What Is a Pullman Bed On a Cruise Ship?

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Cruise ships have all types of interesting terms and unique features. A word you may commonly hear on a cruise ship is “Pullman bed.” But what is a Pullman bed on a cruise ship, and how do they work?

In this article, you’ll learn what a Pullman bed is, why you might consider a cabin with one, and everything else you need to know about this type of bed.

What Is a Pullman Bed on a Cruise Ship?

A Pullman bed is a bed that either pulls down from the ceiling or comes out from the wall of a cruise ship cabin. 

A Pullman bed’s purpose isn’t to serve as a main bed in a cabin. Ideally, it’s meant to create extra space in a cruise ship cabin in the living area while allowing additional people to sleep in the room. When not in use, the Pullman bed swiftly folds back to where it came from – whether that be the wall or the ceiling – making your cabin feel bigger.

Pullman Bed on a Cruise
Pullman Bed on a Cruise (Photo Credit: M-Production / Shutterstock)

Choosing a cabin with a Pullman bed instead of an additional bed is generally a cheaper option, especially if you have young children or teenagers who would be sleeping on the Pullman bed.

Now that you know what a Pullman bed on a cruise ship is, are you wondering how the Pullman bed came to be? Let’s walk through a brief history lesson.

Pullman Bed History

The Pullman bed was invented by inventor George Pullman in the 19th century. Pullman beds were initially designed to solve the problem of cramped, uncomfortable sleeping quarters in the railway systems at the time. 

As a result, Pullman unveiled the Pullman sleeper – a “luxurious” alternative to cramped sleeping quarters on transportation. This invention became a huge success and continues to be used today in cruise ships.

How Do You Set up a Pullman Bed?

Pullman beds are generally not very easy to set up yourself, especially if they drop from the ceiling, as there’s often a ladder involved. 

You’ll need the help of a cabin steward to lift it in and out. A cabin steward usually takes over this role entirely, lowering it in the evening and raising it for you in the morning every day. They know how to ensure that the Pullman bed is secure and that the proper railings are in place to ensure the safety of the person sleeping on it. 

Who Can Sleep on a Pullman Bed?

Today, Pullman beds are often meant for families with children. However, it’s possible for adults to also sleep on a Pullman bed. They’re usually the length of a regular bed. A stateroom with a Pullman bed is an excellent alternative for a group of friends with a tight budget.

Sleeping on a Pullman Bed
Sleeping on a Pullman Bed

That said, they are often recommended for children because they have a weight limit. The weight limits vary based on cruise lines but are usually around 200 pounds. 

Generally, heavy people should refrain from sleeping on Pullman beds for safety reasons, and it’s essential to remember this when booking your cruise cabins. 

Pullman Bed Safety Concerns for Children

Although many families choose to let their children sleep on Pullman beds during their cruise, there are a few safety concerns that you must still look out for.

The main concern is guard rails, especially if you have young children. The guard rails on Pullman beds differ significantly, from high rails to ones that barely appear above the mattress. 

If your young child is prone to rolling and there’s a risk that they might fall off the bed, it’s a good idea to let someone else sleep on the Pullman bed. You can also ask for extra pillows or an extra guard rail, although not many ships may offer this option.

How Comfortable Are Pullman Beds?

For the most part, Pullman beds are just as comfortable as the other beds in your cruise cabin. They’re usually more comfortable than a sofa bed because they use actual mattresses.

Pullman Beds
Pullman Beds (Photo Credit: ER_09 / Shutterstock)

That said, it’s important to remember that Pullman beds are single beds, so you won’t have much space while you sleep. 

What’s more, Pullman beds that come out of the ceiling are generally pretty high and require a ladder to get on and off the bed. This makes these beds unsuitable for those with mobility issues.

If you get up multiple times a night, the bed could also cause problems for others trying to sleep in your cruise cabin, as the noise from the ladder may wake them. 

Wrap-Up: Using a Pullman Bed on a Cruise Ship

To recap, Pullman beds pull out of the ceiling or wall of a stateroom on a cruise ship. Children and adults alike can comfortably sleep on these beds, and they allow you to fit your entire family or party in one room.

Read Also: What to Expect in a Cruise Ship Porthole Cabin

Pullman beds are a great way to use space on cruise ships. Cabins with Pullman beds are generally a more affordable option, and the cabin steward raises and lowers the bed so that all you have to worry about is a good night’s rest. 

Hopefully, this article has answered more than “what is a Pullman bed on a cruise ship” and that you’ve discovered a new option for your next cruise!

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