Quest for the Elusive Storage Bed

Ms. Hoover: First, we’re going to construct paper mailboxes to store the valentines.
Lisa: Isn’t that just pointless busy-work?
Ms. Hoover: Bull’s-eye. Get cracking.

- The Simpsons

One of our 2013 home improvement goals is to expand access to our bedroom closet. As long as we’re putting the whole dang bedroom out of commission, we’re also going to spruce it up — fresh paint and curtains, wider crown mouldings, and new fixtures and furniture.

We’re awaiting some heating work before starting, so I’ve been planning the room. It’s fairly small and can feel crowded, so we thought we would look for a bed with drawers. Lots of drawers! Thereby eliminating the need for a dresser! In my research, I found many people yearning for the same space-efficient solution, but surprisingly few good options from manufacturers.

And so, since it’s Valentine’s Day, a list of beds!

One or two drawers per side:

  • The ever-reliable Ikea has several options. The Brimnes storage bed has two huge drawers per side, and so does the Mandel. The Oppdal bed is a platform with inset drawers (and a decidedly 1970s waterbed look to it, if you ask me).
  • Some manufacturers have beds with a couple of drawers in the footboard or on the sides. Check out Ashley Furniture or the Hawthorne bed.  For more of a bachelor vibe, there’s the Vogue Panel Bed. These types of beds are readily available at major furniture stores and outlet centers.
  • Similar models show up at major retailers on a regular basis.

Three drawers per side:

  • Again, several manufacturers have this covered. The Providence Bookcase Bed or the Covington bed are good examples.
  • These Yaletown beds (also known as Prepac, and available in three faux wood finishes) are ubiquitous. Little Green Notebook featured this bed in a recent post (although note Jenny’s disclaimer: “Guys, I don’t recommend this route [the storage bed] unless you are in dire straights like we were.”)
  • An odd but effective solution: check out Craiglist for waterbed frames, which often have storage in the base and can accommodate a standard mattress instead of a waterbed.
  • You can build it yourself! The amazing Ana White’s Farmhouse Storage Bed features three drawers per side, and you really can build it yourself! Her plans are terrific.

But we want to replace one or more dressers. It’s harder to find a bed with lots and lots of drawers or storage. Thing one, these beds are more expensive to produce and ship, and therefore to buy. Thing two, lots of drawers makes for a higher bed, which doesn’t appeal to most consumers. It’s not as big a pay-off for furniture makers. But there are some options:

  • The Yaletown/Prepac bed mentioned above also comes in a 12-drawer model. This is pretty much exactly what we want in storage capacity, but I am not confident that particle board construction will hold up over the longer term. $600 is a lot to spend on something disposable.
  • The Anderson “Ultimate Bed” is most remarkable. Drawers on both sides, and out the footboard end. What can’t it do?? Honestly, I’m a little bit frightened of it. I also found a similar product at DresserBed.com.
  • If you are in the New York area, try Gothic Cabinet Craft for storage beds. Their 12-drawer option was leading our list until I called for shipping rates — freight is scary-spendy to the flyover zone. But it looks like a great bed.
  • Ana White has you covered here too! Check out the Fillman Storage Bed with six drawers on a side, modifiable to different sizes.

In all categories, it’s also worth checking out your local unfinished or Amish furniture retailer for their options. These are typically very high quality, but the prices reflect it. As they should.

A final word about storage beds: discussions on various boards indicate that foam or latex beds may trap moisture between the mattress and a flat platform, causing mold. Ikea beds and others with open slats do not have this problem, but most storage beds do have flat tops. Innerspring mattresses are said to disperse moisture rather than trap condensation. Something to keep in mind.

If you have other sources for storage beds, please do comment with links — I’d love to give others a resource for finding such a useful piece of furniture. Our current thinking? We’re probably going to build.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

UPDATE: We bought a bed! See what we chose here. AND ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s our review of the bed after sleeping in it for a few months.

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