Folding bed, trundle bed, sofa bed, chair bed, and murphy bed. Who knew guest beds came in so many varieties! If you’re in the market for a guest bed, you’ve noticed the huge array of options laid out before you. What do each of these mean, and are they right for your space?
A trundle bed looks like a twin bed, but can be opened up to accommodate two sleepers. When stowed, the two mattresses stack on top of each other and the secondary mattress (which is a little smaller) is completely hidden under the main mattress. Depending on the type of trundle bed, the secondary mattress can slide out like a drawer or can be unfolded next to the main mattress at the same height.
Trundle bed pros:
- 2 beds in the space of one
- Attractive daybed when not in use
- Some models come with under-bed storage so you can keep your guest room tidy
Trundle bed cons:
- Takes up as much space as a twin bed even when not in use
- Secondary bed must be smaller to fit under the main mattress, so it needs a specially-sized mattresses and sheets
A storage bed is a bed with built-in under bed storage. This can be drawers built into the bed frame, or in some cases, the entire mattress flips on a hinge to reveal storage underneath. These beds are useful if you have a dedicated guest room that you would also like to use for storage while keeping the room neat.
Storage bed pros:
- -There are many models so you can have a stylish bed frame that fits your decor
- Can create a lot of easily accessible storage
Storage bed cons:
- Takes up as much floor space as a real bed – not ideal if you also want to use your spare room as an office or hobby room
- Some types of storage bed need to be in the middle of the room in order for you to access all the drawers – this may be problematic in a small room with limited space
Roll Away / Folding Bed
Roll Away or folding beds are mattresses on a steel frame that fold in half and can be rolled from room to room. If you’ve ever had to add an extra bed to your hotel room, it was probably a folding bed. These portable guest beds allow you to convert any room in your house into a temporary guest room.
Roll away bed pros:
- Easy to roll from room to room
- Temporarily turns any room into a guest room
Roll away bed cons:
- This is a purely utilitarian piece of furniture – it’s not very attractive so this may not be right for the style-conscious household where you must hide it at the back of a closet
- Is only available in twin or full size – you would need one bed per guest
- Folds in half and is very bulky or clunky
Cabinet Bed / Mobile Bed
A cabinet or mobile bed is like a folding bed, except instead of a steel frame, the mattress folds into a wooden cabinet. Like the roll away bed, a cabinet bed can also be rolled into any room to make an instant guest room.
Mobile bed pros:
- Instantly turns any room into a guest room
- Mattress folds into an attractive cabinet that can be used as a side table or buffet – no need to take up closet or garage space for storage
- Comes in Twin and Queen sizes
Mobile bed cons:
- The chest is purely ornamental – you can’t put anything in it because there’s a mattress inside
Sofa Bed / Chair Bed
A sofa bed is a mattress that folds into couch. Once folded up, it looks and feels like a regular couch. Likewise, a chair bed is a smaller version of a sofa bed and opens to reveal or twin or full sized bed.
Sofa bed pros:
- One piece of furniture doubles as a couch and a guest bed
- The bed takes up much less space when not in use
Sofa bed cons:
- They tend to be bulky pieces of furniture to hold a mattress and limits your style options
- Not as comfortable as a normal couch or chair
Murphy Bed / Wallbed
A murphy bed or wallbed is bed that folds up vertically against a wall inside a cabinet. Unlike most other beds that fold out of the way, the mattress does not need to be bend or folded, eliminating lumps on the mattress. Depending on the type of murphy bed, there can be a desk, table or couch available when the bed is folded up.
Murphy bed pros:
- There are a wide range of styles, so you can find an attractive cabinet to fit your stile
- You can fold the bed up with the sheets, blankets and pillows in place – no need to make the bed each time you stow it
Murphy bed cons:
- Requires more of an investment than other guest bed options, especially if you want additional shelving next to your bed
- Professional installation recommended – a wallbed needs to be properly mounted to the wall for safety
We might be a little biased…but the Murphy Bed / Wallbed is our favorite option. We chose this for our business because it was the best choice for so many reasons. We sell them because we believe in them! However, every situation is unique and we invite you to our showroom to help you discover whether a murphy bed is or isn’t the right option for you.