The 10 Best Futons
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Whether you're looking for a fashionable piece of furniture to match your new living room's modern aesthetic, or are on the hunt for a practical solution to boost your small apartment's sleeping capacity, a futon might be the answer you're looking for. Our selections for this category include a variety of options, with designs that are suitable for a range of applications and decor. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 28, 2021:
It wasn’t an especially eventful round of updates for us. Most of our selections from last year still looked like great choices, and managed to maintain their positions, but availability issues led us to replacing the Kodiak Furniture Barbados with its newest version, even though the updated model no longer includes storage drawers underneath — which, decidedly, was the standout feature that earned the Barbados its top spot on our list last year. We still think it’s a great futon, and it did hold its place, but we also bumped its ranking down a spot, since it no longer offers any storage.
We also removed the Emoor Classic, which no longer seemed to be available, but we had no trouble finding a well reviewed replacement for it, with the Fuji Twin XL FJFM-Y01S. Like the Classic, and unlike other options on our list, the Twin XL is a Japanese-style (and, Japanese-made) futon that isn’t suited particularly well to entertaining guests, but can still provide a reasonably comfortable and affordable place to sleep for users who are short on space. It probably isn’t what most people will be looking for, but it is still a viable solution that’s well worth the consideration of many, and so we thought it deserved a spot near the bottom of our list.
For other ideas to help up the sleeping capacity of your home without causing too much clutter, maybe you’ll also be interested in checking out our list of sofa beds.
March 10, 2020:
During this round of updates, we removed the DHP Euro and DHP premium, as well as the Better Homes Wood and Michael Anthony Phoenix, all due to availability issues. We also eliminated the Abbyson Living Jackson, noting that it had been reviewing poorly. Some of our new additions include the DHP Convertible 4023017, a bunk-bed-futon hybrid that’s great for a kid’s bedroom; the Merax Floor Sofa, which isn’t very practical as a sofa, but is still a sensible option for somebody who’s looking to add an affordable sleeping space to their home; and the Kodiak Furniture Barbados, a handsome, hardwood model with two drawers underneath it, for extra storage.
A few factors to consider as you shop:
Mattress: While slimmer mattresses, like the 2-1/2-inch memory foam that comes on the Millemont Convertible Loveseat, can offer an appealing look – contributing to a futon’s sleek aesthetic – bulkier offerings, like the eight-inch option that comes on the Kodiak Furniture Barbados, tend to be more comfortable for sleeping on, although some users do prefer a firmer platform. Also be mindful of each mattresses filling. While I personally prefer the support offered by memory foam, your preferences might mean that you have a bias toward spring-based models. And, in fact, many mattresses including those on the Novogratz Brittany and Kodiak Furniture Barbados use a combination of memory foam wrapped around a spring core. The way you feel about a given mattress is very difficult to gauge without actually sitting on it, so be prepared to try out multiple models before finding the one that’s just right for you.
Frame: Quality frames can be made with a range of materials, and the aesthetic you prefer is a personal choice, but there are some pragmatic considerations worth baring in mind as you consider frames. While futons by definition should be capable of at least two leaning positions (the sofa position and the bed position) there are designs that allow you to better customize your sitting position. The Merax Floor Sofa, for example, is capable of five leaning positions, while the Kodiak Furniture Lounger boasts adjustable arms, and the Millemont Convertible Loveseat features a smart, split-back design that lets users adjust both sides of it independently, so you can enjoy a leaned-back position while your friend sits straight up – if that’s what you prefer.
Versatility: Granted, any option in this category should be able to function, in some capacity, as either a couch or a bed, but why stop there? The DHP Convertible 4023017 also includes space for a twin mattress up top, while the Best Choice Products SKY2878 sports centrally located cupholders that make an adjacent coffee table much less necessary. The Kodiak Furniture Barbados has collapsible, tray-style arms where a mug or magazine can be easily placed, effectively eliminating the need for two side tables.
Futon Planet This company sorts their mattresses into eight firmness categories, which is a helpful feature for online shoppers. If you can't find a size that works for you, they also offer custom mattresses, so long as you're looking for a square or rectangular unit. futonplanet.com
FutonsToGo This online shop has more than 200 futons for you to choose from. Fortunately, their website lets you filter results according to size, color, and design, which should help narrow things down for you pretty quickly. futonstogo.com
Why Futons Are Awesome
The cotton in the mattress easily absorbs the oils from your hair and skin and any sweat while you sleep.
The futon has its origins in Japan where they use them without the frames. Futon mattresses are used as beds on the floor and often folded up and placed in closets until it is time for them to be used again. The mattress-only futons save space and are perfect for people who value simplicity.
If you're trying to choose between a futon mattress and a regular mattress, consider that the futon mattress is much more versatile and often more affordable.
If you purchase a traditional futon mattress, you might have to hang it out in the sun now and then to air it out. The cotton in the mattress easily absorbs the oils from your hair and skin and any sweat while you sleep. Airing it out in sunlight will dry it out and keep it smelling fresh.
A futon mattress is safer than a traditional mattress. When it's used on the floor, there's no chance of rolling off. And if the kids decide to rough house, they can't break a cotton mattress.
Even if you decide to go with a newer futon with an innerspring mattress and wooden frame, you will still save a lot of space
If You Love Style, Get A Futon
Futons aren't just practical solutions for people who need to save space in their homes. In fact, consumers in the Western Hemisphere are buying futons more and more for the style and ambiance they add to a living space.
Futons on the market in the United States and Canada mimic traditional sofas and beds more than the traditional Japanese futon. As you have probably already noticed, if you're in the market for a futon, you have an endless supply of options.
From leather to suede to microfiber, these mattresses come in an array of designs that ensure you will find whatever you need to suit your home.
First, you get to choose between a metal and wooden frame. Some people prefer the metal frames because they are more cost-efficient. However, the wooden frames are increasing in popularity for their durability and attractive appearance.
Second, you can even choose the way your frame reclines. Some require lifting the entire frame and sliding it back so the bottom can be pulled down into place. Others simply have a back that can be quickly adjusted and clicked into place.
Third, you get to pick your type of mattress. Futon mattresses now come in so much more than the traditional cotton filling. Many on the market are innerspring mattresses that are more like a traditional mattress for increased comfort.
Last, but not least, you get to pick your futon mattress cover. From leather to suede to microfiber, these mattresses come in an array of designs that ensure you will find whatever you need to suit your home.
In addition to space-saving, you have the bonus of these convertible sofa beds being much cheaper than a traditional couch or bed.
The Sofa Bed Revolution
The futon mattress originated in Japan where it is still used today. The Japanese culture values practicality and simplicity and use the futon mattress to sleep on the floor. When it is not in use, it is often folded and placed in a closet to make the most use of the available space.
It is unclear exactly when the futon mattress itself was invented since Japan has been using it for hundreds of years.
It is unclear exactly when the futon mattress itself was invented since Japan has been using it for hundreds of years. However, the first futon frame was created by a Cambridge woodworker named William Brouwer in 1982. He began by fashioning a basic wooden frame on which to lay his mattress, but then he realized that the frame could be improved by making it convertible from bed to sofa.
The company, Bedworks, first marketed Brouwer's hinged sofa bed, and the rest, as they say, is history. Brouwer's invention has only increased in popularity over time, and other engineers and companies have developed improved designs including futon chairs and tri fold futons.