Buying a guest bed, Everything you need to know

I’m sure we’ve all had a guest call us up, with no notice, to ask for a bed for the night whilst they are in town.  What do you do if you only have a spare mattress for the floor or just the sofa?  In fact, according to Statista over 93,000 nights in 2018 were spent at a family member or friends house.

Invest in a guest bed and you will never have to deal with the embarrassment again.  For a small outlay, you can provide guests with a comfortable bed that does not eat into the daily space of your living accommodation.

So you are now in the market for a guest bed but not sure how to choose one to suit you.

This handy guide will give you everything you need to make an informed choice.

What are guest beds?

Guest beds normally comprise of the main bed and a secondary bed. The secondary bed is called a trundle bed, these slide out from underneath the main bed. Most guest beds are adaptable and act as an extension of the main bed.

There are other types of guest beds though, day beds for example function as a sofa but transform into a bed and some single beds fold away after use.

In all cases, guest beds are an excellent way for you to help you host visitors comfortably if space is at a premium.

Different types of guest beds

3-in-1 guest beds

A Three-in-one guest bed is a highly flexible choice.  These allow the bed, normally single size, to stay as the main bed and can extend the guest bed to become part of the main bed or can transform into two separate beds

Wood Frame guest beds

There is a wide range of wood frame guest beds which look at home in more traditional rooms.

As with other guest beds, you can transform them into two separate beds or bring the guest bed up to the main bed level, thereby doubling the sleeping area.

Metal guest beds

Contemporary décor or modern styling can be accommodated by choosing a metal guest bed.

Folding guest beds

For very occasional use folding guest beds are an asset.  After the guest has left they can be folded down and are very convenient if you do not have a spare bedroom.

Divan guest beds

Divan guest beds are incredibly practical. The guest bed rolls out on castors and so is easy to pull out and put away.  Some divan guest beds have legs that allow the guest bed to be raised to the level of the main bed.  These beds also give you more design options with colour choices and headboard options.

Pull-out guest beds

Pull-out guest beds are also known as “trundle beds”.  Trundle beds can be ready instantly as when you pull the bed out it is ready to use.

Day beds

Day beds are a cross between guest beds and sofas. Just as with a sofa bed, you can sit upright on them and they make an attractive piece of furniture in a spare room.  To convert to a bed just requires the mattress to be pulled out.  Unlike sofa beds which tend to have a sofa-like appearance a day bed normally comes with a headboard and footboard and therefore has a bed-like appearance.

 Things to look for when buying a guest bed?

As you will not be sleeping in the guest bed and it is for occasional use, you will need a different thought process to that of purchasing a permanent bed.

Points to consider when purchasing a guest bed:


Do you have sufficient space for a guest bed?  Your first task is to measure the room.  With the measurements taken you need to consider if you have enough space when the bed is pulled out for your guests to comfortably navigate around the room.  If you are considering a sofa bed, check there is sufficient space when the bed is both upright and folded out.


A key factor in choosing the right guest bed is how often it will be used.  If you expect to host for very occasional one-nighters, a foldaway bed might be the best option.  If you expect the stays to be longer, a day bed might be the better option.

You also need to take into account the room when you are not hosting guests.  If the room is to be used for family members sleeping over regularly, you might consider a more permanent style of guest bed, like a divan guest bed.

 Who will be using the bed?

Everyone has different needs. Consider the mobility of the guest.  If the bed is too high an older guest may have difficulty climbing in and out of the bed.  Older guests tend to use the bed as an aid whilst dressing or putting shoes on.  A particularly heavy or tall guest may not be overly comfortable on a fold away bed and would something more robust.  If you could be hosting a couple, consider a bed that can raise the guest bed to the level of the main bed for a more comfortable stay.

 A few final words

Guest beds are designed for short term use in mind.  If you are considering a bed for long term use, a standard bed would be a better option.  Guest beds are highly flexible and affordable ways to increase the sleeping capacity of your accommodation without encroaching on space.

Although they are used occasionally they still require being cared for.  Regular cleaning and checking the safety of any fold-out mechanisms should become part of the household regime.  You do not want an injured guest.

Visit our guest bed page to see our extensive range of quality guest beds or contact us if you require details of a particular bed.