Feeling a little hemmed in? We’re not surprised. According to statistics, the UK bedroom is shrinking in size. While the average master bedroom measured 15.34M² way back in the 1930s, these days your biggest bedroom is more likely to measure 13.37M²(i).
It might not look a lot on paper, but those couple of extra meters can make all the difference. Especially when you consider how we use our bedrooms now – as an office, workout space, a salon and as a place to catch the latest movies.
Similar research tells us that living rooms have shrunk even more, reducing in size by almost a third since the 1970s(ii). Which means that, with an increasing amount of stuff to pack into our shrinking homes, every inch of storage counts.
We think choosing a bed with built-in storage is a great way to maximise space. But what are your options? Which is the most practical type of storage bed? And how do you make best use of a bedframe with storage?
Why Choose a Bed Frame with Storage?
Most homeowners accrue an astounding number of belongings over the years, and our bedrooms tend to bear the brunt of this. With an increasing number of electrical devices per person, more clothes bought than ever before, plus more and more of us taking work and working out home with us, we could all do with more storage.
The problem of bedroom clutter
We’ve all heard the saying ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’. The very same goes for your bedroom. An untidy bedroom overflowing with disorganised belongings can make life hard, not to mention stressful.
Have you ever opened your eyes to a messy bedside table and immediately wanted to roll over and go back to sleep? Or made yourself late for work because you can’t find a matching pair of socks or your phone charger? Then you’ll know how important a little bit of organisation can be when it comes to your bedroom.
Not only does a cluttered bedroom make it difficult to get your day started, it can also have a negative impact on your mental health(iii). Studies show that people living in clutter experience higher levels of stress, lack focus and can often feel overstimulated. All of which, in turn, can make getting a restful night’s sleep a challenge.
Why storage is important in any bedroom
Good storage is vital for every bedroom in the house:
- Storage in the Master Bedroom: far too many of us find that the biggest bedroom in a home eventually becomes a dumping ground. For parents in particular, it’s important to have a sanctuary away from the stresses and strains of family life. Yet this is where you’re most likely to find unfinished projects, those books or games that have nowhere else to go or dust-collecting keepsakes that it’s difficult to say goodbye to. Good storage and a little organisation can go a long way to helping you to maintain much-needed breathing space.
- Storage in Kids Bedrooms: the older children get the more they accumulate. It’s also rare for kids of any age to be keen cleaners and tidiers. With toys, ever-larger clothing, devices and books to keep organised, clever storage in a kid’s room is a must. Not only will this help young ones to learn the value of good organisation, it’ll also help them to focus on homework when the time comes.
- Storage in Guest Bedrooms: if you’d rather guests make only flying visits (and who are we to judge?), a cluttered guest bedroom is the ideal solution. However, if you’d love your guests to feel warmly welcomed to your home, then making the spare bedroom double as a laundry room and general storage space is a real no-no. Smart guest room furniture like a small double bed with storage will not only make that extra bedroom a home away from home for your loved ones, it’ll also create a functional family space for year-round use.
Ottoman Beds for Spacious Storage
Edgemont Ottoman Wooden Bed Frame
One of our favourite bedroom storage solutions is the ottoman bed. Available in all sizes, these beds are designed with simple built-in storage and are an especially popular choice for master bedrooms. That said, a smaller single ottoman bed is a great space saver for guest bedrooms and children’s rooms.
What is an ottoman bed?
Based on the traditional ottoman or blanket box, an ottoman bed has cavernous storage built right into its base. The mattress and slats of an ottoman bed will lift up with a simple hinge or hydraulic mechanism to reveal a void underneath. This lovely deep space is all yours to squirrel away those belongings you need easy, but not necessarily daily, access to.
With no need for runners, ottoman beds tend to offer more internal storage space than divan beds with drawers. And because there’s no need to allow clearance for the pulling out of under bed boxes or drawers, ottoman beds are an ideal choice in rooms where there isn’t much space around a bed’s perimeter. The storage inside the bed is also more accessible for most people because it’s possible to reach in and grab what you’re after from two sides of the bed. Some beds, like the Anya wooden ottoman bed, even offer three open sides, making reaching in easier for shorter people.
How to use ottoman bed storage
One of the drawbacks of an ottoman bed is that it’s all too easy to use that huge space as a hidden dump. The interior of an ottoman bed, especially a larger king size or double ottoman bed, can become disorganised, making that item you need right this minute nearly impossible to find.
We like to keep things super-organised when it comes to ottoman bed storage. Think vacuum bags for out of season clothing or sturdy, labelled storage bags or boxes to keep belongings categorised and free of dust.
Many ottoman bed owners use them for the storage of spare bed linen and towels. One of our favourite tips is to roll towels for easy storage at one end of the bed, while keeping bed linen at the other end. To save space and prevent annoying digging, tuck a folded sheet and pillowcases inside a duvet cover before rolling or folding. This keeps bedding in easy to retrieve sets.
What can I store in an ottoman bed?
The question should really be what can’t you store in an ottoman bed? While popularly used for storing bedding and towels, the flexible space of an ottoman bed also makes it ideal for clothing, particularly large coats and bags.
Because most ottoman beds, like this Penelope upholstered grey ottoman bed frame (also available in ocean blue and navy), provide storage that more or less matches the length and width of the bed, even bulky items can be stored. This makes ottoman beds perfect for exercise equipment and unwieldy, difficult to pack away bits like rolls of wrapping paper, suitcases and even temporary furniture pieces like fold-down desks or blow-up beds.
Divan Beds: Storage and Convenience
Simply By Bensons Happy Divan Bed Set On Castors
The original storage bed, a divan bed with drawers makes the most of the space under your mattress. Perfect for children’s rooms, divan beds offer easy to access storage that requires minimal strength to open and close and with separate drawers, organisation is simple.
What is a divan bed?
First off, let’s put any confusion to bed. Not all divan beds are built with drawers. A divan is simply a closed-in bed base that sits on the floor with no need for legs. However, a great many divan beds are now designed with built-in drawers, like this Staples & Co Artisan Classic divan bed set.
Easy to assemble, upholstered divan beds come in a wide range of styles, from sumptuous velvet to fresh, airy linen. Simpler divans, meanwhile, make it easy to change up your bedroom look, matching effortlessly with a range of headboards.
One of the features that makes divan beds so popular, other than their capacity for storage, is the ability to add feet, legs or even gliders or castors. This gives owners the option to raise or lower the bed to their preferred height. And with a castor or glider on each corner, moving a bed around to switch up your bedroom configuration is almost effortless.
How to use divan bed storage
So how can you make the most of the storage a divan bed with drawers allows you? Again, organisation is key here:
- Keep the items you use most, like your favourite yoga mat or schoolbooks, at the very front of the drawers for easy access
- Items you don’t need to access regularly, like Christmas decorations or out of season duvets can be kept right in the back
- Categorise your drawers, keeping bedding and towels in one and knitwear in another. Or, for kids, art supplies go in the drawer on the left, games in the right
- Rolling soft items like towels, throws or duvet covers not only means they’ll take up less space, it can also make it easier to see what’s inside a drawer. This goes for the clothes in your chest of drawers too
What can I store in a divan bed?
The drawers in a divan bed are an obvious spot for spare bedding and duvets, however we use our under bed drawer storage for much more than that.
Low to the ground, divan drawers are a great spot for kids’ gear. Use open Tupperware boxes for organising Lego into colours or sets, or for parking cars and even organising away crayons. This is a great way to help small children recognise words and colours while encouraging them to help with the important job of tidying.
And because they’re easily accessed, with no need to mess up bed covers or drag out boxes, these drawers are a suitable choice for things you’ll need to regularly get hold of, like clothes, laptops or the equipment you need for hobbies like photography, art or sewing.
Under bed Storage for Every Bedroom
Stompa Auburn Wooden Midsleeper
While ottoman beds and divan beds with drawers really maximise the space available inside a bedframe, for some of us they’re not a preferred choice. Some rooms really need a bedframe with legs to suit their decorative scheme – think period inspired rooms for which a cast iron frame is the perfect finishing touch. And some people simply don’t like the look of a flat to the floor bed.
All about under bed storage
There’s no two ways about it, storing stuff under your bed can look messy. Not only that but it’s a real dust trap under there. That’s why when it comes to under bed storage we love a lidded box, especially one that can be wiped clean with a duster. And if it’s on wheels for easy manoeuvring? Even better.
An under bed box doesn’t have to be boring plastic either. There are lovely zippered fabric boxes and bags out there and colourful hat boxes make a stylish alternative to grey rectangles. Repurposing flat pack furniture or vintage drawers is also a smart idea. The internet’s full of great hacks which show that under bed storage doesn’t have to be boring, so go forth and create!
Alternative kids’ beds with storage space
If a divan or ottoman bed just isn’t fun enough for your little one, there are loads of options out there to help you maximise storage, even in a small room. Loft beds are an increasingly fashionable choice amongst teens, giving them space underneath their sleeping platform for storage (a large chest of drawers can fit perfectly) or to create a cool den space for lounging with mates.
Smaller kids can enjoy all the fun of a loft bed without the vertiginous climb by opting for a midsleeper like the Stompa Auburn, with its built-in desk, bookshelf and three drawer storage. The Julian Bowen Saturn midsleeper single bed with storage also combines the joy of a high bed with the convenience of plentiful space for toys and books. These clever midsleepers are ideal for bedrooms with a small footprint, leaving more floor space for tea parties and car races by keeping the most important pieces of a child’s furniture packed into a single unit.
Beds with storage to suit your style
Thought you couldn’t love storage beds? Think again. Inbuilt under bed storage doesn’t have to mean waving goodbye to your signature style. The Hemingway double, king or super king size bed with storage offers a wide range of richly coloured upholstery options to suit its opulent deco style but it also combines a spacious ottoman design with a high bed frame on legs. So, you can create the feeling of space with a clear under bed void or even combine handy ottoman space with under bed storage for double decker convenience.
Beds, storage and bedroom furniture at Bensons for Beds
We know, we know. At this point your head’s probably just as short on storage as your bedroom is. So why not let the team here at Bensons for Beds take some of the strain when it comes to making the most of the space in your boudoir?
As well as being well-versed in the world of mattresses, our online, on the phone and in-store teams are experts in bedroom storage and are especially knowledgeable when it comes to ottoman beds, divans and under bed storage. From space saving guest room single beds to mobility aiding adjustable beds and super king size beds with built-in bells and whistles, we can assist you in choosing the ideal bedframe to maximise storage in your bedroom. And while we’re at it we’ll keep in mind your sleep style and decorative preferences too.
Need to get rid of an old mattress or jettison those junk furniture pieces you’ve been making do with? For a fee, we’ll also take your previous mattress away for recycling. Whether you’re set on something specific or still need some advice and guidance, contact us online, head for your local Bensons for Beds store, or ring us on 0808 144 6160 to connect with our friendly, helpful and experienced team.