The Best Trundle Beds Make Space for Sleepovers (and Extra Storage)
Our upholstered picks create snooze spots out of reading nooks.
Published Dec 28, 2022 1:59 AM
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When it comes to beds, trundles might not be at the top of your want list, particularly if you’re shopping for your main bedroom. However, for kids’ and guest rooms, the best trundle beds offer plenty of bonus points that may persuade you to ditch a statement-making frame for this versatile option instead. There are plenty of FAQs about trundles (like how does it fit under there?) and some hacks you might not be aware of (hello, 20 square feet of storage space), so we’re here to break it down for you. Everyone will have a place to catch those z’s.
Best Trundle Beds Index
- Avocado Kids Trundle Bed Frame
- Crate & Kids Hampshire Blush Kids Trundle Bed (for Hampshire Blush Arched Bed)
- Kelly Clarkson Home Charlotte Daybed with Trundle
- IKEA Släkt Bed Frame
- Monte Design Twin Luna Bed
- Mr. Kate Daphne Upholstered Daybed and Trundle
- Oeuf River Modern Classic Birch Twin Bed and Trundle
- P’kolino Twin Bed with Trundle
- Pottery Barn Kids Mid-Century Bed and Trundle
- Room & Board Trundle Bed (for Parsons Bed)
- Serena & Lily Presidio Trundle Daybed
- Vecelo Twin Trundle Bed Frame
- West Elm Payton Daybed and Trundle
Best Metal Trundle Beds
Metal trundle beds may bring to mind foldable, flimsy frames, but we like them for their no-frills upkeep and appearance. The trundles on our radar offer an elevated take on a material often labeled as industrial and don’t read too boring or cold. Case in point: The sturdy spindle rails of the Charlotte Daybed have a cottagey Jenny Lind feel (and more than 80 4- and 5-star reviews).
Tap these streamlined options to take advantage of unused space in small rooms, whether you’re starting from scratch or already have a raised bed positioned high enough off the floor to slip one of these low-profile, wheeled bases under. Among our top picks, for instance, is one specifically designed to pair with the Parsons Bed from Room & Board. And though we love metal’s inherent durability—it’s the preferred choice for supportive slats—it can be a little too sharp-edged for a small child’s room (re: safety). We’d limit our recommendations to a guest suite, flexible home office, or teen room.
Best Wood Trundle Beds
Perhaps the most popular material option you’ll come across when shopping for trundles is wood. It’s a warm, versatile choice offered in a variety of finishes and paint colors (even a trendy blush pink, as Crate & Kids’s Hampshire Blush version proves).
In the right construction, solidly sawed wood is strong enough to support more than a mattress; that’s why a couple of our suggested picks can be used as storage to corral toy clutter or be a dresser stand-in. And wood consistently looks good. No matter if it’s plywood reinforced with oak, or solid ash or walnut, the grain, warmth, and luster of an oiled or matte finish is nearly always easy on the eyes. If you happen to prefer an all-white look or bolder style, there are many painted possibilities, too. Like both? Don’t compromise with Oeuf’s two-toned trundle; it’s the best of both worlds. One last tip: We prefer sustainably harvested wood, so keep an eye out for certifications dished out by Greenguard or the FSC.
Best Upholstered Trundle Beds
Nothing makes a statement like a channel-tufted, slipcovered bed frame, and the same goes for trundles. These fabric-covered favorites double as a chic chaise or settee. All you have to do is add a few throw pillows and drape a wool blanket on the arm—and voilà! This sleepover spot by night instantly transforms into a reading nook by day. Not all upholstered frames are created equal, though, which is why our favorites, below, offer compelling details like a piped edge or curvy silhouette dressed up in luxe linen or lush velvet.
Our Shopping Checklist
Truthfully, a trundle bed can fit any room. While a glorious king-size bed seems a lot more exciting and luxurious, sometimes you don’t want a mattress taking up so much space, especially if you live in a studio and want to separate the living area from the bedroom.
Trundle beds are great in a kid’s room, too, if you love hosting sleepovers, but they can also be the preferred option for other logistical reasons. For example, if your kids share a room, but two permanently fixed beds take up all the play area, a trundle offers versatility for sleep and play. While bunk beds are a popular option for multi-sleepers, some parents don’t feel comfortable with the taller height, especially if they have little sleepwalkers.
Finally, trundle beds are perfect for guest rooms for reasons similar to a child’s room. You’re most likely not hosting guests all year, and because you can reconfigure the bed back after your guests have left, you can reclaim the precious space in the room to use it as an office, craft room, playroom, or more.
There are essentially two ways to shop for a trundle bed. You either need both the main bed frame and the trundle bed, or you just need a trundle bed to fit under an existing bed. The former is ideal, because you can ensure that both parts match to complete a set, resulting in a sleeker design. With the latter option, you can either check to see if your bed has a matching trundle bed that you can purchase separately, or you’ll have to settle for one that fits but doesn’t completely match in style.
Mattress and Size of Bed
While trundle beds are meant to be space saving, these days you’ll find that they can accommodate the entire range of mattress sizes, from twin all the way up to king. (Talk about the most epic sleepover ever.) The detail that may be more important than the dimension of your mattress is its height. After all, if your mattress impedes on your trundle bed’s ability to reconfigure back into its compact shape, then it defeats the purpose of a trundle bed in the first place. Better to double-check length, width, and height before making any/all trundle-related purchases.
Some trundle beds offer only the frame for the extra mattress, while others offer that plus additional drawers for pillows and surplus items. We prefer the latter (“I don’t like more storage space,” said no one ever), but they are a tad harder to find.
If you don’t need the extra bed space but are desperate for more storage, simply add in bins that are height appropriate for your trundle and you’ve got almost 20 square feet of extra storage (the space a twin-size mattress would have taken up). Parent hack: If your child loves building elaborate train tracks, use the trundle space to create tiny towns and simply tuck it away after bedtime for more play the next day—no meltdowns about deconstructing their hard work needed.
Rolling and Locking Mechanism
Do you have active sleepers in your home? Opt for a trundle bed that includes casters with locking levers or some sort of locking mechanism that prevents the bed from moving away from the main frame. If your favorite trundle doesn’t offer this, consider tying the back legs of the trundle to the front legs of the main bed with a simple rope. If your trundle bed doesn’t have legs, you can also use a high-pile rug to ground the bed and keep it from wiggling out of place.
Q: What’s the difference between a daybed and a trundle bed?
Unlike daybeds, a trundle bed has an additional mattress stored (and sometimes hidden) below the bottom of the main frame and can typically be accessed by simply sliding the frame housing the mattress out.
Q: Can a trundle be added to any bed?
It depends. While you can always add on a simple roll-out frame, you’ll need to measure to see if the space underneath your bed frame is tall enough. You’ll want to allow for at least 5 inches of height to accommodate a trundle mattress that is typically 5 inches tall, plus the height of the trundle frame.
Q: How do you keep a trundle bed from moving?
You’ll have to do a little investigative shopping to answer this question. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Most of the time, in order to maintain a cohesive design profile and the hidden aspect of a trundle bed, the frame is built as a wood box with inaccessible casters underneath, meaning you’ll be able to roll the bed out but not lock the wheels into place. Some trundle frames do offer lockable casters, but their design is less conspicuous and may stand out more than you might like. This IKEA Släkt bed frame has its own locking mechanism, which flips once the trundle has been pulled out to lock the frame with the main bed frame.
Q: How do you sleep on a trundle bed?
Okay, we’ll be honest, we answered this question because we wanted to share a lesser-known hack with trundle beds. Because of the way they’re designed, you might think that designating one person per mattress is the way to go, but another way to go about it is sleeping perpendicular to the length of the mattress; that is, sleeping with your head at the long end instead of the short end. With a king-fitted sheet encasing both mattresses, this can give a king mattress–like experience that might offer enough personal space for two-plus sleepers. (As an FYI: Two twin XL mattresses make a king, while two twin mattresses create a mattress 5 inches shorter than a king.)