Futons are a popular choice for those living in very small apartments or small dorm rooms. Sometimes you need a couch to sit on while playing a video game, then later that night you need a bed to sleep on. Futons provide that sort of flexibility many need.
While futons are a great option for college students or anyone living in small housing most don’t realize how beneficial it may be for them. Some may ask: is it okay to sleep on a futon every night? Well, here are the reasons futons are good to sleep on and why you may want one instead of a traditional bed mattress.
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Futons Provide Flexibility
Futons excel at giving people options. It allows people to choose the type of furniture they want and quickly convert it into that piece of furniture. Futons take up less space than two pieces of furniture (a couch and a bed) and put the pieces of furniture into one space. Because futons take up a lot less space that makes them very attractive and practical.
Futons are great for these groups of people:
- College students- College students living in dorms will be able to have a place to hang out and then sleep on later without taking up the whole dorm or crossing into roommate territory.
- Tenants in Small Apartments- People living in small spaces will appreciate that the futon doesn’t take up as much space as having both a bed and a couch. Futons allow tenants to take advantage of the most space possible and make the apartment feel bigger than it really is.
- Mobile Homeowners- Anyone living in a mobile home, RV, or even living the van life will understand how important it is to utilize every single cube inch of space. A futon is a great option for them due to futons saving so much critical space.
- Constant Movers- Some jobs like traveling nurses, those in the armed forces, sales jobs require constant movement. These people may barely have time to move into a new home, but know that they will have to move in the future. A futon is much easier to move than a traditional bed mattress.
- Unexpected Guests- Whether it’s an emergency and a family member or friend needs a place to stay for the night it’s best to be prepared for the worst situations. Your friend and family members will be grateful you had a futon for them to sleep on.
- Expected Guests- If you’re having friends crash for the night or a sleepover or having a family member visit then a futon is what they’ll need. You may not have an extra bedroom for them to sleep in, but at least they have a comfortable futon mattress to rest on.
- Frugal Consumers- Not everyone wants to spend $800 on a couch and another $1,000 on a bed. That doesn’t even include all the accessories you’ll need for the bed. A futon will save you tons of money just by being a combination of both pieces of furniture.
- Minimalists- There are many who want to simplify their life by living on the least amount of stuff as possible. These Minimalists will find futons as a better option than owning two pieces of furniture. Why have two when you can have one that does it all?
Futons should be the very first option that these groups of people should be looking at. Futons fit their lifestyles much more than owning both a bed and couch.
Futons Provide Better Sleep Than a Couch
Some people may enjoy sleeping on a couch every now and then while others are forced to sleep on a couch. Whatever the situation may be, it’s best to sleep on a futon instead of a regular couch or sofa. Couches and sofas provide support to your body when you’re sitting up on them and not when you’re laying down on them. Unless you’re a psychopath and you’re okay sleeping sitting up then most people will want to sleep laying down.
Your body will need support while you’re sleeping. Otherwise, you may cause problems to your back and long-term problems to your spine. Frequently sleeping on a couch is not the best thing for your body which is why it’s best to have a futon instead.
Futons provide that support to your body. When the futon is made flat, you’ll get better support than you would in a couch, sofa, or even when a futon itself is in its couch position. It’s much more comfortable to sleep on a flat futon than on a couch. So, if you’re frequently kicked out of the bedroom make sure to have a backup bed by having a futon.
Futons Provide Comfort and Support to Your Back
As mentioned before, futons provide support and comfort to your body just like a traditional bed, but there are some options in case you don’t feel comfortable on your futon mattress.
Is It Okay to Sleep on a Futon Every Night?
Yes! Futons are okay to sleep on every night as long as it conforms to your body and supports your body’s weight and back. A futon that is too soft or too firm may cause you to have back problems and you’re going to want to find a futon that better supports you. Try one at the store that is firmer or softer and see which one feels better to you. If there are any online or in-store retailers that allow you to do a 7-day trial or longer then take advantage of it! Having proper support to your spine is crucial to a healthy good night’s sleep, so it’s best to shop around.
For those who are pregnant, you will need extra cushioning for proper comfort and support. Your body has on extra weight and it is trying to get used to the added weight. Being pregnant is tough enough and sleeping shouldn’t be made even tougher for you.
Sleep is essential for you and your new baby, so if a futon doesn’t work for you then try a traditional bed. If you don’t have a choice or prefer to sleep on a futon, then the tips below will help you find the proper support you need.
Types of Futon Mattress Materials
The Sleep Foundation provides a helpful list of materials that different futon mattresses are made with. These include:
Once a technology that wasn’t very common but is now pretty popular and for good reason. Memory foam is like sleeping on a cloud that conforms to your body. But don’t worry about falling through the cloud because it provides all the support your body needs.
Memory foam also takes in kinetic energy. You can jump up and down all you want and you won’t wake up your partner. The only downside is that memory foam can trap in heat if not built alongside cooling technology and can be quite expensive for a higher-quality memory foam.
Foam mattresses are similar but aren’t completely the same as memory foam ones. The Sleep Foundation puts it simply, foam mattresses are made up of “several types of polyfoam layered on top of one another”.
The majority of the mattress is layered with high-density polyfoam. This is the foundation that provides support while the top layers are made up of low-density polyfoam. The low-density polyfoam provides the conforming surface that your body needs. Polyfoam gives the same benefits as memory foam and costs about the same.
Latex mattresses are much like polyfoam ones. Latex mattresses have layers. They have a supporting foundation that’s more dense and top layers that are less dense. Like the polyfoam the top layers provide conformation. Consumers have a choice between picking a natural latex or a synthetic latex.
Latex mattresses are long-lasting and provide contour but may not be the best option for those who are allergic to latex of course. Fortunately, those who are allergic to latex have many other materials to choose from.
Quite old-fashioned and maybe not the best thing to sleep on for most people with back issues. Innerspring mattresses contain internal springs covered in fabric. These springs provide support but don’t conform very well. The innersprings give the mattress some bounciness and breathability.
These mattresses are cheap, but the innersprings make a lot of noise and don’t take motion very well. Let’s put it this way: your partner will know when you get up for some late-night snacks.
Everyone’s different, though, so if an innerspring worked and fixed your back issues don’t change unless you want to try something more modern like a hybrid mattress.
A hybrid mattress is a great middle-ground for those who want to keep the traditional internal springs and add a little bit of modern mattress technology. The innersprings provide support and make up the foundation and insides of the mattress. The top layers are made up of either memory foam, polyfoam layer, or latex.
This is a good compromise if you’re more traditional. Combining the old and new technologies gives hybrids the best of all worlds. Great support and conformation to your body.
More Weight Means More Support
Every futon has a different weight limit just like traditional beds do. It mostly depends on the frame that the futon or bed has. In both situations it’s best to check the weight limits and if it can accommodate one or two people.
Add Support by Adding Layers
It’s best to try out different futons to figure out which one is best for you. Everybody is different and may prefer one futon to another. If the futon isn’t supporting your body and leaves you with aches and pains, then try a different futon or try adding a layer. You can do this by using one of the options that Overstock suggests:
- Mattress Topper- Mattress toppers add support and comfort for traditional beds, so why not try it on a futon? You can even try some with memory foam or other types of materials and methods of support. It’s like having a whole new futon. Just place them on top and keep the whole thing together with a fitted sheet
- Comforter- Another thing used on traditional beds are comforters. These are meant for you to sleep under, but you can also just sleep on top if it makes you more comfortable.
- Duvet- Much like a comforter these are meant to be sleeping under. Duvets allow you to stuff in more materials like feathers, cotton, foam. This diversity allows you to test various materials and see which one works for you.
- Air Mattress- Air mattresses can go under a futon mattress for some added height if the futon is too low for you. However, air mattresses don’t give that much support and may not be a good combination with a futon.
- Featherbed- Featherbeds are mattresses that go on top of your regular mattress. They are filled with feathers that add support and comfort to your body.
- Add Support Below- Perhaps your futon is not properly supported by the frame. It may be causing one side of the futon mattress to be sinking. You may need to get a new frame or have yours properly adjusted.
- Try Again- Try a different futon. If all else fails, then head to the store and just take a break on one of their futons. You never know. That futon may be the one for you. Just tell them you’re the professional futon inspector.
- Combine- Combing some of these ideas can help, but the air mattress is probably not the best option for most.
Awesome you got the comfort and support you wanted out of your futon!
Futons Are Lighter Than Beds
As mentioned before futons are practical for frequent movers. This is because futons eliminate the need to transport both a bed and a couch. Futons are also lighter than high-end traditional beds and weigh similar to a couch or a small bed. Some futons weigh as little as 100lbs to as high as 400lbs.
The lightweight futons are essential for mobile homes. Sometimes states have different weight limits and every bridge you’ll drive over has different weight limits. Futons can help you to not go over those certain weight limits if there are any in the direction you’re headed.
Anyone who plans on moving frequently must have a futon. Those in the armed forces will move from base to base. Traveling nurses will move from city to city. Even music artists will benefit during their tours by having a futon on their tour bus. A futon will make your life easier and make that constant moving less of a hassle.
Futons Are Easy to Clean
Futons are easier to clean than a traditional mattress. First of all, when was the last time you cleaned your bed’s mattress? Not once, huh? Well, there are a few ways you can clean your futon mattress. We have some great recommendations on how to clean your futon mattress and are broken down into two categories:
It’s best to use all these dry methods in combination with each other:
- Vacuuming- Vacuuming your futon should be the first thing you do. Vacuuming picks up all the dust, dirt, and even dead skin cells that accumulate on your futon over the many long nights. It’s best to do this while you’re doing your other chores to make it more convenient for yourself.
- Baking soda- Baking soda can be sprinkled across your futon and left there for an hour. After that, you can vacuum it up. No need to add water or anything. Just let the baking soda sit there for a bit while you get your other chores done
- Sunlight- Sunlight can take away any moisture on your futon. Just put your futon outside in the sun to dry.
- Combine- Again combine these dry methods. For example, while you’re doing your chores take your futon mattress outside. Apply some baking soda to it and hang it if you can. Let the futon soak in the sunlight. When it’s been more than an hour take it back inside and vacuum whatever is left on the futon.
It could be better to vacuum it outside, so you don’t take the baking soda and dust into your home. This is an easy and practical way to clean your futon mattress while saving some time by completing the task with your other chores.
Most futons can’t be put into the washer machine. If your particular futon’s label says it can be put into the washer then read and follow the instructions carefully, so you don’t ruin your futon mattress. For everyone else, keep reading for some tips. Since you can’t completely wash them, you can go do spot cleaning and here are some steps on how:
- Speed- Be quick when you get a stain on your futon. The longer the stain has to set in the harder it will become to take out!
- Wipe Away- Use a sponge, paper towel, an old t-shirt, or anything to quickly soak up the spill to reduces the chances of it staining your futon.
- Soap- Put some soap on the spot. You can even try some detergent. It’s recommended, however, to test the detergent on a small out of sight spot. This is just in case the detergent itself stains your futon mattress.
- Lather- Use a small damp towel to wash the affected area. Make sure that the soap lathers and becomes soapy. That will help take out the stain.
- More Water- Use more water if you need something more than a slightly damp towel. A slightly damp towel may not be your best weapon against a stain without having some more ammunition, so reload your towel with water.
- More Sunlight- Put your futon in the sun after the stain is visibly gone. If a stain dries then it’ll be even more difficult to take out. Make sure the stain is gone before drying out your futon mattress!
More Stain Removing Methods
If the stain is pretty tough to take out, then try this method that we also recommend:
- Mixing- Create a mixture of vinegar and water and pour some of it onto the stain.
- Baking Soda- Pour some baking soda onto the stain as well.
- More Mixing- Add a mix of hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing soap to the stain.
- Time- Give your concoction some time to sink into the stain. Fifteen minutes at least.
- Wipe-Wipe away everything with a towel or use a damp towel to lather it even more in and then wipe it all away with a dry towel.
- Even More Sunlight- Leave your futon mattress outside in the sun to dry.
- More Baking Soda- Bring back your futon mattress (or leave it outside if it makes it easier) and sprinkle some more baking soda.
- More Vacuuming- Vacuum your futon mattress for whatever is left on it and bring it back inside if it isn’t already.
Before you know it, the stain is gone and your futon is clean!
Futons Are Cheap
Futons, like beds, have a range of prices. However, the price range of traditional beds tends to be much higher than that of futons. That’s especially true when you take in all the costs of the bed frame, comforters or duvets, matching fitted sheets, matching pillows, and matching blankets. Futons, however, already come with both the mattress and the frame. That relieves some stress on your part.
Estimates from the Sleep Foundation show that traditional bed mattresses can be as low as $250 for a low-quality mattress. For a decent mattress, it can cost up to $1,000. If you want a high-quality mattress then you’re going to need to give some napkins to your sobbing wallet. Those high-quality mattresses can cost as high as $3,000! There is no maximum limit to what a traditional bed mattress can cost, especially if you’re into luxury items.
For those who don’t want to sacrifice comfortability and support by getting a cheaper bed, then mattresses are already out of budget. If you want a high quality mattress, be prepared to pay a lot of money. Futons, however, are different.
Futons provide both quality and value. Futons don’t sacrifice comfortability and support for a cheaper price tag. You can find futons with better comfort and support than a higher-end bed’s price.
According to Tuck, the prices of the futon mattress itself can be as low as $100 to $300. For a full futon (with the mattress and framing) your price range will be $200 to $500! That’s a drastic reduction in price while keeping quality. No one likes to waste money on something so expensive as a mattress, especially when it doesn’t bring many advantages!
Futons are a great option for meeting the budget and not needing to break all your piggy banks. It’s best not to waste so much of your hard-earned money on two pieces of furniture when one piece of furniture can get the same jobs done.
Understanding Futon Types
Futons come in all shapes and sizes just like bed mattresses do. Here are the common futons you may encounter.
The Western Style Futon
The Futon, as most Americans know it, is a couch that transforms into a bed and vice versa. It’s ideal for anyone who needs a bed but doesn’t have enough space for a couch too. Usually, college students will use them, but has proven popular among those living in very small apartments like those in Manhattan.
Western-style futons are also popular and are a fantastic option for those living in an RV or mobile home as well. Western-style futons save a ton of space by putting two pieces of furniture into one.
Here are some things to know about the Western Style Futon:
- Convertibility- Western-style futons convert into a couch or bed easily
- Supporting Frame- Western-style futons have a metal or wood framing to hold up the mattress and you.
Western-style futons provide extra space to your home and support to your body.
The Japanese Futon (Shikibuton)
Unlike the Western style of Futons, the Japanese Futons are much more simple. Japanese futons are commonly known as shikibutons. Shikibutons are just thin mattresses placed directly on the floor. It doesn’t have all the wood and metal framing that a Western-style would.
Here are some things to know about the shikibuton:
- Wooden Pad- In some cases, there may be a wooden pad beneath the shikibuton.
- Convertibility- Becomes a couch if needed by propping it up on a wall although it’s mostly meant to be flat and slept on.
- Transportation- Not having a wooden or metal frame allows you to easily pick up and put away a shikibuton, unlike a Western-style futon. Also since shikibutons are thinner than your traditional bed mattress they are much lighter.
- Cleaning- Shikibutons are easier to clean and maintain than both a traditional bed mattress and a Western-style futon. They can be vacuumed and even washed with a hose. It’s recommended that shikibutons are put out into the sun to dry.
Shikibutons are renowned futons for their practicality but we’ll focus on the Western-style futons.
Congrats! You’ve done the research and got a futon. You’ll now enjoy all the benefits of owning one and sleeping on one. Your family and friends will enjoy it too and may even want one themselves. As for yourself, enjoy the well-earned sleep from your new futon mattress.