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Best Futon Mattress: Honest Reviews & A Buyer’s Guide

A futon mattress, also known as a sofa bed, can sometimes be a real life-saver. If you live in a small apartment or you’re expecting guests over, a futon mattress makes the perfect replacement for a full-time bed at night, and during the day, it transforms into a comfy sofa. This makes pull-out beds with the best futon mattresses the best choice for many people all over the world.

Whether you’re preparing for overnight guests or you simply want to save some space, a Japanese futon mattress might just be the solution for you. The only problem? When the time comes for you to replace the mattress, you may have trouble finding the right one for you. It doesn’t help that there’s a common misconception, fueled by badly made futons, that futon mattresses are bad for your back.

Fortunately, that notion is simply not true. If you pick the best futon mattress available, you’ll be more than happy with the results & your back will thank you… all the while you’ll save your sanity if you live in a crowded space.

How to pick the best futon mattress available on the market in 2020? It’s simple — by reading this guide! Below, we will talk about all the things you need to know when shopping for a futon mattress. We will also share some of our best reviews & recommendations with you. Let’s get started!

What is a Futon Mattress?

Futons, often referred to as sofa beds, are beds that originate from Japan. For many years now, futons have been sold worldwide and they continue to gain popularity as the years go by.

A futon in its original, traditional Japanese form, is a set that consists of a mattress (shikibuton, “spreading futon”) and a duvet (kakebuton, “covering futon”). Both of these elements are soft and pliant, allowing them to be aired and stored away in the large closets that are often found in Japanese homes. Thanks to this, traditional Japanese futon mattresses are often stored away during the day, which allows the room to be used for other purposes than that of a bedroom.

Doesn’t sound too familiar? And no wonder! For the Western audience, a futon is something slightly different. The futons we all know and love resemble a sofa. A Western-style futon is an adjustable frame that can be folded up into a seated sofa. Alternatively, it can be unfolded into a flat position & serve as a bed.

Normally, futons are covered by somewhat thin mattresses, but these mattresses too can be swapped out for something much more comfortable. If you pick the right mattress, your futon might be just as comfortable as a standard bed.

Types of futon mattresses

As mentioned above, there are essentially two types of futon mattresses:

  • Traditional style/Japanese style/Shiki futon — This traditional Japanese futon, made in Japan, is placed on a tatami mat. This puts the sleeper on the floor. During the daytime, they are folded and aired out or stored in a closet. They are often referred to as shiki futon or shikibuton.
  • American style/Western style — The mattresses used in these futons are slightly thicker than in their Japanese counterparts. The adjustable frame in the sofa bed is usually made out of wood, metal, or a combination of the two.

Benefits of Using a Futon Bed vs Regular Bed

You might think that a futon could never compare to a real bed, and in many cases, you might not be far from the truth. However, if you replace the standard bedding in any futon, even a cheap model begins to shine.

What are some of the benefits of owning the best mattress?

Space saving

As people living in cities have much less space to choose from when buying an apartment, they have to make do with limited room. The spacious homes that our parents and grandparents may have grown accustomed to are, sadly, no more — at least not when it comes to urban areas.

These days, if you live in the city, you’re likely looking into solutions to save some space & combine two rooms into one. That is what futons excel at — they allow you to turn your living room into a cozy bedroom at night, and then set things back to normal when the morning comes. Futons are always fantastic for dorm rooms.

Guests

Do you want to be able to invite guests over, but you don’t really have the space to dedicate a full guest room to them? This is where your futon will truly shine. It provides a comfy space to sleep for your guests while still letting you use the room as normal when no one is visiting.

Pricing

A futon mattress normally costs much less than a standard mattress. That makes it the perfect option for new families, college students, people who try to live on a tight budget, and income-conscious homeowners that don’t want to spend money on a guest bedroom.

If you need an accessible bed but you don’t want to spend too much, a futon is an amazing solution to your problem.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Futon Mattress

If there’s one downside to futon mattresses, it’s that a lot of them are just not that great. That’s the price you pay for owning something so affordable and convenient, or so many people will tell you. Luckily for you (and us), it’s not true that all futons are of poor quality.

If you want to get yourself a futon mattress that you know you’ll love, you should keep a few things in mind. Shop smart & be satisfied with your purchase! Below, you’ll find our guide to all the things to consider when buying the best futon mattress for comfortable sleeping.

Size

Just like with any other mattress, the size will be a major consideration for your future futon bed. You will have to take the exact measurements of your bed frame and shop accordingly. In general, most futon mattresses come in either a twin, full size or queen size. However, you may be able to find special sizes, such as loveseat size, bunk bed size, or custom.

Thickness

Most futon mattresses for sofa beds measure anywhere between 3 inches thick and 10 inches thick. However, the most common sizing is between six inches and nine inches. The thickness of the mattress closely affects how comfortable it is to sleep on.

The general rule of thumb is that if you’re petite, you can easily sleep on a thinner mattress. However, if you’re taller or you share the bed with someone else, you should aim for at least 8 to 10 inches.

Style

Futon frames & futon mattresses may all look alike, but they do differ from one another in terms of style & type. The main types of futon mattresses are:

  • Bi fold — You can fold these bi fold mattresses once, usually in half
  • Tri fold — Tri fold mattresses can be folded twice
  • Loveseat

Other than the shape differences, you will also find differences in colors and fabrics. Some futons only come in earthy or monochrome tones, but there are mattresses that are super-colorful or patterned. Then, there’s also the matter of finishing. The most common finishing types are linen, tufted, or non-tufted finishing.

Material

The material your mattress is made out of has a huge impact on its uses & how comfortable it is to sleep on. Futon mattresses are most commonly made from all-foam, all-cotton, or a combination of foam and cotton. Some of them feature sets of innerspring coils beneath several layers of foam and cotton.

Inexpensive, budget futon mattresses usually only consist of cotton padding layers. On the other hand, more expensive models may feature memory foam, a material known for how well it conforms to the sleeper’s body.

If you want a realistic sleeping experience, as similar to a standard bed as possible, you’ll probably want to invest in a futon mattress made out of poly foam, with innerspring coils inside. These mattresses closely resemble a standard mattress in how they feel to sleep on.

Back Pain & Sleeping on a Futon

Another major consideration when shopping for your new mattress should be whether you suffer from back pain. Lower back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neck pain — all of these pains can get better or worse, depending on the type of mattress you pick out.

If you suffer from all kinds of pains or you’re shopping for an elderly person, you should pick a mattress that will be medium-firm and will conform to the body shape of the sleeper. In futon mattresses, this means a mattress that will have multiple layers of memory foam or pocketed coils. The mattress should also be relatively thick, at least above seven inches.

What is the Best Futon Mattress in 2020?

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We’ve told you everything there is to know about futon mattresses. Now, it’s time for our recommendations! Please take a look below to check out our best futon mattresses reviews & get your own mattress soon!

DHP 8 Inch Independently Encased Coil Futon Mattress

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For those that look for the most comfortable premium futon mattress for their sofa bed, this is it: the DHP 8 inch independently encased coil futon mattress. This is the best futon mattress in terms of comfort and production.

Made out of high density foam and polyester layering & innerspring coils, this plush mattress feels soft when you rest on it, but it doesn’t sink in too deep. It features 15 inch independently-encased coil sets that allow for some firmness without feeling too hard.

The DHP 8 inch independently encased coil futon mattress comes with a microfiber mattress cover that is removable and machine washable. This bedding should fit any standard full-sized futon frame, so double-check the measurements.

Pros

  • Stylish, modern design
  • Independently pocketed 15-gauge pocket coils
  • Plush firmness — not too hard, not too soft
  • Comes with a cover

Cons

  • It’s packaged in a way that makes it hard to unpack

Mozaic Full Size 8″ Cotton Twill Gel Memory Foam Futon Mattress

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Are you tired of your dull old futon mattress? Do you want the furniture in your room to better showcase your personal style? In that case, it’s time to shake things up with this colorful selection of Mozaic mattresses.

Made out of quality memory foam (polyurethane gel foam), this mattress is thick and soft. The use of memory foam makes it a great choice for people who experience joint pains. It’s a standard full-size mattress that will fit most futon frames.

It comes with a cotton twill cover that is removable and comes in a variety of beautiful colors. Both the mattress and the cover are durable, reversible, and can be used folded or flat.

Pros

  • Beautiful style & gorgeous colors
  • Soft & comfortable
  • Memory foam futon mattress
  • Medium firmness

Cons

  • It’s rather heavy

FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon

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If you’re not that into sofa beds and you want to try sleeping on a traditional Japanese shikibuton, there are some great mattresses out there. One of the best Japanese futon mattresses is this product by FULI.

This affordable mattress comes in several sizes: twin size, twin XL size, full size, full XL size, queen size, and king size. It’s medium-firm and made out of 100% polyester in the stuffing & 100% cotton on the cover.

It dries quickly and is easy to pick up, fold, and air out or put away in the closet. Made by Japanese craftsmen, it will bring you a realistic futon sleeping experience.

Pros

  • Soft to the touch
  • Made out of pure cotton
  • Several sizes
  • Authentic shikibuton

Cons

  • It could be a little thicker

Classic Brands 8″ Futon Mattress

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For traditional, elegant spaces, you need a mattress that will match your futon frame. As your sofa bed is very visible during the day, it’s important to pick something that suits your personal style. This 8 inch futon mattress by Classic Brands is a decorative centerpiece just as much as it is a bed.

The Classic Brands 8 inches thick mattress is made out of top-quality high density foam layering tucked between cover and coils. The cover on this foam mattress is a sturdy mix of microfiber cover & polyester and comes in black and brown, both stylish and resembling leather or suede.

Fitted for a standard futon frame, this 8 inch futon mattress bounces right back when you fold it & retains its shape excellently.

Pros

  • Easy to keep clean
  • Medium firmness
  • Looks elegant & high-end

Cons

  • The cover is not removable

Mozaic Full Size Dual Memory Foam Futon Mattress

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This is a dual-sided mattress that comes in a variety of fun colors sure to fit any space. From a vibrant forest/hunter green to a deep red, this futon mattress will stand out in any living space.

Made out of gel memory foam, this bed conforms to your body shape and lets you sleep soundly without hurting your spine. We recommend this memory foam futon mattress for people with back problems.

The mattress is reversible and can be used both ways. It folds easily & flattens out quickly. It’s one of the most comfortable futon mattresses out there.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Soft cotton twill cover
  • Foam futon mattress made out of breathable polyurethane gel foam

Cons

  • It’s not the cheapest option

BJDesign Futon Mattress Twin Bedding

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If you want something lightweight and portable that you can take anywhere & fit in any closet, this is it. BJDesign delivers a Japanese futon mattress that you can easily store or air out.

It’s only 2″ thick and it’s very easy to maintain. It doesn’t require water washing — all you need to do is simply let it breathe now and then and store it properly.

This futon Japanese mattress is built out of 100% cotton, with a three-layer structure, and a delightfully soft feel. It’s a top-notch shikibuton.

Pros

  • Crafted in Japan
  • Easy to maintain
  • Gentle to the touch
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • 2″ may be too thin for some people

EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress

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This trifold Japanese traditional futon mattress comes in several sizes, all of which meet all the highest shikibuton standards. It’s a firm mattress, but not firm enough to be bad for your back — on the contrary, it offers fantastic support.

It’s not washable, but you can easily hide it in a removable cover. The body of this floor futon mattress contains a firm polyester pad covered in a soft filling to take off the edge. As for the outer cover, it’s made out of 100% cotton & wonderfully soft.

Measuring at just 2.5″ thick, this mattress folds twice and fits in any closet.

Pros

  • Compact & lightweight
  • Soft to the touch
  • Several sizing options

Cons

  • Non-washable

Mozaic Queen Size 12-inch Futon Mattress

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A queen-size futon deserves a futon mattress worthy of royalty. This Mozaic 12″ mattress ticks all of the boxes: it’s soft, it’s stylish, and it’s good for your health.

Covered in high-quality cotton twill, it’s pleasant to the touch & lets your skin breathe thanks to the natural material. The inside is made out of layers of foam (memory foam) that conforms to the shape of your body and retains it, relieving pressure points. It allows you to sink in just the right amount to get a good night’s sleep.

Measuring at 80″ in length x 60 inches wide x 12″, it’s a thick futon mattress that will fit any standard queen size futon bed frame.

Pros

  • Wide range of beautiful color options
  • Plush firmness
  • Memory foam filling & soft cotton cover

Cons

  • It may be too soft for some people

MustMat Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress

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For a truly traditional Japanese sleeping experience, get this rattan tatami mat that folds easily and can be folded in four.

This is a firm tatami mat/futon mattress that is covered in 100% rattan. If you enjoy sleeping on a firm surface, you are bound to love MustMat. It’s great for back problems, as it enforces the correct sleeping position while keeping you comfy.

It’s convenient to store and carry and can be used for other purposes, including yoga, meditation, or a Japanese tearoom.

Pros

  • Firm tatami mat for Japanese futon mattresses
  • Great for back issues
  • Realistic sleeping experience

Cons

  • It might be too firm to sleep on without extra padding

Mozaic Twin-Size 12″ Cotton Futon Mattress

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While most futon mattresses fold in half, this twin mattress folds about ⅔ of the way through. This makes it ideal for different types of furniture & suited for twin-size beds.

It showcases several colors, all of them vibrant & durable. It’s filled with high-quality dual-sided memory foam & polyester accompanied by a cotton twill tufted cover.

With a 12″ thickness, this futon mattress for sleeping is extremely comfortable and healthy for your back.

Pros

  • Thick 12″ mattress
  • Fits unconventional futon frames
  • Durable and sturdy

Cons

  • It’s rather heavy (48 lbs)

FAQ

If you feel there are still things you need to know, check out our FAQ sections to browse our most commonly asked questions about futons & futon beds.

What is the best futon to buy?

If you think that you don’t just need a mattress, you need a whole new futon, we’ve got a recommendation for you that may blow all the others out of the water. The Serta RNE-3S-CC Rane Collection Convertible Sofa is a high-quality futon sofa bed that is both stylish and comfortable.

This sofa bed has the perfect measurements for small spaces that want to retain a touch of elegance. It measures 66.1″ in length, 33.1″ in width, and 29.5″ in height. The bed, when unfolded, measures 66.1″ x 37.6″ x 15.0″. It’s upholstered in a top-notch polyester fabric that comes in a beautiful grey color. It’s bound to fit most spaces.

The frame is made out of a mixture of wood and chrome and it’s sturdy enough to suit two people. If you want a beautiful sofa for day time and a comfortable bed for night time, this is it.

Are futons good for sleeping?

This is a tough question to answer, but most users say that futons are good for sleeping. They tend to be firmer than regular mattresses, which enforces a proper sleeping position. The surface of a high-quality futon mattress aids the correct spinal alignment, which in turn may help with issues like back pain or neck pain.

Conclusion

This is the end of our journey through the world of the futon mattress, but your own journey continues! Don’t resign yourself to sleeping uncomfortably. If you are unhappy with your current futon mattress, it’s high time you get yourself a new one.

Browse the selection we reviewed above and take your pick. There’s no better solution to combining the living room & a bedroom than a high-quality futon mattress!

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