My Top Tips for buying a Storage Bed

The space under the bed is usually one of the least utilised spaces in our home and yet it’s a large opportunity for storage that we don’t often think about.  I’m on the look out for a new storage bed in my spare room and so I wanted to share some ideas…

If you’re a follower of Feng Shui then you might want to look away now, as having things under the bed is not something they recommend.  However, not all of us are blessed with large homes with lots of storage that means we can forgo stashing things under the bed.  So we need to make use of the space under the bed.

A standard bedframe allows you to slide things underneath in boxes or bags, however this is how we have the spare room set up and from the side you can see the ikea bags stuffed with duvets, the drill, board games, boxes of photos and other general junk.  Sorry, treasured items!  So it looks pretty naff.  It’s easy to slide something under there and then all of a sudden you can see how messy it is and then I have to climb under there and sort it out.  It’s tidy in this photo but trust me it’s not always like that!


So how can you keep the area tidy under the bed?

Under-Bed Drawers, baskets and boxes

You can buy drawers that slide under the bed, Ikea do a great range of course, but you can also buy them from anywhere you can buy beds.  The drawers are largely universal and will usually work with any bedframe and make the underbed area look neat and tidy.   The downside is that the drawers are usually shallow so if you’re trying to stash a kingsize winter duvet in a drawer it’s going to be difficult!

If you’ve got smaller items under the bed, why not get some cool boxes or baskets and make a feature of them?

Photo Credit: both from Store

Storage Divans

A divan is the way I’ll be going in our small spare room, the divan is the most compact option for a small room.  With divans you can get a variety of storage options, side drawers (either two or four drawers), or even a large drawer at the end.  The drawers are usually deeper than those under a bed frame, but you need to have the space at the side of the bed (you might have to move the side tables to access them) or make sure you have enough space at the end for the larger end drawers.

For me, the better option is the ottoman divan.  You can lift up the mattress to expose either a full length or half length storage space.  This type of bed means that even if you have the bed against the wall, you can still access all the storage underneath.  Also the actual amount of storage space under the bed is much larger and more friendly to bigger items like boxes or large duvets.

Photo Credit: Both Furniture Village

Storage Bed Frames

If you’re not a divan fan, then you can get bed frames with ottoman storage or drawers.  In our master bedroom we have a storage ottoman frame from the (sadly now defunct) Feather and Black.  We can fit suitcases, duvets, wheelchair parts, pillows, bedding and plenty more underneath, it’s huge!  You can read more about our bed frame here.

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Photo credit:

So, onto my top tips ..

What’s the best for those with a disability?  

That depends on the individual!

We have a gorgeous ottoman bed frame which we love, but even with gas supports the frame is heavy to lift, which means Mr Wheel Chic Home can’t open it fully without help.  So whilst it gives us loads of storage space, it requires strength to lift and it might not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with upper limb weakness or back problems.

Storage drawers will be lighter to operate, but as they take up space when they’re open, and you might be in a wheelchair, you might not have the room to open the drawer with the chair, especially in a small room.

On reflection the drawers are easiest to use but it depends on your room and disability.

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Think about what you want to store and how often you need to get access to it

If you want to store suitcases, large duvets or other big items that you don’t need access to all the time, then an ottoman is definitely the way to go.  You can get so much in there and it’s all hidden away neatly.

If you’re using the storage for clothes, paperwork, shoes or smaller items that you use often, then drawers are the best bet.  You can get easy access and you can even nominate a drawer for specific types of items, so you can keep everything neat and tidy.

If you’re accessing your items every day you need to think about how much you want to keep lifting the bed or moving furniture to open a drawer.  So keep that in mind!

What size is the room?

As I’ve already mentioned, drawers take up space when they are open, so if you need to put the bed against a wall, or have furniture close to the bed then you might have issues trying to get the drawers open and get around the room.

A divan bed is smaller but might not be the best if you rely on help from the bed frame to get into the bed (as Mr WCH does – he moves his legs from floor to frame and then frame to mattress).


Personal Style

Of course the thing we’re really interested in!  What’s your personal style?  Do you prefer a bed frame, or you a Divan Diva?

Divans used to be covered in flowers and were typically something your granny had.  Now thankfully they are much more stylish and come in a range of colours to match your style sensibility.

You might prefer a wooden bedframe with matching drawers, or metal frame with baskets underneath.  Either way, it needs to work for what you’re storing, how often you’ll access the items and of course what suits your style!

How do you cope with the underbed storage?  Do you stuff it under and run (like me at the moment!) or do you hide it all away?


8 thoughts on “My Top Tips for buying a Storage Bed

  1. Some great ideas but, for those of us using mobile hoists and/or needing air mattresses, we need that space for wheels and motors, sadly 😕

    Should you see any nice looking bed surrounds for fully adjustable, air mattress, beds with space to run the legs of a mobile hoist under, do, please send them my way 😊

    Before I needed the air mattress, I used a Royal Auping for many years, which has the space underneath and is fully adjustable. Looks great too.

    Now, though, with the air mattress, I’ve seen nothing but the ‘yuck’ hospital type bed surrounds that I’m currently in.

    If I can’t find something better looking, I may have to go bespoke … and I really don’t want to do that – for cost & functionality reasons. So, if you see anything … 👍🏻😁

    1. You’re absolutely right, hoists need that space. I should have thought about that and mentioned it in the post. Thank you for keeping me straight! A friend of mine found a bed company that does frames or divans lift up storage and has legs rather than flat to the floor so might give enough space for the wheels. I’ll get the details and ping them to you.

  2. This is a really insightful post. I’m looking for a new bed now. Our current one is a divan with two drawers. But I’ve had two like this now and I’ve found that the drawers never run smoothly, especially if you have carpet. Plus you can’t store too much in them. This time I’m definitely going for ottoman storage.

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