Types of Folding Rollaway Beds


If sleeping space poses a problem for you when you have guests, consider what products on the market can meet that need. You have probably seen rollaway beds in hotel closets. Or maybe you have slept on one from time to time. The construction varies somewhat with different manufacturers, but the idea remains the same. The unit folds in half and rolls for easy storing when not in use. Some newer products on the market also provide a temporary bed but transform into furniture when not in use.


  • The standard rollaway uses either tubular or angle steel for its frame with slats, wire spring mesh or polypropylene for the deck that supports the mattress. The mattress can be innerspring or high-density foam. Width sizes come 30, 36, 39 and 48 inches. Height from the floor varies depending on the manufacturer with 23 inches being the highest.
    In addition to the standard rollaway, there is also the cabinet bed. This piece of furniture resembles a chest or armoire but houses the frame and mattress inside. Unlike the Murphy bed, the cabinet bed's mattress has to fold to store inside. It comes in twin, double and queen sizes. The cabinet has casters for easy maneuvering.
    One other type of rollaway is the ottoman bed. This bed has a metal frame much like the standard rollaway, except it folds in thirds to form an ottoman. It requires a slipcover to use in the ottoman mode. Others of this type have a frame that folds out of the ottoman "box." These behave more like cots than twin beds.

Standard Rollaway Features

  • Standard rollaways have differing characteristics in their construction. Some, such as the Hospitality Bed, claim a heavy-duty, double-braced frame, which uses angle steel for a quality, commercial-grade product. It uses 2-inch wheels rather than casters. It has a 5-inch innerspring mattress with a 280-lb. capacity. When folded out, it measures 23 inches from the floor. It comes in three sizes and an extra long version. Another manufacturer who makes LuxurGuest, claims a superior support deck because it features wooden slats instead of a wire spring mesh. It also adds an attached headboard and features adjustable head elevation. It claims that its seams are welded for durability.

Cabinet Bed Features

  • The Fu-Chest is one manufacturer of cabinet beds. Fu is for futon. The cabinets come in different styles and finishes. The sleeping platform folds down from the front panel and is supported by felt-covered extension runners. The bedding is a 6- to 8-inch futon mattress or an innerspring one.
    The company that manufactures Ultimate Hide-A-Bed uses a 5-inch innerspring mattress whose support frame features wooden slats. The cabinet sits on castors and must be turned around to access the bed. The front of the cabinet features what looks like drawers and doors, but they are nonfunctioning.


  • Keep several factors in mind when deciding which bed to buy. Is it mainly to be used by adults or children? Some have poundage restrictions. Some use foam mattresses and others, innerspring. Which is most comfortable to you? Do you have space to store the bed when not being used? The larger rollaways when folded are 46 to 48 inches tall and and 30 to 48 inches wide.
    The cabinet bed will need a permanent location that allows for expansion. Much of the cost of the unit is for the cabinet itself, not the bedding.
    The ottoman is small enough to fit almost anywhere but may not provide enough comfort for an adult. Prices vary widely between types.


  • The standard rollaway beds range in price from $150 to $579. That wide range mainly applies to the heft and durability of the frame and the quality of the mattress.
    The cabinet beds range from $639 to $1500 plus.
    An ottoman bed can run as little as $170.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Juhan Sonin
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