How to Make a Trundle Bed

Creating a trundle bed is a fantastic DIY project that saves space and provides an extra sleeping area perfect for guests or children. Trundle beds are designed to tuck neatly beneath a standard bed, rolling out on casters or wheels for convenient use.

How to Make a Trundle Bed

The primary advantage of knowing how to make a trundle bed is the ability to customize it to fit your specific space and style requirements. Choosing the right materials and tools is crucial for the durability and functionality of the bed.

This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of building a trundle bed, from planning and preparation to the final installation. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, this project is an excellent opportunity to enhance your woodworking skills while creating a versatile piece of furniture for your home.

Planning and Preparation

The first step in constructing your trundle bed is thorough planning and preparation. This phase is critical for ensuring that your project runs smoothly and results in a product that meets your needs and fits seamlessly into your space.

A. Assessing Space: Measure the Available Space and Determine the Size of the Trundle Bed

Begin by measuring the space where the trundle bed will go, paying close attention to the height available under the main bed. This measurement is crucial as it dictates the maximum height of the trundle bed, ensuring it can be stowed away easily.

Consider the length and width of the mattress you plan to use on the trundle bed, and add a few inches on all sides for the frame dimensions. Clearances for ease of pulling out the trundle should also be factored into your measurements.

Pulling Out the Trundle Should Also Be Factored

B. Design Considerations: Choose a Design that Fits Your Aesthetic Preferences and Functional Needs

The design of your trundle bed should complement the existing décor of the room and the main bed under which it will be stored. Decide whether you want a simple, minimalist design or something more ornate. Also, consider the functional aspects, such as whether the trundle will double as a storage drawer when not in use as a bed and how easily it can be transitioned between the two functions.

C. Gathering Materials: Purchase the Necessary Wood, Hardware, and Tools for the Project

Once you have your measurements and design in mind, compile a list of materials and tools needed for the project. Select the type of wood based on durability, cost, and finish preference. Common choices include plywood for its affordability and hardwoods like oak or maple for their strength and aesthetic appeal.

You will also need hardware such as screws, nails, drawer slides (if opting for a rolling trundle), and perhaps wheels or casters. Ensure you have all the required tools, including a saw, drill, screwdriver, measuring tape, and sandpaper, to avoid any mid-project hiccups.

How to Make a Trundle Bed: Building the Trundle Frame

Building the frame is a pivotal step in creating your trundle bed. This section involves cutting wood, assembling the frame, and adding slats for mattress support.

A. Cutting Wood

Using a Saw to Cut the Wood Pieces

Begin by using a saw to cut the wood pieces to the required dimensions for your trundle frame. Refer to your planning phase to ensure all pieces match the desired size and shape. For precision cuts, mark your measurements on the wood before sawing, and consider using a miter saw or circular saw for straight, clean cuts. Safety is paramount, so always wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves when operating power tools.

B. Assembling Frame

Once all wood pieces are cut to size, it’s time to assemble the frame according to your design plan. Layout the pieces to form the frame structure, ensuring everything aligns properly.

Using screws or nails, secure the pieces together to form a sturdy frame. If your design includes a back panel or additional supports, attach these now to add strength and stability to the frame. It’s advisable to use a power drill for screws to ensure tight, secure fittings that won’t loosen over time.

C. Adding Slats

The final step in building the trundle frame involves installing slats across the frame. These slats will support the mattress, so they need to be evenly spaced and securely attached. Measure the internal width of your frame to determine the spacing between each slat.

Installing Slats Across the Frame

A good rule of thumb is to space them 2-3 inches apart, providing ample support without too much rigidity. Using screws, attach each slat firmly to the frame sides, ensuring they’re level and flush with the top edge of the frame.

This phase establishes the foundation of your trundle bed and ensures it has the necessary strength and support for a comfortable, durable sleeping solution.

How to Make a Trundle Bed: Building the Trundle Drawer

Constructing a functional trundle drawer is the next critical step in creating your trundle bed. This component not only serves as the base for the mattress but can also offer additional storage space when needed. Proper execution of this phase guarantees a smooth operation and enhances the overall utility of the trundle bed.

A. Constructing Drawer Box

Cut the wood to the precise measurements required for the drawer box. Use a table or circular saw to ensure the cuts are clean and straight, contributing to a more stable structure. When assembling the pieces, apply wood glue along the edges before securing them with screws.

It is important to check that the corners are square to maintain a uniform shape. A right-angle clamp can be invaluable in holding the pieces together while you work. This approach ensures a robust, durable drawer box that can withstand regular use.

B. Installing Drawer Slides

Trundle Drawer Largely Depends on the Smooth

The functionality of your trundle drawer largely depends on the smooth operation of the drawer slides. Select high-quality slides that can support the weight of the mattress and occupant without failure.

Begin by attaching the slides to the sides of the drawer box, ensuring they are perfectly aligned and level. Next, install the corresponding pieces of the drawer slides inside the trundle frame. Precision is key in this step, as misalignment can lead to a drawer that sticks or operates inefficiently. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct installation of the slides.

C. Adding Front Panel

The final step in constructing your trundle drawer involves attaching a front panel. This panel not only completes the aesthetic of the trundle bed but also provides a method for concealing the mattress and bedding when not in use. If you wish the panel to be operable, consider attaching it with hinges. This feature can make accessing the bed or storage space easier and more convenient.

Choose a panel design that matches or complements the bed and room decor. Secure the panel to the drawer box using screws or bolts for a strong attachment. If using hinges, ensure they are of suitable strength and size to support the panel’s weight.

By meticulously following these steps, you will build a trundle drawer that is functional and a seamless addition to your living space. The ability to effortlessly transition from a storage solution to an extra sleeping area makes knowing how to make a trundle bed an invaluable skill for homeowners seeking to maximize their space.

Finishing Touches

Finalizing your trundle bed project involves a few crucial steps that will enhance its appearance and functionality. Paying attention to these finishing touches can transform a basic trundle bed into a polished piece of furniture that seamlessly integrates with your home decor.

Finalizing Your Trundle Bed Project

A. Sanding

Start by sanding every part of your trundle bed, focusing on smoothing out any rough edges or imperfections that could snag fabric or cause splinters. Begin with a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any major flaws quickly, and then transition to a finer grit for a smooth finish.

Ensure you sand along the wood grain to avoid scratches that could mar the bed’s appearance. This process is essential for aesthetics and prepares the surface for staining or painting, ensuring the finish adheres properly and looks even.

B. Staining or Painting

Once the wood is smooth and dust-free (using a damp cloth to wipe it down after sanding), you’re ready to stain or paint your trundle bed. Whether you choose a stain to highlight the natural beauty of the wood or paint to match your room’s color scheme, apply the finish with care.

Use even strokes and adhere to the recommended drying times between coats, essential for achieving a durable and attractive finish. If staining, consider applying a clear coat afterward to protect the wood and enhance the stain’s depth.

C. Adding Wheels (Optional)

For added functionality, consider attaching wheels or casters to the bottom of the trundle drawer. This addition makes pulling out or storing the trundle significantly easier, particularly on carpeted floors.

Select high-quality, heavy-duty casters to support the weight and ensure smooth operation. Mark the positions carefully, ensuring they are evenly spaced to provide balanced support. Drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood, then secure the casters with screws. Opt for lockable casters to prevent the bed from moving during use.

By meticulously following these finishing steps, your handmade trundle bed will look professional and serve as a versatile and practical addition to your home furnishings. This care in the final stages ensures your trundle bed will be appreciated and used for many years.

Installing the Trundle Bed

After diligently constructing and perfecting your trundle bed, the final step is installing it under the main bed frame. This phase is crucial for ensuring that your trundle bed functions seamlessly with the existing furnishings, offering an additional sleeping space without hindering the room’s aesthetics or functionality.

Your Trundle Bed Functions Seamlessly

A. Positioning

Carefully position the trundle bed underneath the main bed frame, ensuring proper alignment and clearance. This step is vital to guarantee that the trundle can be easily pulled out and stowed away as needed without obstruction. Pay close attention to the height and length to avoid any scraping or difficulty in movement. It’s important to leave enough space to comfortably deploy the bed when required without rearranging the room layout each time.

B. Testing

Once in position, thoroughly test the smoothness with which the trundle drawer opens and closes. This test is critical to ensure ease of use and identify any issues requiring adjustments. If the drawer feels stiff, check the slides’ alignment and ensure there are no obstructions.

Sometimes, minor tweaks to the drawer slides or sanding down areas that cause friction can substantially improve functionality. Testing should be repeated until the drawer operates smoothly without resistance.

C. Securing in Place

To prevent the trundle bed from moving or sliding out unintentionally when not in use, consider using brackets or latches to secure it in place. This step enhances safety and maintains the aesthetic integrity of your living space by ensuring that the trundle bed remains neatly tucked away.

Consider Using Brackets or Latches

Choose a strong securing method that is easy to disengage when you want to use the bed. This could involve installing brackets to the frame of the trundle or main bed or using latches that hook the trundle in place. Ensure that these fixtures are well-fitted and do not protrude in a manner that could cause injury or snagging.

By following these steps, you will have successfully installed a functional, practical, and aesthetically pleasing trundle bed ready to accommodate guests or offer a convenient storage solution, thereby maximizing the potential of your living space.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining your trundle bed is essential for ensuring its longevity and functionality. Following a few simple care routines, you can keep your trundle bed in top condition, making it a lasting addition to your home.

A. Regular Cleaning

To maintain the aesthetic and hygienic aspect of your trundle bed, it’s important to dust and vacuum it regularly. Accumulated dust can mar the bed’s appearance and exacerbate allergies for some individuals.

Use a soft cloth or duster to gently remove surface dust from all parts of the trundle bed, including the mattress area, frame, and underneath the bed. For more thorough cleaning, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove dust from hard-to-reach areas and in the corners. Regular cleaning helps to preserve the bed’s look and ensures a clean sleeping environment.

B. Lubrication

To ensure the smooth operation of the trundle drawer slides and casters, it’s important to periodically lubricate these moving parts. Use a suitable lubricant, such as silicone spray or graphite powder, and apply it sparingly to the slides and wheels.

This will help to reduce friction, prevent sticking, and make the bed easier to operate. Regular lubrication is especially important in maintaining the functionality of these components and avoiding any strain on the materials.

C. Inspections

Regular inspections of your trundle bed for signs of wear or damage are crucial for its upkeep. Check the frame, drawer slides, casters, and any securing mechanisms for signs of wear, loose components, or damage. Pay particular attention to the structural integrity of the frame and the smooth operation of the drawer and wheels.

Regular Inspections of Your Trundle Bed

If you find any issues, address them promptly by tightening loose fittings, replacing worn parts, or sanding and refinishing affected areas as necessary. Proactive care and timely repairs can prevent small issues from becoming major problems and extend the life of your trundle bed.

By adhering to these maintenance and care steps, you can enjoy the functional and aesthetic benefits of your trundle bed for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Convert Any Bed Into a Trundle Bed?

A: Converting a standard bed into a trundle bed is possible; however, it requires specific conditions, such as enough clearance under the main bed to accommodate a trundle unit. Additionally, you’ll need the necessary skills and tools to construct or modify the bed frame to ensure a secure and functional trundle.

Q: How Much Weight Can a Homemade Trundle Bed Support?

A: The weight capacity of a homemade trundle bed depends on the materials used and the construction quality. High-quality, solid wood frames with strong supports and appropriately rated casters can generally hold up to 250-300 pounds. It’s important to choose materials and design the bed with the anticipated weight load in mind.

Q: Is It Possible to Add Storage Options to A Trundle Bed?

A: Yes, a trundle bed can be designed with built-in storage options. This can include drawers or compartments within the trundle unit for storing bedding, pillows, or other items. Incorporating storage requires additional planning and construction but can significantly enhance the bed’s functionality.

Q: Can a Trundle Bed Be Used Daily?

A: Trundle beds are designed for occasional use, but with the right construction and a quality mattress, they can also be suitable for daily use. Ensure the trundle and main bed are well-maintained and constructed with durability in mind to withstand regular use.

By addressing these common inquiries, you can ensure that your trundle bed project meets your needs and expectations, providing a versatile and practical piece of furniture for your home.


In this guide, we walked through the detailed steps on how to make a trundle bed, showcasing the process from selecting materials to the final touches of installation and care. Starting with planning and material selection, moving through cutting, assembling, and finishing, and concluding with installation and care, each phase was designed to empower you with the knowledge to create a functional and space-saving piece of furniture.

The satisfaction derived from building your own trundle bed cannot be overstated. Not only does it provide a practical solution to accommodation needs, but it also adds a personal touch to your home décor. This project exemplifies how a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease can transform simple materials into a stylish and utilitarian piece.

We encourage you to take what you’ve learned here and customize the design to suit your specific needs and preferences. Whether you opt for unique paint colors, decorative drawer handles, or innovative locking mechanisms, your DIY trundle bed can be as unique as you are. Enjoy the process, and revel in the satisfaction of creating something both beautiful and functional.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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