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How to choose a mattress for an ottoman bed

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Most mattresses are suitable for use with an ottoman bed. However, since ottoman beds utilise a lifting mechanism, you should consider additional factors, such as mattress weight and thickness.

Ottoman beds are a popular type of bed base. They have a large hidden compartment underneath the mattress, providing valuable storage for bedding, clothes, or other light items.

Ottoman beds don’t typically require a particular type of mattress. However, choosing the right mattress takes time and effort. Here’s what you need to know.

Happy young man bed shopping lifting an ottoman bed in-store

Factors to consider when choosing a mattress for an ottoman bed

There are various factors to consider when choosing a mattress for an ottoman bed.

Comfort and support

Comfort and support are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a mattress. Comfort is subjective. What’s comfortable for one person may be uncomfortable for someone else. Some people like a firmer feel, while others prefer a mattress they can sink into.

Correct support depends on your weight, build, height, and preferred sleeping position. In general, the heavier you are, the firmer the mattress you need.

Compatibility

When pairing a mattress with an ottoman base, ensure the two are compatible. As ottoman beds often have solid or slatted bases, choosing a better-quality mattress is advisable since it will absorb most of the wear and tear.

Good ventilation is also important, especially for memory foam mattresses. Slats are ideal since air can circulate freely underneath the bed.

Also, consider slat spacing if pairing the mattress with a slatted base. Ensure the slats do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations, as anything wider can cause the mattress to migrate between the slats.

Mattress weight

Ottoman beds usually have a mattress weight limit, typically up to 90 kg. However, this can vary depending on the specific model.

Heavier mattresses might exceed the weight limit, potentially damaging the lifting mechanism. It’s advisable to double-check the ottoman’s weight capacity and the mattress’s weight to ensure you can use the base and mattress together.  

Also, be mindful that the mattress’s weight can affect the handling of the lifting mechanism. If the mattress is too heavy, handling the mechanism becomes challenging. The mechanism could also drop unexpectedly and potentially cause an injury. In contrast, if the mattress is too light, the lifting mechanism could lift faster than expected. 

Some mattresses also require regular turning to even out the wear. This can be physically demanding, so consider a non-turn model if you have concerns about turning the mattress.

Mattress thickness

You should also consider mattress thickness, especially if you use a headboard with an ottoman bed. Some headboards may press against a deeper mattress when lifting the ottoman bed and interfere with the operation.

In this case, you may need to replace the headboard or opt for a thinner mattress that allows the lifting mechanism to operate smoothly without obstruction.  

Traction

Some mattresses may slide or shift out of place on ottoman bases, especially when lifting or lowering the mechanism. A sliding mattress can be frustrating. It is often caused when there is not enough traction to keep the mattress in place. Mattresses covered in soft, smooth materials can often be problematic. So, it helps to choose one with better grip to prevent the issue.

If you’re visiting a local mattress store, it’s advisable to test the mattress on a similar bed base to the one you will be using. This will not only help you determine whether it’s comfortable but also whether it is prone to sliding on an ottoman base.

Mattresses for ottoman beds

There isn’t one type of mattress that suits everyone. However, weighing up the pros and cons of each will help you decide which type best suits your needs.

Open coils

Coil springs are commonly used in mattresses. They are typically inexpensive to produce, making them ideal for budget-conscious shoppers.

An open coil unit consists of a series of large interconnected springs, resulting in a firmer and bouncier feel. They transfer movement, meaning that sleeping partners might disturb one another when they turn in bed.

Pocket springs

Pocket springs are smaller, softer springs covered in material. Each spring works independently, allowing the mattress to conform well to body shape and distribute weight more evenly. Pocket springs also reduce partner disturbance, making them ideal for sleeping partners.

Memory foam

Memory foam slowly moulds and adapts to body shape. It is ideal for those who prefer a mattress that gently cradles the body. Memory foam can help alleviate painful pressure points from sensitive areas like the shoulders, hips and back.

The material also absorbs movement, making it ideal for couples sharing a bed. Memory foam can feel warmer than other materials because of its dense cell structure.

Latex

Like memory foam, latex conforms well to body shape but responds quickly when pressure is removed. Latex is durable, resilient and offers excellent pressure relief. It typically feels cooler than memory foam but can be more expensive.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine springs with foam. They are the perfect compromise for those looking for the support of springs with the comfort and cushioning of foam. Some hybrid models can be quite deep, so ensure you can lift the ottoman base smoothly with the mattress, especially if you use a headboard.

Final thoughts

Most mattresses are suitable for use with ottoman beds, but be mindful of their weight and thickness. You can always double-check with the retailer or manufacturer if you’re unsure.

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About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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