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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
In addition to the materials, futon mattresses vary by the following factors:
Next, we’ll compare different futon mattress types based on customer and owner ratings.
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.|
When shopping for a new futon mattress and frame, here are a few factors to take into account:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.