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The Ottoman Storage Bed Buying Guide

Want to know if an ottoman storage bed is right for you? Check out this nifty guide and learn everything you need to know.

The Ottoman Storage Bed Buying Guide

Ottoman beds are the answer to no storage and small bedroom households.

The ottomans popularity has skyrocketed due to the amount of storage they offer without taking up any extra space in your bedroom.

Just like everything in the mattress world, there is more to a product than meets the eye. Therefore, we have created this guide to inform you of everything there is to know about ottoman.

What is an Ottoman bed?

Let’s start with the basics.

An ottoman is a style of base, whereby the platform top (where the mattress sits) lifts, for greater storage space under the base than what a 4-draw divan would be. Therefore, the normal four draw divans aren’t performing as well as they use to regarding storage, as people still need room either side of the divan to open the draws.

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What are the benefits of an Ottoman base?

Here are just a few benefits of an Ottoman base:

  • Ottomans provide far more storage space than bedsteads, draw divans and platform top bases.
  • Great for smaller bedrooms
  • It is used to store bedding, towels, shoes, clothing and seasonal duvets.
  • Stylish
  • Affordable

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What to look out for when buying an Ottoman mattress base

Just like mattresses, you should be looking for high-quality finishings and sturdy construction methods.

This would include the fabric being piped, which has a much more beautiful finished and is higher-end, as well as the use of timber rather than chipboard. If you come across an ottoman, that has used glued together chipboard, nails or plastic tabs or flimsy joints then walk away. This is not a good quality ottoman.

Ottoman bedbases need to have a solid construction as they will be lifting weights between 40kg – 140kg, therefore if it’s poorly constructed, it will not stay open

How does an Ottoman bed base work?

Ottomans most commonly work, via gas struts.

Ottomans most commonly work, via gas struts. Gas struts carry the weight of the mattress on both sides when the base opens up and closes. Boots of a car also use this mechanism.

The gas struts allow for smooth transitions between opening and closing and avoid any sudden crashing down of the mattress lid. Ottomans that only have hinged bases and not gas struts should not be considered as they will be almost impossible to lift.

Ottoman bases are all platform top bases

Ottomans are not available in a sprung base option.

The reason for this is the weight restriction of the base. If you insist upon a sprung base, then we advise you to opt for a divan base with draws, as this will also provide you with the sprung base and the storage.

A sprung base provides a softer feel to the mattress and should be offered in all high-end retailers. The decision will be between a soft sprung base or the amazing storage of an ottoman. At Winston’s, we love both, so the choice is purely based on preference.

Understanding the components of Ottomans

The bed market is flooded by cheap imported beds which can be purchased at low prices.

However just because something is cheap, does not mean you have got yourself a good deal, it probably means you’ve got yourself a very basic bedbase which will only last a year or two without breaking and therefore you will have to buy another bed. This means that you will end up spending more on cheap bedbases as they will need to be replaced more frequently than you would if you purchased a good quality base in the first place.

Before purchasing your new base, make sure you’re aware of the construction method, for example, whether it is solid wood or chipboard. If the retailer is not willing to supply you with this information, then we would suggest not purchasing the bed off them and going to a retailer who is more transparent with their products. This is the only way of ensuring you’re getting the best value for your money.

Ottoman pistons and gas struts explained

When purchasing your ottoman, you need to know about the pistons or gas struts.

All gas struts and pistons have a different weight tolerance, and therefore you need to be aware of the weight tolerance of the bed you’re buying. Also, the quality of struts can vary massively. The way to spot the better-quality struts is by looking at the brackets used to join them together, the sturdier they look, the better.

Avoid plastic struts and spring hinges, as they will not be able to hold the weight of your mattress; effectively and therefore, they will break or not function properly.

How to find out if the gas struts will lift your mattress

When purchasing an ottoman, you need to know the weight of your mattress

This is because you need to find an ottoman with struts that will be able to support the weight of the mattress without closing by itself. At Winston’s, we display the weights of our mattresses on the item description, making your life easier when it comes to shopping for a new base.

Remember a cheaper ottoman base will struggle to lift the weight of a high end mattress. Therefore, we would advise that you opt for the better quality, slightly higher priced base, as it will not only work out cheaper in the long run but will supply you with the function of the ottoman for longer periods without fault.

How to Build an Ottoman Bed

Depending on what you’ve opted for, you may have to assemble the ottoman bed base yourself. Although this can seem like a daunting task on face value, it is actually a simple task anyone can do.

Making sure you have the right tools is essential. A hammer will be needed which you will have to provide. But in most cases, the rest of the necessary equipment can be found in the packaging when your new bed arrives.

Although there will be detailed instructions provided when the bed arrives, here is a broad overview of what to expect when assembling your ottoman bed frame:

  1. Remove all the packaging before you start
  2. Flip the bed and install the gliders underneath
  3. Push the bed’s pieces together and secure
  4. Install the headboard (differs depending on the style of headboard)

The above is just a basic take on what you’ll have to do. But, let’s be honest, it doesn’t look that difficult, does it?

How to Measure Your Rooms for an Ottoman Storage Bed

Before finalising a purchase, ensuring the bed will actually fit in your bedroom and with the mattress you currently have is very important.

The last thing you want to happen is for your mattress to be drooping over the side.

Most ottoman bed frames are suitable with any standard UK or Ireland mattress size. You can find all those sizes in our article here.

However, although you can use the standard mattress sizes as a guide, don’t use them to the exact measurements. The ottoman frame will be a little bigger than the mattress, so make sure to account for “wiggle” room for both length and width.

Frequently Asked Questions

At first, ottoman bed frames do require a higher level of strength to lift the base, however, over time this will lessen as the struts become used to the weight of the mattress and become more lubricated. Please bear in mind that all high quality mattresses such as the mattresses we offer at Winston's, do weigh a significant amount due to the high number of natural fillings in the mattress, especially super king and king sizes. Therefore, if the strength needed to open your ottoman is a concern for yourself, then we would suggest that you opt for a 2 or 4 draw divan base.
Another reason, not to buy a cheap bedbase, especially ottoman bedbases is because the covers are not non-stick, meaning your mattress is likely to slide. This can become even more of a challenge when it comes to lifting your ottoman, as the mattress could slide, either damaging the headboard or falling off the bed completely.

At Winston's, we only sell high quality bedbases. Our fabric ottoman beds are designed to the highest standards, with a non-slipcover, which will hold your mattress in place.
In theory, yes, ottomans can be used with zip and link mattresses. The only difference is that you would not join the two lids with a fixing bolt and you would clip the bases together, meaning both sides could be lifted by themselves, rather than together.
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Ottoman Guide Summary

Ottoman bedbases are an ideal solution for storage, especially in smaller bedrooms and apartments.

They provide a slick-looking base without draws, which some people find more appealing to the eye.

However, ottomans are not the right option for everyone. This is because they require a certain level of strength to open in order to access the storage space, in the first few weeks, which can be out of the question for the elderly or people that struggle with weight. Also, ottomans are not available with a sprung base.

Elderly people may benefit more from a divan bedbase, over an ottoman storage bed, due to the strength restrictions.

If purchasing an ottoman, make sure you look at the quality, and this will determine how well it will perform its function. When purchasing an ottoman, you need to know the weight of your mattress.

Ottomans are the slick, stylish option for lack of storage, and at Winston’s we highly recommend them.

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Published: 2nd November 2020 (Updated: 2nd September 2023) | Graham

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