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Divan Bed Buying Guide

The ultimate divan bed buying guide - everything you need to know straight from our product experts.

Divan beds make the perfect addition to any bedroom. Whether you need extra storage space, or want a stylish upholstered bed to form an elegant centrepiece, there’s a divan bed for you. In this guide we’ll take you through exactly what a divan bed is, the types of divan beds available, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a divan bed?

A divan bed is a bed constructed of a wooden frame, upholstered in fabric or similar material. Usually arriving in two parts, divan beds are easily assembled and usually come with storage drawers underneath.

You can also find headboards, footboards and even wheels to attach to your divan bed for enhanced practicality.

What's the difference between an ottoman bed and a divan bed?

An ottoman bed is a type of storage bed like a divan. They use hydraulic springs or gas pistons to open from either the sides or bottom to reveal storage space in the entire section below the mattress. While a divan bed features drawers that open from either side, an ottoman bed provides a much larger storage area.

An image of an open end opening ottoman bed.

What are the benefits of a divan bed?

  • Storage space - choose from a variety of under-bed storage options
  • Compact design - designed to take up less space, your mattress will fit perfectly atop a divan bed
  • Customisable options - choose from a variety of fabrics, colours and styles, as well as feet, bases, headboards and footboards
  • Supportive base - a stable platform for your mattress, a divan bed provides a strong foundation for your mattress
  • Easy to assemble - made of just two parts, divan beds are easy to assemble. Headboards and footboards are also easily attached
  • Easily manoeuvred - opt for a divan bed with wheels to easily move it around your room - don’t worry, they lock in place

Base only

Made from sustainable solid timber and upholstered in a range of styles, we have an extensive collection of divan bases for you to pair with your perfect mattress. Consider how much storage space you require, as well as if you prefer wheels or castors, when selecting your divan base.

Divan sets

We’ve done the hard work for you and combined our best selling mattresses with our favourite divan bases. Our collection of divan bed sets are the ideal choice for fully upgrading your bedroom and sleeping experience.


Most divan bases are sold without headboards, but adding one can make your divan look more stylish as well as create a barrier between your head and the wall. Divan headboards offer support for you to sit up in bed, as well as make your divan look the part.


Using hydraulic springs or gas pistons, an ottoman divan bed opens from either the side or bottom end to reveal a larger amount of storage space. An alternative to divan beds with drawers, an ottoman offers more space to keep your bedroom clutter-free.

Divan storage options

One of the key advantages of a divan bed is that it can come with a variety of drawers to suit any storage need. You can, of course, choose a divan bed without storage, or an ottoman, which lifts up to reveal an entire surface of storage space.

No storage divans

For a more compact design - divans with legs don’t come with storage, but there could be room to tuck your slippers underneath.

Ottoman beds

An ottoman bed offers 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.

Two drawer divans

One drawer on either side or at the end of the divan bed.

Four drawer divans

Typically feature two drawers on one side of the divan and two on the other.

2+2 drawer divans

A four-drawer design in which the two drawers at the foot of the bed are full size and the two at the head are a half size.

What size divan bed do I need?

The dimensions of our divan beds are the same as standard UK mattresses, so that your mattress will sit snugly atop the divan without taking up excess space. Divan beds are designed to fit your mattress perfectly. Simply choose the same size divan as your mattress for a perfect fit.

Divan/mattress size guide graphic.

Divan bases are designed to take up less space than regular bed frames and are the ideal choice for smaller bedrooms, especially those with limited storage. Even a single divan bed will offer a good amount of storage space, just make sure you have enough room to extend the drawers fully.

How big is a small single divan bed?

A small single divan bed size is 2’6” x 6’3 (75 x 190 cm), making it ideal for rooms with limited space. These beds are best suited to children, but they can be used by adults, although space will be more limited. Two small single beds are often included in guest bedrooms to give guests their own sleeping space while maximising a room’s dimensions.

How big is a standard single divan bed?

A standard single divan bed is 3’0” x 6’3” (90 x 190 cm), and is a great choice for most people, whether adults, teenagers, or children. They’re also perfect if you have limited space or sleep alone and prefer a cosier feel from your bed.

How big is a small double divan bed?

A small double divan bed measures 4’0” x 6’3” (120 x 190 cm). If you have limited space, have teenagers, or sleep alone and like a bit more room, this would be a suitable bed size for you. Small double divan beds can also be used by couples who like to sleep closer together. They are a popular choice for guest bedrooms, especially those with handy built-in storage.

How big is a standard double divan bed?

The standard double divan bed is 4’6” x 6’3” (135 x 190 cm), offering more space than the previous options. It is ideal for couples who want a little more space while still sharing a bed, or for single sleepers who like to stretch out.

How big is a king-size divan bed?

The king size divan bed is 5’0” x 6’6” (150 x 200 cm). It is suited to couples who want even more space, taller people, or people with a bigger build. King size beds are also a popular choice for parents who have young children join them during the night. Our guide on co-sleeping with children will give you some tips on how to do this safely.

How big is a super-king divan bed?

Of all UK bed sizes, the super king divan bed is the biggest of them all, at 6’0” x 6’6” (180 x 200 cm). It offers the most in terms of comfort and space and creates a real focal point in any bedroom.

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”

How much space do I need for a divan bed with drawers?

Generally, divan drawers will open 32cm on either side. You’ll also need to make sure you’ve got room to sit or stand to access the drawer, so we’d recommend leaving a total of 60cm either side of your divan bed.

At the bottom end of your bed, you’ll want around 55cm of space to be able to move around and make your bed comfortably. Of course, you can place a single divan bed along the wall, and opt to only have drawers on one side to increase floor space in your bedroom.

Size guide graphic for divan bed size and drawers.

For more information on bed sizes, read our Ultimate UK Bed & Mattress Size Guide.

What are the different types of divan base?

Platform Base

Also called a solid top base or hard top base, this type of divan base will feel firmer and more solid. However, this type of base offers the most room for storage, and is incredibly sturdy.

Pocket-Sprung Base

Incorporates pocket springs into the wooden frame, making the base softer and enhances the responsiveness of your mattress. Comes in ‘sprung edge’ with springs all the way to the edges, or ‘firm edge’ with solid sides.

Reinforced Base

Specially crafted to support more weight. A reinforced divan bed base features a wooden top which offers twice the amount of support and sturdiness of other divan bed types.

How to choose divan bed feet


Very much like wheels, castors allow the divan bed to be moved around easily. An ideal choice for carpeted rooms, for slicker flooring you can simply ensure the wheels are locked in place.


Glides are sturdy feet that keep your divan bed positioned firmly on the floor, but do allow for relatively easy movement around the room. They are a middle-ground between castors and legs.


Divan bed legs offer the greatest stability, but make moving the bed much harder. Choosing divan legs will mean sacrificing storage space, although they do keep the divan securely in place.

How easy is it to put a divan bed together?

Divan beds generally arrive to you as two separate components that you attach together. You don’t need a versed DIY’er to assemble a divan bed – just a couple of household tools and maybe someone to give you a helping hand.

You can also attach two single divan beds together to create a double. Attaching a headboard and footboard are also very straightforward.

For a complete guide to putting your divan bed together, read our Divan Bed Assembly Guide.

How to know when your divan bed needs replacing

A divan bed should last around 10 years, so long as you look after it properly. Some signs that you need a new divan bed are:

You're getting a poor night's sleep

If your sleep is suffering, your bed is sagging or your body is aching, it’s probably time to upgrade your bed. Keep in mind that your mattress plays a part in this too, so consider how long you’ve had your mattress to see if it also needs replacing.

The wood creaks or the base is damaged

Creaking or visible damage is a sign that there are structural issues with your divan bed. This can lead to the bed caving as the frame starts to crack or split.

The interior slating becomes weak

If the interior slating starts to collapse, or the bed base starts to bow, it could be due to an excessive weight load. This could also be because the base is too old to hold the weight it used to. The base can break or become impractical to sleep on.

Need some inspiration first? Take a look at our Best Divan Beds 2024 to find your favourite.

Not found the answer to your question? Check our frequently asked questions below

Do the divan beds at MattressNextDay come with a mattress?
We offer divan bed and mattress sets to suit every need. You can purchase either a divan bed base on it's own if you have your own mattress, or you can purchase a full set for a complete sleep upgrade.
Do divan beds break easily?
Divan beds are designed to be a durable, long-lasting choice. All of our divan beds are made with quality materials that can be used regularly over a long period of time without damaging.
How sturdy are divan beds?
Divan beds are created using metal or wood, which are incredibly stable and durable materials. They are able to withstand frequent use without bending or breaking easily.
Are divan beds sturdier than metal or wooden frames?
A high-quality divan base is an excellent choice when looking for a sturdy foundation for your mattress. Most divan beds are made using metal or wood, making them just as dependable as a metal or wood bed frame.
How much weight can a divan bed hold?
Divan beds are designed to withhold the weight of a mattress as well as the person or people lying on it. It’s a good idea to check the weight limit of your divan bed, as well as the weight of your mattress, as this can vary between divan sizes, types and manufacturers.
How long should a divan bed last?
Typically, a divan bed that is cared for properly can last longer than 10 years. You may need to replace your mattress in between that, ensuring your mattress’ age doesn’t ruin the integrity of your divan.
Do all headboards fit divan beds?
Our headboards are available in a range of sizes, so as long as the size of headboard you choose correlates to the size of your bed, you shouldn't have a problem.
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