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What is a Divan Bed? A Guide to Understanding the Basics

Divan beds are a familiar item in many households, but do you really know what they are and how they can enhance your sleep experience? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs...

Divan beds are a familiar item in many households, but do you really know what they are and how they can enhance your sleep experience? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of divan beds, from their construction to the different types available, and even the storage options they offer. So, let's dive in!

What is a Divan?

A divan, also referred to as a box spring, is a type of bed base that provides support for your mattress. It consists of a sturdy timber frame covered in material, with the mattress resting on top. The divan raises the mattress to a comfortable height, making it easier for you to get in and out of bed.

Traditional divan bed with drawers Traditional divan bed with drawers

The divan ensures an even sleeping surface and is typically constructed with either a solid platform top or an interior spring unit. The platform top, usually made from hardboard, offers firm support, while the spring unit adds extra cushioning and support. Most divans come with castors or wheels, making them easy to move around.

Different Types of Divans

Divans come in various types, each offering unique features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at a few popular options:

Platform Top

A platform top divan has a solid, flat surface, providing a firmer bed feel. These beds often come at a more affordable price point, as they are relatively inexpensive to manufacture. However, some memory foam and latex brands offer higher-quality platform top divans specifically designed to support their mattresses.

Sprung Edge Divan

Sprung edge divans feature an open coil or pocket spring unit mounted to the top of the frame. This unit adds extra cushioning and improves overall comfort. It also helps prolong the life of the mattress by absorbing some of the sleeper's weight. However, keep in mind that not all mattresses work well with sprung bases; memory foam and latex mattresses usually perform better on slats or solid top bases.

Firm Edge Divan

Some sleepers may feel unstable near the edge of a divan bed, causing them to gravitate towards the center. A firm edge divan reinforces the framework around the bed, providing improved edge support. It not only prevents sagging but also makes getting in and out of bed more comfortable.

Bedstead Bases

Bedstead bases are shallow divans that sit inside a bed frame. They offer even support across the entire mattress and protection from the frame's slats, grids, or wires. These bases are ideal for antique and vintage bed frames that may not provide proper mattress support. By pairing your mattress with a bedstead base, you can enjoy all the benefits a divan provides without replacing your bed frame and matching furniture.

Shallow Divan on Legs

A shallow divan on legs combines the appearance of a bedstead with the support of a divan. It features a shallow divan base with attached legs, elevating the bed off the floor. This design makes cleaning and maintaining the area underneath the bed easier. Shallow divans work well in smaller bedrooms, creating an open and spacious appearance.

Adjustable Divan Beds

Adjustable divan beds are a great option for those who prefer different sleeping positions or need additional support. They can be adjusted to various angles, allowing you to read or watch TV comfortably in bed. These beds are especially beneficial for older adults or people with mobility issues. Keep in mind that adjustable divan beds are generally more expensive due to their mechanisms and advanced features.

Are Divan Beds Old-Fashioned?

In the past, divan beds were often upholstered in unsightly materials and needed to be hidden with a valance sheet. However, times have changed! Nowadays, divans come in a wide range of beautiful materials, eliminating the need for covers. Many divans even offer a choice of headboards and bed accessories in matching colors, making them seamlessly blend with any room decor.

Divan bed with matching headboard dark brown

Divan Storage Options

One of the significant advantages of divan beds is the additional storage they provide. Let's explore the different storage options available:

  • Drawers: Divans come with either drawers or an ottoman design with lift-up storage. These storage options allow you to keep your bedding, blankets, and towels neatly organized and out of sight.

Beige upholstered divan base with continental drawers Divan base with continental drawers

  • 2 + 2 Continental Drawer Option: This option includes two standard drawers at the bottom of the bed and two half-size drawers at the top. It provides easier access to the top drawers without interference from bedside cabinets.

Divan with two continental drawers and two standard drawers

  • Four Drawer Option: With the four-drawer option, you get four equal-sized standard drawers, two on each side of the bed.

Divan with four standard drawers

  • Foot End Drawers: Some divan beds feature an end drawer at the foot of the bed, providing extra storage space. These drawers are typically larger than standard drawers, although their depth allows for two side drawers on top.

Divan bed with end drawer and two continental side drawers Divan bed with end drawer and two continental side drawers

  • Ottoman Divan Bed: Ottoman beds offer generous under-bed storage. The base lifts from either the end or side, revealing ample space beneath the mattress. Some ottoman bases have one large storage compartment, while others divide the space into separate compartments.

Will Any Headboard Fit a Divan Bed?

Divan beds usually come with bolts that allow you to attach a headboard. Most headboards have wooden struts with fixing points spaced at a standard width. It's important to choose a headboard size that corresponds to the bed size. Check the screw hole measurements before making a purchase.

To attach the headboard, screw the bolts through the headboard struts into the pre-drilled holes in the back of the base. You can adjust the height of the headboard to your preference. However, it's worth noting that certain floor-standing headboards may come with different fittings. So, always check the fittings when buying a headboard separately.

Are Divan Beds Easy to Assemble?

Assembling a divan bed is a straightforward process. Single sizes come as one unit, while larger sizes are split into two sections for easier transportation. Simply stand both halves of the divan on their side, fit the castors or screw in the feet to the pre-drilled holes, and join the bases together using the provided fittings. Assembly should take no more than twenty minutes.

Can You Put a New Mattress on an Old Divan Base?

It's generally best to purchase a mattress and divan base together, as they are designed to complement each other. Putting a new mattress on an old base may impact comfort, shorten the mattress's lifespan, and even invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee. To ensure the best sleep experience and longevity of your mattress, consider investing in a new divan base when purchasing a new mattress.

Final Thoughts

A mattress is only as good as the foundation it rests on, and a divan bed is an excellent choice for providing support and comfort. With a wide range of options available, from different types to storage choices, divans are versatile and well-suited for various bedroom styles. So, why not consider a divan bed for your next bedroom upgrade?