When choosing a new bed your first consideration is always comfort, followed by how well the new piece of furniture will fit into your decorative scheme.
After all, a bed is a big investment, and it is set to be the key focus point in your most used room for many years yet to come.
However, one other major consideration when it comes to choosing the bed of your dreams - and one which is often overlooked - is the potential to add valuable storage to your bedroom.
Benefits of a bed with storage
Rialto Ortho Divan Bed Set
When it comes to the bedroom, many of us find ourselves overrun with clutter. Finding space for your out of season clothing, bulky spare bedding and even books, toys and electrical equipment such as fans and hairdryers can be challenging, and even with large built-in wardrobes many of us find that we are pressed for space.
As a private room which guests rarely see, we often let our bits and bobs overflow throughout the bedroom in a way we would not elsewhere in the home.
Clothes are draped over chairs and dressing tables quickly fill up with piles of magazines, half-used toiletries and broken jewellery, dashing any hopes we had for streamlined, minimalist and mess-free living.
The great news for those who dream of organisational bliss is that a great many modern beds are designed to help you to solve the perennial issue of having too much stuff and not enough space.
But with an increasing number of options available, from built-in drawers to smart top-opening beds, it can be hard to narrow down your choices.
Why choose a storage bed?
A storage bed of any kind offers a simple, sensible solution to your storage problems.
Not only does it provide plentiful space for belongings you would rather keep out of sight, it does so without impacting the footprint of your bedroom. Meaning no extra drawer units or storage boxes taking up floor space, ready to stub a toe on or be tripped over during a dead of night visit to the ensuite.
Opting for a storage bed also eliminates the need to seek out storage that not only blends with your current bedroom set but also fits into your room’s available space.
When choosing a bed, many of us will select a like-for-like fit, swapping out a worn old double for a brand-spanking new double bed or replacing an out-of-date queen with a modern bed of a similar size.
Choosing a bed which includes storage allows you to enjoy a beautiful new piece of furniture and amp up your storage space in one go, without the added stress of trying to find the only chest of drawers in the UK that fits the awkward space between your dressing table and radiator.
What is an ottoman bed?
San Diego Ottoman Upholstered Bed Frame
A relatively new addition to the bedroom storage scene, ottoman beds have revolutionised under bed storage with their clever lift-up design.
These beds incorporate a hollow base which can be stuffed full of your bulky winter jumpers and extra duvet covers.
The entire bed base – the slats topped with your mattress - lifts away from the main unit, on simple pistons, to reveal your stored belongings. Which means that all of those items you prefer to keep packed away can be safely out of sight and out of mind.
With most designed to be completely free of drawers, ottoman beds allow you to maintain the sleek, uninterrupted look of a solid bed base without losing out on storage - ideal if you love a rich and luxuriant velvet finish, a smart, streamlined linen, or even a smooth and easy to clean wood veneer.
An ottoman style lift-up mechanism can also be incorporated into sleigh beds - the perfect option if you love that decadent look but are in desperate need of space for your holdalls, handbags, trainers and shoes.
Types of ottoman bed
With a wide variety of options, from single ottoman bed choices for children’s bedrooms, to super king ottoman beds designed to bring hotel luxury to your master suite, there is a divan ottoman bed to suit your needs.
There are an incredible wide range of designs available, with ottoman beds suitable for every space and every sleeper.
Some open from the side of the bed, which can help to make the most of space in a narrow room, where the bed is pushed up against the wall, and allows for the easy storage of longer or awkwardly shaped items (think golf clubs or even an ironing board).
Meanwhile, others offer a handy combination of drawers and a shallower lift-up storage, providing a great alternative to deep storage, making it easier to locate certain smaller items which might otherwise become harder to find in deeper spaces.
Offering deep storage, an ottoman bed provides the ideal spot for a yoga mat, weights and trainers if you use your spare room as a gym.
Alternatively, it could store your sewing machine, fabrics and patterns if you are a hobby dressmaker, or for crafters, an ottoman bed offers more than enough room for all the many and varied items you need for your creations.
Half front ottomans, hinged mid-way along the length of the bed, can provide a useful solution for elderly or less physically strong homeowners, for whom lifting the bed base and mattress can be a little challenging.
While the ottoman storage is reduced by half in these beds, many also contain divan drawers, providing a handy hybrid solution to all your storage issues, helping you to keep different categories of items separate from one another.
An even handier solution for the less abled, or for gadget-fans who just cannot have enough technology in their home, the electric ottoman bed opens at the touch of a button, lifting away from the divan while you barely lift a finger.
This optional extra can be added to a selection of our ottoman bed designs.
Divan beds for simple storage
iGel Advance 3000 Plush Top Divan Bed Set
Ah, the good old divan, a staple of bed buying in the 1970s and 80s. The divan bed might have gone briefly out of fashion for a time, but with new and far more stylish designs now on shop floors and a passion for soft, glamorous fabrics sweeping the nation, divans are definitely back in fashion again.
And it is easy to see why. These beds offer plentiful storage built in right there, underneath your mattress, with many offering a 2 x 2 drawer configuration – two spacious slide-out drawers set into the bottom of either side of the bed – meaning you will enjoy a whole lot of space for sheets, towels and other belongings while ensuring that it all remains in easy reach.
Some divans, meanwhile, offer two larger drawers, one on each side. These drawers are great for the storage of long items and contribute to a seamless, modern look.
Unlike an ottoman storage bed, which generally offers one cavernous space for bulky items, a divan bed, with its separate drawers, gives you storage that is easy to organise into sections or categories (perhaps you will use one drawer for clean bedding, one for summertime storage of jumpers, and another for old photo albums and books).
This makes it easy to find that pesky cardigan you swear you didn’t throw away or your shoe’s runaway partner.
Choosing a divan storage bed
Another great benefit to divan beds is the many and varied design options available.
From a smooth, sturdy blonde wood finish ideal for your understated, Scandi-cool loft bedroom to sumptuously upholstered versions perfect for a high-end luxe look, there is a bed to suit your room.
And with all Bensons for Beds headboards offering compatibility with divan bed bases, we make it easy to choose your ideal bed.
Sturdy and built to last, most divan beds incorporate a tough wooden frame covered in soft wadding and fabric (though some are wood throughout for that rustic look).
They require just the addition of a mattress and whether you love sinking into a soft coil mattress, prefer the adaptable comfort of memory foam or rely on the support provided by an orthopaedic mattress, your choice of mattress is more than likely to be compatible with your favourite divan design.
An affordable option, thanks to the wide range of simple yet attractive divan designs available, choosing a divan bed makes revamping a bedroom easy, giving you a bed that combines handy storage and robust longevity, while making finding the perfect combo of base, mattress and headboard for your décor simple.
You can even choose to upgrade your headboard, when fashions or personal tastes change, with no need to replace the divan at the same time.
Drawer storage and underbed storage
Sometimes an elevated bed frame just works for you and your room.
Perhaps you have limited floor space or a darker room and love the illusion of space that a higher, open bottomed bed frame gives you. Or maybe you need to be able to slide a larger piece of exercise equipment, a drawing board or a jigsaw mat out of the way.
Perhaps you just cannot resist the look of a classic stained wood bed frame, and frankly, we don’t blame you.
The great news for fans of timeless bed designs is that many frame beds now incorporate that little extra splash of storage, with a couple of slimline drawers incorporated into the base section of the bed.
These drawers may not be as deep as the drawers found in a divan bed, and they certainly do not give you the capacity of storage found in an ottoman bed, but they might just provide owners with about enough room for next week’s bed sheets.
Additionally, or alternatively, choosing a bed frame with legs provides you with space for underbed storage, which can be chosen specifically to suit your needs, from baskets to hold smaller items to large-lidded boxes, for heavy winter duvets, shoes or coats.
Storage beds for children
Most children have accrued more belongings than us adults by the time they are old enough to graduate to a grown-up bed.
Finding a space for all those must-have toys, books and those cute outfits that, if we are being honest, they will probably only wear once, can be an overwhelming task.
Thankfully Bensons for Beds offers an array of beds suitable for children which will maximise storage space and suit small sleepers at the same time.
A cabin bed with storage, similar to a divan style bed, with practical drawers incorporated into the underside, is ideal for children, giving them a grown-up feeling new bed, with oodles of storage just made for building bricks, doctors kits, brum brum cars and princess dresses, in easy-to-open drawers, making the dreaded end of day toy tidy as close to fun as it can be.
Which means fewer tears for them and much less stress for you.
Trundle beds, meanwhile, make sleepovers simple, thanks to the addition of a second guest bed, which is cleverly hidden underneath the child’s bed and can be pulled out with ease.
Though not strictly storage, these clever solutions do away with the need to store (and assemble) a camp bed or air bed when a best friend comes to stay.
High sleeper beds
For most kids, however, nothing is quite as cool as a high sleeper bed, often referred to as a loft bed.
Usually designed for children aged six and over, these fun beds blend the adventure of sleeping in a treehouse with parent-pleasing and space-saving qualities.
Many incorporate drawer storage or a desk in the under space, although where this is not already done, freestanding pieces can be added, giving your child the option to put their personal stamp on their bedroom design with contrasting furniture pieces.
These high sleepers also separate sleeping and resting space from playing and homework space, helping to minimise bedtime stress and distractions.
The best storage for spare rooms
Max Ottoman Upholstered TV Bed Frame
Spare rooms can easily become a bit of a dumping ground.
You’re not using this poor, neglected room day-to-day so it’s an easy spot for holding the clothes that you have not got around to ironing yet, the old toys that should probably go to charity or furniture that has seen better days.
Which is no big deal, until your mother-in-law or best friend decides they would like to come and spend the night.
Turning your spare bedroom into a space that does double duty is simpler than you might think with the right bed.
Whether it is your some-time office or a makeshift laundry room, the addition of a single bed with storage drawers, or even a guest size small double ottoman bed, can make it easy to tidy away your everyday items to create a comfortable sleeping space for friends or family.
Add an ironed duvet cover, a couple of cushions and a jug of fresh flowers and your in-laws need never know they are sleeping where you usually hang your newly laundered socks.
Even the smallest of spaces can benefit from the addition of a well-chosen storage bed, giving you the ability to offer guests a cosy, homely space with a full-length permanent bed (far preferable to a futon, fold-out bed or, worse, the sofa) without compromising on practical storage that makes sense for your family’s daily use.
Which storage bed is right for you and your home?
With so many storage beds to choose from how on earth do you begin to choose the one that will best fit the needs of you, your home and your belongings?
First and foremost, the bed you choose may be dictated by the shape and design of your bedroom.
For example, a loft room with sloping ceilings may not offer the space you will require for the headboard ordinarily built into an ottoman bed. However, a divan only bed will slot into a lower head height space and can incorporate drawers below, allowing you to benefit from a double bed with storage, even in an awkwardly shaped attic space.
A narrower room, meanwhile, may not allow quite enough space to pull out drawers from the base of a bed, especially when bedside tables are added.
In this case, an ottoman bed is preferable – this can also allow you to opt for a king size bed with storage that you can open easily, regardless of the available space on either side of the bed itself.
Overloaded with ‘just in case’ items or belongings that you rarely look at? An ottoman bed will ordinarily offer the most storage for its size, with a single deep cavity that can be filled almost to the brim, as opposed to a divan which is more limited by the drawer mechanism and structure.
That said, this large space can make storage more challenging to organise, and for shorter people or those with a back or mobility problems, leaning in to reach items stored in the bottom of the bed can be challenging.
Therefore, if you plan to store regularly used items, such as bedding, clothing or towels, a divan can offer similar convenience to a chest of drawers.