Storage is a major issue in small spaces. You need to make the most out of all available space. A storage bed is a good solution.

There are a lot of very clever ways to increase the amount of storage in your home, from chests of drawers to under table storage units.

One of the best ways to make great use of storage space, however, bed storage. An under storage bed offers you a great way to store items while still having space for a guest bed.

Bed storage has been around for quite a while. Originally, storage beds were called captain’s beds. They were originally used on ships were space was far more limited than even the space in tiny apartments. All these beds consisted of was a platform with a mattress on top.

west-seattle-waterfront-retreat-by-cassie-daughtrey-realogics-sothebys-realty Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Cassie Daughtrey Realogics Sotheby’s Realty

The platform had several drawers built in. The owners of smaller homes began to find them very useful to help them save space. It allows people to use the often neglected empty space under the bed to keep items that would otherwise be place in a closet or armoire. It’s really great for linens, especially in guest rooms where you cans tore the linens and pillows for the bed underneath it.

These beds also reduce the amount of space you will have to clean. Dust bunnies, toys, and the occasional lost shoe won’t get stuck under the bed. Storage beds sit right on the ground to maximize their storage space, so you no longer have to vacuum or sweep under the bed. It’s a great use of space that will help keep your room cleaner.

In recent years, there have been a lot of options for a good bed with storage. The recent trend of multifunctional furniture has meant that the traditional platform bed with storage, often an afterthought and usually uncomfortable, has been replaced by a lot of more sophisticated options. Here is an overview of storage beds and some great under bed storage ideas.

bedroom-by-archipelago-hawaii-luxury-home-designs Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Archipelago Hawaii Luxury Home Designs

Types of Storage Beds

One of the most important distinctions between storage beds is whether they are made for children or if they are made for adults. There are a lot similarities- each is still a kind bed frame with storage—but there are some key differences.

Adult storage beds are normally designed in more modern styles to fit with typical adult room décor. They still have storage under the bed, of course, but they the under bed storage containers are a bit more cleverly integrated.

They are normally pretty well hidden. The storage bed frame of these beds can have a variety of designs. They can have drawers, hidden trundle bed, or even larger storage area you can access if you lift the mattress. These beds fit well with minimalist modern style.

They normally have clean lines, open spaces, and a very functional aesthetic. IKEA offers a lot of variety, if you’re looking for an adult storage bed. These beds often have all the features of regular beds, including canopies and headboards.

children-room-by-jela Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Jela

Children’s storage beds are a little different. They do not have modernistic designs, but are instead designed to seem both playful and practical. Captain’s bed designs are pretty common, with easy-to-open drawers for bed storage under the mattress. More elaborate version also exist, normally in the form of bunk beds with a bed on top and storage or desk space underneath.

For younger children, this space sometimes takes the form of a play fort. These beds are normally built to maximize the amount of space for a child to use in a child-sized room. They offer not only storage space, but also a chance to create a fun new play area.

Once you decide whether you’re getting a child or adult sized storage bed, you can choose from a bunch of different types of storage beds:

Captain’s Storage Bed

These are the most common kinds of storage beds. There are a lot of different styles available, from modern and simple to more classical looking to playful children’s versions. All of them have drawers under the mattress. Some of these beds only have drawers on one side, while others have multiple drawers all around the sides.

caterpillar-house-by-jayjeffers Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: JayJeffers

Normally, adult captain’s beds have a single row of drawers if they stand at a regular height, but taller beds might have multiple rows. Children’s captain’s beds typically have one row of drawers, though some a nearer to bunk beds, with several rows of drawers or possibly even a desk attachment. You can find them in a nice variety of styles, from simplistic modern designs to classical wooden designs.

Lift Storage Bed

Lift storage beds have a similar design to captain’s storage beds, where the storage bed frame is the storage area. In this case, however, the entire space under the mattress is the storage area. It isn’t divided into drawers. This storage space is accessed by lifting the mattress up. There’s often an assist mechanism to help people lift the bed up to get at the storage space.

It’s normally hydraulic. This mechanism keeps the storage bed open when accessing the storage space and then allows it to be easily lowered into place. Lift storage beds offer a lot of space to store larger items. It’s a great option for linen storage. You normally can only find lift storage beds in adult versions.

vintage-modern-living-by-kerrie-l-kelly Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Kerrie L. Kelly

Trundle Storage Bed

Trundle beds have the same basic designs as other kinds of storage beds, with one major difference. They feature a secondary mattress that can be rolled out from underneath the primary mattress. The standard height trundle beds only feature a roll-out mattress assembly, but taller loft trundle beds often have drawers as well as the roll-out mattress.

These beds are more commonly found in children’s rooms, guest rooms, or teenagers’ rooms. They offer an option to extend the sleeping space of the room, which is great for guests or sleepovers. These typically come in smaller sizes so it’s easier to expand the roll-out mattress assembly.

Sizes

Storage beds are typically available in normal bed sizes, through you will notice advantages and limitations with the storage space of each size. Remember that the type of storage bed will affect the overall frame size.

Most children’s storage beds are single or twin storage beds. A twin bed frame with storage is usually a captain’s bed in design, though you can find an adult twin bed with storage design as with a lift storage bed design.

A full size bed with storage is often much the same, just with greater sleeping and storage areas, and is very good option for a guest room if you have the space.

sea-cliff-sf-by-tamalpais-construction-company Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Tamalpais Construction Company

Larger beds are rarely lift storage beds just do the difficulty of moving them up and down. A queen bed frame with storage normally has drawers underneath the mattress. A king storage bed is a great idea if you are going to have a king bed. A king size bed frame with storage offers a lot of storage space.

A king size bed frame with storage is typically a more elaborate version of a captain’s bed, with nice larger drawers all around the bed. This maximizes the room’s available storage space, even if that is not a concern, and gives you a place to stow extra blankets and pillows or other items.

Possible Issues with Storage Beds

Storage beds offer a lot of advantages, but they’re not a perfect solution to a storage problem. They can have a number of issues over time and require some effort from you.

Storage beds are often very difficult to move around. Their extra hardware makes them quite heavy, and they cannot be easily disassembled like regular bed frames. This can make it hard to move a storage bed up or down stairs or pass through doors. If you change apartments on a regular basis, a storage bed not be the best choice.

contemporary-bedroom-by-inspired-interiors Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: inspired interiors

Over time, the hardware of a storage bed can develop issues. Hinges, tracks, and opening mechanisms can warp or get knocked askew, especially fit hey are used often.

This is particularly notable with children’s storage beds which often get a lot of rough handling. You’ll start seeing issues with the storage bed hardware in about four to five years of consistent use. Repairs can be difficult and expensive.

With all that extra hardware, storage beds are typically more expensive than regular beds of the same size. How much more expensive will vary depending on the quality of that hardware.

Quality drawers or more complex opening mechanisms will simply cost more. A normal bed may be a better option, especially considering that the hardware develops issues with use.

Storage beds sleep hotter than normal beds, since the space under the bed is normally full of items and holds heat in. You might find yourself waking up soaked with sweat. If you are using the storage bed often, you might want to remove some of the things you have stored under the mattress to allow for better air flow.

colorful-mid-century-modern-residence-by-kropat-interior-design Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Kropat Interior Design

There are several other things you can do as well, like sleeping in lightweight cotton pajamas, using organic cotton sheets, using a light organic wool or cotton blanket, keep a glass of water beside the bed in case you need to cool off, keep your thermostat set to cool, and keep a fan running.

Another good, slightly more expensive option to deal with heat on a storage bed is to switch to an organic mattress. These materials dry out and breathe much better than traditional fabric and foam mattresses. It’s a bit more extra effort (and potentially expense) added to your storage bed.

Some storage beds have a wood plank, basically, under the mattress. For the sake of comfort and heat alike, consider replacing this plank with slats. All you need to do is pull the wood out and put the slats in.

You can find slat systems designed specifically to do this, but it’s another expense you should consider.
Be careful of how much you store under the bed and keep an eye the moisture levels in the storage space.

lg-house-e28093-interior-by-thirdstone-inc Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: thirdstone inc.

It can easily cause damage to any items stored under the bed if you don’t access it often. Make sure you check the storage space for mold and other problems on a regular basis. Mold can have very serious health consequences, as well, so you really need to make sure it doesn’t grow in your bed’s storage space or under the mattress. A storage bed is not maintenance free.

What to Consider When Choosing a Storage Bed

A storage bed can still be the right choice for you, even if it isn’t perfect. You can find designs that mitigate issues or make them easier to deal with, all while giving you the extra storage space you want.

Size

You should make sure to check the size of the bed frame before you buy to be sure of what size it actually is. The size of the mattress is going to be standard, but frames are by necessity bigger on storage beds.

Lift storage beds in particular have larger frames to accommodate their lifting mechanism. Since you’re probably selecting a storage bed in order to create more space, you should make sure you aren’t taking up more space instead.

Also, because storage beds are so difficult to move, you should make sure you can get yours into the room you want to use it in. Take the measurements of any doorways and stairways that you’ll need to get through to put the storage bed where you want it.

appleby-by-ras-a-inc Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: ras-a, inc.

Ease of Use

It’s important to be able to access the storage space easily under the bed, otherwise there’s no point to the extra expense of buying a storage bed. Make sure you can access all the times you’ll be storing under the bed, including items stored at the back of the space. Some storage beds have drawers that don’t open very far or lift mechanisms that don’t lift up very high.

This will make it hard to get at all the available storage space under the bed. Also consider how you are going to place the bed when you’re figuring out what kind of storage bed to get. You want to make sure you can actually use it.

Sturdiness

You need to figure out if the storage bed’s base is strong enough to hold everything you want to put in it. A lot of storage beds have thin and unsupported bases. These weak bases bend and bow if loaded very heavily. Sometimes the space is divided in two and is basically useless. The best kind of storage beds are the ones with strong and supported bases.

ikea-next-gen-home-arizona-by-in-house-interior-design Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: In House Interior Design

You should also check on how the frame is supported when you close it. Sometimes there are corner blocks that don’t support the frame on all sides, which will cause problems even if the materials are pretty sturdy on their own.

Style

It can be hard to find a variety of styles with some kinds of storage beds. A lot of companies only offer storage beds in two sizes, both with one storage depths. A lot of UK companies offer a lot more choices, however, with a full range of sizes and storage space depths.

A fair number of manufacturers make storage beds with only one color option in bi-cast leather. Take the time to find the color and materials you want. Looking online can help you find the style you’re looking for, but remember that screens don’t always show the colors very accurately.

Mobility

You need to see how hard the bed is to assemble. Even if most furniture stores now deliver and set up furniture for you, they may not move it quite in the final position that you want. Getting the bed setup might cost you extra, especially if you are moving it upstairs.

livinghomes-by-central-meridian-photography Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Central Meridian Photography

You also might want to take it apart and set it up yourself at some point in the future, whether you’re moving homes or if you’re just moving the storage bed between rooms. Learning how the storage bed is put together might help you with any future repairs, as well.

Accessories

Some storage beds have integrated accessories, like a headboard. You might not want these accessories, so double check. Sometimes floor models and images won’t have these features. Some other models have pieces that can be bought and added on later. This is something you see with furniture like the kinds you buy at IKEA.

Castors are a particularly good choice for potential additions, as they will make it easier to move if you need to. A headboard can make a storage bed fit better into your décor. It can be hard to add these accessories later on, depending on where you want the bed, so think about them before you get the storage bed.

Warranty

Some manufacturers offer a warranty for your storage bed. You should try to get one, as the hardware gets worn down and there are even occasionally issues with it due to manufacturer errors (like warped drawer tracks, for instance). If you may need replacement parts, remember that it will be easier to get parts from some manufacturers than others. It’s harder to get parts from manufacturers in China than ones in the United States or the UK.

laxseries-storage-bed-and-stool-by-mashstudios Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: MASHstudios

Other Considerations

A storage bed can completely change a space, controlling the clutter and offering you a new sleeping space. However, there are limits to what you should place in the under bed storage. It’s not the safest or most careful place to store anything. You also should not allow this space to turn into another collection of clutter, which is all too easy to do.

Use it to organize things like bed linens, blankets, pillows, things used for sleeping, items with no toxic residue, and items that don’t use batteries. Your goal with a storage bed is a space that can be used as storage and also a comfortable, healthy sleeping space. You want to make sure nothing you store will results in health issues for anyone sleeping on the bed.

You shouldn’t store anything electronic under the bed (batteries corrode, among other things), but you should also avoid storing souvenirs, memorabilia, old clothes, photos, shoes (worn or unworn), off season clothing, and old artwork. A lot of these are things that you might want quick access too later. The season will change, after all, and then you’ll have to dig up the appropriate clothes from under your storage bed.

foreside-cottage-by-wright-ryan-homes Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Wright-Ryan Homes

Some of these items are either personally meaningful or valuable. You should store these items carefully in someplace where there’ll be more secure. Under the bed storage can easily become too wet and it’s too easy for a picture to get caught in the mechanism if items shift.

You should make sure the under the bed storage areas stays clean and organized. Don’t let your under the bed storage turn into a smaller version of a junk closet. There’s a lot of organization options for things out there, from a variety of plastic storage bins to dividers you can insert.

Make sure all fabric is carefully folded. If you toss it into the storage space in one big bundle, it will be hard to get out later. You also want to avoid offering dust mites a place to breed, as this is a fairly common allergy.

contemporary-coastal-by-darlene-halaby-photography Storage Bed: How To Get The Most Out Of It
Image source: Darlene Halaby Photography

Make sure you check the mechanisms on your lift storage bed even if you don’t life it often. They can get rusted, worn, or shift so they stop working as well.

Conclusion

A storage bed is a great choice for anyone looking to organize a small space. The variety of options available allow you to have all kinds of different storage space and styles. Storage beds are great investments for your guest room of child’s room, making the most of normally small spaces that gather a lot of clutter. Hopefully these storage bed ideas can help you choose one that works for you.

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