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Best Futons – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

61
Futons Considered
100
Hours of Research
4
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Futons are adjustable sleep systems consisting of a thin, padded mattress and an adjustable frame that can be folded up to resemble a couch or positioned flat as a bed. Futons originally come from Japan but they are sold worldwide and have a particularly strong following in the U.S. Futons are normally used as overnight guest beds, though some sleepers prefer to use them as their primary bed.

Best Futons

A wide range of futon frames are available, including bifold, trifold, loveseat, and bunk bed designs. Traditional futon frames have backs and arms, much like standard sofas; armless futons are also widely sold.

Futon mattresses also vary in terms of material construction. The most common types include all-foam, all-cotton, foam-and-cotton, and innerspring. The average futon mattress costs between $100 and $300; mattresses and frames are commonly sold together for $200 to $500, as well.

This guide will discuss common futon designs and styles, as well as pros and cons of using different futon types and some important factors for futon shoppers. Below you’ll find our picks for the best futons sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Our Top 5 Picks

The Best Futons – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Nirvana Futons Stanford Futon Set

Editor's Pick – Nirvana Futons Stanford Futon Set

Highlights

  • Hardwood loveseat frame
  • Foam and cotton mattress
  • Full and Queen sizes
  • 5-year warranty
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The Nirvana Futons Stanford Futon Set is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price
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Editor’s Pick Overview

Our Editor’s Pick is the Stanford Futon Set from Nirvana Futons. This handsome bedding system includes a loveseat frame made of hardwood sourced from sustainable plantations. The frame can be positioned as a sofa, lounger, or bed.

The Stanford Futon Set also features an 8? mattress constructed with a top layer of cotton padding and four individual foam layers. Comparatively, most competing futon mattresses have one to two foam layers; the Stanford Set model offers closer conforming and better pain/pressure relief as a result.

The mattress offers good temperature neutrality, due in part to its top layer of cotton padding and breathable tufted-twill cover. The mattress is considered ‘Medium Firm,’ making it most suitable for sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds.

Full and Queen sizes are available. The Stanford Futon Set frame is backed by a five-year warranty while the mattress comes with a four-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Eco-friendly shoppers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Runner-Up Pick – Divano Roma Furniture Living Room Sleeper Futon

Runner-Up Pick – Divano Roma Furniture Living Room Sleeper Futon

Highlights

  • Metal, split-back loveseat frame
  • Foam and microfiber cushion
  • Twin size
  • Multiple color options
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The Divano Roma Furniture Living Room Sleeper Futon is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price
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Runner-Up Pick Overview

Our Runner-Up Pick is the Living Room Sleeper Futon from Divano Roma Furniture, which features a split-back foam-padded cushion built onto a thin metal frame. The futon’s design enables owners to recline either side for lounging or both sides for sleeping.

The cushion is quilted and padded with foam and hypoallergenic polyester microfibers; the cushion, which measures 18? thick, stands in for the mattress. A topper may be suitable for sleepers who find the cushion excessively firm.

The Living Room Sleeper Futon measures 77? long and 31? wide, which is comparable to a standard Twin size. It is sold in six versatile colors, as well. The cover is made of tufted linen, which makes the cushion feel exceptionally soft and also helps it remain cool and comfortable for most sleepers.

Divano Roma Furniture sells this futon at a below-average price-point, making it a great pick for value-minded shoppers.

Good for:
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • Back sleepers
  • Value seekers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Best Value – Kodiak Best Futon Lounger

Best Value – Kodiak Best Futon Lounger

Highlights

  • Metal loveseat frame; wood slats
  • Foam and cotton mattress
  • Twin XL size
  • Two pillows included in set
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The Kodiak Best Futon Lounger is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price
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Best Value Overview

Our top value futon is the Best Futon Lounger from Kodiak, a versatile sleep system consisting of a metal loveseat frame with wooden slats and a foam/cotton mattress.

The frame is folded down at the arms; one or both arms may be folded to accommodate loungers of different heights. The back can also be reclined to convert the loveseat into a bed. The Best Futon Lounger’s mattress measures approximately 5.5″ thick and is considered ‘Medium Firm’.

Customers can choose from a wide range of color and pattern options. This futon set is widely available for less than $300, making it cheaper than average – and those who order from Amazon.com and other select retailers will also receive two polyester pillows.

The bed measures 79″ long by 32″ wide; these dimensions are most comparable to a Twin XL size.

Good for:
  • Sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Those with more limited space
  • Shoppers looking for futon colors/patterns that will complement their current aesthetic

Best Adjustable Futon – DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed

Best Adjustable Futon – DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed

Highlights

  • Metal, split-back loveseat frame
  • Foam and microfiber cushion
  • Twin size
  • Sitting and lounging positions
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The DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price
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Best Adjustable Futon Overview

The Emily Futon Couch Bed from DHP, our pick for Best Adjustable Futon, is a minimalist loveseat model featuring a split-back frame and an upholstered cushion.

The loveseat can be reclined on either side for lounging positions; both sides can be reclined for sleeping, as well. Six polished steel legs support the entire frame; the suggested weight limit is 600 pounds, which is higher than that of most competing futon models.

The Emily Futon Couch Bed’s cushion is padded with polyfoam, though a topper may be needed to make the surface feel less firm. Sleek grey microfiber upholstery gives the futon a class, versatile look that will match the aesthetic of most offices or guest rooms.

At 70″ long and 40″ wide, its dimensions are most comparable to a standard Twin-size mattress. Its price-point is considered relatively low compared to other full futon sets.

Good for:
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • Back sleepers
  • Value seekers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Best Futon Frame – Better Homes & Gardens Wood Arm Futon

Best Futon Frame – Better Homes & Gardens Wood Arm Futon

Highlights

  • Wood bifold frame
  • Innerspring (pocketed coils) mattress
  • Full size
  • Exceptional durability
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The Better Homes & Gardens Wood Arm Futon is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price
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Best Futon Frame Overview

The Wood Arm Futon from Better Homes & Gardens earns our Best Futon Frame rating due to its innovative, versatile design and above-average durability. The futon has an all-wood bifold frame that is highly durable and available in light and dark accents.

The 8″ mattress contains foam padding layers and pocketed coils, making it more comfortable and better at alleviating discomfort than many competing models. The suggested weight limit is 600 pounds, which is also better than average.

The Wood Arm Futon is widely available for less than $350, giving it a relatively low price-point (especially considering its longer-than-average expected lifespan).

Several colors are also available; when purchased through certain retailers, customers may also opt for a bundle that includes a matching end table.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in any weight group
  • Value seekers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Futon

The term ‘futon’ refers to a sleep system consisting of a padded mattress and an adjustable frame. Futons originated in Japan but have gained worldwide popularity for the past few decades, particularly in the U.S.

Some people use futons as their primary bedding surface, but they most commonly serve as guest beds to accommodate overnight sleepers. Futons are regularly used in dorm rooms, as well.

In terms of thickness, a futon mattress may measure anywhere from 3″ to 10″, though most have profiles that fall between 5? and 9?. Futons may be padded with different materials, such as cotton and foam; some models contain springs, as well.

Futon frames come in different styles too, including bifold, trifold, and loveseat options. Futon mattresses and frames usually have lower price-points compared to standard mattresses and bed, but their lifespans are shorter than average.

This guide will discuss different styles and designs of futon mattresses and frames, as well as pros and cons of different futon models and important considerations for first-time buyers.

Futon Frames and Mattresses: Common Styles and Designs

In Japan, futons have traditionally been placed on tatami mats that allow sleepers to rest on the floor. However, most U.S. futon owners use futon frames instead. The vast majority of futon frames are made from wood, metal, or a combination of wood and metal. Common futon frame designs include the following:

  • Bifold: Bifold frames resemble sofas when placed in the upright position with the futon mattress folded in half. The frame can also be placed in a down position with the mattress completely flat. This design allows the frame to provide sleeping and non-sleeping surfaces. Bifold frames can be used with futon mattresses of any thickness.
  • Trifold: Like the bifold frame, the trifold frame can function as a non-sleeping sofa as well as a bed. These frames feature three distinct sections – a back, a seat, and a footrest – with a mattress that folds in two places. Trifold frames are normally used with thinner futon mattresses.
  • Loveseat: A loveseat futon frame can be placed in an upright position, which resembles a sofa, or a flat position for sleeping. Additionally, loveseat frames can also be placed in a lounging position that is optimal for reading or watching television.
  • Bunk bed: Some bunk bed designs come with one or two elevated beds over a bifold or loveseat futon frame. This style is especially popular in dorm rooms.

In addition to the frame design, futon frames also vary in terms of style. A traditional futon frame resembles a sofa with arms and a back, while armless frames have a back only. Armless frames may be more suitable for taller sleepers who have a hard time fitting between the arms of traditional frames.

Once shoppers have determined their preferred frame design and style, they will be ready to select a futon mattress. The most common types of futon mattresses include the following:

  • Foam: The mattress consists of two or more polyfoam layers.
  • Cotton: The mattress primarily (or, in some cases, exclusively) contains cotton padding layers. Cotton futon mattresses are often thinner than other models.
  • Foam and cotton: Most foam/cotton futon mattresses include a top layer of cotton padding and a polyfoam base, but the order may be swapped too.
  • Innerspring: Though fairly rare, some futon mattresses contain a foam or cotton comfort layer and a coil-based support core. Innerspring futon mattresses tend to be on the thicker side.

In addition to the materials, futon mattresses vary by the following factors:

  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, and Queen are the most common futon mattress sizes. Other sizes that are commonly available for standard mattresses, such as Twin XL or King/California King, are rare for futon mattresses.
  • Firmness: Due to their low profiles and thinner padding layers, the majority of futon mattresses fall between ‘Medium Firm’ and ‘Firm’. Using the 1-10 firmness scale, this means most models are considered 6 to 8.
  • Thickness: Most futon mattresses measure between 5? and 9? thick. Innerspring mattresses tend to be the thickest option while cotton and foam/cotton models are usually the thinnest.
  • Cover: To ensure the sleep surface remains clean and hygienic, most futon mattresses come with removable cotton and/or polyester covers that can be washed and dried in conventional machines.
  • Price: Most futon mattresses range in price from $100 to $300, depending on the construction and size. Innerspring futon mattresses tend to be the most expensive options, while those with mostly cotton padding are normally the cheapest.

Next, we’ll compare different futon mattress types based on customer and owner ratings.

Pros and Cons of Futon Mattress Types

The tables below include performance and sleeper ratings for the four most common futon mattress types. Our ratings are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis. The first table includes durability, pressure relief, temperature neutrality, and other performance factors.

Criteria Foam Futon Mattress Cotton Futon Mattress Foam/Cotton Futon Mattress Innerspring Futon Mattress Explanation
Durability Fair Poor Poor Fair Most futon mattresses need to be replaced every five years or less – but for models with cotton padding, the expected lifespan is closer to three years.
Conforming/Pressure Relief Fair Poor Fair Poor Futon mattresses with foam layers tend to provide closer conforming and more pain relief than other models, but conforming ability is not a key strength of any futon mattress type.
Temperature Neutrality Fair Good Fair Good Futon mattresses with foam tend to absorb more body heat and sleep warmer than those with cotton layers (which are more breathable than foam) and/or springs (which promote airflow).
Odor Potential Poor Fair Poor Fair Off-gassing is common to all futon mattress types, but the longest-lasting odors are associated with foam-layer models.
Noise Potential Very Good Very Good Very Good Fair Futon mattresses with springs tend to squeak and creak, but other types are mostly silent when bearing weight.
Responsiveness/Good for Sex Fair Poor Fair Good Like standard mattresses, futon mattresses tend to offer the best responsiveness with coil layers. Those with cotton padding are usually the least responsive.
Ease of Movement Very Good Very Good Very Good Good Innerspring futon mattresses are usually the heaviest type, but all are relatively light and easy to move compared to standard mattresses.
Average Price $100 to $200 $50 to $150 $50 to $100 $200+ Innerspring futon mattresses are usually the most expensive – but compared to standard mattresses, all options are relatively low-priced.

Choosing a Futon by Weight and Sleep Position

Considerations for Futon Buyers

When shopping for a new futon mattress and frame, here are a few factors to take into account:

What is your futon budget?

Futon mattresses on their own typically cost between $100 and $300. Additionally, shoppers will need to purchase a frame unless they plan to place their futon mattress directly on the floor. Many frames come with mattresses; the average futon set (mattress and frame) costs between $200 and $500.

Do you plan to use the futon as a primary or guest bed?

If you plan to sleep on the futon most nights, then you may want to choose a more expensive model that rates well for durability, pressure relief, and other factors that affect nightly sleep. Futons used primarily as guest beds do not need to be as durable since they are used less frequently; they are also less susceptible to deterioration that affects the bed’s conforming and pressure-relieving abilities.

What is your preferred frame style?

Each frame style has different pros and cons. Bifold frames tend to be the best space-savers and are also usually cheaper, but most do not offer as many positions as higher-end loveseats or trifold frames.

Which mattress material(s) do you prefer?

Futon mattresses with cotton padding layers are usually the cheapest option; they also offer decent temperature neutrality in most cases. However, most sleepers find that mattresses with polyfoam and/or coil layers are the most comfortable – and usually the most expensive.

Do you experience frequent back pain?

People with chronic back pain may find that futons are not sufficiently comfortable or supportive. However, if a futon is the only option then sleepers with back pain should opt for a mattress with multiple foam layers and/or pocketed coils; these materials offer closer conforming and better pain relief than other mattress components, such as cotton padding.

How much do you weigh?

If you plan to use the futon frequently, be sure to take your own weight into account. Heavier individuals tend to feel most comfortable on thick futon mattresses with foam and/or coil layers. Lighter people, on the other hand, often find thinner mattresses more suitable. Additionally, make sure to check the futon’s weight limit before sharing it with someone or offering it to a couple.

How tall are you?

Whether or not a futon has arms can impact sleep for exceptionally tall people. If you or the person you are buying a futon for are tall, then an armless frame will likely be the most suitable option.

Does the futon come with a warranty?

Many futons do not come with a warranty of any kind – and for those that do, coverage typically maxes out at five years. Some futon sets offer different warranties for the frame and bed.

For more information about temporary and guest bedding options similar to futons, please visit the Tuck guides below.

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