The Futon Size Guide: How to Choose a Perfect Fit


Sometimes trying to find a futon that fits your room can be frustrating and overwhelming. There are so many types and sizes, it’s hard to decide which one to buy. But the search for the perfect futon is worth it because it is such a versatile piece of furniture. It can be used as a couch or a bed and are usually easily convertible between the two. And in most cases, they are relatively cheap. There really is no reason to not buy one. But how do you know which one to buy?

Do futons come in different sizes? Futons come in a variety of different sizes and styles, ranging from a small 28” x 54” futon chair to an 80” x 60” futon sofa. They are labeled just as a mattress would be labeled to make it easier for customers looking to buy one. For example, some round dimensions are:

  • Queen – 60” x 80”
  • Queen Split/Lounger – 54” x 60”
  • Full – 54” x 75”
  • Full Split/Lounger – 54” x 54”
  • Twin Split/Lounger – 54” x 39”
  • Chair – 54” x 28”
  • Cot – 75” x 30”

When trying to decide which size and style of futon to select, you will need to know how to measure your room for a futon, what style would best fit your lifestyle, and the thickness of the mattress you will need. There is also the option to buy accessories such as throw pillows or a futon mattress cover to bring more color to your room. The options are endless. Let’s dive a little deeper into the world of futons. 

Are Futons All the Same Size?

It is easy to assume that futons are all the same size because chair futons and loveseat futons aren’t so well known or sought out. You can, in fact, buy one of these sizes for your home. Most of the queen-sized futons that we all know of come with the option to buy a matching set, which includes a chair or loveseat, and sometimes even an ottoman. It really all depends on your preference, the available space in your home, and the amount of space you want to still be available after you have opened up the futon and made the bed.

Futons generally come in size types just like mattresses and beds would. For example, you can find a futon in a single, twin, full, or queen-sized. It is important to measure your space for a futon because it might seem to fit when it is closed, but you have to remember it takes up double the amount of space when it is opened. If you get a futon that’s too big for your room, you might not be able to open it up and use it as a bed. 

How to Measure for a Futon

When deciding on what type of futon you want and how much room you have available, you need to first consider the wall you plan to put the futon up against. The length of this wall will need to fit your futon, so this will likely be the length of your futon. Once you figure out how long your futon can be, you can then determine the size of your futon. 

One thing to remember is that many styles of futon have arms included in the order but oftentimes don’t include them in the dimensions. This will take up more space than you might think because if you are shopping online for a futon, the pictures are unreliable. So, you will need to measure it yourself. When measuring your room for your futon, you will want to add around 6 to 8 inches to ensure you have enough room to fit it. 

You might also want to take into account how it will look and how many people you plan on having sleep on it. For example, if you only plan on sleeping one person on it, maybe consider a full or twin-sized futon. This will keep your room from feeling so cramped and you will still have extra sleeping space for yourself or any guests you might have over. If feeling cramped is not an issue for you, then the added dimensions the arms give shouldn’t be a problem.

Next, you will need to consider the width of your room. This will be the amount of space that will be taken up when the futon is opened up and lying flat. For this measurement, you will need to account for the amount of space you want to stay free when the futon is open. When the futon is opened up, it will take up double the space it did when it was closed. When you decide on this, you will then know if you want a traditional bi-fold style, a tri-fold style, or the split style.

The traditional bi-fold style is likely to take up the least amount of space when it is closed. It will look like your everyday couch, loveseat, or chair. A trifold might take up more space if it has cushioning on the very bottom half of the futon. A split style futon will take up the most space because you will have a disconnected ottoman out at all times unless you plan on storing it in another room when it’s not in use. They should all take up the same amount of space when open.

Futon Size Types

Not all futon sizes are created equal. When deciding which size futon to choose, you will need to decide how much floor space is available and how much free space you want in your chosen room. Their sizes range from a small chair to a queen-sized sofa, but even each of those sizes have different selections. That isn’t even including the added space being taken up by the arms or ottoman if you need one. Let me explain. 

Queen-Sized Futon

A queen-sized futon has three different styles that are all different sizes. The first is just a normal Queen futon which usually measures around 60” x 80” when it is opened up and lying flat. This is the kind of futon you are probably thinking of when you decided to buy a futon. It can come with arms or without them, but that is something you will need to decide when you measure for one. The mattress that fits on one of these futons is also a normal queen-sized mattress. 

The second kind of queen-sized futon is a Queen Split futon. This is usually just a reclining chair with an ottoman. A futon in this style usually measures at about 54” x 60”. To use one of these futons as a bed, you will need to buy the ottoman separately and a mattress that matches your chair. Unless you can find this being sold as a pair, this option can get a little bit pricey. 

The third and final type of queen-sized futon is probably the coolest design. The Queen Lounger is usually the same size as the Queen Split, and you might need to buy a separate mattress for the bottom half. It looks a lot like the Queen Split, but the ottoman is built into the chair and can be slid into the frame of the futon. 

All three styles of the queen-sized futon can be used as a couch or chair, and a bed. It can make your life easier if you have company coming to stay at your house and you don’t have a spare bedroom, or you live in a studio apartment and don’t have room for both a couch and a bed. It can also save your bank account if you need another bed for your spare bedroom but can’t afford a normal mattress and bed frame.

Full-Sized Futon

Much like the queen-sized futon, a full-sized futon comes in three styles and sizes. Instead of a couch, the full futon will more likely resemble a loveseat. Understandably, full-sized futons are smaller than queen-sized futons.

A Full futon that opens normally down the middle usually measures at about 54” x 75”. This kind of futon fits a full-sized futon mattress and can usually fit any size thickness. These futons look a lot like the traditional futon you might be thinking of, but they are just slightly smaller. 

If traditional isn’t your style and you don’t plan on having company over too often, you can always look into a loveseat. This is a Full Split and resembles the Queen Split. The design is the same idea, only smaller. You have a reclining futon chair and an ottoman that you will have to buy a mattress for. Similarly, the ottoman and mattress are often bought separately from the chair. 

A Full Lounger is a really cool contraption. It is the same design as the Queen Lounger, but smaller. It is perfect for those small rooms that can double as a spare bedroom or reading room. A Full Lounger is a reclining chair futon with an ottoman that slides out of it. Again, you will need to buy a matching mattress for the ottoman, but it is well worth it to have one of these nifty seats. 

Twin-Sized Futon, Chair Futon, and a Cot

The Twin futon only has two styles and is much smaller than the other options. This is the type of futon that is meant to go in the corner of the room or be placed in a home with little to no space. The first type of twin futon is the twin lounger that, much like the Queen and Full Loungers, has an ottoman that slides into the chair. Again, you will need to buy a mattress for the ottoman in order to use it as a bed. This is a futon that is only meant to sleep one. 

A Twin Split is much like the Lounger, but the ottoman is separated from the chair and oftentimes needs to be bought separately as well. Because the Split version has an ottoman that is disconnected from the futon it takes up a bit more space than the traditional Futon or Lounger. A twin-sized futon usually measures at about 54” x 39”.

The Chair futon is only about 9” smaller than the Twin Split. It usually measures at about 54” x 28” and an ottoman can be bought separately. This is the type of furniture that is only meant for one person and small spaces. It might even be a snug fit for one person. It is thinner than a cot, but not by much. A Cot futon doesn’t have an ottoman because it usually measures at 75” x 30”, which is long enough to sleep on. 

Mattress Types

Futon mattresses can come in various materials. A few include cotton, polyester, pressurized foam, coil springs, or cotton and foam. Some of these materials flatten over time, while others don’t want to bend when the futon is closed. For example, spring mattresses don’t like to bend in half or thirds, no matter what their thickness is. And in today’s day and age, there are more comfortable options. Let’s look a little closer at each kind.

Cotton Mattresses

Cotton mattresses are the type to flatten over time. With use, the cotton inside the mattress becomes packed together and harder than it was when you first bought it. If you are the type to like firm mattresses, this mattress should work nicely for you. This type of mattress can be made for a twin, full, or queen-sized futon frame. The fabric is made out of natural components, so unless you have a cotton allergy, you should be fine. 

Spring Mattresses

A spring futon mattress is made for those that love a firm mattress. These mattresses are made to last. The problem with them is that a mattress made entirely out of spring can sometimes be too lumpy for some people. And the rigidity of the mattress doesn’t only make it firm, but it makes it difficult to bed in half when you are closing the futon. 

Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses usually end up on the medium to firm side of the spectrum. Many like this kind of mattress over the others because it lasts, is perfectly comfortable for them, and tends to stay in place a lot better. The foam is usually wrapped in a cotton or polyester type of material which will help firm up the mattress over time.

Polyester Mattresses

Polyester futon mattresses are usually the type of mattress that will last you the longest. They are durable and on the firmer side of mattresses. So, if you like a firm mattress this is the one for you. These mattresses are usually filled with something like cotton, innerspring coils, or foam. The polyester material often makes it too firm for some people to sleep on, but these mattresses will last forever. 

Cotton and Foam Mattresses

A mattress that is made out of both cotton and foam has many benefits. For starters, it bends easily with the frame of your futon as you open and close it. They are made to withstand regular use and keep their shape too, which means it should last you a bit longer. They can be made for usually twin and full futon frames, but you might be able to find a queen-sized mattress online. The thickness usually varies between 6 to 10 inches, but the classic size is around 8 inches. 

Cotton, Foam, and Spring Mattresses

Putting all types of mattresses in one gives you a softer mattress to sleep on. The spring and foam give these mattresses the stability they need to last longer than your other options and it feels less like you are sleeping on a blanket covered floor. This type of mattress can be made for a full or queen futon frame. It is thicker and therefore harder to bend, which means it will work best with a bi-fold futon rather than a tri-fold futon. 

Futon Mattress Covers

A futon mattress cover works just as a fitted bed sheet might. It protects the mattress from any kind of dirt, sweat, food, or drink, and helps it last longer than it might without a cover. Another positive feature to one of these covers is that if you get tired of the mattress color you bought or you decide you want a new color scheme for your room, you can choose the color that works best for you. You can change the look of the room in just a few seconds. 

Trying to find a futon mattress cover that fits correctly can be difficult. Most covers can be bought off the shelf with a standard 6” depth. This size futon cover will fit an 8” thick mattress the best because when you open your futon up and the mattress lays flat, the cover will fit it the best. The same goes for any size thickness that you order.

If you have a mattress that is thicker than 8” you might have to order a custom fit futon mattress cover. When deciding what size cover to buy, you always subtract 2” from your mattress thickness. If you order a cover that is any larger, it will be loose and baggy when the futon is closed in a seating position. So, if you get a cover that fits a little snuggly, it will work for both the open and closed position of the futon. 

Futon Frame Materials

Because we already discussed the style of futon frame, now it is time to take a closer look at the materials they are made out of. Futons are made out of either metal or wood, but there are many options to look at when choosing between wood types. When deciding between metal frames you have the option of black or silver metal. With wood, the options are much more substantial but oftentimes more expensive. 

Metal Futon Frames

The metal frame of a futon bed is by far the cheapest option there is when it comes to futon frames. They are usually lighter and easier to move and have a much more modern look to them than a wooden frame. Because the metal bars that hold the mattress in place are round, it can make the bed a little bit less comfortable to sleep on than a wooden frame would be. If you are looking for an inexpensive but long-lasting piece of furniture, this is the one for you.

Wood Futon Frames

Wooden frames are a bit more expensive than the metal frame futons because the quality is better, and it brings a warmer feel to the room it’s in. There are more options to choose from with wood frames ranging from hardwoods and softwoods. The frames are usually made out of one of five types of wood; Pine, Beech, Mahogany, Maple, or Oak, but it is possible to find them in a different kind of wood. 

Hardwood frames can be made out of Beech, Ash, Mahogany, Maple, Oak, and Cherry. These are more durable and sturdier but usually run a bit more expensive. Softwood frames are easier to cause marks and indentations on, but they are easier to carve and design into creative pieces of work. These frames are usually made out of Fir, Pine, Aspen, and Spruce. 

Pine Wood Frame

Futon frames made out of pine are usually the most inexpensive wooden futon frame you will find. It is a softwood that often has many knots within the wood, giving it a warm quality to bring to your home. Pine can be stained easily because the wood is so soft that it will soak up the stain easily. The wood is usually a lighter shade of brown, but each piece of wood always ranges in different shades of light brown because no pine tree is exactly the same. 

Beech Wood Frame

Beech wood is a hardwood that isn’t as expensive as other hardwoods because it is so common and easily found. It is used for all types of things such as chairs, children’s toys, and of course beds. Beech wood is used to make so much because it is so strong and hard. It is the ideal wood to stain and polish because it is such a shock-resistant and fine wood. A futon bed made out of beech wood is usually a pale brown color and is sure to last. 

Mahogany

A futon made out of mahogany wood will likely be one of the most expensive futon frames you will find. The hardwood is strong and durable, but easy to manipulate and carve. It is perfect for intricate designs and built-in cabinets. Mahogany is resistant to decay, warping, swelling, or shrinking, which makes it perfect for a lasting piece of furniture. The wood is a darker brown color with a hint of red in it, which gives it a unique and distinguishable look. 

Maple

Maple is another hardwood but can be classified more as a medium to hard wood. It is the copycat of hardwoods because it can be stained and polished to look like a more expensive type of wood. If you are trying to find an affordable frame that looks to be on the more expensive side, maple wood makes that possible. It is usually on the lighter side of brown and can last for a long time if it is taken care of properly. 

Oak

Oak is a wood that sits around the same price as mahogany. Furniture that is made of oak is usually more expensive and sturdier. It is a very heavy wood and difficult to mark up or damage. It can be finished and stained in any color, and the rings are usually very large and easy to spot, giving the wood a beautiful and unique look. You can find oak wood in either a pinkish brown color known as Black Oak or Red Oak or a greenish-brown color known as White Oak. 

Metal and Wooden Frames

If you want the look of a wooden frame but like the feel of a metal frame more, you can always look into a metal and wood frame. This is simply a metal frame with wooden armrests connected to the sides. It gives your home both the warmth and feel you are looking for. This type of futon frame has many options to choose from because the wood arms can be made out of any type of wood, stained any color, and the frame can come in any style. 

A metal and wooden futon frame is not the most expensive option, but it is also not the cheapest. Because the wood arms can be made out of any type of wood, you can find one on the more expensive side with something like mahogany. The options for this type of frame are endless and come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a metal and wooden frame in a split style or a tri-fold style, though a bi-fold style is by far the most common.

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