Updated May 14, 2020When looking for a futon, you may come across several different styles— foldable beds, convertibles couches, floor mattresses, and the like. Depending on where you are or who you ask, a futon can mean many things.Futons originated in Japan as the country’s traditional bed, also known as the shikibuton. Consisting of a few basic parts— a mattress, duvet, and maybe a pillow— the first futons were relatively thin. At night, they are placed directly on the floor or on a tatami mat. Then, during the day, the entire bed is folded up and aired outside or placed in storage.Later adopted in the West, the term futon can now refer to a sofa sleeper or any foldable cushion that converts into a bed. They typically come as a mattress in a metal or wood frame.Modern-day futons are also thicker than the original Japanese version and can be made with cotton, foam, latex, and even innersprings.Take a look at our favorite futon mattress options and our guide that outlines what to look for in a futon.Best Futon MattressesFutonHighlightsPriceDHPPocket coils evenly distributes weight while high-density foam relieves pressure points.$168MozaicFlippable option with a medium and firm feel in one futon mattress.$230Emoor ClasseTraditional Japanese futon with three layers of thick polyester for a plush mat.$220Shiki by FuliBreathable cotton-poly Japanese futon perfect for hot sleepers.$189D&D FutonDurable, roll-up Japanese-style futon built to cushion the body while resting on the floor.$1071. DHP 8-inch Independently-Encased Coil Premium Futon MattressThis 8-inch futon is a bestseller and beloved by individuals as both a bed and a sofa. Its base contains individually-wrapped coils surrounded by high-density foam and polyester. It also comes with a soft microfiber cover available in multiple colors. While the mattress is sold alone, it fits most standard full-size frames. The futon weighs about 50 pounds.The individual coils evenly distribute any applied weight. The added comfort of high-density foam contours to the body’s curves, which makes this futon perfect for all sleep positions. Plus, the quality foam used by DHP doesn’t contain heavy metals, mercury, lead, phthalates, or harmful flame retardants.DHP offers a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects and any sagging greater than 1.5 inches. During this time, the mattress can be refunded or replaced. However, customers are required to pay for shipping and handling.2. Mozaic 8-inch Cotton Twill Gel Dual Memory Foam Futon MattressThe Mozaic 8-inch Cotton Twill futon is an all-foam mattress made with comfort in mind. Its 8-inch construction includes multiple layers— 1 inch of memory foam, three layers of 1-inch convoluted polyurethane gel foam, surrounded by a layer of mixed cotton batting. All foam layers are CertiPUR-US® certified and anti-bacterial. The futon is fully encased in a poly-cotton twill fabric cover and weighs about 68 pounds.The futon fits any standard full-size frame (not included). Its dual-sided surface can significantly lengthen the lifespan. The mattress can also be flipped around, folded into a sofa, or unfolded for sleep. No matter the position, the Mozaic futon offers solid support and comfort. It’s also available in different colors to match every unique space and personality.Mozaic includes a 90-day limited warranty with the purchase of its futon mattress.3. Classe Emoor Japanese Traditional Futon MattressThe Emoor Classe futon is a traditional Japanese futon bed, meant to be placed directly on the floor and used without a frame. The trifold futon offers a simple construction— 100% cotton outer fabric and 100% polyester filling. The polyester has a three-layer structure, with a firm polyester pad in between two soft polyester quilts.Although relatively thin and lightweight at 17 pounds, it’s popular for its firm support. The sandwiched layers provide a high-density cushion beneficial for those with back pain. The futon’s simplicity also makes it a multi-functional mat, perfect for small living spaces, as a temporary bed or even as a mattress topper. The Emoor Classe is also available in standard mattress sizes, including twin, twin XL, full, queen, queen XL, and king.4. Shiki Futon by FuliFuli offers a traditional Japanese futon, similar to the original “shikibuton” or the foldable cushion part of the futon set. Made in Japan, the Shiki futon by Fuli is made of three layers of cotton and polyester. Its outer cover is made from 100% breathable cotton, which absorbs moisture and dries quickly. This is a perfect feature if you happen to be in a hotter climate or naturally sleep hot.The Shiki futon is available in twin, twin XL, twin XL super grade, full, full XL, and full XL super grade sizes. The super grade option is similar to the standard size, with the addition of a resilient elastic material for a more cushioned sleep experience. The Shiki futon is 2.5 inches tall and weighs 15 pounds— very easy to pack and store.As with most mattresses, this futon should be aired out for a few days to reach its full height. Fuli is highly rated by customers but doesn’t offer a warranty or trial period.5. D&D Furniture Traditional Japanese Floor Futon MattressD&D Futon Furniture carries an extensive line of futon mattresses. One of their top-rated products is the roll-up Traditional Japanese Floor futon mattress. Made in the USA, but inspired by the traditional Japanese bed, this futon is known for being very comfortable and durable. The outer cover is 100% polyester and only available in black. The inside of the mattress is 90% cotton, 5% polyester, and 5% foam.Although only 3 inches thick, the futon weighs 21 pounds and manages to cushion the body above the floor. After use, it easily rolls up for convenient storage. Aside from sleeping, the futon is great for children’s rooms and floor exercises. D&D doesn’t offer a trial period or warranty.SEE ALSO: Mattress Size and Dimensions GuideWhat is a Futon?The reasons for getting a futon mattress may vary. It’s a single piece of furniture with a dual purpose as both a couch and a bed. It easily converts into a place for guests and visitors during the day and a place for you to sleep at night, perfect if you’re working with minimal square footage (e.g., a small room or studio apartment).Futons, by their very design, are fairly easy to assemble and disassemble. Their frames are lightweight and the mattresses are relatively thin. While 6 inches is the average height for a futon mattress, some can even be as low as 3 inches.Very thin futons are generally intended to be used directly on the floor. If you select a floor futon, be sure you have adequate space to store it while not in use.In addition to saving space, futons also save on budget. Often, even high-end futon sofas are less expensive than standard mattresses and sofa beds, ranging between $500-$600. If you’re seeking the best budget mattress, consider investing in a futon.However, if you have the space and budget, it may be best to purchase a separate bed and couch (a futon can always be added later to serve as a sleeping space in a guest room or living room). Products designed for a singular purpose tend to serve much better. Also sleeping on a thin, portable mattress may not be very comfortable for extended periods of time.What to Look for in a Futon MattressChoosing the right futon depends on a few key factors— mattress type, budget, and preferred sleeping position. Other factors, like how frequently the mattress will be used and the weight of the sleeper, should also be considered before committing to a futon mattress.Mattress TypeFuton mattresses have come a long way from their earlier, low-quality models. Now, you can find futons made with similar materials as traditional mattresses, like memory foam and innerspring coils. Traditional shikibutons made from cotton-polyester are also available for those looking for a more minimalistic futon option.Memory FoamMemory foam mattresses are some of the most popular bedding options, and futons are no different. The material is mainly composed of a viscoelastic polyurethane foam made of billions of cells. Its cell structure has low resilience and slowly reshapes under weight and heat.When pressed, it molds itself to each individual, no matter their size or shape. This allows all parts of the body to be equally supported. When the weight and heat is removed, memory foam returns back to its natural shape.Light sleepers will also notice memory foam’s lack of bounciness. In the same way the material responds to applied pressure, it also reduces motion transfer. This means any movements made on the bed will be absorbed by the surrounding cells. The result? Hours of undisturbed sleep.InnerspringInnerspring futon mattresses are the most similar to regular non-foldable mattresses. A base of metal support coils is combined with comfort materials of foam, cotton fiber, or wool. This makes them much thicker and heavier than traditional futons. Innerspring futons can usually only be folded once— called a bi-fold futon— which may also require more storage space.Innerspring coils provide a solid support layer and the softer materials offer a cushioned feel. This combination is perfect for sitting or sleeping on an innerspring futon for extended periods of time.The space between the coils helps separate your body from the futon frame. It also allows air to move through the mattress and creates a cooler sleep surface. In general, innerspring mattresses are preferred by a number of sleepers for their slight bounce which still supports your body but doesn’t give you a sinking feeling.Cotton-PolyesterAs one of the most budget-friendly options, cotton-polyester blend futons are lightweight and easier to fold up and store. This type of material is mostly found in traditional Japanese futons that lie directly on the floor, also known as shikibutons. While not as solid as foam or innerspring, cotton-poly futons act as a pad more than a mattress.Unlike foam and innerspring futons, cotton-poly futons are not as durable— they tend to wear down quickly, depending on how often they’re used.BudgetAffordability is one of the major advantages of a futon mattress. Futons are generally considered as a temporary sleep option and are therefore priced much lower than regular mattresses. The average price for a futon mattress ranges between $100 to $500 depending on the materials and if the mattress includes a futon frame.A futon frame is also much cheaper than a regular bed frame or box spring, generally made from wood or metal. Since a futon doubles as a couch and a bed, it saves you money while utilizing living space; plus, if the futon you choose is meant to be placed directly on the floor, you won’t need a futon frame.As always, you should first consider how you plan to use your futon mattress. If it’s more for temporary sleeping, like for a guest room, opt for a more low-cost futon mattress. If you’re looking to use it as a long-term place to sleep, consider investing more money for a more durable option.Sleeping PositionThe biggest factor when selecting your most comfortable mattress is your preferred sleeping position. Each sleep position requires a specific level of cushioning and support— the futon you choose should promote healthy spinal alignment while relieving pressure points.Side SleepingSide sleeping is one of the most popular and healthiest sleep positions— it opens the airways and reduces pressure on vital organs, like the liver and heart.Side sleepers need a softer, plush surface to ease the pressure from their shoulders and hips. A too-firm mattress can be hard on the joints and increase pressure points, resulting in pain and stiffness. The wrong type of futon could also cause misalignment of the spine and poor sleep quality. The best mattress for side sleepers will be soft to medium-firm.Back SleepingSleeping on your back is the second healthiest sleep position. Because the back is in direct contact with the sleep surface, the spine naturally aligns.If you’re a back sleeper, the key is to make sure your lower back and spine are well supported. Back sleepers should choose a futon with a medium to firm feel— this way, the surface sinks a little in the hip area to accommodate the spine’s natural curve but doesn’t let your body sink too deeply.Stomach SleepingStomach sleeping is the least common and least recommended sleep position. Sleeping on your stomach puts more pressure on the spine, particularly on the lower back and neck. This pressure results in lower back pain from gravity forcing the natural curve of the spine to straighten, and neck strain from twisting the head at an unnatural angle to breathe.Stomach sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress to stay on top of their sleep surface. Softer sleep surfaces may cause too much sinkage and throw the spine out of alignment. Placing a thin pillow under the hips can also better align the spine.Sleeping Cool and AirflowSimilar to other types of mattresses, the material used for futons can also affect sleep temperature. Futons made of dense, heavy foam absorb body heat, putting sleepers at a higher risk of overheating. Futons made of cotton-poly or innersprings allow for more airflow, while foam with cooling features like open-cell technology and gel beads offer a cooler sleep surface.Also, look at the fabric cover. Cotton fabric is a great cover for hot sleepers, because of the breathable material. Other fabrics made from polyester fibers may not be as breathable, but it may prove more durable.Futon FrameFuton frames are available in metal or wood. The key to finding the right one for you is durability, price, and of course, appearance.Wooden frames are the common choice for futon mattresses. While they are a bit pricier, they do offer a warmer, cozier appearance. Wood is also relatively heavier, so you may need assistance for any required assembly. Hardwood options, like birch or maple, tend to last longer but are also more expensive.Metal frame options are the most affordable futon frame option. They are also much lighter, which is good if you’re looking for an easy-to-store option or plan to assemble everything yourself. Metal may be more uncomfortable, as the bars are much thinner. It’s also important to check for solid welding and good construction.No matter which material you choose, make sure the supporting slats are no more than 2-3 inches apart. You want to prevent the mattress from pressing through the gaps and losing its shape.Fold StyleFuton mattresses generally come as bifold or trifold. Bifold mattresses are folded once lengthwise and open into a full or queen size. Out of all the futon options, bifold mattresses are the easiest to set up. However, they also require more storage space.Tri-fold futons have three folds, which extends the leg portion of the mattress and allows you to comfortably recline. They are usually much thinner (to accommodate the extra fold) and available in a full or twin size. This makes a trifold futon a great option for smaller spaces.Other Things to ConsiderDo I need a futon mattress cover?Some futon mattresses will need a cover if they don’t already include one. This allows you to choose a fabric according to your preference. It also helps protect the futon from spills and stains. As with all mattress covers, a futon cover may be easily removed and tossed into the washing machine.How long does a futon last?A futon mattress can last between 5 to 10 years, depending on how often it’s used and how it’s cared for. If you’re looking for a futon as a primary bed, it might be worth it to spend those extra dollars on a high-quality model, averaging between $500-$600.How much does a futon cost?Most high-quality futons cost anywhere between $300 and $700. Although you can find futons for as low as $150, and most people spend around $500 on them. Futon frames are made with different materials, as are the mattresses that pair with them—the different materials used in the futon’s construction ultimately impact the price.What size is a futon?Futons are a bit smaller than twin mattresses, as they usually measure 32 inches wide by 75 inches long. However, futons do come in a variety of sizes, so some futons are larger than twins. Sizes will vary depending on where you shop, but if you have a specific size in mind, you can search futons of those dimensions.How do I choose a futon mattress?As we talked about above, you want to base your decision on your budget, the type of futon style you like, the kind of mattress you’re interested in, and how often you plan on using the futon. If you’re using a futon as a guest bed, you probably don’t need to find something that’s ultra-durable because it’ll be hardly used and, as a result, last longer. If you plan on using your futon in place of a bed, you’ll want something more durable and high-quality. You can also choose the right firmness for your futon mattress based on your body type and sleeping position.ConclusionFutons have come a long way from their origins in Japan. Nowadays, these easy-to-use mattresses are a staple in many households around the world, used as comfy guest beds, couches, and sleepovers. And with the wide variety of materials, widths, and even frames, you can be sure to find the best futon mattress for your specific sleep needs.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. CommentsLeave a comment Medhyps April 7, 2020 at 11:52 am ReplyMemory foam is growing in popularity in futons because more and more people are seeking it. Foam is soft and great for people who need an exceptionally contouring mattress because of lower back pain or neck injuries. The best mattresses for back pain relief are often memory foam. Leave a comment Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.