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What Is an Ottoman Bed?

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 8 minutes

  • Ottoman beds originated from the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century, inspired by the tradition of incorporating hidden storage compartments into furniture to maximize space.
  • Ottoman beds offer versatile style options, with various designs such as side lifts, end lifts, half lift mechanisms, upholstered divans, and exposed wood frames to complement different bedroom decors.
  • Ottoman beds typically come in standard sizes, including single, double, king-size, and super king-size, offering ample storage space while catering to various bedroom requirements.

An ottoman bed is a stylish and functional piece of furniture that seamlessly combines a comfortable sleeping space with convenient storage. With a lift-up storage compartment beneath the mattress, ottoman beds provide a discreet and spacious solution for decluttering your bedroom. Inspired by the hidden storage compartments in the Ottoman Empire, these beds offer a versatile and aesthetically pleasing option for maximizing space in your home.

What is an Ottoman Bed?

An ottoman bed is a bed type that combines comfort with ample storage space. Its innovative design, which incorporates gas-lift hydraulics, sets it apart from traditional bed frames. These hydraulics lift the bed’s base, revealing a spacious storage area underneath. Ottoman beds are available in various sizes, including single, double, king-size, and even super king-size, making them suitable for any bedroom.

Origins of Ottoman Beds

Ottoman beds originated from the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. During this time, furniture often incorporated hidden storage compartments to maximize space and maintain a tidy living environment. Inspired by this tradition, the ottoman bed design has withstood the test of time and continues to provide both form and function in contemporary furniture. Today, ottoman beds come in various sizes, colors, lifts, and materials, enabling you to find the perfect match for your bedroom decor. 

Benefits of an Ottoman Bed

An Ottoman bed offers several benefits, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. Here are some key advantages:

Maximizing Bedroom Storage

One of the key advantages of an ottoman bed is its ability to maximize storage capacity. The entire area underneath the mattress can store various items, such as bedding, towels, linens, and seasonal or occasional-use items. Keeping your belongings neatly stored away can create a clutter-free environment, and enjoy a peaceful sanctuary in your bedroom.

Ideal for Small Spaces

In today’s compact living spaces, ottoman beds have become increasingly popular. Their design allows for efficient use of space, as they open from the foot end or one side. This makes them practical for bedrooms with limited space or unconventional layouts. Whether you have a small apartment, a guest room, or a loft room, an ottoman bed can help you optimize your storage without compromising comfort.

Versatile Style Options

Ottoman beds are available in many colors, fabrics, and styles, making it easy to find one that complements your bedroom decor. Whether you like bold statement pieces or timeless designs, an ottoman bed can fit any preference. You can choose from various opening options, including full ottoman and half ottoman beds, which combine the convenience of drawers with the spaciousness of ottoman storage.

Different Types of Ottoman Beds

Ottoman beds come in various designs to suit individual needs and preferences. The different types of ottoman beds include side lifts, end lifts, half lift mechanisms, upholstered divans, and exposed wood frames.

Side lift ottoman beds have the hinged top attached to one long side, allowing easy lifting of that side and the mattress to clear the base compartment below. This style is ideal for rooms where access to the foot of the bed is restricted. Side lift ottoman beds can be placed against a wall or anywhere in the room.

End lift ottoman beds, on the other hand, have the top hinged at the foot of the bed. The mattress lifts from the end upwards, providing easy access to the storage compartment. End lift ottoman beds usually offer greater storage capacity than side lift ones and are suitable for rooms where foot-of-bed access is desired.

Half-lift ottoman beds open only halfway up at the foot of the bed, allowing for partial access to the storage compartment without fully clearing it. Some models may also incorporate partial drawers, providing additional storage options.

Regarding construction, ottoman beds can be upholstered divans or exposed wood frames. Upholstered divans feature padded headboards and footboards, creating a cohesive and luxurious look that complements various bedroom sets. Exposed wood frames showcase visible joinery and can be made from different types of wood, adding a touch of natural elegance to your bedroom.

Ottoman Bed Buying Considerations

When you’re looking to buy an ottoman bed, it’s important to consider several factors to make sure you choose the right one. These considerations include the lift mechanism, noise level, weight capacity, safety features, mattress compatibility, and overall construction quality.

The lift mechanism of an ottoman bed is a crucial consideration. It should be tailored to the bed size and weight capacity, ensuring smooth and secure operation. Gas springs or dampened pistons should lift the mattress vertically and lock it open securely, allowing easy access to the storage compartment. Adjustable safety stops can prevent accidental closing and ensure user safety.

Noise level is another important factor to consider. Properly aligned and lubricated pistons operate quietly, minimizing any disturbance during bed operation. However, wood parts may produce slight creaking sounds under shifting weight. Choosing a mattress with pocket springs can help muffle noises caused by mattress movement. Regular maintenance can further reduce contact noises.

Safety is paramount when selecting an ottoman bed. Look for a slow and controlled lift and close mechanism to prevent sudden crashes and potential injuries. Straps or handles can provide a secure grip and prevent finger pinches. However, it’s essential to keep hands and limbs clear during bed operation, as some models close midway before finishing the final distance more rapidly. Ensure that pets or small children do not climb into the storage compartment when it is open.

Consider the type of mattress that pairs well with an ottoman bed. Softer foam mattresses may lack inherent structure and rely on the base below for support. Innerspring or latex mattresses are better suited for ottoman beds due to their inherent support and durability. Ensure that the mattress is of adequate thickness to provide comfort and prevent the transfer of impact through the bed frame.

Overall, construction quality is vital for the longevity and durability of an ottoman bed. Opt for beds made from high-quality materials and sturdy construction techniques. Check for any warranty or guarantee the manufacturer offers to ensure you are purchasing a reliable product.

Ottoman Bed Frame vs. Divan Bed: What’s the Difference?

While ottoman bed frames and divan beds offer built-in storage options, there are a few key distinctions between the two.

Storage Options

Ottoman bed frames provide a full under-bed storage area, whereas divan beds offer more versatile storage options. With divan beds, you can choose between drawers, ottoman storage, or a combination. This flexibility allows you to personalize your storage according to your individual needs and preferences.

Mattress Options

Ottoman bed frames and divan beds are usually sold without mattresses, allowing you to select the perfect mattress separately. However, it’s essential to consider the weight of the mattress when choosing an ottoman bed. While most mattresses are suitable for ottoman beds, heavier mattresses may not be compatible with the lifting mechanism. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to seek expert advice.


Ottoman bed frames typically come with sprung slats that provide gentle support and enhance mattress longevity. These curved slats offer flexibility and work harmoniously with your mattress for optimal comfort. In contrast, divan beds feature a platform top base, which offers a firmer and more supportive surface.

Space Required

The bedroom’s Ottoman beds require minimal space, as the storage compartment is accessed from above rather than the sides. On the other hand, divan beds are usually more compact than bed frames since their dimensions align with standard mattress sizes.

Available Sizes of Ottoman Beds

Ottoman beds are available in various sizes to suit various bedroom requirements. Whether you need a single ottoman bed for a child’s room or a spacious, super king-size one for a master bedroom, you can find the perfect fit. Common sizes include single, double, king-size, and super king-size, offering ample storage space and comfort.

Do Ottoman Beds Come with a Headboard?

Many ottoman beds come with a matching headboard, offering a cohesive and stylish look. However, it’s important to double-check the product details to confirm whether a headboard is included. If you prefer to customize your bed further, separate headboards are also available, allowing you to create a unique and personalized bedroom aesthetic.

Storage Weight Restrictions within Ottoman Beds

Ottoman beds are designed to be robust and sturdy, offering greater storage capacity and weight load compared to most storage beds. However, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the maximum weight in the storage compartment. Adhering to these guidelines ensures you don’t overload the bed and maintain its structural integrity. Some ottoman beds feature a fabric base storage area, which distributes the weight evenly across the floor, providing additional peace of mind.

Assembly of Ottoman Beds

Assembling an ottoman bed is a relatively straightforward process. The level of assembly required may vary depending on the specific model chosen. It’s always the best idea to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Before starting the assembly, gather all the necessary tools and ensure you have enough space to work comfortably. Building the bed in the intended room is advisable to minimize the need for moving it once assembled. Remember to tighten the bolts and screws securely after assembly to ensure the bed’s stability.

Weight Capacity of Ottoman Beds

Thanks to their sturdy construction, Ottoman beds are designed to handle substantial weight loads. However, adhering to the manufacturer’s weight recommendations is essential to avoid exceeding the bed’s capacity. While ottoman beds can accommodate a wide range of items, it’s important to distribute the weight evenly and avoid overloading the storage compartment. If you have any concerns or questions about weight restrictions, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer or retailer for clarification.


What is the purpose of an Ottoman bed?

An ottoman bed serves the dual purpose of providing a comfortable sleeping space and offering valuable storage solutions. The lift-up mechanism lets the mattress base easily lift, revealing a spacious storage compartment underneath. This under-bed storage is ideal for stashing bedding, seasonal items, or other belongings, maximizing the space in a bedroom.

What are the disadvantages of Ottoman beds?

While ottoman beds offer convenient storage, there are some potential disadvantages. The weight of the mattress and the effort required to lift it may be challenging for individuals with physical limitations. Additionally, the storage compartment may have a weight limit, restricting the amount of items you can store. Ottoman beds may also be more complex to assemble than traditional bed frames.

Can you put a normal mattress on an Ottoman bed?

Yes, you can use a standard mattress on an ottoman bed. Ottoman beds are designed to accommodate standard mattress sizes. Whether it’s a memory foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattress, as long as it corresponds to the bed’s dimensions and weight limits, it can be placed on the ottoman bed frame.

Do Ottoman beds stay down without a mattress?

Yes, ottoman beds are designed to stay down without a mattress when in the closed position. The hydraulic lift system includes a lock mechanism that keeps the bed closed. This ensures safety and stability when accessing the under-bed storage or when the bed is not in use.

Are Ottoman beds okay for heavy people?

Ottoman beds can be suitable for heavy individuals, but it’s essential to consider the weight capacity limits specified by the manufacturer. The hydraulic lift system and overall structural integrity of the bed should be able to support the combined weight of the mattress and the sleeper(s). Checking the weight capacity and choosing a bed frame that meets the required specifications is crucial to ensure durability and safety for heavier individuals.

What is a side-opening ottoman bed?

A side-opening ottoman bed is a type of storage bed that features a hinge mechanism on one side, allowing you to lift the mattress and access the storage space underneath. This design is ideal for bedrooms with limited space as it provides convenient storage without the need for additional furniture.

How much storage space is underneath an ottoman bed?

The storage space underneath an ottoman bed can depend on the design and size of the bed. However, most ottoman beds offer significant storage space, with enough room to store bedding, clothes, shoes, or other items.

Are ottoman divan beds the same as ottoman beds?

While both ottoman divan beds and ottoman beds offer storage space underneath the mattress, there are some differences between the two. Ottoman divan beds typically feature a solid base with a hinged top that reveals the storage space, while ottoman beds lift the mattress to access the storage area.


Ottoman beds offer a stylish and practical solution for maximizing space in your bedroom. With their hidden storage compartments and sleek design, these beds seamlessly blend style with functionality. The abundant storage capacity, easy accessibility, and streamlined appearance of ottoman beds make them popular for modern bedrooms. When considering an ottoman bed, consider factors such as the lift mechanism, noise level, weight capacity, safety features, mattress compatibility, and construction quality. Choosing a top-notch ottoman bed that suits your requirements allows you to enjoy a tidy bedroom and easy access to stored items.

Investing in an ottoman bed allows you to reclaim your bedroom space while adding a touch of elegance and practicality to your decor. Whether you opt for a side lift, end lift, or half lift mechanism or choose an upholstered divan or exposed wood frame, an ottoman bed promises years of reliable service and a versatile storage solution. Remember, an ottoman bed is more than just a place to sleep—it’s a multifunctional piece of furniture that enhances your bedroom’s overall functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Christine Lapp is a full-time graduate student and part-time freelancer for Sleep Junkie. Since she was a little girl on the soccer field, Christine has had a love for sports, and she believes everybody should get up and get moving once a day. Now, she incorporates her love for exercise into her studies, pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Christine understands that what you do during your waking hours has a direct impact on your night’s sleep. In our better sleep guides, she offers advice for developing healthy daytime habits to nurture a more peaceful slumber.

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