An on-line statistical study of the pressure fluctuations in fluidized beds was conducted by using pressure transducers, a correlation and probability analyzer and a Fourier transform analyzer. The causes of the fluctuations were explored, and the effects of the gas velocity, bed height, particle size and distributor design on the major frequency and amplitude of the fluctuations were investigated. The results indicate that the motion of bubbles appears to be the major cause of the pressure fluctuations in the upper portion of a fluidized bed. In the lower portion, the combined effects of the formation of large bubbles in the middle portion of the bed, the formation of small bubbles near the distributor, and the jet flow immediately above the distributor appear to be the major causes of pressure fluctuations.