Can I Use a Futon as My Primary Bed?

There is a big misconception that futon mattresses are just for college students or occasional guests. The futon mattress has come a long way and there is a futon for every budget and every function. Futonland offers the largest selection of futon mattresses on the East Coast and will help you find a quality futon to use as your primary bed.

Futons have been around for quite some time, however they started to become quite popular in the United States over the past 3 decades. Basically a futon is a mattress that bends. Traditionally stuffed with cotton, futon mattresses now are made with all types of materials. The primary reason for purchasing a futon is to save space. For people that have a second room and don’t want to take up too much space with a bed frame, a futon is an ideal option. When we hear the word “futon”, we generally picture the whole package, the frame, the futon mattress and cover. In actuality, the word “futon” refers just to the mattress and not the other components.

In the city, there are many people that live in studio apartments and do not have room for a bed frame and a sofa. The futon is a great alternative for this type of living space. Since the introduction of the cheap metal frame futon that retails under $200, there has been a big misconception by the general public over the quality and comfort of futons. The metal frame futon is made from hollow tubular slats and the mattress that comes with the frame is stuffed with recycled textile fibers, or shredded yarn mixed in with some cotton. These mattresses are very heavy, uneven and become really hard over time. This has given futons a bad name. For this reason, some people think that a sofa bed is a better option over a futon. To their surprise, the sofa bed mattress tends to be even less comfortable than the futon mattress.

Getting back to the original question, “can I use a futon as my primary bed?” The answer is yes. Futons are meant to be used as an everyday bed; however the question of comfort, quality and longevity should be taken into consideration. Futonland offers the largest selection of futon mattresses on the East Coast and will help you pick the one that suits your needs. Futon mattresses can be categorized by ingredients contained within. The most basic and simple futon is the “all cotton.” Generally people will buy a 4”, 6” and 8” all cotton. The thinner the mattress, the firmer it tends to be because the cotton fibers are getting compressed and hard over time.

The second category is “cotton and foam.” The majority of these mattresses comes in 8” and contains about two layers of one inch slabs of foam sandwiched between the cotton. This configuration, also known as double foam, will help keep the cotton in place from shifting. For the most part, the more foam to cotton ratio, the better the mattress. As for cotton/foam mattresses, the best configuration is to have 4-6 inches of foam in the core or the middle of the mattress to not only keep the cotton in place but also to give you optimal back and seating support.

Next goes memory foam. Memory foam futon mattresses work very well on futon frames. Most memory foam futon mattresses contain anywhere between 1 to 3 inches of visco elastic memory foam towards the surface of the mattress supported by multiple layers of high density foam. Memory foam is very dense and flexible. The mattress will mold nicely on the frame and will rest evenly. These mattresses are the most flexible, so opening and closing your frame on a daily basis should be easier. They provide a great seating surface when used as a sofa. The memory foam will retain its shape for quite a while without sagging. These mattresses are the best if you plan on opening and closing your frame every day.

For the next category we have “innerspring” futon mattresses. Innerspring futon mattresses are somewhat of a new phenomena in this country. The coils will keep you a safe distance from the slats so your back will be nicely elevated from the hard surface. If you are used to sleeping on a conventional mattress and you now transitioned to the futon, the innerspring futon would be ideal. The disadvantage of the innerspring futon is that they are heavier and less flexible, so if you open and close your futon on a daily basis, this may be problematic. Also if you are using the futon primarily as a sofa, this may wear out the coils faster because all your body weight is concentrated on one spot rather than being evenly distributed. Innerspring futon mattresses are best used primarily as a bed with the frame in the opened position.

Another option is all high density foam mattresses with no cotton. These mattresses use poly-dacron over the foam instead of cotton. This material does not get as compressed like cotton and should retain its resiliency for quite a long time. Unlike cotton futon mattresses that have a rounded edge or border, these futon mattresses have a boxed edge border which prevents the futon from flattening over time. The density of foam is higher than the average sofa cushion ranging from 1.8-2.2 density. These futon mattresses can be used as a primary bed and will retain their shape for 10+ years.

Last, Futonland offers organic futon mattresses. Organic futons are the same as the previous futons mentioned above, however the difference are the ingredients contained within which are all organic. All natural organic cotton, latex and soy based foam rather than petroleum based foam is used. Ingredients used in these mattresses are all natural and are of superior quality. The organic cotton and latex futons are a good choice. Latex comes from the rubber tree and can last for more than 15 years which is longer than the average piece of foam.

Futon mattresses have come a long way and can also be a more affordable solution than some of the higher end conventional mattresses on the market. As for everyday use, the futon is ideal for every sitting and sleeping.


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Futonland is an online retailer of functional furniture for urban living. From budget futons to premium leather convertible sofa beds, we offer a wide variety of living room furniture and accessories for any décor.