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The Definitive Guide on How to Select a Futon Mattress

Sailee Kale Nov 18, 2018
A futon is probably the most popular piece of furniture in small houses, since it can double up both as a couch and a bed. Here is a brief guide that will tell you how to select a futon mattress.
Selecting the right mattress for your futon can sometimes seem confusing. Futon frames can either be wooden or metallic, and your choice of mattress may depend on it. Available in various styles and sizes, futon can be made from foam, cotton, a combination of both cotton and foam, or wool.
Some even have the regular spring coils just like our regular mattresses. Consider factors like usage, your budget, material you prefer, and size of the futon frame when buying a mattress.

Selecting the Right Futon Mattress

Frequency of Use

How you are going to use your futon, as a couch or a bed, or as both, will influence your decision, and material and density also play a major role in this scenario.
A mattress that will be used as a bed will have to be durable, but one used as a sofa should be flexible because it will be folded or turned over often. For use as a bed, opt for an innerspring mattress or a foam mattress. Foam mattress is also a good choice since it can take the shape of your body.
A thicker foam mattress is ideal, since it can take more weight, and will not sag under excess weight (when you sleep, rather than just sit) for longer durations. A cotton mattress will be softer whereas a foam mattress will be comparatively firmer.
So make your choice depending upon how soft or hard a surface you like to sleep on. A thinner mattress may look better on a futon frame that is metallic, whereas a hardwood frame and a firm, thicker mattress will look good together. 
Mattresses made from organic cotton and wool are available as well, manufactured without any pesticides and chemicals, and can be purchased by people suffering from allergies. They also have an additional stuffing of cotton or wool, but are a notch pricier than the regular ones.
If you plan to move the futon around frequently, the weight of the futon matters a great deal. Choose a lighter (cotton) mattress in such a situation. When you are at the store, ask for a mattress that has been pre-compressed and has more tufts. These ensure that the filling inside is packed more securely, and is unlikely to shift around.
Even though price plays a role, do not buy a thinner mattress because it is cheaper, especially if you will be using it as a bed. Ideally, the mattress should be at least 7 inches thick for use as a bed. Look for comfort too and make a decision accordingly.


This mainly depends on your futon's frame size. Some people, mainly bachelors and those in smaller apartments, put their futon directly on the carpet or the floor as beds and for use as seating arrangements.
In such a case, take your room size into consideration. Apart from the standard industry sizes that are available across most stores, some stores also specialize in providing clients with custom-sized mattresses.


Innerspring mattresses are usually most comfortable and probably the most costly. Wool mattresses come in 2nd and cotton and foam mattresses are a lot cheaper than others. If comfort is what you are looking for (as you should) then invest a bit more in a mattress that is made of better quality materials and as a result is more durable and more comfortable.

Mattress Cover

Apart from the earlier considerations, to keep your mattress clean, purchase a futon cover. No matter what color, a cover will add an aesthetic sense to it. Futon covers are available in different fabrics and styles.
Choose one that will add color and go well with the decor of your room. You can go in for bold prints and patterns, plaid, or plain, solid colors. Though cotton covers are more popular, chenille, micro suede, leather, and microfiber covers are also available.
So when you go to a store to buy a futon, sit on it a few times and get a good feel of how soft and firm the mattress is, and whether you would sleep on it, if the need arises. Whether you want to buy from a store or make an online purchase, look around and check out various options before arriving at a decision.