Ottoman beds are a style of bed, or rather base, which provide storage underneath your mattress. Ottoman bases feature gas lift struts which allow the mattress to be easily lifted up to access the storage space within the base itself.
They are perfect for people who are tight for space and aren’t able to have 4 drawers due to walls being in the way or bed side lockers. Ottomans provide great practical storage capacity as you can make use of the full amount of space under your mattress and it looks neat and tidy in the bedroom.
How do ottoman beds work?
Ottoman bed bases work by lifting up from the side of the bed or the bottom of the bed, depending on the style of ottoman. They work on the principles of gas struts, which take the weight of the mattress as they rise up to open and down to close. At the opening of the ottoman, there should be a strap which you lift up a little and then the gas struts take over the weight of your mattress. Due to the gas-lift hydraulic struts, they stop any sudden movements or crushing down of the struts and mattress onto the bed frame. They’re a super important element as they give a helping hand to lift the bed up as without these struts, you wouldn’t be able to lift the weight of the mattress on its own!
Gas-lift hydraulic ottoman beds mean:
- They are a lot safer as the speed of the lift is controlled
- When you lift it up, it stays up until you are ready to close it back down
- It requires minimal effort as the gas-lift allows for an easy assisted lift open and closed
Types of ottoman bed bases
There are a couple of different types of ottoman bed base, om this section we look at your options and the benefits of each.
Side opening Ottoman beds
Some bed companies offer side opening ottomans. These are ideal if you have a smaller room and can only open the bed from one side. For example, if there was a wall at the bottom of the bed. They work on the same principle of gas struts and offer the same amount of storage capacity as foot-end opening ottomans, but are an alternative option, based on the space you have in your bedroom.
Foot-end opening Ottoman beds
There are two types of foot-end opening ottoman beds.
- Foot opening
- Half opening
Half opening foot-end opening ottoman beds are the ideal compromise as they usually include drawers and ottoman storage. Full opening ottomans use the full size of the bed for full capacity storage.
What are the benefits of choosing an ottoman bed?
Ottoman beds traditionally offer more storage than standard divan beds with 4 drawer options. They are ideal for smaller spaces where 4 drawers would be restricted by bed side lockers for example, or simply a small room that is tight on space for storage furniture such as a chest of drawers.
Generally ottomans are used to store household items such as bedding, towels, boxes, shoes and clothing to name a few. However, with all furniture, there are common weight restrictions. We recommend against storing extremely heavy items as it may cause damage to the ottoman base.
How do I know if the ottoman is well made?
When searching for your new ottoman bed, there are a few things to look out for to ensure you get a good quality bed. Like mattresses and bed bases, retailers offer a huge variety of options, but it is important to look out for a high quality, sound construction method. Look inside the ottoman closely to ensure the construction method has solid joints, and avoid flimsy joints or any traces of chipboard glued together.
It is important that your ottoman bed is constructed to a high standard as it has to take the weight of a mattress which can range from between 40- 80kg. A poorly constructed ottoman bed can collapse quite quickly after purchasing so it is important to consider these features when purchasing:
- A solid platform top
- Fully upholstered
- 800-1000 newton gas struts
- Can withhold up to 85kg in mattress weight
- Stitch bond or Hessian backing underneath
- Solid wood platform top and veneered MDF base construction
What is the difference between an ottoman base and a divan base?
Ottoman bases and divan bases are similar in the sense that they both come with storage options and are generally available in a wide range of colours, depending on the retailer.
Ottoman bed base
Divan bed base
Ottoman storage only: Full opening storage capacity which offers the full capacity of the divan base or half opening storage capacity.
Drawers as storage options: usually 2 or 4 drawers available.
Room space required
Minimal space required as the ottoman lifts up from the foot end or the side of the base.
May require space for opening drawers. Important to be aware of bed side lockers at the side of the bed which may restrict opening.
We recommend a solid platform top for firm support.
Platform top for a firmer support.
Will the gas struts lift my mattress?
The gas struts are the most important element when purchasing an ottoman bed. Before purchasing, ensure that your current or new mattress is a suitable weight for the ottoman bed frame. This will ensure the gas struts can withhold the weight of your mattress when opening and closing. We recommend a maximum mattress weight of 85kg.
Retailers sell many different types of ottoman beds which can come with low quality and higher quality struts. Plastic struts should be avoided as they will not hold the weight of your mattress and there is a risk of safety as they are lightweight and may fall down when lifted up if the mattress is too heavy. Ensure you opt for gas struts which are sturdy and are secured with brackets on to the base. DFI recommend 800 – 1000 newton gas struts as they will be most secure and withhold a heavy weight.
Will my mattress slide off the ottoman base?
This is a common problem with a lot of cheaper ottoman beds. The material that they use is generally much lighter and non-stick. This means that once lifted, the mattress can slip as it is not secure which can ultimately cause damage to nearby furniture or crush the headboard on the bed.
DFI recommend ensuring that your ottoman bed is fitted with a non-slip cover to ensure your mattress stays in place.
Important tips to remember!
- If purchasing an ottoman bed ensure it can withhold the weight of your mattress (Usually up to 85kg).
- They provide discrete storage solutions for those who like neat and tidy storage.
- Ottomans can be heavy to lift before the gas struts take over the weight of the mattress.
- Perfect for those who are unable to opt for drawers in a divan base due to bedside lockers or walls getting in the way.