What is a Divan Bed and How to Buy One | MattressNextDay
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Divan Bed Buying Guide

Divan Bed Buying Guide

A lot of people struggle to choose between divan beds and traditional bed frames. While a lot comes down to personal preference, there are several considerations that could influence your decision. 

What is a divan bed?

First things first, what is a divan bed? A divan is a type of bed that typically comes in two parts - a solid divan base and a corresponding mattress. In most cases, the divan base is made of a wooden frame that’s upholstered with a fabric covering to conceal the basic structure. 

While the divan base often contains additional storage space to help you keep your bedroom neat, tidy and cluttered, that’s not always the case. With some models, the storage space will be sacrificed and replaced with spring support for a comfier night’s sleep. In others, storage simply doesn’t factor into the design. 

Some divan beds have wheels attached to the bottom of the base, allowing for easier movement. Don’t worry though, these wheels can be locked to prevent the bed from sliding around the floor. Divans can also include a range of other aesthetic and functional features, such as headboards and footboards, castors and glides.

What are the benefits of a divan bed?

There are several benefits to divan beds. These include:

  • Additional storage space
  • Compact design
  • Customisable
  • Support is spread evenly

The fact that many divans include storage makes them a fantastic option if you’re short on wardrobe space and are looking for an alternative storage solution. As the divan base acts as a platform for the mattress, this type of bed is also better suited to smaller rooms than bed frames, which are often a little wider and longer than the mattress.

Additionally, your divan can be customised with various feet, wheels, headboards and footboards, ensuring you get the look you want. With a lot of bed frames, that choice is made for you.

Are divan beds comfortable?

Put simply, yes. All beds, regardless of their configuration, are designed to give you the most comfortable night’s sleep possible. Much of that will be down to the mattress you choose. Fortunately, divan beds are designed to be able to take any type of mattress, whether you prefer pocket sprung or memory foam.

The solid base will give you a slightly firmer feel then a slatted bed frame. So that’s worth bearing in mind when you’re choosing your mattress firmness rating to go on your divan.

As the divan base is designed to contain storage areas, you may find that it’s slightly taller than a slatted bed frame. To balance this and to make sure your bed is comfortable when you’re getting on and off, go for a slightly shallower mattress.

If the mattress feels a little too firm, you can always add a soft, snuggly mattress topper to achieve that perfect night’s sleep.

How much space do I need for a divan bed?

Divans come in a wide range of sizes, so the space you need will largely depend on the model you choose. The good news is that divans take up less room than an equivalent traditional bed frame. So, if you want to maximise available floor space or you’re working with a smaller bedroom, they’re an excellent choice.

The dimensions of UK divan beds are matched to standard UK mattresses. This means you can find divans in the following sizes:

These divans measure up in the following way:

Bed/Mattress SizeDimensions (Metric)Dimensions (Imperial)
Small Single75 x 190 cm 2’6” x 6’3”
Standard Single90 x 190 cm3’0” x 6’3”
Small Double120 x 190 cm4’0” x 6’3”
Standard Double135 x 190 cm4’6” x 6’3”
King Size150 x 200 cm5’0” x 6’6”
Super King Size180 x 200 cm6’0” x 6’6”

Can you get different divan bed bases?

There are two types of divan bed bases:

  • Platform bases - this type of divan bed is sometimes referred to as a solid top base. The design doesn’t include springs or any other type of softener, so will feel firmer and sturdier.
  • Pocket sprung bases - this type of divan incorporates a pocket sprung support system into the wooden frame, making the base softer and more comfortable. It’s a more luxurious design but you do compromise your storage space.

Divan bed feet

There are three main options when choosing feet for your divan:

  • Castors - castors are very much like wheels, so allow the divan to move easily around the room. They’re a good choice for carpeted rooms but on slick flooring you may need to ensure they can be locked, otherwise, the divan can slip around.
  • Glides - glides are round-bottomed legs that allow for relatively easy movement of the bed. They exist somewhere in the space between castors and legs. Glides are well suited to both carpeted and smooth floors
  • Legs - legs offer the greatest stability but make moving the bed around the room that much harder. Legs lift the divan off the floor, so aren’t compatible with divans that feature storage. However, the space between the divan and the floor can often be used to stow smaller items.

Can you get storage with divan beds?

When it comes to divan storage designs, there are plenty of options available:

Storage TypeDetails
No Storage divan bedsMakes for a more compact design. Divans with legs have no storage
Two Drawer divan bedsOne drawer on either side of the divan or at the end of the bed 
Four Drawer divan bedsTypically features two drawers on one side of the divan and two on the other
2+2 drawer divan bedsA four drawer design in which the two drawers at the foot of the bed are full size and the two at the head are half size. This ensures you can open the drawers if you have a bedside table
Ottoman divan bedsOffers the most storage of any divan design, as the top of the bed lifts from the side or the bottom. This means all the space beneath the top is available. Hydraulic springs are often used to make lifting the top easier

Our most popular divan beds

Divan beds are a smart, practical solution, especially if you need that extra storage. Whether you buy the bed base on its own or go for a divan and mattress set, there’s plenty to choose from. Our top picks are:

The Hyder Premium Divan Bed Base

A great budget option with plenty of storage space and lots of style. It’s available in a wide range of sizes from small single all the way up to a super king, and in an astonishing selection of colours to suit every bedroom. A solid platform top allows you to team it up with any mattress.

Bed Butler Ashbourne 2000 Pocket Natural Divan Bed

One of our top-ten bestsellers, this set includes an exclusive Bed Butler mattress that’s only available from MattressNextDay. The Reflex foam mattress is suitable for back, front and side sleepers. A choice of storage configurations makes it practical as well as good looking, too.

Sleepeezee Wool Supreme Divan Bed Set

Another bestseller, this divan set comes from one of the top names in bed manufacturing, so you know it’s good. A premium quality mattress with 2000 individually pocketed springs and natural fillings is complemented by a solid base with flexible storage options. Team it up with a matching headboard and you have a striking focal point for any bedroom interior.

Dreamland Cashmere Divan Bed Set with Matching Headboard

Dreamland certainly lives up to its name with this top-ten divan. Contemporary design meets outstanding mattress construction to create a night-time oasis of peace and tranquillity. The mattress is hand-tufted for long-lasting comfort. The divan base comes in a range of different storage configurations. Practical, comfortable, and affordable, it’s a winner in our books.

Hyder Side Opening Ottoman Divan Bed Base

Divans aren’t always practical in a small space, especially if there’s limited room around the sides. If you need something that can open easily, this Ottoman divan base is a smart solution. The side-opening operation makes it easy to access the large storage area underneath. Available in a range of sizes from single to super king, it’s a sleek, simple and stylish alternative that works well with any mattress combination.

Can you put a headboard on a divan bed?

A lot of people don’t know how to build a divan bed or how to put a headboard on a divan bed. But both processes are relatively easy. 

Smaller divans usually come in one piece and you don’t need to do anything but attach the legs, glides or castors. Larger divans come in two separate pieces. After attaching your chosen leg fitting, it’s simply a case of joining the parts with the linking bar. With Ottomans, there’s a little extra work, as you’ll have to screw the lids together.

To attach the headboard and footboard, you want to find the pre-drilled holes in the base and screw the headboard bolts into them. This will allow you to slide the headboard or footboard into place. To adjust the height of the headboard, simply loosen the screws, move the headboard to the right position and retighten the screws.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!