Do You Need a Divan?

It’s a simple enough question, do you need a divan (also known as a “box spring”) with a mattress? With so many advancements to mattress technology, is it really still necessary to use a divan?

The quick answer? MaybeMany bed frames have built in supports (mostly wood slats) that serve the same purpose as the Divan used to. The Divan itself isn’t important, what’s important is a foundation. Mattresses need a strong and stable foundation to sit on that creates even support, while still allowing the mattress to breathe.

You can get that support from a traditional Divan, a frame with wooden slats, storage beds, or any other foundation that creates a strong and breathable base.

Why do you need a divan?

Divans serve two basic, but important functions.

Foundation – They provide a strong and stable foundation for your mattress, improving support, airflow, and cooling in the mattress. This foundation also helps increase the longevity of your mattress by reducing shock, wear, and tear.

Increased Height – They elevate the mattress off of the floor. This simply helps to make it easier to get in and out of bed.

It’s also important to note that some mattress warranties require you to use the mattress on a divan, platform bed, storage bed, or other stable foundation. If you fail to do so, this can void your warranty. So be sure to confirm the details of your warranty if you plan to forgo the divan.

Do you need a divan with a platform bed?

In a word, no. Platform beds utilize slats or a solid surface. The surface or slats perform the same function as a divan – which is to provide a stable platform. Generally, they are lower than a traditional mattress would be with a divan, which can be a desirable and modern aesthetic you may want to achieve for your bedroom.

By using a platform bed you eliminate your need for a divan.

IKEA has several inexpensive platform beds. However, they can be a bit on the flimsy side. If you have a heavier mattress or move frequently, the IKEA platform may not hold up very well. I have a cheap platform bed I bought online from Amazon. It’s not brilliant, but it’s not going to collapse any time soon.

Can you put a mattress on the floor?

You certainly can. In many situations, there will be no significant negative effects. However, placing a mattress directly on the floor can result in the following:

Reduced airflow – Since the mattress sits directly on the floor it will not be able to expel air and breath as easily as it could on a divan or platform bed

Less hygienic – Everything that gets on the floor can now more easily get on your mattress

More difficult to get into – If you’re older or otherwise have trouble getting in and out of bed, having a bed on the floor can make actually getting in and out of bed more difficult

You may void your warranty – some mattress warranties dictate that the mattress must be on a divan or platform bed, if you want to keep your warranty you should double check the warranty terms.

Divan Alternatives

If you aren’t a fan of the traditional divan you may want to consider one of the following divan alternative options.

Low-profile divan – Functionally, a low-profile divan will act exactly like a traditional divan, however their height is usually about half that of a traditional divan. This can allow you to still achieve the benefits of a normal divan, with a much sleeker design and style.

Adjustable foundation – If you have an adjustable foundation you will not need a divan. Adjustable foundations allow the mattress to shift height and angle, reducing stress on your back, internal organs, and breathing.

Steel divan / Frame Combo – These are essentially a basic steel frame / divan together in one. They sit lower to the ground, closer to a typical platform bed and replace your need for a traditional frame and divan.

Slat / Platform Beds – Platform beds are a great divan alternative. The only downside is they can be quite pricey, especially if you buy something quality.

Mattress on the Floor – if you like the lower look and aren’t concerned about voiding your mattress warranty, placing the mattress on the floor is another option. You may want to get some type of a mat to place it on, as this will help to keep it a bit cleaner.


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