Futon mattresses were once a reminder of cramped college flats and apartments that will give a claustrophobe nightmares. Nowadays, they have transcended their former folding bed status. These plush foldaways give traditional mattresses a run for their money. In this bite-sized roundup, you’ll find out the best futon mattress for you and your lifestyle.
The Ultimate Futon Mattress Buying Guide
Benefits of A Futon Mattress
The traditional Japanese futon mattresses sit on tatami mats. They didn’t need to be suspended from the floor. In the West, futon mattresses lay on top of a futon frame. The frames can be converted into a sofa to save some floor space during the day.
In comparison to regular mattresses, futon mattresses are generally thinner but there are more robust mattresses that have innerspring and hybrid cores.
- Can be used as a sofa and guest bed
Lots of people gravitate to the convenience of futon mattresses. You can use a futon as a bed for a guest room. Futon mattresses are a great option for people living in compact flats, like those in crowded cities, because they’re lightweight and can be easily stowed away.A futon mattress serves a dual purpose. It’s meant for sleeping and sitting. The mattress frame can be folded up into a sofa. However, there are some futon mattresses that are strictly for sleeping with a designated futon frame.
- More affordable than regular mattresses
The biggest benefit of buying a futon mattress is its price. It’s more affordable than regular mattresses. You can have a good futon mattress for as low as $100. Premium materials like memory foam and coil can raise the price but it’s still relatively affordable. The most cost-effective futon mattresses have a foam fill.
- Easy to clean
The Japanese hang up their futon mattresses when not in use to eliminate moisture and bacteria. Even if you don’t have space for line drying, futon mattresses are easy to clean and lightweight. You can shake out the futon mattress outdoors and fold it up so it won’t accumulate dirt.
How Thick Should a Futon Mattress Be?
Thickness is a matter of personal preference. The thinner the futon mattress is, the more you’ll feel the floor beneath you, which some people like. Thicker futon mattresses can cost more but they feel plusher. You can find thicknesses from as slim as two inches to very hefty 15-inch futons. People with higher body weight need a thicker futon mattress to cradle their pressure points.
How to Use a Futon Mattress
A futon mattress needs to lay on a flat, even surface. It’s too soft for box-spring frames but if you have a spare one lying around, you can place planks on the frame so the futon mattress doesn’t fall in.
A futon mattress lasts about five to ten years. To maintain its quality and improve its lifespan, it’s recommended that you vacuum the futon mattress regularly and air it out monthly.
How to Choose the Best Futon Mattress
Purpose and Budget
Ask yourself what you’re using the futon mattress for. Will it be a replacement for a regular mattress? Is it a strictly-for-guests bed? Do you want to use it as a bed at night and a sofa during the day to save space? Do you want a Japanese futon or are you looking for a compatible futon frame for the mattress? Are you buying the futon mattress for your kids?
Secondly, figure out how much you’re willing to spend on a quality futon mattress. A price range will narrow down your options significantly, which prevents decision fatigue.
This is the starting point so you choose the best futon mattress for your needs. Once that’s clear, you can decide what qualities you need and what you can compromise on.
Comfort and Compactness
When buying a futon mattress that’s just for sleeping, you won’t have to worry about portability and versatility. But you do have to consider comfort. Thick futon mattresses are the most comfortable and supportive. I recommend a thick futon mattress for couples and above average-sized sleepers.
If you’re converting the futon mattress into a sofa, you might want a mattress that’s as comfortable for sitting as it is for sleeping. You can also choose from love seat, bi-fold, and tri-fold mattresses. Just make sure it will fit your futon frame.
Thin futon mattresses look more like traditional Japanese futon mattresses, which didn’t need a futon frame. The slim profile of these mattresses makes them easy to put away, but you do sacrifice some comfort and support.
Fill materials for futon mattresses are not as extensive as regular mattresses but you still have a range of options. These include pure foam, pure cotton, foam-cotton blends, innerspring and hybrid mattresses made of coils and foam/cotton.
A coil system raises the price of a futon mattress significantly but the mattress will feel more like a traditional bed.
For hygiene reasons, a removable cover is advised for easy maintenance of a futon mattress. A machine washable and dryable cover is an advantage. You should also look at the quality of the fabric and if it can handle wear and tear. Most importantly, the futon mattresses’ cover should feel comfortable on the skin, especially if you’re using it as a sofa sans bed sheets.
Quality and Warranty
Durability is a major consideration if you’re using a futon mattress as an everyday bed. More expensive and thicker futon mattresses will fit the bill. If you won’t be using the mattress regularly, you can get away with an affordable, less durable one.
Look at the warranty coverage for the futon mattress because that will give you a clue into how long the manufacturer thinks the mattress will last. Read the fine print as well and ensure you’re covered in case any issues pop up. The best futon mattress will have good warranty coverage but don’t expect a sleep trial, which is difficult to find in this price range.
The 4 Best Futon Mattresses: Our Picks for Space-Saving, Comfy Alternatives to Traditional Mattresses
DHP 8-Inch Independently Encased Coil Futon Mattress
The 8-inch thick futon mattress from DHP is fairly thick. The DHP 8-inch comes in six colors so you don’t sacrifice aesthetics for convenience. While it doesn’t look like a traditional Japanese futon, it’s one of the best futon mattresses that feels like a traditional mattress.
This is a highly-rated and high quality hybrid futon mattress that’s made up of pocketed coils and foam. The cover is tufted microfiber that feels luxurious. It protects the mattress from dirt and sweat and prevents odor formation on the surface.
The size will fit a standard full-size futon frame.
The independently encased coil system supports weight evenly, relieves pressure points, and conforms to the body. The construction is superb, making for a mattress that you’ll love sleeping on for years to come.
The foam is free of harmful chemicals and flame retardants. The mattress is hypoallergenic so it’s safe even if you have asthma and respiratory issues.
This is the best mattress if you’re looking for a full-size futon to sleep on and like the feel of innerspring mattresses. It will also accommodate heavier sleepers comfortably as it’s quite firm.
A slight disadvantage with this futon mattress is its bulk. It weighs 59 pounds but transporting it won’t be a problem because they deliver right to your door. You’re also covered by a 1-year warranty in case any issues come up.
- A high quality 8-inch futon mattress that’s medium firm
- Available in six colors
- Made of an independently encased coil system, foam, and a tufted polyester cover
- For standard full-size futon frames
- Excellent construction, durability, and pressure relief
- Great for average-sized to heavy sleepers
- 1-year warranty
- The 8-inch futon mattress is quite bulky
Japanese Floor Mattress Futon Mattress
If you want to stay true to the original construction of a Japanese futon, this floor mattress by MAXYOYO is the best futon mattress for your needs.
It earns top marks in portability as you can easily stuff it in your bag or roll it up for road trips and outdoor adventures.
The fill is mostly cotton and there are two layers of soft microfiber cotton sandwiching a memory foam layer.
The brushed cover on top and on the bottom is made of pure cotton which means this mattress is breathable and airy.
The futon mattress is just shy of 4 inches thick, which isn’t the best for everyday use. This is more of a guest bed or multipurpose mattress for the living room and kid’s room.
The high density foam support layer gives some bulk to the futon mattress so it’s still comfortable to sleep on despite its slim profile.
It comes in three dimensions, namely Twin, Full, and Queen size, so it can fit most futon frames comfortably. The colors will have you spoiled for choice and you can pick the best color to match your interiors.
This high quality futon mattress comes with a dust-proof cover, a storage bag, and a pair of straps.
Shoppers looking for a supportive futon mattress should steer clear because this memory foam futon mattress has a minimalist construction that’s low to the ground.
- Looks and feels more like a traditional Japanese futon mattress
- A lightweight and thin memory foam futon mattress best for travel and outdoor use
- Has a cotton and memory foam fill that’s 17 cm thick while the mattress is neraly 4 inches thick
- Pure brushed cotton cover for better airflow; removable for easy cleaning
- Multipurpose and portable
- Available in three sizes and various colors
- Comes with a cover, bag, and storage straps
- Not a good choice for an everyday mattress
Cartoon Fox Printed Futon Mattress
This whimsical futon mattress from MAXYOYO will add a dash of color and pizzazz to your kid’s room. You can use it as a bed for pets or even an outdoor futon for yourself.
It has a vivid fox pattern with a light blue background. You don’t have to worry about spills and stains because it comes with a dust-proof microfiber cotton cover that’s removable and machine washable, very handy if you have little ones and dogs around.
This adorable memory foam futon mattress is nearly 4 inches thick with a fill of cotton and memory foam for extra resilience. The quilted cover adds plushness. The edges have high quality stitching, ensuring that the futon mattress won’t rip from everyday use. The quilting also adds bulk to the surface so the mattress won’t go flat.
This variant is available in 4 sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, and King. The uses are endless as it’s portable and lightweight. If you’re unsure about buying, the company also provides a no-questions-asked replacement or refund.
Like the previous memory foam futon mattress, this isn’t the best mattress for regular sleeping because it’s quite thin. Sleepers of heavier weight may experience pressure build-up and aches.
- A cute memory foam futon mattress for kids, pets, and travel
- Easy to maintain with a washable cover for easy maintenance
- 4-inches thick
- Memory foam and cotton fill with a quilted cover
- Reinforced edges
- Comes in four sizes
- Good return policy and refund
- The mattress comes with a storage bag, straps, and cover
- Not the best futon mattress for regular use if you’re an adult and are above average in weight
Trupedic – Full Size 6-inch Futon Mattress
This futon mattress offers a compromise between portability and thickness. At 6 inches, you can sleep on this comfortably. It’s also designed to fold up into a couch (however, you’ll have to buy a futon frame separately) so it’s a multitasking space saver as well.
This is a full-size mattress that feels medium firm. Its cotton-wrapped foam fill is encased in a polyester cover which is lace-tufted, akin to the fabric on sofas. This is a flippable mattress which can prolong the life of your convertible bed.
Though it’s available in one size only, you have an array of color choices so this foam futon mattress will suit any bedroom or living area.
As this doesn’t come with a cover, it can be difficult to maintain. You can spot clean it and air dry frequently to remove stains and stop mildew and bacteria from forming.
This is one of the best futon mattresses for dorm rooms and transitional living spaces. It can even double as a guest bed. It’s good for small apartments because it really makes use of compact homes through its dual-purpose design.
- 6 inches thick, making it portable and comfy
- A bi-fold design that transforms the mattress into a sofa
- Medium firm and full-size foam mattress
- Has a foam fill and polyester cover
- Flippable and has various color choices
- Best futon mattress for guest beds and dorm rooms
- No cover
- Spot clean only
Whether you live in a tiny space or want a more minimalist bedroom, there’s a futon mattress for your needs. For shoppers who are looking for a futon mattress to sleep on, I highly recommend the DHP 8-inch Futon Mattress. The firmness offers a good medium between softness and support. And because it has pocketed coils underneath its comfort layer, it’s bound to long-lasting. Most importantly, it’s pleasant to sleep on due to its superb construction, high quality materials and breathable feel. I think this futon mattress is best in class and you won’t get buyer’s remorse if you add this to your cart.
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