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A trundle bed is a compact bed frame and mattress that sits close to the ground, allowing a person to store it beneath the main bed. Due to the design, trundle beds typically require a thinner mattress.

A trundle bed is a low bed on rollers that a person can store underneath another bed. Trundle beds are a good option for people who require additional sleeping space but want extra floor space when the bed is not in use.

Trundle beds can fit beneath the following types of bed:

  • a traditional bed with an accompanying headboard and footboard
  • a bunk bed
  • a canopy bed
  • a day bed

To use the trundle bed, a person wheels the bed out from under the main bed.

Trundle beds are a space-saving solution to a traditional guest bed. They may also be suitable for children.

Trundle beds may work well in the following rooms:

  • guest bedrooms
  • children’s bedrooms
  • living rooms under day beds
  • studio apartments

Medical News Today’s methodology

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
  • Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness: MNT selects mattresses that are available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Before purchasing a mattress, a person should take the following measurements to ensure a suitable fit:

  • the length, width, and depth of the trundle bed frame
  • the maximum height of the mattress that will fit under the main bed

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for couples: eLUX Gel Memory Foam Mattress

  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes:
    • Twin
    • twin XL
    • full
    • queen
    • king
    • cal king
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Cost: Prices range from $899-1,299

The eLUX mattress is 10 in (25 cm) thick and contains a memory foam interior.

According to eLUX, this mattress features the following:

  • two layers of memory foam, with the first 3-in layer adjusting to a person’s body while they sleep
  • added pressure point relief
  • properties to help align a person’s spine
  • anti-slip base
  • CertiPUR-US certification, meaning it does not contain harmful or ozone-depleting chemicals
  • a 120-night trial

This mattress may be a suitable option for couples. The memory foam top adjusts to the body’s contours, which may help minimize movement across the mattress. This may reduce the likelihood of waking a sleeping partner when shifting positions.

Learn about the best mattresses for couples now.

Best with springs: Linenspa 10-inch Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress

  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes:
    • twin
    • full
    • full XL
    • queen
    • short queen
    • king
    • cal king
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Cost: Prices range from $192-453

This 10-inch (20-centimeter) medium-to-firm mattress features the following:

  • a durable innerspring base
  • a 1.5-inch (3.8 cm) memory foam pillow top for added comfort, with a quilted effect for a plush finish
  • tempered steel coils for added support
  • 10-year warranty
  • 30-day free trial

The company also ships this mattress rolled in a box for added convenience. The mattress is available in many sizes, with the twin-size version suitable for most trundle beds.

The combination of memory foam with steel coils makes this an ideal consideration for those purchasing a hybrid mattress.

Other heights are available.

Best for odors: Zinus 10-inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

  • Firmness: Medium-soft
  • Sizes:
    • Twin
    • full
    • queen
    • king
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Cost: Prices range from $118-350

This medium-to-soft mattress is 10 in (20 cm) thick and features three different layers of memory foam.

According to Zinus, the layers work together to contour a person’s body while sleeping, offering comfort and support..

The mattress also features the following:

  • green tea extract and purified charcoal to absorb odors and moisture, allowing the mattress to remain fresher for longer
  • a middle layer of porous material allowing for extra airflow
  • CertiPUR-US certification
  • free shipping
  • a 10-year warranty
  • a 100-night free trial

Learn about Zinus mattresses here.

Best thin mattress: Signature 6-inch Sleep Memoir Memory Foam Mattress

  • Firmness: Plush
  • Sizes:
    • twin
    • full
    • king
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Cost: Prices start from $185

According to the manufacturer, this memory foam mattress adapts to the contours of a person’s body during sleep, offering balanced support and comfort.

The memory foam recovers quickly, allowing it to maintain its shape for longer.

The mattress also features the following:

  • effective body weight distribution
  • reduced motion transfer across the mattress
  • improved spinal alignment.
  • a 10-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified memory foam

This is one of the thinnest mattress options, making it ideal for those with a main bed that is very low to the ground.

Best for hot sleepers: Lucid 10-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

  • Firmness: Medium
  • Sizes: Twin
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Cost: $220

The twin version of the Lucid-10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress works with some trundle beds.

The mattress features memory foam infused with gel. This advanced gel captures and dissipates heat, helping create a more comfortable sleeping environment.

The mattress also features a soft, breathable Tencel fabric for added comfort.

Other features include:

  • availability in a variety of firmness options
  • free shipping
  • delivery rolled up in a box for added convenience
  • a 10-year warranty

Learn about the best cooling mattresses here.

People looking to purchase a mattress for their trundle bed may want to consider the following before making a decision:

  • Materials: Some may prefer standard memory foam for its ability to contour and support the body while providing comfort. Others may want to invest in gel for cooling properties.
  • Firmness: Choosing a mattress that is too firm or soft can lead to uncomfortable sleep and potentially back pain. A person should ideally test the mattress in-store before purchasing it. When that is not possible, take advantage of sleep trials and free returns or exchanges.
  • Warranty: It is always better to choose a product from a company with a long warranty period. A trundle bed is more liable to wear than a standard bed, so a longer guarantee can offer greater peace of mind.
  • Cost: Certain factors may increase the cost of a mattress, including:
    • brand name
    • features
    • proprietary materials
    • after-sales customer service

Trundle beds are a suitable option for people who need a spare bed for guests.

However, a person may also wish to consider a few alternative guest bed options. Examples include:

  • a fold-out couch-bed
  • a futon
  • a Murphy bed or wall bed
  • a camping bed
  • an air mattress

Good quality sleep is important for a person’s health. Around 73% of adults in the United States report that they do not get sufficient sleep or rest every day. Choosing the right mattress can help improve a person’s sleep quality.

Because trundle beds need tucking away, they often require a thinner mattress than standard bed frames.

Good quality thin mattresses can be comfortable and supportive. However, some thinner versions may not adequately provide the back support that people need. This could result in lower back pain.

With this in mind, a person should choose a good-quality mattress.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about trundle mattresses and beds:

Are they suitable for long-term use?

Trundle beds are not suitable for long-term use. Due to their adjustable design, they are generally not as sturdy as a traditional bed and can sustain wear and tear over time.

However, trundle beds work well as temporary guest beds or in children’s bedrooms.

How thick should a trundle mattress be?

A thicker mattress construction may allow for more materials and layers, which could help to improve sleep quality. Examples include:

  • a more supportive memory foam layer
  • cooling or odor neutralizing materials
  • plush toppers for additional comfort

However, people should consider that a trundle mattress needs to fit beneath their main bed. As such, a person may opt for a thinner mattress so that they can put the bed away safely and with ease when not in use.

What kind of mattress do I need for a trundle bed?

When selecting a mattress for a trundle bed, a person can choose any mattress compatible with the bed frame that fits beneath the main bed.

People should consider that while most mattresses support a flat surface, some may not work on a bed with slats.

Can you use a foam mattress on a trundle bed?

A person can use a foam mattress on a trundle bed. However, people should consider the airflow in the room and around the bed. For example, a tradition foam mattress may retain moisture more than other options, so may not suit humid areas.

A trundle bed is a compact bed that sits low to the ground, allowing a person to store it beneath a standard bed. Trundle beds function as an additional bed for occasional use while saving floor space when not in use.

Due to their specific size and design, trundle beds require specific mattress types. Several good-quality mattresses are available for trundle beds.

Before purchasing a mattress for a trundle bed, people should check the specific dimensions of the bed frame and the maximum height of the mattress that can fit beneath the main bed. This will help ensure a suitable fit.