Top 7 Storage Ideas to Make the Most of Your Space Above Bed
May 28, 2023
A girl sitting with coffee, looking outside the window

Written by Eliza

open shelves above the bed, boho style

Are you tired of feeling like you never have enough storage space in your bedroom? Look no further than the area above your bed! Often an underutilized space, the area above your bed can be the perfect spot for extra storage. So whether you have a small or large bedroom, get ready to transform your space with my top seven above-bed storage ideas I’m going to share.

But that's not all! I'll also share some valuable tips for styling and designing your new over-bed storage space to ensure that it stays clutter-free and enhances your bedroom's overall design and feel. By the end of this article, you'll feel empowered to create a functional and beautiful storage solution above your bed!

storage above the bed before and after

Top 7 above-bed storage ideas

1. Opt for over bed bridge unit

Having a bridge unit above your bed can offer numerous benefits to your bedroom. Firstly, it can save you a significant amount of space, especially in small bedrooms where every inch counts. By installing matching wardrobes on either side of your bed and connecting them with a bridge, you can achieve a seamless and cohesive look to your bedroom. This approach not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also provides a practical solution for storing clothing, bedding, and other essentials.

Alpaca tip:

I would recommend designing your own customized bed bridge instead of purchasing pre-made units. This way, you can tailor the cupboards to your exact storage requirements and create a truly unique and functional storage solution for your bedroom.

In addition to saving space and creating a unified look, an over-bed bridge unit can also be a practical design element. You can include features such as reading lights or decorative shelving to add functionality and style to your space.

A bridge storage unit above the bed with tropical and pastel designs

2. Create a hidden storage space

Whether you're looking to create a more serene sleeping environment or simply need some extra storage options, hidden storage space is definitely worth considering. By using hidden shelves or cabinets above your headboard, you can create a functional storage area that is both accessible and out of sight. It can be a great space to store items that you need but don't necessarily use on a daily basis. For example, you could use this area to store extra linens, pillows, or off-season clothing. This over-bed storage idea can also help to free up space in your closet and make it easier to access these items when you need them.

Above bed storage units, modern design

Another advantage of the hidden storage above your bed is the privacy factor. By using the alcove space, items that you don't want to display, such as valuables or personal items, can be safely stored in this hidden area. This is particularly useful if you live in a shared space where privacy and security are important. Additionally, the hidden storage above your bed can add an element of intrigue to your room and make for a unique design feature.

3.  Incorporate an open shelf

If you prefer to easily switch up your decor and display personal belongings in a unique way, consider integrating an open shelf above your bed. Apart from adding a personalized touch to your room's decor, it can also provide convenient storage space for frequently used items such as books, electronic devices, and alarm clocks, which can be easily accessed without having to get out of bed. Another benefit of open shelves is that they don't obstruct the flow of light and air in the room, which can help create a brighter and more breathable space.

Alpaca tip:

For parents looking for a practical storage solution for their children's rooms, cubby shelf storage can be an excellent option. Adding baskets to the cubbies can help keep the space organized and free of clutter while also making it easier for kids to access their belongings.

Open shelf storage above the bed

Additionally, open shelves are more affordable and easier to install than closed cabinets, making them a cost-effective storage solution for those on a budget or living in a rented apartment. With all these advantages, it's easy to see why this over-bed storage idea is an excellent choice for both style and practicality.

4. Get creative by installing a rattan shelf

Incorporating a rattan shelf above your bed can add texture and charm to your bedroom design. Rattan is a natural material that can bring warmth and character to a space, making it an ideal choice for those looking to add a touch of natural beauty to their room. You can use the shelf to store books, plants, or decorative objects that reflect your style.

Alpaca tip:

You can also use hooks to hang items from the rattan shelf. Some things that can be safely hung on a rattan shelf include lightweight decorative pieces such as small plants, woven baskets, picture frames, and lightweight textiles such as scarves or small tapestries. 

However, it is essential to check the weight limit and installation instructions provided by the manufacturer before attempting to hang anything from the rattan shelf.

Rattan shelves above the bed, boho style

Moreover, the open design of the rattan shelf allows for easy access to your belongings while also providing an opportunity to keep your bedside essentials within reach. If you have a high ceiling, consider installing two or more rattan shelves above your bed for even more storage space. Plus, a rattan shelf is a lightweight and affordable option that can be easily installed without the need for professional help.

5. Take advantage of tall cabinetry

Tall cabinetry above the bed can be an excellent storage solution for a bedroom with ample ceiling height. It can provide extra storage space for linens, clothing, and other personal items while also drawing the eye upward and adding visual interest to the room. These units can also be custom-made to fit the specific dimensions of your room. They can be designed to have both open shelves and closed cabinets allowing for a mix of display and concealed storage.

With a range of materials, colors and finishes to choose from, this over-bed storage idea can provide a cohesive look to your bedroom decor by blending seamlessly with your existing furniture.

Tall cabinetry storage above the bed

Alpaca tip:

The height of the cabinetry above your bed depends on the clearance between the ceiling and the bed. If there is ample clearance, then the cabinetry can be installed up to the ceiling for maximum storage space. However, if the clearance is limited, leaving a gap between the top of the cabinetry and the ceiling and filling it with trim can create a cohesive look and reduce dust accumulation.

6. Utilize the upper edge of a built-in headboard

Installing a built-in headboard with a top edge shelf can help to transform your wasted space into valuable storage. The headboard shelf can serve as a practical and convenient spot to keep your phone, glasses, or other small items you may need within arm's reach while in bed. For even greater storage space, consider opting for an all-in-one design that incorporates extended headboards, which are becoming increasingly popular. These headboards offer a modern touch and come equipped with night tables on either side. This can be a smart solution for smaller bedrooms or those with limited storage options.

Alpaca tip:

Sliding doors can be an excellent option for headboard storage. With a sliding door headboard, you can easily access your stored items without having to worry about swinging cabinet doors that may be obstructed by your pillows.

Built-in headboard above the bed

Don't worry if your bedroom doesn't have a headboard! You can still add an element of style and practicality to your sleeping space with a floor-standing headboard. Many floor-standing headboards come with built-in shelves or compartments, providing an accessible place to store your belongings. Plus, with its sturdy design, a floor-standing headboard can even add structural support to your bed, making it feel more secure and comfortable.

7. Maximize your storage with corner shelves

By incorporating a corner shelf above your bed, you'll be amazed at how much extra storage you can gain while simultaneously elevating the overall look and feel of your space. This type of shelving can help to free up other surfaces, such as your bedside tables, dressers, and floors, making your bedroom look neater and more spacious. They are also generally inexpensive compared to other storage options, making it a perfect choice for those who want to save money while improving their bedroom's overall look.

corner shelves above the bed

Alpaca tip:

When it comes to corner shelves for bedroom use, it is recommended to start them at the height of 4' to 4.5' from the floor or at eye level. You can extend the shelves as high as you need them to be, and they can even fall just below the ceiling if you prefer.

It's important to consider what items you plan to place on the highest shelf and provide enough space between them and the ceiling to accommodate them.

Additionally, this above-bed storage idea can be a practical solution for renters or those who don't want to make permanent changes to their bedroom walls. With options like bracket-mounted shelves, you can enjoy the benefits of corner storage without committing to a permanent installation.

Ways to design and style above-bed storage to prevent clutter

Consider mirrored doors

Choosing to install open storage above your bed can sometimes lead to a cluttered-looking bedroom. However, you can maintain a bright and spacious feel in your room by selecting storage cupboards above your bed with mirrored doors. While it may seem like a minor detail, incorporating mirrors can be a smart way to create the illusion of a larger room by reflecting light and ceiling space without sacrificing style. This is especially helpful for those who live in smaller homes or apartments and are worried that installing units above their bed may make their bedroom feel cramped or enclosed.

Above-bed storage units with mirrored doors

Stick to a simple and bright design

To prevent your room from feeling confined, choose white storage units with clean lines, as this will create a more minimalist feel. White is a neutral and timeless color that can complement any bedroom decor and create a more luminous and open feel to the space. Moreover, to add depth to your bedroom, you can opt for a dark-colored quilt or blanket on the bed, as an example, that contrasts with the above bed storage space. This will make it appear even more unobtrusive. 

For a sleek and modern look, you can also consider handleless cupboards that open with a gentle push. Avoiding too many details will give your bedroom an uncluttered and streamlined appearance.

White storage units above the bed

Illuminate the bed area

Similar to kitchen upper cabinets that often have downlights to illuminate workspaces, over-bed units can also feature downlights to enhance the brightness of the bed area. This is ideal for reading and also creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere at night, particularly if you have limited space for standalone lamps.

 Apart from that, you can add dimmer switches to adjust the lighting to your desired level, allowing you to create a relaxing environment for sleeping or a more radiant light for working in bed, for instance. With the right lighting, your over-bed storage can be both practical and visually appealing.

Shelves above the bed with lighting

Use a combination of open and closed shelves

By combining open and closed storage units above your bed, you can create a balance of functionality and aesthetics that can transform your bedroom into a stylish and practical haven. Closed storage units such as cabinets and drawers can help to store bulky or unsightly items, such as seasonal clothing or electronics, organized and dust-free.

On the other hand, open storage units such as shelves and racks offer a convenient and accessible way to store and display your everyday items. Additionally, open storage units can serve as a decorative element in your bedroom, allowing you to showcase your favorite items and add a pop of color or texture to your decor.

Combination of open and closed shelves above the bed


Don't let the space above your bed go unused any longer! With the help of these seven modern storage ideas, you can customize your over-bed storage system to fit your unique storage needs and aesthetic preferences. However, it is crucial to keep safety in mind when using over-bed storage. It is essential to secure your storage units properly to the wall and avoid overloading them. 

So, start exploring the different over-bed storage options today using my tried-and-tested tips and ideas as guidance, and take your bedroom storage to the next level!