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7 key questions to ask before you buy an ottoman bed

Ottoman storage beds have grown in popularity over the last few years. If you’ve been thinking about buying one for your bedroom, there may be things you want to know before you make the decision to purchase. Here are 7 key questions you should be asking.

01 Where do ottoman beds come from?

The term ‘ottoman’ is derived from its place of origin. Back in the 13thcentury, the Ottoman Empire, now largely comprising Turkey, was a ruling power and famous for many things including its furniture. Wooden chests, beds and footstools were not just beautifully designed pieces, they offered practical storage too. By the end of the 18thcentury, various types of ‘ottoman’ furniture had reached the northern parts of Europe.

These days, ottoman beds can be found in different styles, colours and finishes. From faux leather to fabric upholstery, traditional to contemporary designs, neutral complements to stand-out statement pieces, you can create exactly the look you want.

02 How do ottoman beds work?

The crucial feature of an ottoman bed is the fact that the mattress base lifts up, revealing ample storage space beneath. Ottomans are typically powered by gas-lift hydraulics. This has several benefits for the user:

  • Assisted lifting means the bed is easy to open and close
  • Minimum effort required to access the under-bed storage
  • Controlled lift speed makes the technology safer to operate, avoiding accidents
  • Once the base is open, it stays open until you’re ready to close it

03 Is the mattress base heavy to lift up?

A modicum of initial lift strength is required before the gas struts start to work, but then it’s easy. It’s essential to ensure the gas struts are strong enough to lift the mattress – particularly if you have invested in a good quality, heavy duty mattress.

Inferior quality ottoman beds may have lighter weight struts or flimsy spring units that are no match for a proper mattress. Common sense dictates that you should check the weight tolerance of any ottoman bed you’re planning to buy, so you don’t waste an expensive purchase!

04 How much storage is there under the bed?

The main reason why people choose an ottoman bed is for the extra storage it provides. Of course, there are other types of storage beds. Divan beds, for instance, have built in drawers for storage. However, the advantage with ottoman beds is that you can make full use of the underbed storage space. If you have a king size bed, say, that amounts to a substantial amount of space.

From spare duvets and pillows to cushions and quilts, blankets and bedlinen, keeping them to hand under the bed is a clever way to free up precious cupboard space elsewhere in the room or the home.

05 Will an ottoman bed fit into my modern home?

Did you know that modern homes and apartments are built to smaller specifications now than they were in the past? Combined with the fact that we probably all have too much ‘stuff’, it’s little wonder that our modern homes can easily feel cluttered and stressful.

As a result, any space saving furniture solutions that offer additional storage are becoming increasingly important to our modern lifestyles. Whether you use your ottoman bed to store bedding, towels or out-of-season clothing, it helps to free up space elsewhere and may reduce the need for additional wardrobes, dressers or drawers in which to keep your stuff.

06 Which mattress can I use on my ottoman bed?

Ottoman beds are compatible with any kind of preferred mattress type – open coil, pocket spring, memory foam, latex or a combination – giving you huge flexibility in selecting the mattress you want. The right choice of mattress is essential to provide you with the best level of comfort and support to give you a good night’s sleep. If you’re not sure how to go about buying the right mattress for you, here’s a handy guide to help you make the right decision.

Ottoman beds typically have a slatted base (but some come with a hard top). Make sure you pair the bed with the right mattress – ask your bed retailer for advice – to achieve the optimal outcome.

07 Will I need to assemble my ottoman bed?

As a result of the complex lifting mechanism needed to operate an ottoman bed, it may come flat-packed or be delivered to your home partially assembled. Of course, it depends on your budget and where you purchase your bed too – the cheaper the ottoman bed, the more it is likely that you may need to self-assemble.

Most reputable bed retailers will offer a delivery and assembly service, or the bed may come ready to go, with all lifting mechanism already in place.

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