What is a divan bed, and should you consider getting one?

Your bed frame is the focal point of your bedroom, as well as key to getting good quality sleep, so taking the time to research your options is well worth it. Divan beds are compact, with clean lines to suit both contemporary and traditional bedrooms. A divan bed is built around a wooden frame, sometimes with layers of soft padding, and a fabric covering. So, what is a divan bed exactly, and how can they benefit your sleep? 

What’s a divan bed?

A divan bed frame is a mattress-sized, upholstered wooden base, often with an accompanying headboard. They are compact, with clean lines and clever built-in storage that helps create a calm, clutter-free bedroom.

Types of divan bed

As well as answering what is a divan bed, to make an informed decision, it’s helpful to know about the types of divan that are available.

There are two main types of divan bed – platform top and spring top. Platform top divan beds have a solid sleeping surface that sits on top of the wooden divan frame. They offer a firm sleeping surface that provides strong back support and remains in top condition for many years. Spring top divan beds have a layer of coil or pocket springs that creates more give in the base, and a less firm sleeping surface.  

Benefits of a divan bed

The perfect bed for you is an individual choice, influenced by your sleeping preferences and available space. Here’s why an ottoman or divan bed could be the right option for you.

Easy assembly

Unlike more fiddly bed frames with many different parts, orthopaedic divan beds come in sections that fit together easily. This makes them a practical choice if you aren’t keen on DIY.


Divan bed bases are made to fit standard mattress sizes, helping you make the most of smaller spaces. Their hidden storage and sleek shape save space and complement minimalist styles too.

Removable and replaceable headboard

The meaning of the word divan comes from a Turkish-Iranian word for a long, cushioned seat or bed, traditionally without arms or headboards. Divan beds now often come with matching headboards, in fabric options to suit classic and contemporary interiors. Some allow you to remove and change your headboard to keep up with your décor and tastes. This makes divan and ottoman beds a more sustainable choice, that can change with your style to last for many years.

Divan bed storage options

The answer to what’s a divan can be neatly summed up as a bed with a solid frame and storage underneath. But from there, an enormous range of options are available. A divan bed frame often has customisable drawers, and the option to switch to ottoman bed storage to utilise the entire under-bed space.

Divan bed storage options 
NoneNo underbed storage, just the solid divan frame.
Two drawersTwo drawers, with one on each side, or both on the same side of the bed. There are various sizes available, from smaller drawers to ones that use the full length of the bed.
Four drawersFour drawers, which can come in a range of size combinations. For example, two smaller and two larger drawers, or four equal-sized drawers.
End drawerA drawer at the foot end of the divan bed.
OttomanStorage in the whole under bed space, accessed by lifting the sleeping surface (with pneumatic hinges).

Are there any downsides to a divan bed?

Divan bed bases have many benefits, but as with any furniture option, those plus points will be downsides for some. Here are some things to bear in mind when considering a divan bed base:

  • It can be more difficult to hoover underneath.
  • If you choose a wheelless option, they can be difficult to manoeuvre once assembled.
  • They can be harder to move the bed into tight spaces, e.g., via a narrow staircase or low doorways.
  • Some drawer configurations don’t make the most of the underbed space.
  • Drawers are not ideal for storing larger items, such as an out-of-season duvet or spare pillows.

Can I have an adjustable divan bed?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to have an adjustable divan bed. Adjustable divan beds are divided into sections, which allows each part to move and adjust to the position you prefer. They can move to a range of sitting and lying positions to give you a better night’s sleep.

Ottoman adjustable beds work in the same way as adjustable divan beds but have larger storage areas underneath the bed. They provide a sturdy surface that can comfortably handle the movements of an adjustable bed and mattress. Ottoman bed storage is easily accessed by lifting the sleeping platform, aided by gas-lift pneumatic hinges. This makes ottoman beds wonderfully practical for storing larger items, from bedding to bulky coats and shoes.

Is a divan bed for you?

The ample storage, luxury design and compact shape offered by divan and ottoman beds make them a great choice if you value form as well as function. The option to add or remove a headboard also gives them the flexibility to work in low-ceilinged and sloped-ceiling rooms. So, if you need a sturdy bed that maximises storage, an ottoman bed could be for you. 

Still not sure what bed is best for you?

Choosing the right bed base has a big impact on your overall comfort. Combining style and practicality, ottoman and divan beds can help you restore calm in your bedroom, and sleep better too. 

Have plenty of storage already? Our adjustable beds come in a range of styles and sizes, with customisable fabrics and headboards to complement your interior style. Speak to one of our team members by giving us a call on 0800 689 9823 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri), or drop us a message. We can organise a home visit for you to trial any bed, as well as give you professional and reliable advice. Let’s help you find the adjustable bed you deserve!