In urban cities today, the idea of luxury living has been redefined from opulent décor and the highest quality interiors to one very simple, single element—space. Unless you’re blessed with a heritage home you’ve inherited from your family or are living in a city or town that’s not so congested (highly unlikely in 2020!), most modern homes leave their residents struggling with finding innovative ways to work within the floorspace they’re allotted.
Whether you’re living by yourself in a small apartment or studio, or are a large family living in close quarters, the first step you’ll take when decorating your home will be to carve out each member’s individual space in it. And the first place to plan your personal area is in the bedroom. To create space and utilise it well in this room, one has to first consider the things that require storage and the needs of each member inhabiting a room. While the breadths of the walls can house shelves and cabinets, the barren area under a bed can easily be used as storage (with more and more modern beds housing storage drawers beneath them).
However, the empty area under your bed can also be further improvised to create more space in the room with more bedding that can serve a purpose for several occasions. These beds with additional bedding tucked beneath them are called trundle beds, which can prove to be the space saver and multitasking furniture piece your home may be desperately needing.
WHAT IS A TRUNDLE BED?
Simply defined, a trundle bed is an additional bed that rests underneath the main frame of a bed. Taking up no more space than a conventional bed would, a trundle bed design is created to sleep additional number of people on the same bed, while freeing up the floor space when not in use.
With a mattress mounted on a large platform on wheels, a trundle bed easily rolls in and out from under a bed, with modern smooth casters, making it easy to pull out on all surfaces from hard wood or marble floors to even carpets. Interestingly, this bed gets its unique name from the sound of something rolling along a floor, which is similar to what this additional bed does.
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Housed within a frame that matches the same material and design of the larger bed above, all trundle bed designs can work on single, queen- or king-sized beds, making it a truly versatile bed for any modern home.
THE HISTORY OF A TRUNDLE BED
During the middle ages—which ranged between the 5th to the late 15th century—homes started to see the beginning of standardisation, which meant smaller bedrooms. To house larger families or make room for the personal help that ran the home, the first trundle bed was created. This helped save space, while also allowing for a fully staffed house.
THE MATTRESS IN A TRUNDLE BED
While the options and height for a mattress for your main bed are many, the mattress for a trundle bed design cannot exceed eight inches in height. Since this may not seem very appealing, to add an element of support you could try fitting in a mattress made from memory foam. This sort of mattress works wonderfully in a trundle as it doesn’t require a box-spring frame to house it.
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THE BENEFITS OF A TRUNDLE BED
As a versatile piece of furniture, a trundle bed serves both form and function. While posing as a great alternative for an entire guest room or even multiple beds for several children, a trundle maximises small spaces without sacrificing on comfort or style.
As a multipurpose furniture piece, a trundle is also a safer option when compared to a bunk bed for children, as it reduces the risk of a child rolling out of it in their sleep and facing a huge drop! Additionally, for parents, a trundle bed works as a comforting option to sleep next to your child or children when they’re unwell.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING A TRUNDLE BED?
While a trundle bed design is the perfect space-saving solution in a small-space home, it does have a few limitations, as well. With its lower height and thinner mattress and frame structure, it can usually only support a weight of roughly a 110 kilograms, making it a tricky option for larger adults. If you have spinal injuries or a weak back or neck, the thin mattress used in a trundle may not provide the right support you would require.
Another thing to consider is the low height of a pull-out trundle bed. While for children this isn’t a difficult space to navigate around, for
older folk with weak knees or painful joints, its lower height might pose a problem. Also, if possible, make sure one side of the trundle bed doesn’t rest against a wall, as the person sleeping on the top main frame can find it difficult to get in and out of the bed when someone is sleeping below.
ARE TRUNDLE BEDS COMFORTABLE?
Conventionally, most trundle bed designs are considered for the children’s or guest bedrooms, and often commonly found in studio apartments or rooms with a dual purpose. Due to a thinner mattress and lower height close to the ground, a pull-out trundle bed is better suited for children, teenagers and young adults who have stronger or less problematic backs and can easily climb in or jump out of the trundle. However, a good quality pull-up trundle bed can easily work as a comfortable bedding option for adults as well. With a sturdy mattress cover to equalise any separation in the middle, and installing wheels locks and a bridge pad below, you can guarantee a peaceful and cosy night’s sleep on a trundle bed, as well.
DIFFERENT FRAMES OF A TRUNDLE BED
A trundle bed can vary in two ways based on its frame—you could either get a pop-up frame or a drawer frame. While both frames rest in a similar way under the main bed frame atop and roll out from underneath on wheels, the way they rest vary greatly.
A drawer frame, which is the most popular style in trundle bed designs, is exactly as its name suggests.The additional mattress housed in this styled trundle frame pulls our like a drawer from underneath and rests on the side of the bed at a slightly lower height. Often these beds can also have additional drawers under the trundle mattress to allow for more storage of items such as bed linens and extra bedding.
A pop-up frame trundle bed, on the other hand, pulls up from under the bed but rests at the same height as the mattress on the primary bed above. This enables increasing the breadth of the bed to convert a single bed into a double-sized bed (or a queen- sized into a king-sized bed). This works wonderfully for couples living in a small apartment, who don’t have the space for a full-sized bed in the day, but would like to sleep on one at night. The similar concept can also be created for a daybed in the living room to have a space for guests in the absence of a guest room.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRUNDLE BED AND DAYBED
While a trundle bed essentially holds two beds in a single frame, thereby allowing it to sleep double the number of people its frame can hold, a day bed, on the other hand, is a type of sofa that is spacious and wide enough to also be slept on. A common multipurpose piece of furniture found in single-room or studio apartments, a daybed is used as a sofa in the day, and by night, it can be covered with bedding and bed linens to sleep on. Unlike all trundle bed designs, a daybed only allows a single person to sleep on it.
HOW TO STYLE A TRUNDLE BED
Don’t let the word space-saver deter you for getting creative with styling this Swiss Army-knife style furniture piece, as a trundle bed can be bought in many styles, materials, colours and finishes, and can be the perfect canvas to echo your personal style.
For trundle beds in the children’s rooms, consider adding cosy throws and colourful pillows and cushions for them to host the ultimate sleepover party with their friends. When used daily between two siblings, keep the lower bed always fitted with a bedsheet and have a storage trunk (or drawers below the trundle bed) to keep the remaining bedding comprising pillows and a comforter or quilt close at hand. This will ease and quicken the process of making the bed every night.
For a home office, style your trundle bed as a day bed with cushions and linens to match the palette of the rest of the room. To create a more formal or serious mood in this semi-work space,
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make sure to not have any elements of bedding around it that could give away clues that you’re in your bedroom during a work Zoom call!
To create a guest bedroom, consider a pull-up style trundle bed design and cover it with the bedding you’d use on your regular beds. With the best cotton sheets and comfiest quilts, you could make a guest bed as comfy as one in a five-star hotel! For additional space, and if you don’t have guests frequently, you could use the space in the trundle bed for storage, and swap it with an air mattress on the rare chance you have visitors.
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