The 'A Team' singer-songwriter, who released five independent EPs before achieving mainstream success, took the top spot from Example with first-week sales in excess of 102,000.
Sheeran's arrival pushes the London-based rapper's Playing In The Shadows album down to third place behind Adele's 21, while folk star Laura Marling lands at four with her new LP A Creature I Don't Know.
Joe McElderry's Classic, David Guetta's Nothing But The Beat and Echoes by Will Young slide two together to take spots five to seven, and a new entry from The Kooks,entitled Junk Of The Heart, lands at number ten.
Legendary artists Doris Day and The Beatles manage just one week in the top-sellers as My Heart and 1 slip two and six respectively to 11 and 12, while Rihanna bounces to 16 from 20 with Loud, which is now in its 44th week of release.
'80s metal band Dream Theater score a new entry at 17 with their 12th studio album A Dramatic Turn Of Events to finish just ahead of Dolly Parton's Better Day and Jessie J's Who You Are, which drop three together to 18 and 19.
The Top 10 in full:
1. (-) Ed Sheeran: '+'
2. (2) Adele: '21'
3. (1) Example: 'Playing In The Shadows'
4. (-) Laura Marling: 'A Creature I Don't Know'
5. (3) Joe McElderry: 'Classic'
6. (4) David Guetta: 'Nothing But The Beat'
7. (5) Will Young: 'Echoes'
8. (8) Adele: '19'
9. (7) Red Hot Chili Peppers: 'I'm With You'
10. (-) The Kooks: 'Junk Of The Heart'
Source: Official Charts Company
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Watch the video for 'The A Team' from Ed Sheeran's number one album + below:
View the latest Official Top 100 Album Chart