What is a Divan Bed? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

divan beds
POSTED ON 24-04-2023


What is a divan bed?

A divan bed is made up of two parts: a bed base and the mattress that sits on top. 

A divan bed base is made out of wood and upholstered in fabric. They are made to fit exactly to the measurements of the mattresses that sit on top. The result is that divan beds are more compact than other beds, taking up less space and appearing more minimal. 

Divan beds usually also have castor wheels or chrome gliders so that you can move them about easily. 

You can buy divan beds with storage options. Some with a few drawers, others with lots of draws. By definition, a divan bed is a bed without a headboard. But you can buy a headboard and attach it to your divan base if you want. 

 Divan beds are one of the most popular types of beds you can buy. Compared with standard bed frames, they are often more affordable, take up less space, more practical, and come with lots of extra bonus features.   

What does ‘divan’ bed mean?

‘Divan’ is an old word that has Turkish, Persian and Hindi origins. 

 Many years ago, in the Middle East, people would sleep on mattresses pressed against the wall or on a frame, with cushions to lean on. These beds were known as ‘divans’ and the name has stuck. 

Are divan beds good? The benefits of a divan bed

Divan beds are very popular and increasingly so. Here are some benefits of divan beds:

  • Great for storage — divan beds are great storage beds. Some come with up to four drawers for you to store stuff away.

  • Divan beds are ideal for storing away spare bedding, toiletries, shoes — anything you can think of. Making them especially useful for smaller rooms or if space is limited.

  • Customisable — You can customise our divan beds pretty much any way you want them. Choose the colour, size, fabric, storage options (including the number of pull-out drawers you want), the type of feet that go under the bed, the type of design on the frame — the choice is yours.

  • Top it all off with a mattress type of your choice too.

  • Space-saving — divan bed bases are designed to be no bigger or smaller than the mattress that sits on top of them. By nature, divans are compact. They won’t take up space unnecessarily. So, if every centimetre counts, they’re a great choice.

  • Easy to assemble — divan beds are very easy to put together. Even if you aren’t a DIY natural. This could save you on costs as some bed companies charge a lot of money to assemble beds on delivery.

Lots to choose from — There’s an enormous choice in the type of divan beds available. Including retro ‘60s and ‘70s styles, divan sleigh bedscrushed velvet divan bedssuede fabric divan bedslow divan beds and more. 

Check out our range of divan beds to find your style.

Are divan beds strong?

Yes. Most divan bed bases are made from firm and responsibly sourced timber that is built to last. They’re also very durable because there are fewer parts that can tear or get worn out over the years. 

Divans versus bed frames

Traditional bed frames can look and feel great and have many advantages — for example, a good bed frame has a built-in headboard and can last a lifetime.

But many people choose divan bed bases over traditional bed frames because they are most space-effective, easier to maintain, and double up as great storage units. 

We sell plenty of traditional bed frames for you to weigh up the pros and cons and make up your own mind. For example, this Nevada bed, this faux-leather Prado bed and on our kids’ beds category page

Mattresses that you can get with a divan bed

Divan bases are built to pretty much match up with whatever mattress you want. You just have to make sure the size is right. 

The sizes available include:

Of course, you can always buy a divan bed set which includes the frame and mattress — so you can be extra confident that the two will match up with each other. 

Click here to check out the range of mattresses we have on offer, including memory foam, pocket-spring, hybrid, and orthopaedic foam. 

Browse our collection of mattresses suitable for divan beds

Is a divan bed more comfortable?

Really, it’s the mattress that is the deciding factor in what makes a bed comfortable or not. So choose your mattress wisely. 

But the base or bed frame itself can make a difference. Divan beds cause virtually no discomfort problems. While some traditional bed frames can creak if they’re not sturdy enough — which may be discomforting. But really, it’s mostly down to the mattress. 

Divan bed sizes 

The divan bed sizes are based on all standard UK bed sizes, as seen in this graphic:

With a standard size, you can easily find bedding to match. Plus if you want to attach a headboard, then all you’ll have to do is look for one in the standard size. 

Another way of looking at the sizes is like this:

Divan base heights 

The different types of divan bed bases all have mostly the same height off of the ground. But there are some slight variations. Here is a table to show you what to expect:

Divan Base TypeHeight in InchesPlatform Top15.5” (including casters)Drawer Base15.5” (including casters)Ottoman Base15.0” (including casters)High Divan Base20.0” (including casters)Custom Divan15.5” (including casters)

Looking for a custom-sized divan bed?

Some rooms are odd or awkwardly shaped and sometimes not even the UK standard sizes fit well enough. If you’re in a similar position, we may be able to make one exactly to the specifications you need. 

We make all of our beds ourselves, right here in the UK. So if you are thinking a custom-sized divan bed is what you need, please get in touch. 

Contact us — let’s get planning your custom divan bed

Do divan beds take up a lot of space?

No. Divans take up less space than traditional bed frames. If you wanted to buy a double bed and space is an issue, you would be better off with a double-sized divan bed. 

This is because divan bed bases take up no more space than the mattress that sits on them. Whereas traditional bed frames have headboards and legs that may all stick out that little bit more, giving you less space. 

What is a divan bed base?

A divan bed base is made out of wood and upholstered in fabric. They are made to fit exactly to the measurements of the mattresses that sit on top. The result is that divan beds are more compact than other beds, taking up less space and appearing more minimal.

Divan bed bases are the most popular type of bed base in the UK. You can get them on legs, with castor wheels (castor wheels are free with all our bases) and chrome gliders. 

Types of divan bed bases

There are a few different types of divan bed bases. But the main ones are:

  • Platform top divan — Designed to be a firm, supportive surface for any mattress, platform tops are generally built out of a solid wooden frame and with an upholstered fabric non-sprung panel top. They are very affordable and also great for for people who require extra back support (such as a orthopaedic mattress) and an extra firmness while sleeping.

  • Platform top divans are sometimes referred to as “hard tops” or “bordered tops”.
  • Sprung divan base — A slightly more expensive, but more extravagant option. Sprung bases come with a layer of shock-absorbing springs on the top.

  • There are two different types of sprung divan base:
  • Sprung edge — these bases come lined with open coils or pocket springs to keep the mattress working to the best of its ability for longer periods of time.
  • Firm edge — the key feature of the firm edge is the solid wooden frame that encloses the spring unit. This frame can provide extra support. 
  • Storage divan bases — divan bases are also known for being great storage units. You can get divan bases with:
  • 2 drawers on the same side
  • 2 drawers at the foot end
  • 4 drawers


You can get divan beds without storage options of course if you like the presentation-appeal of bed bases without drawers.

We have an option to select divan beds without drawers as you customise the bed you want. 

How long do divans last?

Divans are built to last, being made out of sturdy and strong timber — and they should last a long time. Mattresses, on the other hand, are supposed to be replaced every 7 years or so. But the bed itself (your divan base) should last longer than this easily. 

Are divan beds expensive?

It’s a myth that divan beds are expensive. The ones we sell certainly aren’t. For example, check out this Silver Crushed Velvet divan base. You can buy one for a starting price of £89, and that’s to get it handmade right here in the UK. 

Even for, say, a super kingsize base of the same fabric with four drawers, you’re still looking on a price of about £329. Which is much cheaper than many other bed frames you see out there. 

Can divan beds be expensive? Sure, if you look in the wrong place. 

Should you choose a divan bed or Ottoman?

Ottoman beds are also popular bed bases. The main difference is that they offer a different amount of storage space, and also in the operating mechanism that is used to access the storage space.

To give you a better idea of what an Ottoman bed is, here is a picture of one with the base lifted:

Each of our Ottoman storage beds uses a piston which helps to lift the entire mattress up and then lower it again — leaving you with the entire bed base for storage.

Some people really like the extra storage space that they bring. If you’re choosing between a divan bed base or an Ottoman, the main difference really is whether you want drawers or for the entire mattress to lift up.

Check out our range of Ottoman beds here.

Read more about this subject in our divan beds versus Ottoman beds guide. 

For quality, affordable, UK handmade divan beds, we’ve got you covered. 

What is a divan bed? Well, hopefully now you know. Divan beds are chock-full of conveniences. They don’t take up any more space than they need to. They’re built to last. And for what they are, they’re extremely affordable. 

And because our divan beds are handmade right here in the UK, you can be confident in their quality.

Our divan beds are already on the lower-cost side, because we source all of our materials and do the building ourselves — meaning we don’t have to rely on expensive ‘middle-men’ to source and manufacture our beds.  

That being said, we still offer beds 0% Interest-free Beds on Finance with Klarna — so you won’t have to wait around to enjoy that new bed to sleep in. You can order it right away.