Ottoman Beds

With many of us now moving out of spacious houses and into cramped city apartments, functionality has become as important as aesthetics when it comes to choosing our furniture. One such example is the Ottoman bed, which accommodates a compartment beneath its mattress in which you can safely store things away in lieu of a wardrobe or chest of drawers. Here's everything you need to know.



As above, the idea behind an Ottoman bed is fairly straightforward. Instead of buying a bed and a separate storage unit, you're combining two pieces of furniture into one, givnig yourself somewhere to sleep and somewhere you can keep (for example) all of your clothes.

Beds of this kind are a common sight in children's bedrooms, but Ottomans differ slightly from the standard design in that, instead of having a draw that pulls out or a sliding door that opens the bottom, the mattress opens upwards. This means you can fit them into even the tiniest bedroom and still access your things without having to rearrange your floot layout.

Worried about the difficulty of pulling the mattress up? Don't be. Ottoman beds use a special type of hinge that pops up with a small amount of force, and then gently drops back down again once you're finished rummaging about in its belly. People of all sizes should have little trouble getting inside.

A final point is that, compared to many other bed-based storage options, the Ottoman bed is much less of an eyesore. The compartment beneath is completely undetectable to anyone who doesn't know about it, and you can dress it with whatever upholstery and headboard you want.

Design options

The standard Ottoman bed design doesn't allow for too many design options, but there are a few different things to consider when it comes to deciding which one to buy. The most obvious is these is the space and layout of your bedroom.

Whilst Ottomans don't require a large amount of room around your bed, buying one that opens from the side is a bad idea if you plan to prop it up against the wall, as there won't be anywhere for you to stand. In that case, you will need to find an Ottoman which opens from the front, i.e. like a car bonnet. This isn't the optimum solution, since unless you have six foot arms you will struggle to get things stored right at the very back of the storage unit - but you can always organise the contents carefully so that the most important items are at the front.

Another design option is to get an Ottoman bed which fits two separate compartments beneath the matress - one for you and one for your significant other - partitioned by a thin wall in the middle. This will help set clear spacial boundaries in terms of whose things get to go where they belong.

Memory foam mattresses are usually used with ottoman beds as they are quite light to lift. However,  open coil and pocket sprung mattresses work well with these types of beds as well. 

Shopping guide

All of the major bedding retailers in the UK will stock Ottomans of some description, including Dreams, Furniture Village, Carpet Right and Bed Star. You can also find them at all-purpose stores like Argos and Ikea. If you keep your aesthetic demands modest (that means resisting the urge for a luxury leather headboard), Ottomans can be purchased for as little as £150 to £200 - which is really no different from any other kind of bed.

More expensive options can hit the £500 to £700 range. As always, you'll want to measure your bedroom carefully and then go and see the bed in the flesh before buying. This will allow you to ensure everything fits and the quality of the material is strong and durable.

You may want to read about: Laminate Flooring