Types of Divans

The term "Divan" is a Turkish word that refers to a piece of furniture similar to a couch or sofa. In some countries, it can also refer to a box-spring based bed. The various types of divans are great for anyone who wants something simple and comfortable.

In this article, we'll take a look at divans and how they compare to other similar types of furniture. We will also examine the different types and history of this design.

What’s the Difference Between Divans and Couches?

When you’re looking for a piece of sitting furniture, you’ll come across a lot of options. Besides divans, there are loveseats for two, settees, chaises, or even daybeds. How can we possibly sort all of these out?

Starting with Divans, these are a type of furniture that originated in Persia. It has a tufted seat that resembles a mattress. It is placed either directly on the ground or pushed up against a wall. Pillows act as cushions for daytime lounging.

An image of a caravan divan chair made of maple wood
An Image of Couches for Types of Divans

At night, the pillows can be removed, and the seat can be used as a bed, which makes it very versatile. In this regard, it is similar to a daybed. However, daybeds are less useful for lounging.

Other types of lounging couches, like settees or Chaises, have different shapes and arms in some cases. The core concept of using it for lounging remains the same.

​Divan Variations and Types

Divans come in two pieces: the base and the cushion. They can be used for lounging, sleeping or both. The bases are upholstered wooden boxes built with strong materials. Unlike standard bases, these provide one solid base for the furniture.

Depending on the type, there is also an option for built-in storage such as drawers or ottomans. They are also extremely customizable, with options for different fabrics and designs.

Let’s take a look at the different types of divans you will find:

​Sprung Top

This type uses a solid frame with a shallow layer of open coil or pocket springs. They run the length of the frame, which gives you a second cushion of sorts to increase the life of your chosen cushion top.

An Illustration Image Sample of ​Sprung Top for Types of Divans

Platform & Firm Top

Another option is to change out the springs for a simple layer of padding. This base has a more firm feel for lounging or sleep. If you prefer a firm feel, you can pair this with a cushion that uses memory foam.

An Illustration Image Sample of ​Platform & Firm Top for Types of Divans

​Adjustable Electric Bases

Electrical divans give you the option to adjust the position of the bed as you see fit. A motorized mechanism can adjust the angle for an even more comfortable lounging and sleep.

An Image Sample of ​Adjustable Electric Bases for Types of Divans

​Divan Bases For Antique Frames

Brands like Bedguru also offer custom bases that can suit odd shapes. They include tapered corners that allow frames to be attached without issue.

An Image Sample of Antique Frames for Types of Divans

​Zip and Link Divans

This type of divan is composed of two separate beds that can be joined together into a King or Super King sized bed. These are very popular among hotel owners who need to quickly switch beds around or accommodate multiple beds in one room.

An Image Sample of ​Zip and Link Divans for Types of Divans

​The Unique Benefits of Divans

There are several aspects of divans that make them a great fit for both lounging and sleeping. Not only do they come in a wide variety of sizes, but they are customizable. There are options to place drawers in the base and utilize any padding on top for your needs.

Here are a few other benefits:

  • ​They absorb shock which extends the life of your cushion
  • ​They offer a seamless and flat support
  • ​They are lightweight and easily moveable.

​The History of Divans

The divan is one of the first couch designs. It originates from the Middle East during the Ottoman Empire. The concept was simple: an elongated seat that allowed multiple people to sit comfortably.

The original divan design was composed of a base and a cushion or mattress placed on top. Additional cushions or pillows were placed on the top against a wall so people could lean back and relax.

The name came from the places where such furniture was found. Council chambers in the Middle East were known as “divans.” The name also comes from the Persian word “devan.”

Portrait of Hélène Glavany and Mr. Levett Seated on a Divan

Divans were often found in a specific room of houses called a "liwan." These were open rooms that resembled a terrace of sorts with exposure to the outside world. Such open room designs date back over 2,000 years and were a space that divans fit into perfectly.

An example of a very famous divan, was the one used by Sigmund Freud. He had one in his office that he used for patients.

Divans are stilled found today, but they come in different variations. Some of them focus on being more of a bed than a lounging seat or couch. In either case, they are a simple and historically significant piece of furniture.

Wrapping it Up: Types of Divans

A divan, in essence, is a sofa without a back. They are placed against the wall so you can arrange pillows and create an artificial backing to lounge on. As a result, you are somewhat restricted to where you can place them.

There are several types of divans, especially considering that they also double as beds in certain parts of the world. With brands offering immense levels of customization, you can find something here that works for both lounging and sleeping.

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