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‘Futon’ is the Japanese word for ‘bed’, and the Japanese know a thing or two about what it takes to get a quality of sleep that is good for both mind and body — as well as knowing a lot about practical design.
Westerners have happily welcomed the futon concept and made it their own, and today there are many different futons to choose from.
We’ve compiled this guide to the best futons on the market today, as well as a buying guide to help you decide which one is best for you.
Let’s get right into it…
- 1 What is a Futon?
- 2 What to Look for in a Good Futon
- 3 Futon Cost Guide
- 4 The 6 Best Futons
- 4.1 LUCID 8 Inch Convertible Foam Mattress and Floor Sofa
- 4.2 Nirvana Futons Westfield Futon Frame
- 4.3 DHP 8-Inch Independently-Encased Coil Premium Futon Mattress
- 4.4 DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed
- 4.5 Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon
- 4.6 Best Choice Products Home Furniture Convertible Linen Tufted Splitback Futon Couch
What is a Futon?
The common American idea of a futon is a sofa that doubles as a guest bed. This, along with construction, are what differentiates a futon from a standard mattress.
Futons are made up of compressed layers of material, such as organic cotton, wool, and latex to provide a comfortable, durable mattress that is generally on the firm side.
One of the biggest advantages of a futon is its versatility — it can be a bed or a couch, or both, and it’s ideal for small spaces as it takes up very little room and needn’t be made up permanently as a bed.
Futons are also lower than conventional beds, so there’s no fear of causing injury should you or your child roll off it during the night.
Another big plus point is that a quality futon is generally much cheaper than a quality mattress.
Take a look at these other benefits too:
Sold on the idea of a futon?
Here’s our guide to everything you need to know to make the best investment when it comes to choosing the futon that’s right for you…
What to Look for in a Good Futon
The most important thing to consider when choosing a futon is comfort.
A good futon will have a mattress with a minimum thickness of 6 inches, and ideally contain either natural latex, cotton, or memory foam.
If your futon mattress is supported by a frame, you shouldn’t be able to feel the frame underneath.
The mattress should be covered with a material that is resistant to wear and tear, as well as stains.
It should also be tied together with the maximum amount of tuftings possible. Tuftings are the threads that connect one side of the mattress to the other, holding everything in place, and preventing the mattress contents shifting around over time.
Your futon should be the right size for it’s chosen space in your home.
If you are going to fold and unfold it frequently, it needs to be quick and simple to convert from couch to bed, and durable enough to handle regular folding and unfolding.
Consider as well the aesthetics of your new futon.
With so many different styles, colors, and fabrics to choose from, it’s worth taking the time to choose a futon that suits your taste and decor — as well as your budget.
What Makes a Bad Futon?
It’s important that a futon is made from quality materials, both inside and out.
Mattresses that are too thin or made from less durable materials are futons to avoid, and although coil filled futon mattresses are comfortable, they may lose their shape over time, so in the long run they may not be the best choice.
Futon mattresses which aren’t well tufted will end up shifting their contents over time, resulting in uncomfortable lumps and bumps and the mattress losing its shape.
A futon that is difficult to convert should also be avoided — particularly if you will be changing its use often from couch to bed.
Futon Cost Guide
As previously mentioned, a good quality futon will cost you less than a good quality conventional mattress, so it’s worth making an investment.
That said, it’s possible to pick up a futon for anything from as little as $200 to as much as around $1000 for an excellent quality futon, with plenty of good mid range options priced at around $500 — $700.
The 6 Best Futons
Here are 6 of the best futons to suit all tastes and budgets…
This convertible foam futon mattress offers both style and comfort, quickly folding from a thick, supportive floor mattress to a contemporary couch.
Eight inches of high density support foam create a supportive surface, while durable linen-look polyester fabric complements modern decor and resists wrinkles.
This versatile futon can be folded differently to be used in 4 different ways – as an ottoman, as a sofa with backrest, as a lounger with headrest, or as a twin mattress.
- Versatile design
- Converts quickly and easily
- Great for kids and teens
- Light and easy to move around
- Takes up very little space
- 3 year warranty
- Doesn’t come with a base
- Very firm — not ideal for sleepers who prefer plush
Made from stylish and durable solid eco-friendly hardwood, the classic lines of the Westfield Futon frame from Nirvana Futons fit in easily with all types of decor.
This futon frame can be converted into either a regular height couch, a queen bed with foot and head boards, or a lounger for lazy days.
The all wood frame features a sturdy back and seat decks for maximum support – simply add the futon mattress of your choice.
- Quality, beautiful product
- Very sturdy and durable
- Attractive design
- Can be made up into 3 different positions
- 5 year warranty
- Requires self assembly
- Mattress must be purchased separately
This wallet friendly futon mattress is composed of 522 independently encased 15 gauge coils and quality, non toxic CertiPUR-US certified foam and layered polyester with a soft microfiber cover to provide the ultimate in comfort and ample support for soothing sleep.
This 8 inch thick futon mattress is designed to fit any standard futon frame — good job, because it doesn’t come with one!
- Affordable price
- Very comfortable
- Good quality product
- Easy to fold up
- Thick and bouncy
- Wears well
- Cover is not washable
- Can have an initial odor when unpacked
- Frame not included
Another affordable futon from DHP, the Emily futon couch bed features an elegant, contemporary design in a choice of colors, fabrics and sizes.
The frame has 6 sturdy chrome metal legs for great support, and the split back design means that this futon can be used either as a couch, a bed, or a lounger which can be easily folded down to your preferred level of recline.
The futon mattress has a foam and polyester filling which is tufted to keep everything in place.
- Easy and quick to convert from bed to couch
- Stylish design
- Good choice of finishes to suit your decor
- Robust and durable
- Attractive price
- Easy to assemble
- Minimal assembly required
- Short length
- The mattress is a little thin for our tastes
This mid range futon from DHP boasts classic retro styling in a choice of 6 different colors to suit all tastes. It’s truly a very good looking futon bed.
The heavy duty linen fabric wipes clean, and the thick, cushioned back is tufted and ribbed for style and comfort.
The solid wood frame is strong and hard wearing and the Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon is filled with foam and polyester for great support.
The split back design can be converted into couch, bed, or lounger.
- Good color range
- Elegant vintage design
- Lightweight and easy to convert to different positions
- Supportive back when used as a couch
- Can be easily spot cleaned
- Easy to assemble
- One side is ribbed and not the other which may be uncomfortable when sleeping
Another beautiful futon here.
With a tufted, plush, hypoallergenic filling, and covered in attractive and durable linen upholstery in a range of 7 different colors and with chrome metal legs, the Best Choice Products Home Furniture Convertible Linen Tufted Splitback Futon will fit easily into any home.
The split back design allows you to lounge, sit, or sleep comfortably — plus it comes with 2 additional scatter cushions for added style and comfort. It also boasts 2 Velcro storage compartments underneath.
- Nice design
- Thick and firm
- Easy to set up
- Great color range
- Good quality for the price
- Good customer service
- Adjustable into multiple positions
- Frame in the middle of the futon can be felt a little when used as a bed
- A little firm for sleepers who prefer a plush texture
Which do you think is the best futon?