Divans vs. Bed Frames: Which is Better?

Divans vs. Bed Frames: Which is Better?

If you’re thinking about buying a new bed, you’ve probably noticed there is a wide choice of beds on the market.

With so many options available this can make shopping difficult. Will a divan bed fit your room the best? Or would a traditional bed frame fit better?

The truth is that it fully depends on your personal demands and tastes. So read our tips below to see which one would work best for you.

What is a Divan Base?

A divan is basically a wooden frame covered in fabric. The divan gives the mattress a flat area to lie on while sleeping, which creates a slightly firmer feel.

There are some divan models that have a layer of pocket springs inside, but these usually cost more. The springs makes the bed more comfortable and supportive, which also aid in cushioning the mattress.

  • Divan bases can often be customised to include storage. You can add two or four drawers, and in some cases an ottoman. This makes then a good choice for smaller bedrooms.
  • Also keep in mind that you will most likely need to purchase a headboard, which will add an additional £200-£400 to the cost of the bed.
flaxby divan base with headboard review
flaxby divan bed two drawers

Here you can see the Flaxby Sprung Divan Bed Base. It has 1,000 pocket springs inside, which makes the mattress more comfortable and also helps increase its longevity. 

It’s upholstered in durable fabric and has metal castors. You can add two or four storage drawers. It’s priced at £700 for a double size with two drawers. The Flaxby divan bed is made in the UK and comes with 5 year guarantee. The headboard is sold separately.

What is a Bed Frame?

There are different types of bed frames including: wooden, metal, or upholstered beds in fabric or leather. These beds have solid or sprung slats on its base

Bed frames have all parts included: the headboard, siderails, base and footboard. You’ll need to assemble the bed yourself. 

  • Sprung slats have a curved shape and offer better shock absorption and cushioned support.
  • Solid or flat slats provide a firmer, solid foundation for your mattress.
what are sprung slats in woodstock bed
what are solid slats in woodstock bed

Beds with slats provide greater airflow for your mattress, than divan beds. 

Make sure you check if the slats are made of beech wood, which is durable and flexible or pine wood which is also very strong. If the slats are not high quality, they may break over time and you’ll need to replace them. 

Slatted bed frames often come in a wide range of styles and designs. There are many stylish beds that are not that expensive, starting from just £300-£500.

San Diego Ottoman Upholstered Bed Frame review
San Diego Ottoman Upholstered Bed Frame grey

For example, above you can see the San Diego Ottoman Bed, which is priced at £429.99 (reg. £629.99) for a double size. 

It has sprung slats, spacious ottoman storage, and padded headboard. It comes with 5 year guarantee.

Advantages of Divan Beds:

  • Many people choose divan beds because you can add storage. You have the option to customise and add two or four drawers on the side, or a full ottoman which can fit lots of belongings inside.
  • They have a compact design and will take up less space in your room. Divan beds don’t have a footboard, so they can fit well in smaller bedrooms.
  • They are supportive and typically last longer than beds with slats. Their solid base can also help prolong the life of your mattress.
nectar divan bed with drawers

Nectar Divan Bed – priced at only £464.25 (reg. £619) for divan base with 2 drawers and headboard included in double size.

Disadvantages of Divan Beds:

  • Usually have a higher price, especially if there are pocket springs inside the divan base. Plus you’ll need to purchase a headboard, which can add a few hundred pounds on top.
  • The design options are limited. The only way to customise a divan is by choosing the colour of the fabric and the design of the headboard.
  • Divan beds are usually higher. Divan bases have a standard height of 37cm or 15 inches (this includes the castors). If you have a deep mattress (30cm-37cm), this can make your bed higher. 

Advantages of Bed Frames:

  • If you buy a bed frame made from solid wood, it is sure to last for many years. Make sure you check what materials the bed is made from, either metal, wood or MDF and how long the warranty is. This will give you an idea for how long the bed frame will last.
  • They are more affordable compared to divan beds, with options to buy find a bed frame from just £200 if it has a basic design.
  • They have a built-in headboard, which means that you don’t have to purchase one separately.
  • Lastly, you’ll be able to find lots of different designs. For example: sleigh beds, chesterfield, ottomans, metal, wooden, or beds upholstered in velvet, linen, leather and more.
nectar ottoman storage bed

The Nectar Bed Frame is priced at £329 (reg. £439) for double size. It has sprung slats and buttoned headboard.

Disadvantages of Bed Frames:

  • Depending on the design, bed frames require more space than a divan because the mattress sits inside a frame. Sleigh beds, for example, have curved headboards and footboards, which make them significantly longer than regular beds.
  • If you purchase an inexpensive bed frame, you might run into trouble with the slats. The slats might break over time or might start to squeak, and you’ll need to replace them. If the slats are broken and are not replaced, your mattress will start to sag. 

Which is better? 

If durability and comfort is important to you, then choose a divan base. They have a sturdy construction and will last for many years. Divan beds have a flat surface, and will give your mattress a firmer feel.

Bed frames come with either solid or sprung slats. Solid slats give a firmer foundation for your mattress, while sprung slats offer more cushioned support.

Bed frames usually have a lower price tag and come with a headboard already included in the price. There are many designs and styles, so you’re sure to find one to fit your bedroom interior. Make sure you check what material the slats are made of, so they don’t break over time. 

Also, keep in mind that the type of mattress you choose will have the biggest impact on the comfort of your bed. Make sure you choose a high quality mattress, with memory foam and/or pocket springs inside.

Please note, prices are accurate as of July 5, 2023.