Do Trundle Beds Need a Special Mattress?


A trundle bed is great for an extra bedroom and it does not take up a lot of space. Having a trundle bed means that there are two mattresses. One is kept in storage underneath the top mattress. You are able to pull the lower mattress out at any moment that you wish.

Do trundle beds need a special mattress? Yes, the lower mattress needs to be about 6 to 8 inches thick. Measure your trundle frame as some frames rise as high as 15 inches. You want to aim for your trundle bed to match the same height as the bed on top of it. 

Purchasing a trundle bed is a smart buy. The trundle bed itself usually comes on wheels and this makes them easy to access. There are certain things that you will need to measure to makes sure the mattress that you purchase can fit in the trundle’s frame.

How to Buy a Mattress for a Trundle Bed?

When it comes to buying a trundle mattress it is not as hard as some may think. There are some limitations when it comes to the thickness and dimensions of a trundle mattress. When you choose a mattress for your trundle bed, it is best to make sure the mattress is thinner than a standard mattress. This is so that if can fit snuggly underneath the top mattress.

 A trundle bed serves the following people:

  • Children: For any sleepovers that you may have. Some children may also need a trundle bed if they are having a hard time transitioning from a crib or toddler bed.
  • Teens: Can be used as a place for their friends to have a thinking space or to take naps on them without invading the privacy of the main bed. 
  • Guests: For those that need a place to sit or lay, a daybed is a great medium for both options.

One downside to a trundle bed is that even though it is the lower bed, it sits basically on the ground. The mattress can be less supportive than a standard mattress because of how thin it needs to be. It is not recommended for use if you have back problems or are elderly.

However, there are some trundle beds that can pop up, this will allow them to be the same height as the main bed. It will require you to lock the trundle bed into place so that it will not collapse. The only con is that the trundle bed will be a different thickness than the main bed.

Different Trundle Mattress Sizes

For you to find the right size mattress thickness, you will have to measure the height of the main bed. This measurement will be needed for the trundle frame to make sure that it can slide underneath. If the top bed is as high as 16 inches, and the trundle frame is 8 inches, you will have enough space for an 8-inch mattress. 

With a 6 to 8-inch mattress, this is a great range to be in to make the mattress fit snuggly and move easily. It would be wise to take note that the trundle bed is smaller than the top bed. When it comes to the different sized bed mattresses, there are a few other notes to take:

  • Twin Mattress: A trundle mattress for a twin would be shorter or narrower by 1 inch. The maximum size would be 38’’ W x 75’’ L x 6-8” H.
  • Twin XL Mattress: A trundle for a twin xl is just a 5” difference compared to the twin. The maximum trundle mattress size is 38” W x 80” L x 6-8” H.
  • Full-Size Mattress: This trundle mattress is going to enough for two people to sleep on. The maximum trundle mattress size will be 53” W x 75” L x 6-8” H.
  • Queen Size Mattress: Trundle mattresses of this size are uncommon. It is best that you use a full trundle mattress.
  • King Size Mattress: For this size mattress you would normally use twin or full trundle mattresses. King-sized trundles are just as rare as queens. 

Types of Trundle Mattresses

While there may only be two realistic choices for the size trundle mattress that you want, there are different types of mattress that you can choose from that include:

  • Antimicrobial Memory Foam: Memory foam is soft and will hug the curves of your body. When you rise and return to the bed, it will keep the same shape for a long time before returning to its original shape.
  • Latex Foam: This mattress is made from rubber trees that come in three types, natural, synthetic, and blended. Unlike memory foam, latex will snap back a bit more quickly to its original shape.
  • Pillow-Top: The top portion of this mattress looks like a pillow. There is more padding to it and has stitching. These mattresses do have innerspring or coils inside of them as well.
  • Air-Chamber: Best used for those that need varying firmness levels and others who have pains in their necks and backs. You can change the firmness level at any time; however, these types of beds are more on the expensive side.
  • High-Tech: A mattress like this can change the heating and cooling temperatures on your bed to put you to sleep faster. This mattress can also adjust the temp. throughout your sleep to make sure it stays in sync with your sleep cycle and keep you asleep.
  • Innerspring Foam: Inside the mattress, there are springs that are encapsulated by foam to give you better support as you sleep.

Do You Need a Box Spring?

With the trundle mattress being between 6 to 8 inches, you do not need to add a box spring. This would raise the height of the mattress too much and would interfere with the frame of the top bed. 

Most trundles will use slates because they are thinner and can support the weight of the mattress evenly. Should the slats be too far apart, the weight of the mattress and the added stress of the sleeper could make them collapse.

It is now time to consider the price of both the frame and the mattress to make your trundle bed operational.

The Price of a Trundle Frame and Mattress

A trundle bed can last quite a long time so think of this as an investment, especially if it is only going to be used for guests. The overall price will begin to add up as you are initially paying for the frame that contains two places to sleep. The other added costs come from:

  • Mattresses
  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Blankets

For just the trundle bed alone, you are looking in the lower range like this Zinus Eden Twin Trundle Bed to an upper range like this Kodiak Trundle Bed. As with any other product in the world, the pricing depends on:

  • The materials used
  • The hours of labor 
  • The type of trundle bed it is

If you should happen to acquire a trundle bed that comes with a bunk bed, it will be more costly. There are, however, just the lower trundle frames that can be added to any top bed frame. This can only happen if you have enough clearance to add a mattress to the lower bed. Purchasing only the lower trundle frames are more cost-efficient than a completely new unit.

Different Trundle Bed Types

A trundle bed is a valuable piece of furniture to have. There are, however, different types of trundle beds than just the standard frame. These trundle bed types include:

  • Daybed: This bed type is surrounded by a headboard on three sides. A daybed can be used as a sofa and works mostly with a twin for the top and trundle bed.
  • Sleigh Bed: There are some trundle beds that have the sleigh bed look to them. This means that the headboard is curving outwards away from the mattress.
  • Panel Bed: A panel bed has a high headboard and can be a bunk bed as well. The typical trundle mattresses for this bed are the twin and full-sized mattresses.
  • Captain Bed: A captain bed has more storage units for different knick-knacks. Other than a twin and a full-sized frame, they do sometimes come in a queen. 
  • Bunk Bed: Bunk beds fit about three people. With this type of bed, you want to be sure that it has a ladder readily available to use.

When it comes to trundle frames the most common are twin and full-sized frames. These frames take up the least space. The average height of a trundle frame is 7 to 9-inches tall. 

Keep in mind that the trundle bed does not have a foot and headboard as the top bed would. Any pillows and blankets you use for the trundle would have to be placed on the top bed or in a closet.

Different Trundle Frames

When it comes to the frame, most would recommend going with a metal or wooden frame.

  • Wooden Frame: These frames are the most common and the choice of oak and mahogany wood would be the best pick. Each wood type has a different level of durability and longevity.
  • Metal Frame: While wooden frames are heavier, metal frames are not. Metal frames are not as durable as wood and they do not have extra storage, but the modern look can be a bigger prize for some.
  • Mixed Frame: There are trundle frames that use both metal and wood. The wood aspect pushes the durability factor and the metals enhance the style and design. With two types of materials combined, it helps to lower the cost of the entire bed frame.

Trundle mattresses prices range for a 5-inch twin-sized mattress to a maximum for an 8-inch King-sized mattress. The price of the mattress depends on the:

  • Brands
  • Height
  • Materials
  • Mattress Size

When you purchase a mattress and a frame for your trundle bed, it is at this time that you should take into consideration what you need your trundle bed for.

Where Should You Put a Trundle Bed?

To invest in a trundle bed, you can simply use it for your guest bedroom if need be. Although, there are other ways to use a trundle bed and get the most out of it. This maximizes your use for the trundle bed and it can help when situations occur that you suddenly need the extra space.

You can use a trundle bed for:

  • Studio Apartments
  • Vacation Homes
  • Offices
  • Extra Bedrooms
  • Dorm
  • Tiny Homes
  • Other Small Spaces

For spaces like an office or a dorm, it would be helpful to have a daybed, so that it can double as a sitting area when you just need to relax. 

If you own a vacation home that you rent out to others, this would be the best time to purchase a trundle bed as you can allow more guests to use your home at any time.

Do Trundle Beds Come Assembled?

When it comes to putting a trundle bed in your home, more than likely you will have to assemble them on your own, so be prepared for that.

Depending on which trundle bed you purchase, you can put the order in to have it delivered. You can then have a handy man from the company, come to assemble it without you touching anything. Note that if you choose to hire someone from the company you purchased the trundle bed from, they can charge you a fee for the assembly.

The only other way you will not have to assemble it yourself, is if it is a big unit and the furniture company already has some parts pre-assembled for you. This makes it easier on everyone as the bed is move in ready.

With the knowledge of knowing what you can use a trundle bed for, you have to measure how much space your trundle bed will take up.

How Much Space Does a Trundle Bed Take Up?

Since you have purchased or either consider purchasing a trundle bed, it is best to know where you will set this bed up. You want this bed to take up as little space as possible since the main purpose of this bed is to save space. 

The trundle bed should be smaller than the main bed. It is not recommended that you pair the main twin bed with a full-sized trundle bed. Account for the amount of space your trundle bed will take. Someone has to be able to walk around the trundle bed when it is fully pulled out. 

When it is time to pull out the lower bed, please keep about a 2-foot walkway around the entirety of the bed. This makes it more comfortable for the person using the trundle bed. Keep the bed away from doorways if possible, to avoid it being difficult for that person to get in and out of the bed. 

To understand how much space the trundle bed will take up, take measurements of:

  1. The length and width of the main bed
  2. Next, measure the length and width of the trundle bed when you pull it out
  3. Finally, add another 2 feet of space for the perimeter of the bed

While some trundle beds look like they are part of the main bed, they typically are not. You can purchase a trundle bed separately, although, you will not be matching the main bed as they usually come in pairs for continuity purposes. However, if you purchase them together, you will have to pay for the trundle bed outright and you lose the ability to look for something else.

There is nothing that is holding the trundle bed to the main bed and because the trundle bed is on rollers, it can go anywhere. 

You can take the trundle bed to any room in your home that you want it to be in. This bed type is completely free-standing. This may be a great thing to some if they wish for their child or guest not to accidentally step on the person using the trundle bed.

If you do not like the idea of the trundle being able to move anywhere. There are locking wheels that you can add that lock into place after you have pulled out the bed. If you purchase an updated trundle bed, they will more than likely come with these lockable wheels. 

If you have to upgrade them on your own, be sure that the wheel and the shaft match the caster, or you can buy them in a complete set. Should it take you a while to purchase this set, you can use rubber bands or zip ties to keep the beds together in the meantime. There are large straps that can wrap around the trundle bed to keep it from moving away when you store it again. 

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