Sleeping beauties you’ll struggle to leave in the morning
It’s surprisingly easy to lose sleep over which bed to buy. There’s so much to think about: size, style, materials… and that’s before you consider whether you want to incorporate storage or not. Our guide will reveal your options so you can rest a little easier.
Divan beds to suit all budgets
A divan bed has an upholstered base with a mattress on top. The two parts are often made from the same fabric and teamed with a headboard for extra comfort and support.
There’s a divan bed to suit the majority of budgets. Most expensive is a sprung-edge design, which consists of a frame topped with open-coil or pocket springs that run the length and width of the frame. Sprung-edge divans are generally considered the most comfortable option because the springs offer even support across the mattress. This feature also means they tend to last longer than other styles.
Less expensive is a divan with a firm-edge base. This usually has a smaller number of springs set within a fixed, wooden-sided frame.
On a budget? Solid or platform-top divans have a rigid, non-sprung top panel, often made of hardboard. Generally firmer as well as cheaper than sprung-base divans, platform bases tend to be teamed with mattresses that are designed to be firmer, such as latex or non-sprung memory foam.
Improve your wellbeing
If you enjoy watching TV or reading in bed, or if you have back or mobility problems, you’ll benefit from an adjustable divan. You can set it to your preferred position, and, if you share your bed, adjust each half separately.
It’s worth shopping around because an adjustable bed can be as simple or as sophisticated as you need. Some are remote controlled and have five or more individually adjusting sections targeting the neck, head, upper body legs and feet. Others are manual and it’s simply a matter of adjusting the upper body.
Dive into divan drawers
You’ll usually find drawers inside a divan base. Think carefully about the space in your bedroom before you commit to a specific one: if your bed sits snug against the wall, for example, a divan with two drawers on one side will be easiest to use. Look for a two-or four-drawer option with drawers on either side if you have space on both sides of the bed.
Remember that bedside tables may restrict access to drawers at the top of the bed. Use these to store stuff you don’t need regular access to or invest in a divan with regular-sized drawers at the foot end of the bed and smaller, continental drawers (sometimes referred to as 2+2 drawers) at the top. That way you’ll have bedside cabinets and accessible drawers.
Or go for an ottoman?
If you’re short on space, an ottoman divan will help you keep your possessions close by but out of sight thanks to a lift-up mattress that conceals a generous storage space for extra linen, towels or blankets.
If you thought all mattresses were made the same, think again. Click here to find out what your mattress is made of
Find the perfect headboard
If you’re buying a headboard separately from your divan base, think about practicality as well as style. For example, if you like to watch TV in bed, choose a fabric or leather upholstered headboard over metal as it’ll be more comfortable to rest on.
Once you’ve picked a board, take careful measurements: not all headboards fit all beds.
A bedstead instead?
Don’t fancy a divan? Try a bedstead, which will have a wooden slatted base in place of the upholstered divan. It’ll often have a headboard and footboard too.
It’s tempting to focus on looks when choosing, but think about the amount of support you need as well: static slats offer firm support to the mattress while sprung ones offer more responsive. Another word of advice: always check the size of your bedstead before you buy a mattress. If it’s imported, it may not conform to standard UK sizes.
Focus on materials
Bedsteads tend to be made from wood or metal, or be upholstered in fabric or leather. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, so here’s a selection of our favourites to get you started.
Do you want to make a feature of your bedstead or blend it into the background? This selection of our favourite finds will help you decide.
Be a better host
Space is often at a premium, so why dedicate a spare bedroom to guests when it can double up as a home office or TV room with a little savvy thinking? Maximise space with a sofa bed: easy to fold out when visitors come to stay and put away when you want to watch a movie.