Ottoman beds and storage beds provide a neat bit of extra space for stuffing away your winter duvet, Christmas decorations or those clothes which you are clinging onto just in case they come back into fashion.
Most are ‘full ottoman’ beds which give you the whole space under the mattress whilst some cheaper ones are just ‘half ottoman’ beds. Ottoman beds usually open from the foot of the bed, with some opening from the side. There isn’t really a big advantage either way, but the shape of your room might determine which one you need.
Some ottoman beds are electric, so they lift up and down with a button but most of them just use clever hydraulics so they are relatively easy to open and close without removing the mattress.
We’ve picked out six of the best value ottoman beds on the UK market by comparing specification, price, colour options and customer reviews. Prices are for double size ottoman beds without a mattress.
This Phoenix wooden ottoman bed frame is made by a company called Birlea.
It stands out because of its terrific reviews for the price and its five year guarantee if you buy it from Happy Beds, which is longer than the warranties from John Lewis & Partners, Dreams and Argos for similar ottoman beds.
The Phoenix Ottoman was scoring (at the time of writing) on the Happy Beds website, a very decent 4.9/5 from 400+ reviews and on Google reviews it was scoring 4.6/5 from 100+ reviews.
It comes in a modest range of greys, blues and natural wood colours and uses hydraulics so it is easy to manually lift (in case you’re wondering, hydraulics on an Ottoman Bed hold the mattress in the air whilst you lift things in and out). Inside, the storage is split into three compartments.
It’s mostly made from rubberwood which (according to a few minutes research on Google) is ‘strong and cheap’ but wouldn’t be used in ‘fine furniture’ because it has a ‘dense, coarse grain’.
Personally, I’m not so keen on wooden bed frames as I have a habit of walking into them and waking the children with my screams of anguish. However, most people aren’t as clumsy as me and I do think they look very classy particularly when they’re painted.
Adding a mattress
If you buy it with a mattress included, I would go for a pocket sprung or memory foam mattress. Cheap ‘open coil’ sprung mattresses don’t support you as well and they wobble about more. If you get a pocket sprung mattress aim for one with at least 1000 springs.
The only major benefit of an open coil mattress is that it is easier to recycle than a pocket spring mattress. This was highlighted in a study by the National Bed Federation called the ‘End of Life Mattress Report’. As of 2022, only about one quarter of mattresses are recycled, although that is improving. Open coil sprung mattresses are relatively easy to recycle as they contain one long stretch of metal which is fashioned into a series of springs. Meanwhile, pocket spring mattresses can include 2000 tiny springs which are sealed into fabric cases. If recycling companies want to re-use the metal, they have to remove every single spring. This is sometimes done by a machine, but it is sometimes a tedious and expensive process which is done by hand.
Memory foam mattresses offer a good alternative to pocket springs. Some people find that they make them feel a bit warm, but they offer good consistent support and don’t attract dust like a sprung mattress (see our top 10 mattresses guide for some award winners or our spring v foam mattress guide if you’re very bored).
Overall, the Birlea brand was scoring 4/5 on TrustPilot and 4.4/5 on Google Reviews when I checked.
As with most of the beds on this list, it uses sprung slats which give a bed a slightly softer and bouncier feel than you’d get with rigid/solid slats.
It’s available as a double, small double (i.e. queen size) or king size ottoman bedframe. Some reviews say it took them two or three hours to put it together. You can watch a video of how to build the Birlea Phoenix which also gives an idea of build quality.
Is it just me that gets excited about constructing furniture?
Pros: five year warranty beats most rivals, wood construction rather than fibreboard, sprung slats, choice of colours
Cons: relatively time consuming assembly, no super king size option, manual lifting mechanism
Our Value Rating: ***** (see notes at foot of page)
2. Dreams Wilson Upholstered Ottoman Bed – £499
This Ottoman bed from Dreams opens from the side which is useful if you’ve not got a lot of space at the foot of your bed.
It’s a hugely popular storage bed, with more than 3500 customer reviews and glowing average scores of 4.8/5 which isn’t to be sneezed at.
The Dreams Wilson Ottoman comes in three similar and not especially exciting colours (black, grey and silver) and four sizes (single, small double, double or king size).
It doesn’t have a fancy electric opening, but as with the others on this list it uses hydraulics so you don’t need to hire the local rugby team to lift the mattress when you want to get your winter duvet out.
The design is what they call a ‘scroll’ end or sleigh bed which I personally think looks classy and is much less painful if you bump into it, compared to wooden corners. The slats which the mattress sits on are ‘sprung slats’ which gives a bed a slightly softer feel than rigid/solid slats.
You only get a one year guarantee with this one. Dreams reckon it will take you a couple of hours to put this one together, although I’m not sure if they’ve allowed for the number of tea breaks that I like to take when I’m doing manual work.
Pros: trusted brand, positive reviews, supportive sprung slats
Cons: unimaginative colour choice, one year guarantee, manual mechanism
Our Value Rating: ****
3. John Lewis & Partners Emily Ottoman Storage Bed – £599-£799 (depending on colour)
You won’t be shocked to hear that this upholstered John Lewis & Partners Ottoman bed is one of the more expensive on the market. But you get the John Lewis name which is associated with quality and which will impress the neighbours when the van pulls up to deliver it.
The Emily Ottoman opens from the foot of the bed and uses hydraulics so it is easy to lift up and down.
The main advantage of this John Lewis & Partners Ottoman bed over others is that it comes in a range of 36 funky colours and materials. The price varies quite a bit with the colours. If you aren’t fussy, the black one (sorry, ‘saga charcoal’) is cheapest.
I’ve not managed to find many reviews of this ottoman but it is scoring 4/5 from the 4 reviews (at the time of writing). Overall, John Lewis & Partners was scoring 3.9/5 on TrustPilot when we checked, although that is the score for the brand as a whole rather than their mattresses or beds specifically. I also find that a bit of a bizarre score when the company was named as the UK’s best retailer in 2019 (and come second in the four previous years).
It’s made in Malaysia and comes with a 1 year guarantee. It comes in double and king size.
Pros: outstanding range of colours, highly trusted brand name, sprung slatted base
Cons: one year warranty, manual lifting mechanism, imported so not great from an environmental point of view
Our Value Rating: ****
This Argos Habitat Lavendon Ottoman bed is worth a mention at the budget end of the UK’s storage bed market (Ed: try and make it more interesting, you sound like Alan Partridge).
It only comes in two colours – grey or black – and I’m not personally a big fan of the faux leather look but the reviews are really good with an average of 4.7/5 from more than 1000 customers when I checked.
It takes a couple of hours to put it together, but several reviewers comment that it was easy to follow the instructions.
You can buy it in single, small double, double or kingsize. It’s worth noting that the double and king size have a maximum ‘user weight’ of 200kg, which is about 30 stone. So, two people who weigh more than 15 stone each wouldn’t be able to use the bed together.
It comes with a one year guarantee.
One downside that you might not have considered is the environmental impact of ottomans made from faux leather (which tends to be plastic-based). According to research by Junge, Buchenauer et al, ‘Compared with other “non-wood” materials like concrete, steel or plastic, wood products usually have a lower quantity of greenhouse gas emissions during product manufacturing’ (2021).
Pros: very low price, outstanding customer reviews, good choice of sizes
Cons: plastic-based/synthetic materials, plain colour choices, one year guarantee, manual lifting mechanism, modest weight limit
Our Value Rating: *****
5. Tempur Moulton Electric Ottoman Bed – £2789
Apologies if you fell off your seat when you saw the price of this electric ottoman bed from Tempur. Once you’re sat down, I’ll explain what you get for your money.
Tempur are one of the poshest mattress brands in the world. They’re mostly known for being pioneers of memory foam mattresses, but they also make bedframes and pillows.
Unlike most ottoman bases, this one lifts up and down with a button rather than requiring you to lift it yourself. That’s useful if you have mobility problems, although manual ottomans do have the assistance of hydraulics so most people will be fine with them.
It comes as a double, king size or super king size ottoman and comes in three colours which are sort of dark grey, light grey and beige.
A real plus-point is that it comes with a 10 year guarantee, although the motor only has a 5 year guarantee. Another appealing thing is that Tempur will assemble the ottoman for you, whereas a lot of cheaper ottomans require you to decipher multilingual instructions and build it yourself.
Pros: electric lifting mechanism, long established specialist bed brand, long warranty
Cons: very high price compared to rivals, plain colour choices
Our Value Rating: ***
6. IKEA Malm Ottoman Bed – £450
IKEA’s Malm Ottoman bed only comes in two colours (white or black/brown) and the two most popular sizes (double and king size) but it’s got a nice simple design.
The Malm scores an impressive 4.6/5 from over 400 reviews. Overall, the IKEA brand scores 1.4/5 on TrustPilot but that’s the score for the whole store and range so isn’t particularly useful when we are just looking at one product.
It’s worth noting that the double size ottoman can support a mattress of up to 40kg. That will be fine for most standard mattresses but some posh pocket sprung mattresses weigh more than that (for example, the most expensive double mattress in the John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection weighs 64g).
As far as I can tell, this frame comes with an outstanding 25 year warranty. The product listing doesn’t mention the warranty, but elsewhere on the IKEA website it says that a 25 year guarantee is offered on ‘wooden frame and slats in slatted bed bases’.
Pros: hugely popular brand, long warranty
Cons: relatively low weight limit, poor colour choice, limited sizes
Our Value Rating: ****
A note about ‘Our Value Rating’: we give a value rating for each product after looking at the price you pay on the day versus the specification, customer service reputation of the brand, warranty length and other factors. We also compare what you’re getting with rival products. If a product has a five star rating it means we think it offers ‘exceptionally good value’ whilst four stars is ‘very good value’. Three star products are ‘good value’ in our opinion whilst two star and one star products don’t tend to make the grade as we think they only offer ‘reasonably good value’ and ‘poor value’.
Top tip: check your slats before you buy an ottoman bed
Some ottoman beds have a solid base whilst other use slats.
If it uses slats and you’re buying it in a shop, take a tape measure with you and ask to see the slats under the mattress. If you’re buying online, read the description carefully.
The key things to look for are how far apart the slats are and how wide they are.
In some cases, a mattress warranty is voided if the gaps are too wide because it won’t provide sufficient support and too much of the mattress will slip through the gaps.
Start by lifting the mattress, where you’ll see the slats lined up. 12-18 is a typical number of sprung slats on a king size bed but it does vary a fair bit.
Next, you’ll need to measure the gap between the slats. Our bedframe has a gap of 70mm or 7cm (or 3 inches). If it’s significantly more than that, then the company which make your mattress may not be impressed. For example, Hypnos, Dormeo and Emma also say that your gap between slats needs to be 75mm or less, which is the figure recommended by the UK’s National Bed Federation. Simba Sleep and Ergoflex use a similar guide of 3 inches whilst Silentnight offer a more generous 10cm maximum for their foam mattresses.
In some cases your warranty will be void, in other cases it is just a recommendation from a manufacturer to help prolong your mattress’ life. My rule of thumb is to spend about twice as much on your mattress as your bedframe, so it would be a shame to damage your mattress with a poorly designed bedframe.
I would also measure the width of the slats, as a few warranties also specify a minimum width. On our bedframe, the width is approximately 50mm or 2 inches.