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What is a Trundle Bed? All Your Questions, Asked and Answered

published Mar 20, 2023
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Trundle beds are a must-have for making the most of a small bedroom, or creating the ultimate bunk space for epic sleepovers. The term originates from the British phase “truckle bed,” which has been traced back as far as the Elizabethan Age where Shakespeare himself uses it in his 1602 play, “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” As it turns out, this clever piece of furniture has proved to be a time-tested solution for those needing more sleeping space without taking up precious permanent square footage for more than 400 years. 

What is a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed is a type of bed that can be rolled or stored away underneath another higher bed. Trundles are usually equipped with casters, or attached wheels, to make moving them easy and painless for most ages, which is useful considering that they are often used in nurseries and children’s bedrooms. 

What’s great about trundle  beds is that they are so low to the ground that you don’t need to purchase an extra-high bed frame to store them under, though trundles are most often purchased as part of a set with a  traditional bed instead of as a separate entity.

Trundle Bed vs Daybed

While trundle beds and daybeds are often used in children’s rooms and guest spaces, they are not the same thing. 

  • Daybeds save space by looking like a loveseat while functioning as a bed and are only available in twin sizes. 
  • Trundles, on the other hand, offer two separate beds, one of which can be stored underneath the other, and can be found in twin and full sizes. 

You may even be able to find a trundle bed setup with a queen on top. However, you can find daybed-trundle bed hybrids if you’re really looking to maximize every square inch of a bedroom.

Why Buy a Trundle Bed?

There are plenty of reasons to consider investing in a trundle bed, particularly for families, frequent hosts, and those living in small quarters. 

Trundle beds offer efficient, space-saving storage while creating a second sleep space in any bedroom. This can be great for kids’ rooms when there isn’t extra square footage for a separate bed, and it’s much more economical. Plus, you can find an array of twin trundle beds that are less expensive than a queen bed while still hitting the marks for style and quality. 

Having a trundle bed is also a hospitable way to make room for guests in even the smallest of spaces, and you won’t have to sacrifice on style, the flow of your room, or the comfort of your loved one. 

Are Trundle Beds Comfortable?

In short: yes! Trundle beds allow you to have any type of mattress you want, whether that’s an ultra-soft memory foam or a firmer pick for extra back support, though some trundle beds may come equipped with mattresses of their own. Plus, you have the advantage of being able to opt for a full-sized bed underneath, unlike a daybed, for extra room. 
While those sleeping on a trundle bed will be lower to the ground than they are likely used to and won’t have a headboard or footboard, that doesn’t mean a trundle bed can’t be luxurious. There are plenty of chic options out there from brands like Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm that will look elegant and inviting in any bedroom. Check out our editor’s top trundle bed picks to ensure you maximize form and function with your purchase.

Types of Trundle Beds

As previously mentioned, you can find trundle beds in multiple shapes and sizes, whether you’re seeking a twin- or full-sized addition to your bedroom lineup or a cross between a daybed and trundle. Plus, you can get even more bang for your buck with extra amenities that will leave you wondering why you didn’t purchase one sooner.

Twin Trundle Bed

A twin trundle bed is the most traditional option here, as trundle beds are often used in kids’ rooms. This type of trundle offers a twin bed on top and bottom, leaving no room to fight over who gets the bigger bed.

Full Trundle Bed

A full trundle bed especially makes sense in a guest room, where you might have a parent or two staying with a child in the same space. A twin trundle bed will pull out from underneath the full bed, giving room for three people to sleep comfortably. 

Credit: Amazon

Daybed with Trundle

This savvy option allows you to maximize a piece of furniture like nothing else in your home. You’ll get seating space for two, plus two twin-sized beds out of this one item. A daybed with a trundle is a great pick for studio apartments, tiny guest rooms, and nurseries where you may not have space for an extra bed but want a spot to snooze in between feedings in those hectic early days.

Trundle Bed with Storage

Yes, trundle beds can have even more superpowers! There are many options out there that offer drawer space between the main bed and trundle or underneath the trundle — perfect for storing extra pillows, sheets, and blankets that one sleeping on the trundle bed may need. You’ll be able to find both twin- and full-sized options for the main bed.

Bunk Bed with Trundle

Whether you’re short on space at your primary residence or are trying to maximize the sleeping quarters in a second home or bonus room, a bunk bed with a trundle can be a game-changer. While the top bunk will still have a ladder or stairs and a railing, the bottom bunk will come equipped with a sliding trundle to comfortably fit three people comfortably in a small area. You’ll be limited to twin mattresses, but everyone will get their own bed.