Trundle Beds, the Bunk Bed Alternative

Sleepovers… kids love them, parents endure them! As chief bed organiser it was my duty to prepare the sleeping quarters… this often entailed wrestling with air beds (expelling every last morsel of breath from my lungs as I chastised Barkley for gnawing through yet another foot pump!) dismantling my sofa to donate its cushions or creating other imaginative make-shift beds (I did draw the line at offering up the dog’s bed!) to try and offer my guests a reasonably restful night’s kip! I was then left to sit through my latest Netflix series on the floor, with the dog, as the sofa looked more skeletal than plump and plush!

If this resonates with you and you too are often left scratching your head over where your overnight visitors are going to sleep, then do what I did a few years back and buy a guest bed! A guest bed is the perfect bed solution to comfortably put up visitors for a night (or two!) and make sleepovers a breeze!

Bunk beds are a popular choice as a guest bed, however your child may not want a permanent “spare” bed in their bedroom, or they may prefer the style of a kids single bed or day bed – if this is the case, another option to consider is a trundle bed.

This helpful guide to trundle beds will explore the features and benefits of these space saving guest beds and hopefully provide all the answers you’re looking for;

What is a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed is a bed (trundle) that is tucked underneath another bed, providing a temporary bed that can be pulled out when needed, then neatly stores away under the main bed when it’s not in use.

Providing a brilliant solution for a guest bed, a trundle bed is usually set on a frame with rollers or wheels so you can quickly and easily pull it out and put it away (no more inflating and deflating!).

Due to their space saving design, because the trundle is stored under the main bed, trundle beds don’t take up oodles of floor space, making them a great option for smaller bedrooms where space is limited.

Trundle beds are a super choice for kids who love sleepovers, providing a quick and easy set up when their friends come to stay.

Vox Evolve Ottoman Bed

What size is a Trundle Bed?

A trundle is essentially a small bed that fits underneath another bed, that when pulled out offers a single bed size sleeping area. Exact measurements will vary between designs so it’s always best to check the product detail pages of the site you buy it from (like Cuckooland Trundle Beds… for example!)

Some trundles “pop up” to the same level as the main bed, as seen here with the Lifetime Jump Up Children’s Bed, creating a much larger king size bed, this is a great option if you’re looking for a guest bed that is suitable for adults as well as children.

Trundles will have a specify the mattress size that is designed to fit, they are usually thinner than standard mattresses, granting enough space for the trundle to slide under the main bed. Again, it’s always best to check the product detail page as the recommended mattress is shown together with the trundle.

Lifetime Jump Up Childrens Bed with Pop-Up Trundle Bed

What is the difference between a Trundle Bed & a Bunk Bed?

A trundle bed and a bunk bed both offer up a spare bed, however the main difference is that a bunk bed has two permanent beds, while a trundle bed offers one main bed and a second bed that can be easily set up when needed, then put away again when it’s not.

Bunk beds are limited to a kids bedroom, while a trundle bed could be used in other areas of the home, for example a day bed with trundle wouldn’t look out of place in an office or living room – thus providing a more versatile option as a guest bed.

With a “pop up” trundle bed, you can create a much larger bed, ideal for adults and can accommodate a couple, whereas with a bunk bed you are normally limited to two single sized beds.

While bunk beds are space saving, you need to take into account their extra height, which in smaller bedrooms can be a little imposing. The beauty of a trundle bed is that it makes use of the space under the bed, so it doesn’t require the extra height.

Nordic Kids House Bed Frame with Drawers & Trundle

Are Trundle Beds comfortable?

The comfort level of a trundle bed is largely determined by the mattress. Many trundle beds require a thinner than average mattress, due to being stored under another bed. Often, the mattresses recommended for trundle beds are memory foam, which offer an impressive level of comfort (far better than laying on a pocket of air or being wedged between sofa cushions!).

I certainly wouldn’t recommend a trundle bed for daily use, but as an impromptu sleepover bed, it’s perfect.

If you’re looking for serious comfort in your guest bed, some trundle beds do allow for a full depth mattress. Check the product detail page which will describe the exact mattress size required.

Dennis Day Bed in Concrete Grey with Optional Trundle Drawer by Woood

Can you buy a Trundle Bed separately?

Many of the trundle beds available at Cuckooland come as a complete package of main bed and trundle bed, and some of our kids beds offer trundle beds as an optional extra. This is because the trundle beds have been designed to perfectly fit underneath their partner bed. Although beds are referred to in terms of their size i.e single bed, their actual measurements will vary between styles, therefore they are not all completely uniform in size.

If you are considering buying a trundle bed, the best option is to buy the complete package of main bed and trundle, however, if you are just looking to buy a trundle it’s best to give our knowledgable customer service team a call to see if they can help you find a perfect match for your existing bed.

Fraser Single Storage Bookcase Bed with Trundle Drawer

Best Trundle Beds for Kids

With so many options of trundle beds, here are a few of my top picks for the best trundle beds for kids.

  • Trundle bed with storage – If you’re looking for a kids bed that’s encourages a tidier bedroom and can put up a friend for a night, the Fraser Single Storage Bookcase Bed with Trundle Drawer is ideal! Books, lamps and nighttime essentials can live on the headboard and the pull-out trundle is ready and waiting for their weekend sleepovers!
  • Day bed with trundle – Daybeds are popular kids beds, creating a cosy place to sleep and chill, team with a trundle and you have a super sleepover set up. I particularly like the neat design of the Dennis Daybed with Optional Trundle Drawer which would look equally as cool in a living room.
  • Bunk bed with trundle – We’ve looked at the benefits of a trundle bed over a bunk bed, but how about a bunk bed with a trundle! For maximum sleeping space, having a bunk with trundle bed offers not only two but three beds! As seen with the Parisot Bibliobed Kids Bunk Bed which would be perfect for siblings sharing a room.
Parisot Bibliobed Kids Bunk Bed

Give yourself a well deserved break from battling the bedding when your kiddo requests their next sleepover – invest in a trundle bed and in a matter of minutes their overnight camp will be set up leaving you more time (on the comfort of your sofa) to enjoy your evening… you can only hope!

For more trundle talk, our dream team of kids bed experts are on hand to help, give them a call on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or email us for some friendly advice.


With more than 10 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

Leave a Reply