A brilliantly simple and intuitive piece of furniture, the futon combines a sofa and a bed in a design with roots that can be traced back to ancient Japan. Futons are a stylish and budget-friendly solution for setting with limited space such as a dorm or studio apartment. They’re excellent for spaces where guests frequently stay, or in an office setting where they can be used for a spontaneous power-nap.
The classic futon is made up of three pieces: a frame that can be adjusted for sleep support, a folding mattress that doubles as a couch cushion and seatback, and a removable cover that keeps your futon in pristine condition. As you look for a futon to meet your needs, search for a combination that doesn’t just fit your space, but is also consistent with your decor style, comfort preferences, and budget.
Futon Frame Designs
When it comes to futon frames, there are two basic designs to consider. Bi-fold frames feature arms and legs like regular sofas with a back that folds down with the cushion. These frames can be easily flattened to create a comfortable bed. Tri-fold frames aren’t as common, but incorporate a unique design that folds in three different places and provides adjustable support for a more versatile bed profile.
Futon Frame Materials
Futon frames are available in both wood and metal options, with a unique variety of benefits and drawbacks from each. Metal Frames are strong and inexpensive, with an emphasis on function over fashion. Metal futon frames are long-lasting and get the job done with ease, but may not complement your existing decor as readily as a wooden frame. Wood Frames are generally made from premium hardwoods that pair beautifully with existing decor. Wood frames are often more expensive and their premium look can require a bit more upkeep than a metal frame.
Futon Mattresses 101
Futon mattresses are designed to effortlessly transform from sofa to bed and back again. These mattresses utilize a variety of techniques and materials to create lasting comfort in both positions, and often combine cotton batting with traditional mattress materials like foam or innersprings. You should select a futon mattress based on your comfort preferences when sitting and sleeping, and keep in mind that certain materials may be prone to wearing out more quickly than others. Premium mattresses will cost extra, but their long-lasting design will prevent you from having to buy new mattresses nearly as often.
Finding the Right Futon Cover
If you frequently use your futon as a sofa and a bed, the mattress will likely wear out more quickly than either one of those furniture types on their own. A good cover will help protect and preserve your mattress against the dangers of frequent use, and can also be changed out to freshen up your space with a new color or pattern. Covers made from cotton or polyester will keep the mattress shell from wearing too thin. Some covers feature a waterproof coating that protects against spills, sweat, or accidents by kids or pets, while others are quilted for extra padding and comfort.