Maybe you’ve got a new futon but hate the crummy mattress it came with, or maybe you’re replacing the aged, ragged, uncomfortable, decrepit mattress for futon originally came with. Either way, shopping for a new futon mattress requires a little more forethought than you might imagine. Let’s take a look at some important things you need to know to buy the best futon mattress for your needs.
Japanese-style futons vs. Western-style futons
Futon mattresses come in a wide variety of sizes and dimensions. Because of this, let’s address a major point of confusion when it comes to futon mattress shopping. It’s important to know that there are two entirely different types of futon. Think of these as futon families. Each of these futon families will have its own variations and subfamilies. When shopping, it’s important to get these two broad families straight, or else you’ll never find the right futon mattress for your needs.
- Japanese-style futons: Futons are originally a traditional form of Japanese bedding. As such, traditional Japanese futons are very different from modern Western-style futons. Traditional Japanese-style futons consist of two quilts, a thicker one for the bottom (which would be the mattress), and a top quilt that acts as the over. They’re designed to be soft with no frames involved so that they can be rolled up and stored away during the daytime, adding increased utility for the room. (For instance, so that a room may be a bedroom by night and a sitting room by day.)
- Western-style futons: Western-style futons are the type of futon you’re most likely to encounter today. While they share the multi-purpose, space-saving capabilities of their Japanese forerunners, they’re very different in both form and function, and it’s crucial you know this when shopping for a futon mattress. Western-style futons generally feature two parts: the frame which allows the futon to be turned into a couch or chair during the daytime and a mattress which acts as a mattress at night and a seat cushion and back during the daytime. Simple enough, right? But also note that Wester-style futons have totally different mattresses than Japanese-style ones. They vary greatly in size and dimension (often determined by frame). They also vary in what filling they use. It could be cotton, foam, felt or anything else, which is determined by comfort and function, so keep this in mind if you have a strong preference.
The basics of Western-style futon mattresses
Futon mattress size and dimensions are somewhat limited by the frame and what type of furniture they transform into. That said, they are generally roughly sized as twin, full or queen-size mattresses; if you plan on having more than one person sleep on the futon, be sure to opt for a full or a queen, as a twin will be uncomfortable and impractical.
Futon mattresses can be anywhere from 6 to 8 inches deep, on average. The filling may be simple foam, cotton or felt, to more elaborate versions with latex and springs.
Keep all of these variables in mind, and you’ll be sure to find the right futon mattress for your needs.