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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a more compact design - divans with legs don’t come with storage, but there could be room to tuck your slippers underneath.
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.
One drawer on either side or at the end of the divan bed.
Typically feature two drawers on one side of the divan and two on the other.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|75 x 190 cm
|2’6” x 6’3”
|90 x 190 cm
|3’0” x 6’3”
|120 x 190 cm
|4’0” x 6’3”
|135 x 190 cm
|4’6” x 6’3”
|150 x 200 cm
|5’0” x 6’6”
|Super King Size
|180 x 200 cm
|6’0” x 6’6”
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.
For more information on bed sizes, read our Ultimate UK Bed & Mattress Size Guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.