Can a Futon Fit in a Minivan? Let’s Find Out


Whether you’re trying to move your futon or get it home from the store, there are many reasons behind trying to figure out if a futon can fit in a minivan. 

So, can a futon fit in a minivan? Yes! If it’s new and in the box, it’s best to leave it there and work the box into the back of the van. If you’re moving a futon from one location to another, it will likely need to be taken apart to fit correctly. You’ll have to remove the legs and fold the cushions down for the best fit. 

In this article, you’ll learn what a futon is, how they work, and how you can get them to fit in your minivan without too much of a hassle.

Futons and Their Purpose

Futons are a couch and a bed all in one. They were traditionally used in Japan as a floor mattress, but, thanks to William Brouwer’s innovation in 1982, the futon evolved into the transitional sofa-beds we know and love today.

Futons are convenient, comfortable, and come in a range of materials, sizes, styles, and colors — all generally with a relatively low price tag. The most popular style of a futon is the armless or lounge futon because they can accommodate guests of basically any height comfortably, and they have a more modern visual appeal.

These handy pieces of furniture are great for: 

  • Those who have a guest room with limited space.
  • Those are moving across the country and don’t want to lug around a full-sized bed.
  • Those who just moved and are on a tighter budget than usual.

While you can simply toss a pillow and blanket on the futon and sleep directly on the cushions, the option to dress your futon up as a more comfortable sleeping spot with a mattress topper and sheets exists. 

They work by folding and clamping in place, either into the bed position or the sofa position and don’t take much effort to transition. 

Moving a Futon

Because of their flexibility and simple disassembly, futons aren’t very difficult to move from place to place. Moving a futon consists of breaking down the frame, folding the mattress part of the futon up, and shoving it into the back of the car. 

Fitting a Futon Sofa in a Minivan

Though putting a futon in a minivan isn’t exactly rocket science, there are still a few things that you can do to make the process go more smoothly, such as:

  • Folding the second (and third, if you have it) row of seats down. You don’t want to attempt to squish a futon in the compartment part of your minivan or have half of it sticking out of your open trunk, so it’s a good idea to first fold down the seats for a better fit. 
  • Completely disassembling the most significant parts of the frame. If your futon isn’t a Japanese-style, giant, freestanding pillow-bed, it likely has a frame that will need to be taken apart before it can fit in your minivan. Take care when disassembling the futon and refer to the instructions if need be to avoid any mistakes or injury to the frame.
  • Folding the mattress/cushion part of the futon down to its smallest size. While a futon cushion could fit in your minivan when it’s in bed-mode, it’s a good idea to fold it down to its couch size for ample space. This will leave room for any pillows or blankets that go with the futon. 
  • If your futon is brand new and in the box, leave it there. This is the most compact your futon will ever be and placing it in your minivan will be a breeze this way. If the boxed futon isn’t fitting correctly in your van, try inserting it in the car at various angles, laying down the passenger seat if possible, or rearranging any items you have in the back of your van that may be in the way of the box. 
  • Place the mattress on top of the frame. Your futon may be too wide for the frame and mattress to lay flat side-by-side. Consider laying the frame flat on top of the folded car seats and then placing the mattress on top of the frame. 
  • If the legs of the futon are getting in the way (which they probably will), you may want to remove them and place them separately in a box with any other loose items, such as screws. This will also help to prevent the legs from getting broken during your trip should you hit a bump and the frame fly.

When it comes down to it, fitting a futon in a minivan isn’t as difficult as one would initially believe. A proper fit mainly rests on the disassembly of the futon’s frame, neatly folding the cushion, and stacking them to give you sufficient space in the back of your van. 

The Best Way to Move a Futon Mattress Without the Frame

If you’re trying to head out quickly or just don’t have the room in your van for the futon’s frame, even when disassembled, you can simply leave the frame behind and purchase a new one at a later date. Futons still work great as floor mattresses and can even be set against a wall as a make-shift sofa.  

Here’s the most efficient way to fit a futon mattress into a minivan:

  • Use a durable, but easily-manipulated rope and place it on the ground. This will be used to bind the futon.
  • Place the futon on the rope. If your futon mattress is made of malleable material, like foam, and isn’t divided into sections, roll the mattress as compactly as you can and then tie it off with the rope.
  • If you’re worried about the futon becoming untied, consider placing it in a sealable tote bag, like this Ziploc Flexible Tote. Not only will it keep your futon in place, but it will also protect the fabric from being exposed to any potential spills or other messes. 
  • If your futon cannot be rolled, simply fold the mattress down to the smallest size possible and place it on folded seats in the back of your minivan.

While it’s not usually necessary to leave the frame behind or make two trips to get both pieces, this option is still there for those who are either in a hurry to leave, don’t have the means to bring the frame along for the ride, or for those who just want to create the most space possible in the back of their van for other items that they may be moving along with the futon. 

Final Thoughts

Futons are incredibly neat pieces of furniture that serve a great purpose for those who are on a budget, don’t have the room for a full-fledged bed, or just want an extra place for guests to sleep. They’re affordable, compact, and can be easily assembled and disassembled when moving. 

So, can a futon fit in a minivan? Yep! And it isn’t as hard as you may think. With a little elbow grease to take apart the frame, folding down seats to provide the necessary space, and trying out different angles for the perfect fit, any sized futon should be able to fit comfortably in the back of your minivan. From there, it’s smooth sailing to wherever you’re headed.

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