What is a Futon Bed? Buyers Tips [2024]

What is a Futon Bed?

A futon bed is a versatile piece of furniture that serves as both a sofa and a bed. Originating in Japan, a traditional futon consists of a mattress and a duvet that can be easily folded and stored away, making it an ideal solution for small spaces.

Modern futons often come with a folding frame which allows them to transform from a sitting to a sleeping position with ease. Futon beds are popular for their functionality, space-saving design, and value for money

Types of Futon

In this section we look at the 4 most common types of futon on the market today.

Japanese Futon

A Japanese futon is a traditional Japanese style thin mattress that rolls out on the floor, offering a minimalist, space-saving design that can be easily stored during the day.

Bifold Futon Frame

A bifold futon is versatile sofa that folds down into a bed, with a mattressthat bends in half over a frame, ideal for living rooms or dens, offering both functionality and comfort.

Loveseat Futon Frame

Designed for smaller spaces, the Loveseat Futon serves as both a cosy loveseat and expands into a bed or lounger, suitable for thicker mattresses for improved comfort.

Trifold Futon Frame

Trifold futons feature a compact three-part design, perfect for very small spaces, supporting thinner mattresses and folding out into a sleeping area as needed.

Futon Pros and Cons

As with all types of bed, futons have their strengths and weaknesses. The most notable of which we have listed below:

Pros of Futons:

  • Optimal use of space:Futons are ideal for small spaces because they can be easily converted from a bed to a couch, offering flexibility without taking up much room.
  • Value for money: Compared to traditional beds and sofas, futons are generally less expensive, making them a budget friendly but effective option for accommodating guests.
  • Easy to Move: Due to their lightweight design and simplicity, futons can be easily moved, which is particularly use


Cons of Futons:

  • Comfort:Traditional futon mattresses may not be as thick or supportive as standard mattresses, which does impact comfort, this may not be ideal for regular use.
  • Durability: Lower-quality futons might show wear over time, especially from the repeated  folding and unfolding when converting it from a bed to a couch.


Futon Buying Considerations

There are 3 main things to consider when buying a Futon bed:

Consideration 1: Available Space

Bifold Frames are suitable for rooms with more available wall space and for those who prefer a larger seating area. They require less floor space when unfolded into a bed.

Trifold Frames work well in tighter spaces, folding into a more compact form but require more floor space when expanded into a bed.


Consideration 2: Primary Use

As a Bed: If the futon will primarily serve as a bed, consider comfort and mattress quality. A thicker mattress will offer better support and comfort for regular sleeping.

As a Sofa: If it's mainly to be used as a sofa, the frame's style and the futon's overall appearance become more important. A bifold futon frame is typically more like a "real" sofa, with plenty of seating space and a comfortable backrest.

Dual Purpose: For equal use as both a bed and a sofa, both the ease of conversion and the comfort in each configuration are key. Evaluate how easily the futon can be transformed between its two functions.


Consideration 3: How often will it be used as a bed?

Occasional Use:For guests or infrequent use, a simpler, less expensive model should be sufficient. Comfort is still important, but you might prioritize ease of conversion and comfort as a sofa.

Regular Use: If the futon will be used daily, invest in a durable frame and a high-quality mattress. Look for features that enhance sleeper comfort, such as a mattress with multiple layers of foam or innerspring coils, also seek out a model with a sturdy frame design that can withstand frequent transformations.

Futon Maintenance and Care

After choosing the perfect futon for your needs, it's important to focus on maintaining its condition to ensure longevity and comfort.

Here are some practical tips to help you take care of your futon:

  • Regularly vacuum and flip the futon mattress to prevent wear and maintain shape. 
  • Use a futon cover to protect the mattress from spills, stains, and dust. 
  • Air out the futon in direct sunlight to prevent moisture and odours.
  • Spot clean stains promptly with a mild detergent and water solution. 

Brian McCann

Our Managing Director Brian's expertise in crafting comfortable sleep experiences makes him a reliable voice for all things bedding-related. Brian publishes advice and tips on mattresses, beds and the overall sleep experience based on extensive industry experience.

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