Day Bed Vs. Trundle Bed

A trundle bed is an attachment and cannot function without its counterpart, the day bed, although a day bed may function without a trundle bed. If you need an attractive option for an extra bed or two, then a day bed--with or without a trundle--is a practical solution. It won't take up too much space and it won't look like a bed unless someone is sleeping in it.

What are Day Beds?

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A day bed holds a twin mattress and is disguised to look like a couch. A day bed is typically surrounded on three sides with decorative panels. The two short ends each have a "headboard" and "foot board" that continue around the long backside so a person can lean back when sitting on it. The panels also help make the day bed more closely resemble a couch instead of a bed.

What are Trundle Beds?

A trundle bed is an optional addition to most day beds. It is simply an extra mattress that is hidden (and attached) beneath the day bed until a second bed is needed. For instance, in a child's room, the trundle bed is often pulled out when a friend sleeps over. The same concept applies when it is used in a guest room or an office to perform double duty as a couch and bed.

Types of Trundle Beds

There are two types of trundle beds: drawer or pop-up. The drawer trundle resembles a drawer built in to the lower part of the day bed. It pulls out and contains the second twin mattress, but it remains closer to the ground and can't be raised to the same level as the day bed. A pop-up trundle is tucked beneath the day bed, often on wheels, and pulls out when needed. It can be raised to form a large bed, or it can be left lowered.


A day bed is a practical space-saver, especially for people who don't have a dedicated guest room. Since day beds are set up to resemble couches, they can blend into any room, including a home office, living room basement or sunroom. A trundle bed is also a practical addition to a day bed because you have a hidden, extra bed at your fingertips that requires little effort to pull out (or up) for an unexpected overnight guest.


A day bed features a decorative frame that's usually wood, metal or a combination of the two. The frame can be open or closed, depending on the style of day bed. All day beds are designed to house a 39-by-75-inch twin mattress. A day bed may also contain a link spring, which is a metal grid with springs. It connects to the day bed's side panels to form a sturdy frame. It also supports the trundle bed. Some higher-end trundle beds, however, are supported by metal frames instead of a link spring.

About the Author

Tonya Goodspeed has written professionally since 2003 and specializes in articles on travel, weddings, invitations and home and garden topics. She also ghostwrites Web and blog content. She earned an English degree with a minor in French from the University of Virginia.