What Is an Ottoman Bed

Ottoman beds are a modern equivalent to a divan base. They offer some great storage, usually more storage than a divan base. You access the storage by lifting up the whole top of the bed and mattress. It’s easier than it sounds, and if you haven’t seen an ottoman bed before you’re going to be impressed.

So what is an ottoman bed going to offer you that your existing bed doesn’t? Read on to discover everything you need to know. From choosing the the perfect ottoman bed, to understanding the mechanisms and different styles available.

Why Choose an Ottoman Bed over a Divan?

As mentioned above an ottoman bed is a more stylish way to combine a bed with under-bed storage. Take this example picture:

What Is an Ottoman Bed

The whole top of the bed lifts up with the support of an hydraulic system. So while in position it looks like a normal bed frame. You can have faux leather, suede, or any other finish. When lifted, you have access to the whole area under the bed for storage.

Divan beds have come along way in recent years and can also look stylish and modern. This picture shows a good example of a high-end divan bed frame.

Divan Base

You can see right away there are two main differences.

  • The draws do not give you as much storage as the ottoman bed
  • You need good access to both sides of the bed, or the one side if it only has draws on one side

The divan does come in two sections. This makes it a lot easier to deliver and carry up staircases. Which was one of the primary reasons they became very popular.

But now there are flat packed ottoman beds that are available in a wider range of styles and finishes. An ottoman bed is often a preferred choice. But it really comes down to what you prefer personally, and if you want side storage or top-lift storage.

How Do Ottoman Beds Work?

Ottoman beds had a solid frame as would any bed frame. The slatted base is also the same as you would expect to find on a solid frame. The difference is there is a mechanism to lift the mattress up.

The mechanism is either hydraulically powered so you can lift the heavy mattress with ease. Or a spring system, which is a little more difficult but still easy enough for anyone to do.

All you have to do is simply lift the mattress and place what ever you want under the bed in storage. Safely secure the bed back into position and there is no difference to sleeping on a normal bed frame.

How Does the Ottoman Bed Mechanism Work?

white gas ottoman bed

The first thing people always ask is, ‘how heavy are ottoman beds to lift up’? The answer is not heavy at all, they are assisted with hydraulics or springs to make your life easy.

If you have a choice between the two types I always recommend buying a bed with the hydraulic lifting mechanism. It’s easier and lighter then the sprung version. Just because you’re strong it doesn’t mean everyone in your family are.

Make sure you buy a bed with a locking mechanism too. This means that when you have the mattress in an upright position it will lock in place. So you can safely move around under the bed and not worry about it closing on you. A great safety feature if you have children, but essential in my opinion.

The mattress will also slowly return to the resting position. It will not just fall down and potentially be damaged. So put aside any worries or ideas you had about these beds being difficult to use. Ottoman beds are incredibly easy and convenient to use.

Choosing the Best Ottoman Bed for You

When it comes to choosing the best ottoman bed for you and your needs there are a few things to take into account. Here are the main considerations:

Choosing the Right Size Ottoman Bed

Ottoman beds are available in all the standard UK sizes. So choose a size is not any different choosing a normal bed frame. All the standard mattress sizes and types apply too. So you can use an existing mattress or find a new one to match the size of bed you’re buying.

Finding the Right Amount of Storage

ottoman bed wooden frame

Because the primary reason for buying an ottoman bed is to make use of the storage you should have a good idea of how much storage you need. There will be a different amount of storage depending on the design of the frame.

Depending on the space you have there is a lot of choice on the market. You will find a style to suit your bedroom decor and personal style. Remember to always double check the bed will fit into your room comfortably before buying it.

How to Care for and Look after Your Ottoman Bed

If you are buying a quality bed you can expect the frame to last at least 10 years. You do need to do your part and take good care of the bed, but this is very easy to do.

Depending on the finish of the frame you will need to keep it clean and protected. If you have a leather or faux leather finish you should keep it free from stains and scratches. Leather wipes and sprays are recommended to keep leather smelling and looking like new.Ottoman bed leather cleaner

The mechanism may need a little oil over time. If it because squeaky or tight when opening up the bed a quick spray of WD40 or a similar lubricant will get it back to smooth working order.

Most ottoman beds come with slats across the base to hold and support the mattress. If any of these break you should order a replacement from the manufacturer as soon as possible. Having slats out puts more pressure on the others.

Some mattresses require turning. Check the label on the end of the bed or contact the manufacturer to understand how often you need to turn your mattress over. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines closely, this will ensure you get the maximum life from the mattress.

Never try to drag your bed if you want to move it. This puts pressure on the frame and can cause the legs to snap or the frame to twist and bend. The mechanisms in an ottoman bed are designed to fit and move to an exact specification. Putting any force or pressure on the bed can compromise this.

Ottoman Bed Precautions and Safety Advice

Lifting up the bed and mattress can potentially be dangerous if you don’t use due care and attention. They are very safe beds and I have never heard of anyone injuring themselves, but you still need to be cautious.

Choosing a model with a locking mechanism that keeps the mattress in place when lifted is a must. This ensures there is no chance of the bed dropping down and hurting anyone. The hydraulic lifting models are designed to drop slowly into place so you do not trap your fingers.

Always lift the mechanism up fully when placing and taking something from under the bed. Don’t try to just lift it a little and slip your hand in. By keeping all of this in mind you will not experience any problems. Ottoman beds are designed to be safe and user-friendly.