Futon Mattresses Buying Guide

Futon mattresses have a specific purpose: To cushion a hard frame that serves as both a seating spot and a bed. If you think about it, what you look for in a sofa is not often the same as what you find comfortable in a bed. So a futon mattress strives to provide padding that suits both. The result is a flexible yet supportive, bouncy yet firm mattress that achieves this balance using various fill materials. Read on for information that will help you pick the right futon mattress for you.

Types of Futon Mattresses

Types of Futon Mattresses

When laid flat, the typical futon mattress is about the size of a full-size bed. However, you can find futon beds in sizes ranging from twin to king. What makes a futon mattress distinctive is the material inside the cover. Here are the different types of fill.

Cotton

This futon mattress is the most traditional, with its origins in Japan. The material inside the mattress is long cotton fibers that are combed into threads and layered into a bundle.

Wool

Similar to a cotton mattress, a wool mattress is stuffed with long combed-wool fibers.

Polyester

To get the same feel as a cotton mattress using an easy-to-make synthetic fiber, manufacturers use polyester batting, which is the same fiber used inside quilts and comforters.

Foam

Natural or synthetic foam is a good material for a futon mattress because the thin slab bends and straightens easily.

Innerspring

Like a traditional bed mattress, an innerspring futon mattress has coiled springs inside.

Combination

Many futon mattresses combine two materials to gain the benefits of both. For example, a foam core might be surrounded by cotton or polyester fibers.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Consider whether you plan to use the futon primarily as a sleeping spot or a sitting spot, and then test the mattresses accordingly. Innerspring mattresses, for example, will feel closest to a traditional bed. If you will be using the futon for both purposes equally, purchase the best mattress you can afford so it will stand up to frequent bending and straightening.

Cotton

This mattress is dense and not very bouncy. It's also a breathable and affordable material. Cotton is an all-natural fill that can be recycled. Check mattress recyclers in your area for information.

Wool

The wool mattress has a cushion that feels very similar to a cotton one, yet the fibers are tougher and therefore last longer. A wool mattress will be more expensive than a cotton one. Wool also tends to be warmer than cotton.

Polyester

These fibers are slightly more buoyant than natural cotton or wool ones, so the cushion is less dense. This is a very affordable mattress material and is often labeled hypoallergenic.

Foam

A natural- or synthetic-foam futon mattress will feel dense yet bouncy. It holds up well for use in a futon because the material can bend and flatten repeatedly without shifting inside the cover or getting lumpy.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is the most bouncy cushion. In fact, it's typically bouncier than a traditional bed because the springs need to be thinner and shorter to bend. It has a similar feel to a sofa bed mattress.

Combination

Known also as a hybrid mattress, the combination mattress can be the best option for a bed that serves two purposes. If you like the bounce of an innerspring mattress for sleeping, for example, you may want some cushiony fiber padding as well for when you are sitting upright. The most popular combination is a foam core surrounded by cotton fibers, resulting in a dense and supportive mattress that is also padded and soft.

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