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Mattress Ratings > Futon Bed Reviews
Based on 3,800+ Actual Owner Experiences
THE GOOD: Often inexpensive • above average owner satisfaction when used occasionally / temporarily or by children • can often be both bed and sofa when placed on futon frame • popular among college students, small-apartment dwellers or anyone wanting a convertible or storable bed.
THE BAD: Average-at-best durability / longevity overall • initial odor potential • many models too thin / firm for some.
THE MATTRESSES: "Futon" is the word Americans use to refer to the traditional Japanese bed. A traditional futon is a thin mat filled with textile batting that is laid directly onto the floor. The American futon is thicker and can contain cotton, foam, springs or a combination thereof.
A futon mattress can be placed on a mattress foundation, directly onto the floor, or onto a futon frame. When on a futon frame, the mattress can be converted from a sitting to lying position thereby serving as both sofa and bed.
THE COMPETITION: Main competitors to futon mattresses are temporary-use air beds as well as low-priced memory foam mattresses and low-priced innerspring beds. See the mattress price comparison and mattress type comparison to learn how futon beds stack up to alternatives.
THE RETAILERS: Popular futon mattress retailers include but are not limited to amazon, walmart.com, thefutonshop.com, futonland.com and futonplanet.com.
The comparison below – based on at least 3,800 futon consumer reviews gathered from diverse, credible sources – rates several popular futon mattress types including:
• INNERSPRING – contain cotton (or polyester) and foam along with springs for support.
• FOAM / COTTON – contain regular foam (or latex) and cotton (and or polyester).
• FOAM – consist of regular foam from top to bottom.
• COTTON – consist largely or entirely of cotton from top to bottom.
|Inner-spring||Foam / Cotton||Foam||Cotton|
|Owner satis- faction||b-||c+||B||C|
|Futon mattresses overall have 75% owner satisfaction. Innerspring and foam varieties tend to rate highest. The mattresses rate higher among owners who use them only occasionally / temporarily as opposed to regularly / long term.|
|Durability overall is worse than average compared to other mattress types. Innerspring and foam futon mattresses may last somewhat longer than other varieties. Expect on average a 3-5 year lifespan with regular adult use.|
|$90-$900 is the range for a full-size futon mattress (not including frame). The average price paid is about $155.|
|Less pressure points||c-||d+||c+||d|
|Usually not a strength of futons. 15%+ of owners report discomfort often due to excessive firmness, thinness, lumpiness.|
|Less back pain||c+||c+||B-||C+|
|Reduced back pain is reported by about 10% of owners. Support tends to be regarded as fair or better.|
|Futon mattresses are often available in thickness of 3-12 inches. Cotton or foam models tend to be thin.|
|Futons tend to be more firm than soft. Thicker varieties are somewhat softer.|
|No initial odor||d||d||d+||D|
|15%+ of owners report an initial smell of a chemical or musty nature. The odor often largely dissipates within days.|
|Not a heat trap||b||b-||C+||A|
|Heat issues are generally not a problem, but foam models may be an exception.|
|Back sleep friendly||A-||A-||A-||A-|
|Futons mattresses are often well suited for many back sleepers.|
|Side sleep friendly||c-||c-||C+||D|
|About 20% of side sleepers are dissatisfied due to excessive firmness. Thicker futons likely provide more comfort.|
|Front sleep friendly||b-||c+||B-||C-|
|The beds tend to perform about average for stomach sleepers.|
|Models with springs may creak, squeak and pop. Other types are largely silent.|
|Large person friendly||C-||D+||d+||D|
|Futon mattresses are best suited for small to average sized people. Less-than-8" thick models especially may lack comfort, support and durability for people 200+ lbs.|
|Good for sex||b-||c||C+||D|
|Innerspring futons rate highest due to their bounce effect and overall comfort. Cotton futons may lack adequate thickness which can limit comfort and position variety.|
|Ease of mainten- ance||c-||d||C||D|
|Futons benefit from being turned and or flipped to avoid uneven wear / sagging. Cotton futons may benefit from being aired on occasion to prevent moisture and mold.|
|The mattresses on average weigh about 50 lbs – less than other bed types. They are fairly easy to handle, move, transport.|
|Easily folded for sitting||c-||c+||C||A-|
|About 7% of owners, especially owners of innerspring futons, report difficulty putting the mattress into a seated position on a futon frame. As the mattress breaks in, however, this task tends to become easier.|
|Warranty length is often a weakness, usually ranging from 1-10 years with 3 years being average.|
The table below rates and compares futon mattress models that have 80% or better owner satisfaction based on 100+ consumer experiences. Information below regarding firmness is based on what tends to be true for most owners. Your personal evaluation may differ.
|DHP||Tuft & Needle||8 inch loft cotton foam Microfiber||Traditional Japanese Floor Futon||Shiki- buton Tri fold||Blazing Needles Futon Mattress|
|Owner Satisfaction (Sample)|
|85% (2168)||83% (102)||81% (310)||81% (525)||80% (778)||80% (420)|
|innerspring||foam||foam / cotton||cotton||foam||foam / cotton or inner- spring|
|full||twin, full, queen, king||full||sub-twin, full, queen||sub-twin, full, queen||full|
|6", 8"||5"||8"||3"||3"||8", 9", 10"|
|med - firm||med- firm to firm||med - firm||firm||firm||med - firm|
|Owners using regularly vs temporarily|
|40% / 60%||70% / 30%||40% / 60%||20% / 80%||20% / 80%||40% / 60%|
(% of owners)
|initial odor (16%),
8" too difficult to fold (5%), splitting cover (3%)
|too firm (6%), initial odor (5%), not easily foldable (4%)||initial odor (11%), thinner than 8" (10%)||initial odor (11%),
too small (7%)
|too firm (10%), too thin (9%), too narrow (7%)||thinner than stated dimen- sions (11%),
initial odor (10%)
|amazon, walmart .com||tuftand needle .com, amazon||overstock .com||amazon||amazon||overstock .com, amazon|
|Sold at walmart .com under name "6 inch futon innerspring mattress" and "8 inch futon coil mattress".||Customer service well above average. 10 yr warranty.||Comes in brown or grey.||Can easily roll up. Comes in several colors. Not well suited for people 180+ lbs.||Folds easily for storage. Many colors avail.||Comes in several colors. May need regular flipping.|
Owner satisfaction tends to increase as futon mattress thickness increases. A lack of thickness can result in excessive firmness and cause a person to feel the futon frame under the mattress as well as any springs inside.
Thicker models, however, are more expensive and can be more difficult to fold for storage or for use on a convertible futon frame.
An average-sized adult, owner experience data suggests, is more satisfied with 5-inch or greater thickness, while a heavier adult is more satisfied with 8-inch or greater thickness. Children and teens, given their lower weight, or anyone who prefers a firm mattress can be satisfied with less than 5-inch thickness.
Futon mattresses overall are used less often by their owners than other mattress types. As the chart below shows, only about 45% of owners overall use their futon mattress regularly over an extended period.
In addition, only about half of owners use their mattress with a futon frame (a frame that can convert from a sleeping position to a sitting position). The other half place their mattress on a foundation, platform, or directly onto the floor.
Our futon mattress ratings are based on at least 3,800 futon consumer reviews gather from diverse, credible sources including review sections on retailer websites. Learn more about our research methodology.
– Futon mattresses are often used only on a temporary or occasional basis.
– They tend to be best suited for small- and average-sized adults or children.
– They are often best suited for back sleep.
– Futon mattresses on average weigh about 50 lbs making them relatively easy to handle, move and transport.
– Warranty length is often a weakness, usually ranging from 1-10 years with 3 years being average.
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