What are Ottoman Beds?

Robyn Clark

Ottoman beds are beds that also provide one or more aspects of the functionality of a traditional ottoman. There are two main types of ottoman beds: folding beds and storage beds. Folding ottoman beds look like a traditional ottoman when the bed is not in use, as the bed is concealed within the structure of the ottoman. This style can be used as a footstool or coffee table when the bed is folded away. Storage ottoman beds look like a standard bed and have a top platform that lifts up to reveal concealed storage.

Ottoman beds can provide temporary sleeping accommodations.
Ottoman beds can provide temporary sleeping accommodations.

Like futons and sleeper couches, ottoman beds are frequently used as guest beds. They are also popular as an attractive way to conceal the bed or to provide additional storage in a studio apartment or other multifunctional spaces. Not all designs have metal frames, but in those that do, the frames are typically much lighter and easier to move than frames used in sleeper sofas.

Some high-end ottoman beds feature a thicker, more comfortable mattress.
Some high-end ottoman beds feature a thicker, more comfortable mattress.

While prices vary widely by manufacturer, ottoman beds are usually in the same general price range as futons and daybeds. There are a wide variety of options available in different fabrics, designs, and sizes. Leather upholstery and removable slip covers are two of the more popular design options. The overall comfort of the bed will depend on the design and on the materials used for the frame and the mattress or cushion.

Folding ottoman beds are usually available as a single bed, although there are some larger ottomans that unfold into a double bed. The mattress can be one or more foam cushions concealed within the ottoman, with or without a metal supporting frame. Some designs have a top that lifts up to reveal a mattress and frame contained inside the ottoman, and in others the ottoman itself is a stack of cushions that unfolds to create the bed. These beds are best suited for providing temporary guest sleeping accommodations, as most users find foam mattresses to be less comfortable than a standard mattress.

Platforms of storage ottoman beds typically lift straight up, and mattresses are not required to fold. They are available in traditional bed sizes, from single sleepers to large king beds. Larger designs provide additional storage space; the tradeoff is that they are not as compact and portable. The frames can accommodate a standard mattress, and can be as comfortable to sleep on as a regular bed.

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