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What to look for when buying a divan bed?

In the realm of bedroom furniture, few pieces combine comfort, style, and practicality quite like divan beds. These versatile and luxurious sleep solutions have been gracing bedrooms around the world for decades, offering a combination of functionality and aesthetics that's hard to beat.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of divan beds, uncovering their design versatility, benefits, and factors to consider when purchasing one for your home. This exploration of divan beds will leave you with a deeper appreciation for these sleep-enhancing wonders.

Should you opt for fabric or velvet upholstery? Do you need a headboard? And can you save money buying a bed and mattress together? We'll explain everything below. Join us on a journey through the world of divan beds, where comfort meets style and where a good night's sleep is just a mattress away.



divan beds

1. What are divan beds?

Divan beds are a type of bedroom furniture that combines a comfortable mattress with a sturdy and stylish base. They are renowned for their practicality, elegance, and versatility, making them a popular choice for bedrooms of all sizes and styles.

At the heart of a divan bed is a mattress that can vary in size and type, from single to king-size and from pocket-sprung to memory foam. This mattress provides the essential comfort needed for a restful night's sleep. What sets divan beds apart, however, is the base on which the mattress rests.

The base of a divan bed is typically constructed from a wooden frame covered in fabric. This fabric can come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to choose a style that complements your bedroom decor.

One of the key advantages of this base design is the extra storage space it offers. Many divan beds come with built-in drawers or compartments, providing a convenient solution for stowing away bedding, clothing, or other items, which is particularly useful in smaller bedrooms.

2. Should you buy a mattress and a divan together?

Divan beds have a reputation for their durability and support. The solid base provides a stable foundation for the mattress, ensuring even weight distribution and minimizing sagging over time. This not only prolongs the lifespan of the mattress but also promotes a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface.

Buying the divan and mattress together can save you money compared to buying them separately. However, if you already have a high-quality mattress in good condition, investing in a new divan base may make more economic sense.

Divans are designed to work with most standard mattress sizes and types. Think about the state of your current mattress and whether it still provides adequate comfort and support before buying a new one. It is recommended that you change mattress at least every 8 years.

3. What kind of material should you use on a divan?

One of the first decisions you need to make when choosing a divan is its upholstery. Many divans come upholstered in a standard neutral fabric (like an oatmeal or grey linen fabric) but you can also find divans upholstered in velvet fabric or leather.

Fabric divans come in various colours and patterns to suit any decor. Velvet feels luxurious, eclectic it has an opulent feel and comes in rich, jewel-toned, and pastel colours. However, it requires more care than fabric for a softer feel, with the soft surface being more prone to snagging, especially from cat claws.

Leather is also a good alternative as it is durable and can be wiped clean easily.

4. Headboard or no headboard?

Divan beds come with the option of having a headboard or no headboard. Headboards provide extra comfort when sitting up in bed, giving you something to lean against and adding style and visual interest to the bed.

If you don't need extra comfort or want a minimalist look, a divan without a headboard allows the mattress to take centre stage. It also works out cheaper.

5. Popular headboard styles

If opting for a headboard, you must choose a shape and material. Common headboard shapes include rectangular, winged, camelback, and upholstered. Consider the headboard style that best matches your taste and your bedroom décor.

  • Rectangular headboards offer a simple, classic style.

  • Winged headboards have curved sides that give a soft, elegant look that is perfect for period homes.

  • Camelback headboards have an arched top for a more dramatic, luxurious feel.

  • Upholstered headboards provide extra padding and come in various fabrics.

6. Wheels or gliders (for manoeuvrability)?

Divan beds often come with the choice of wheels or gliders. Wheels make it easy to move the bed for cleaning or rearranging. However, wheels can catch on flooring and may slide unintentionally. Gliders allow the bed to gently slide across the floor when moved but stay firmly in place otherwise – perfect for carpet.

We recommend choosing wheels for wooden flooring if you frequently move the bed. Choose gliders for easy, subtle shifts without the risk of accidental movement.

7. Slatted or base for the mattress?

Traditional divan beds have a rigid, solid-surface base, but some divans feature a slatted base made of flexible or solid wooden slats. Solid bases provide uniform support across the mattress and emphasise the mattress's technology.

Slatted bases enable slightly more give while still providing ample support. The flexibility of a slatted base also extends the lifespan of the mattress. Consider your preference for a firmer, solid feel or a more forgiving, slatted base.

divan beds

Double divan bed in Arlington Floss fabric and in 'Charlie' headboard style by Bedstar

8. Budget – does paying more make sense?

When budgeting for your divan bed purchase, you can expect to pay anywhere from £200 to £400 for a double divan bed, depending on the fabric and brand you choose.

More affordable divan beds, around £200, have polyester or polycotton fabrics. The quality and comfort are still good for the lower price, though material and colour options are sometimes more limited.

As you move up to the £300 to £400 range, you'll access more decadent fabrics like velvet, luxurious patterns, and a more comprehensive range of contemporary colour choices like navy or blush pink. High-end brands can charge over £600 for divans upholstered in leather and other premium textiles, should you desire more lavishness.

Divan beds - conclusion

In summary, divan beds are a versatile and stylish bedroom furniture option that combines a comfortable mattress with a practical and customizable base.

Whether you're looking to maximize storage space, enhance your bedroom decor, or simply improve your sleep quality, divan beds offer a compelling solution that caters to a wide range of preferences and needs.


divan beds

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.

Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.



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