.
Children, for example, rarely require an expensive mattress, particularly if they’ll only be staying over for one night at a time. If your trundle bed is primarily for sleepovers, consider a low-cost innerspring or foam mattress which will provide plenty of comfort and support in the short term.
However, if you’re going to be hosting adults, or anticipate guests staying for longer than a night, it might be worth investing in a high-quality memory foam option. Since trundle bed mattresses are usually thinner than the ordinary variety, choosing a high-quality mattress will make a significant difference for your guest’s comfort.
Like all forms of bedroom furniture, there are trundle beds available which will suit any aesthetic preference and budget. Contemporary or modern beds are often available at lower prices than other styles, but affordable classic, shabby chic, mid-century modern, and other styles of trundle bed can be found if you dig deeper.
While the look of a trundle bed is important, it’s crucial to ensure your bed is made of materials you like, and has the features you need.
Different trundle bed styles house the trundle in different ways, as outlined in the section above. The two primary methods are the trundle being loose in the space beneath the bed, or using a trundle drawer to hide it away. Some frames also feature additional drawers or cubby holes to add storage options for the trundle’s bedding.
Alternatives to Trundle Beds
Trundle beds aren’t perfect for everyone. Adults and the elderly can find the low profile of the trundle challenging to get in and out of, and frames that require thinner mattresses can be less comfortable than other options.
If you’re unsure whether a trundle bed will work for you, consider these excellent alternatives: