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The Bedstar Guide to Divan Beds

Divan beds – the best choice

Divan beds are one of the best choices you can get when it comes to buying a new bed. These box-type beds are simple in design but high in practicality, versatile and easy to style. If you’re considering buying a divan bed and want to know more about them before you order one, or if you’ve decided you want to buy one but are having trouble deciding which would be the right one for you, this buying guide is for you.

What is a divan bed?

Divan beds combine a firm base with a matching mattress. They’re one of the most popular types of bed there are and provide a good-quality sleep. 

Divan beds are built to last and, normally, they’ll consist of a wooden frame (some have metal frames, though) and come in two pieces which you then put together. For manoeuvrability, most divan beds sit on castors (wheels), which is preferable if you have carpets.

When it comes to buying divan beds, you can buy them as a set, which includes the base and the mattress together, or buy the base and mattress separately. Mattress depths can range between 19 and 34 centimetres (7.4 and 13.3 inches). Headboards, footboards and storage features are optional.

Divan beds come in a range of sizes. The smallest you’ll find is the Small Single, which is 75 x 190 centimetres (29.5 x 74.8 inches), and the largest is Super King Size, which is 180 x 200 centimetres (70.8 x 78.7 inches).

Are divan beds better?

There are all sorts of advantages to having a divan bed, from the storage to their ease of assembly and more. Here are the main ones:

  • Superb for storage. No matter how small your room is, you can still make the most of your space. You can fit them with drawers, sliding storage or choose an ottoman base and store items away in them. If space is at a premium, it’s worth knowing that divan beds take up a little less space than a standard bed frame.
  • Customisable. Divan beds are easy to customise. Besides the storage features, you can also choose the fabric, headboard and footboard (and also their colours).
  • Easy to transport. Since divan beds come in two main parts, they’re easier to transport. The castors on the bottom of the base save you some heavy lifting as well if you’re moving the bed around the room.
  • Straight forward assembly. The structure of divan beds makes them as simple to assemble as they are to transport. Join the two main bits together and you’ve made the bed. You then just have to add the headboard and footboard, which you can also attach quickly and easily.

Choosing a divan bed

Where do you start when it comes to choosing a divan bed? This section is all about some of the different types of beds and what to consider when choosing a divan bed.

Divan bed bases

When it comes to divan beds, there are four main types of bases. The main reason for choosing one over the other is support. The bases work together with your mattress to provide an overall level of comfort and support:

  • Platform. These are the more common type of and are preferable if you’re looking for a firmer level of support. They have a strong, top-board panel which create extra firmness. Platform bases can be cheaper as well.
  • Sprung-edged. Sprung-edged divans come with the springs built into the base. They’re more luxurious and act like a giant shock absorber, relieving some of the pressure on the mattress. If you want a softer feel while you’re sleeping, a sprung-edged base is more suitable for you. Their durability can also help your mattress to last a little longer.
  • Slatted. Some divans feature slatted bases. These add firmness for the person using the bed.
  • Zip and link. These beds are all about convenience. If you and your partner have different comfort preferences, you can simply buy a zip and link divan bed, split the bed into two and tailor each bed to your own comfort preferences. That could mean two separate mattresses, which you can zip together if the need calls for it.

Storage

One of the fab things about divan beds is that you can build storage into them and maximise space in the room. Bedstar divan beds have three main types of storage option: slide storage, drawers and ottomans.

Drawer options

The drawers are a helpful option if you prefer to compartmentalise your possessions. They’re good for storing smaller items. If you choose drawers, you have two options:

  • Two drawers, which feature a single drawer on both sides of the bed; both drawers on the same side of the bed; or one drawer on the side of the bed and one at the end of it.
  • Four drawers, which feature two drawers on both sides of the bed.

Ottomans

Ottomans are a different type of storage. Rather than pull a drawer out of the bed to access the storage space, you flip the top of the base up. Ottomans are useful for storing bulky items and offer a little more space than drawers because there are no separative elements, unlike the drawer materials which take up a little space.

Slide storage

Divan beds that have slide storage are handy when the bed will be in a small room. Instead of pulling the drawers out, you just slide the doors across. This makes it easier to access the storage space.

It would be nice to have a picture here if the client has one that reflects this type of storage clearly. The images on the slide storage page show standard divan beds without any storage.

Styling the bed

Divan beds are versatile when it comes to styling, thanks to the different optional elements such as headboards, footboards and storage options. Of course, you can choose the fabric colour and type, too, which really allows you to personalise the bed.

Headboards

The simple design of divan beds allows you to add a real touch of sophistication when you choose your headboard, the fabric of which should match your divan bed base.

Before anything, it’s important to work out how much space you have. When you decide which size bed you’re going to get, think then about the headboard and how you’ll use it. For instance, if you like to watch TV in bed or read before you turn out the light, you might prefer an upholstered headboard which is soft but elegant and can provide some extra comfort while you lean against it. If the headboard is more for decorative purposes, you might look for a sturdier design.

Don’t worry about assembling the headboard. This is straightforward. You can do it in just a few simple steps.

Footboards

If, when you’re deliberating between divan bases and bed frames, the aesthetics are swaying you more towards the bed frame, hold on. When you buy a divan bed, you don’t necessarily have to forgo the aesthetic value that a bed frame offers. That’s because the footboard helps you to retain a bed frame’s elegant aesthetics when you combine it with a matching headboard.

A shallow footboard will give the bed a nice finish. It also creates cohesion and a sense that the bed is ‘complete’. You’ll feel cosy when you climb into the bed. There’s something snug about being wrapped up and between the headboard and footboard!

Choosing colours and fabrics

The bed is the centrepiece of the room. The choice of base colour is up to you, but when styling a divan bed, it’s a good idea to opt for a more neutral colour such as grey or beige. Don’t recoil in fright. They’re not as boring as they seem. They work wonderfully well with other colours and pave the way for you to inject some real pop into the colour scheme, by contrasting skilfully with bright-coloured cushions and pillows. 

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, of course. It all comes down to the wider colour scheme of your room. You may prefer the sense of freshness and calm that blue brings to a room, the energy that orange exudes or the crispness of white, for instance, and work with these colours.

When it comes to the fabric, a cosy-looking material, such as velvet or a shimmering crushed velvet, will convey a real sense of plush. If velvet isn’t your thing, it doesn’t mean luxury has to come off the menu. Velvet isn’t the only material which transmits luxury; chenille, with its thick texture and raised pile, will also do the job.

You don’t have to be all about the luxury, of course. Verona may suit you better if you’re looking for something more practical. This is a natural mix tweed and is lightweight. The fabric will still bring warmth to the room. If you’re all about style, suede, which is soft and versatile, could be the way to go.

Getting colourful with cushions and pillows

Just like the base, you can keep the bedding fairly plain and neutral and seize upon the opportunities that cushions and pillows present to accent the bed. Cushions or pillows of any colour will contrast perfectly against a white duvet and fulfil their duties more than adequately as an accent. If you wish to be less bold with your cushion colours, pastel colours look pleasant and keep the aesthetics more subtle.

Pillows are an important part of the bed, so you’ve got to get these right. You can choose a soft one which is plush in style or go with a firmer, more compact pillow. It’s all about getting the balance right between the texture and colour of the pillows and cushions, and the design of the rest of the room.

bed set

Getting the bed linen right

Good bed linen is crucial. Choose bad linen and the bed will look poor; choose a good one and the bed will sparkle. It’s that important. This isn’t just about style, either; you’re sleeping in the bed and your skin is going to come into contact with the linen, so you might as well spend a little more on something of a higher quality. 

To find the best quality linen, consider the weave, yarn and whether there is any embroidery on it. The breathability, durability, softness and smoothness are other major considerations, as is the maintenance of the linen. Keep in mind the thread count if you wish, but don’t assume that because the thread count is higher, the linen is better. It’s not always the case.

100% Stonewashed linen is the fabric par excellence when it comes to bed linen. This type of linen oozes quality, but to keep it looking sweet, you’ll have to iron it regularly because it creases easily. Pure, prima and Egyptian are fine quality cottons, too, and will maintain the bed’s aesthetics on the upside. 

Working with layers

Throws and quilts are a straightforward way to layer a bed. They give you functionality, practicality and luxury all in one, so it’s a no-brainer, really. They should match the colour scheme of your bed or complement it. Patterned bed linen will require a solid throw, whereas non-patterned linen – i.e. solid – will call for a patterned throw.

Don’t forget that the seasons change, so you can (and should) change your throw, too. In any case, you won’t want a heavy throw in the summer. Switching to something more lightweight will help you stay cooler and, at the same time, add variation to the colour scheme. You can also play around with different textures. Satin, faux fur and velvet all suggest style and comfort simultaneously.

If you’re not sure whether your throw will match the rest of the bed, there’s a simple way to solve it: buy a set which consists of the throw, the duvet cover and scatter cushions. For this to work, though, the rest of the room must be plain. If the decor is too colourful, the whole effect could be overwhelming.

divan bed

Adding final finishing touches

The minimalist-style design of divan beds means small details can really give them a stylistic boost, so think carefully about the finishing touches to the bed. You could pop a small cuddly toy on them, make your bed in a certain way or always leave your pyjamas folded at the end of the bed. Inject that little extra character into the room in the way you arrange your pillows. How you complete the bed will give the room further identity.

Divan beds: simple, stylish, practical

That’s divan beds, really. They’re easy to move around, assemble and style, and they’re highly practical, too, because you can build storage space into them. These characteristics all make divan beds a superb choice.