The modern futon bed frame has come a long way since the days of college dorms and efficiency apartments, where
they first became popular. It started out as a mattress on the floor that folded away during the day. Originating
in Japan, they quickly became an overwhelming success among people who needed both a bed and a sofa in one small
Futons were first noticed and used by students of Asian culture because of their appreciation of the traditional
role it plays in the Japanese home. They quickly spread in popularity because of their functionality. Later,
someone came up with the idea of lifting it up off the floor and creating a foldable frame that would serve as both
a sofa during the day and a bed with a mattress at night.
The design of the frame varies substantially between the different manufacturers. Quality futons are made of
wood with the support slats placed close together. This provides comfortable support and prevents the mattress from
being pressed between the slats. If it squeezes between the slats, you feel the pressure of the bars against your
back causing discomfort and possible back problems.
Knowing where you will use the futon helps you choose the type of frame. Some models have to be placed away from
the wall in order to serve as a bed. Since, in some instances, that distance can be four to six inches, you may
need to choose a wall-hugger model. A special hinge allows it to fold out without hitting the wall much like the
A good quality futon also has a higher quality mattress. Originally, all those mattresses were very heavy. They
were filled with only cotton and weighed up to eighty pounds. Although you can still find the all cotton variety,
more modern mattresses are usually filled with a poly-cotton blend and weigh in between thirty and fifty pounds.
This allows for superior support and softness without all the weight.
Today's major mattress manufacturers are also getting into the futon business. Innerspring versions are gaining
in popularity. Although they sleep much more comfortably than the traditional mattress, they can be a bit trickier
when the time comes for it to function as a couch. While this can be a great option for a futon that is used every
day, it may be a bit pricey for a guest room.
When it comes to dressing your futon, remember that the choices are unlimited if you have chosen a neutral
frame. The mattress can be covered with any number of materials from cotton to silk, and the material can be
matched to the decor of the room that it is in. A more popular choice with today's consumers is the leather or faux
Do not let your preconceived notions about a futon scare you away from this versatile furniture choice. It does
not have to be the hard metal bars and lumpy cotton mattress that you remember from your college days. Shop for
higher quality so that you can sit and sleep in comfort.