Whether you're using your futon as a bed for yourself or an extra sleeping space when you have guests, you want to make sure it's as comfortable as possible. When you know how to make futon beds comfortable, you'll be the destination of choice for roaming relatives and friends.
Buy a quality futon. The easiest way to have a comfortable night of sleep on a futon is to start with a well-padded futon. If you haven't already purchased your futon, make sure to read our futon buying guide before making your choice. Futons come in various thickness and with different types of stuffing. When choosing yours, know that cotton stuffing will feel comfortable at first but might pack out over time, while foam is likely to hold its shape better in the long run but will also feel firmer as a sleeping surface. If the futon will be used primarily as a bed, then choose a fill like a cotton-polyester blend that will provide a comfortable sleeping surface.
Add a mattress pad. Once you have your futon, you can make it more comfortable by adding layers of padding. If the futon will be used for just a night or two, a simple mattress pad might be enough to encourage a good night of sleep. If the sleeping arrangements are longer term, consider a mattress topper or even a pad similar to the kind used when camping. Mattress toppers usually fit on top of a mattress like a sheet and are easily secured. If you opt for a camping pad, you can slip it inside the futon cover or lay it on top and cover it with a fitted sheet.
Top the futon with an air mattress. If adding extra padding isn't enough, go ahead and use an inflatable air mattress on top of the futon. The futon will provide more support than the air mattress on its own, and the air mattress provides cushioning you can't achieve with foam.
Cover the futon with a down comforter. Use bedding you have around the house to cushion your sleeping guests. Down comforters not only provide warmth; they can provide comfort when placed between a sleeping guest and a hard mattress. If the weather is cold, you can fold the blanket in half and sleep in between the layers; if the weather is too warm, double up the blanket and enjoy two layers of padding.
Use quality bedding: It may just be for your guests, but spending a little extra to get nicer sheets, blankets, and pillows for your futon will be very welcome. You don't have to get luxury bedding, but sheets that are at least 300 thread-count and a fresh set of pillows will make your overnight visitors happy they came to town.
Published June 15, 2010
Updated December 1, 2014