what is a futon

What Is A Futon?

Nowadays, people prefer to live in more minimalistic environments. In other words, modern day houses are getting smaller and there’s a lot less stuff in them. While this does save you a lot of money, maximizing the little space you have can be quite a challenge. You may also find that living with limited resources will get frustrating after a while.

Still, people choose to go for this lifestyle because of the affordability, less maintenance, and very tidy interiors. While I’m not in a position to judge whether this is acceptable or not, what I do want to talk about is how to maximize this type of situation.

Typically in a house or condo, the bed is the bulkiest pieces of furniture present. In order to conserve floor area, why not use a smaller alternative? Or better yet, why not invest in one that has multiple uses? In this article, I’ll be describing what is a futon and sharing why I think you need this in your home.

Bare Definition

Futons are a Japanese-inspired type of furniture that doubles as both a bed and a sofa. Visually, this looks just like a typical sofa sleeper, except that it’s much shorter and leaner. However, the main difference lies in how it is converted. Pullout beds would require you to go through a more complicated process – remove the cushions and take out the mattress – whereas futons only need a simple twist of the frame to be changed. This ability is possible thanks to its strategic construction.

a futon

If you’d to know how to open and close this properly, click on the link and watch a short video.

3 Main Parts

In the Japanese language, futon translates to a traditional bed. This is primarily composed of three components – the frame, mattress, and covers. Unlike other models that have these parts linked together, a futon allows you to disassemble and customize each one separately. To understand each one in-depth, here’s a quick definition of each.

The frame, which serves as the skeleton and primary support system, is usually made out of wood, metal byproduct, or a combination of both. Since it has several roles to play, this is assembled to withstand the weight of two or more people, while also being easy to fold. In terms of design, these structures come in many different shapes and sizes. This means you can easily choose one that fits your preference.

futon metal frame

Futon metal frame

Secondly, we have the mattress, which is the padded material you lay on. This is typically pressurized and filled with cotton or synthetic materials to give it its basic structure. Just be sure that when shopping, you choose one that’s firm enough to support your body, but also comfortable to lie down on.


A futon mattress

Finally, the last significant part of the futon is the cover. Its chief purpose is to add color and pizzazz, especially since most frames and mattresses already come in a neutral tone. However, this is also used to prevent the padding from accumulating dirt, dust, and other unwanted microorganisms.

Advantages Of Using A Futon

After adequately understanding what is a futon, here are some of the most significant advantages it can do for you and your home.

Two Functions In One

Like I’ve said earlier, space is an increasingly scarce resource in this day and age. This means that consumers should make this the number one priority when furnishing a home. Using a futon is a fun and helpful answer to this problem.

two functions in one

Since it has multiple uses, you’re essentially getting two pieces of furniture for the price of one. You can position it in your living room or sleeping quarters, and switch it up, depending on the need. While this may no longer be a viable option for elders or couples, it’s a perfectly acceptable setup for those just starting out with their careers.

If you’re currently residing in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, this is an option you should seriously consider.

Affordably Priced

There is this terrible misconception going around that futons are dirt-cheap. On the contrary, the majority of models are reasonably valued, with a few outliers touching the higher and lower price points on the market.

The good thing, however, is that this alternative is way more affordable than a king-sized or queen-sized bed. Investing in this because you like how it feels or settling while you’re in the process of making ends meet isn’t a bad idea. Either way, you’re getting a cozy piece of equipment that’s easy on your wallet.

Flexible Style and Design Features

Personally, my favorite thing about using a futon is how creative I can get when styling it. Covers for it come in all shapes, shades, and patterns so I have a lot of options to choose from. My philosophy for selecting a particular design is that it should reflect my personality – so vibrant colors and unique decorations are always a plus.

Flexible Style and Design Features

If you share the same outlook as me, you’re going to appreciate this feature very much. As I’ve stated earlier, this is because each central part can be bought separately, ultimately giving you the freedom to mix and match accessories. This means you can swap a brown frame with a white one, as well as a blue cover with a beige one, and it would all still fit together!

Having this means you’ll never be bored and it will always seem that you have new furniture at home!


Know that we’ve precisely described what is a futon, I think it’s undeniable how this piece of furniture answers a growing need in our society. Now that people are slowly adopting a less is more mentality, having home items with multiple uses is essential. Not only does it save you a ton of money and space, but it’s also a pretty nifty furnishing to have around the house.

About the Author Michele

Hi, I’m Michele, and I am a pseudo-interior designer with a passion for re-decorating homes. My main purpose is to make refurbishing your homes a whole lot easier by sharing some buying tips when choosing furniture items. At the same time, I want to share some of the design tips I’ve learned along the way.

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