The futon is a Japanese style of bed, being a rolled-up mattress you can unravel and use to sleep on the floor. It’s surprisingly comfortable and it’s worth trying out, especially if you’ve ever been to Japan.
In the West, the futon typically refers to a minimalistic couch that you can fold into a bed. It’s a great piece of furniture that a guest can use to watch TV on, then with the click of a button, they can unfold it into a bed. These are known as split back futons.
If you’re looking for a sofa futon or a futon mattress, we have you covered in both regards. Let’s look at the best futon mattress in 2020.
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Futon Bed
- #1: Novogratz Tallulah Memory Foam Futon (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Kodiak Futon (Best Product)
- #3: D&D Futon (Best Japanese-Style Futon Mattress)
- #4: DHP 8-Inch (Best Low-Cost)
- #5: EMOOR (Best Japanese Futon Set)
- What About the Cheapies? Our Best Products Under $X
- #1 Best Under $200: Mozaic Futon Mattress
- #2 Best Under $100: Tatami Floor Mat
- #3 Best Under $70: Japanese Futon
- Is It Okay To Sleep on a Futon Every Night?
- Are Futon Mattresses Standard Size?
- Are Futons Comfortable Beds?
- Who Makes the Most Comfortable Futon?
- Should I Pick an American or Japanese Futon?
- Verdict: Your Best Futon Bed
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Futon Bed
We looked at both American and Japanese-style futons for the best futons list. In addition, we looked at futons that have the futon frame included and excluded.
When purchasing an American futon, some of them, especially online, may not include the frame. This means that you’ll get the mattress, which is great for sleep, but if you’re looking for something like a sofa, you may want to buy something that’s made with a frame.
We also looked at reviews and tried to pick futons that have 4 or more stars on Amazon. Now, no futon is perfect; one reviewer is going to find it uncomfortable, and you may run into an unfortunate reviewer who gets a dud that’s full of bugs. However, the overall score needs to be positive. We believe we selected futons that meet that criteria with ease.
#1: Novogratz Tallulah Memory Foam Futon (Best Value – All-Purpose)
The top futon on this list needs to be one that should fit most needs. If you’re looking for a futon, chances are you want one that can fold into a sofa and then into a bed. You may also be looking for a futon that includes a frame. Some non-Japanese futons that are sold on Amazon just have the mattress.
In addition, the top futon needs to be mid-range in budget. We believe this futon works well for most medium budgets, being a little more than the cheapies but not as much as the higher end.
So, what does this futon provide? As the title mentions, it’s made from memory foam that is quite comfortable for most. When buying futons, some of them can be made to be a little cheap, and you need to be mindful of that. Even if you’re just using it for a guest, you want that guest to be comfortable, right?
Now, let’s talk about the frame. It’s a wooden frame that looks great and has enough filling to prevent users from feeling uncomfortable because of it. With some futons, the frame can be a little poor and get in the way. But this one does not.
Speaking of the frame, one problem you run into when buying a futon on Amazon or another site is that it will come disassembled, and you have to do the work. Sometimes, you’ll order a futon with instructions that are overly complex and it takes hours for you to figure out. Especially if the instructions are poorly written.
However, this futon is designed to be easy to assemble for most people. It’s not something that will take all day, but instead something you can have up and running ASAP.
Also, you can pick colors, which is always a plus.
Now, let’s talk about the reviews. Do they find this to be one of the best futons on the market? Most do. Reviews say this futon is easy to assemble, and its foam mattress is quite comfortable. They love the elegant sofa look and feel of it as well.
There are some negative reviews, as you can expect from any product. However, the top negative reviews are a little petty.
One person gave it one star because their toddler ripped off the staples and tried to eat them. When you have a toddler, anything small is a choking hazard, and it’s a little unfair to blame the product because you didn’t have your eye on the child. Another reviewer didn’t like the color. Several reviewers pointed that out, so if you are someone who cares about the color, be mindful. And of course, you have the people who got duds, or who didn’t like sleeping on it.
The split back futon bed tends to be something that is friendly towards low budgets. If you’re looking for some high quality furniture and you don’t want to pay too much, you can find a futon couch for a fraction of the price of a traditional couch. However, what if you want a traditional futon couch and you have a higher budget? Then the Kodiak futon is one for you.
First, we should talk about the futon mattress itself. It’s an inner spring that’s designed to support most people, with a foam mattress topping on it. Some futons don’t promote good sleep, but this one makes sure to support you while you’re trying to get some Zs. Besides that, the mattress itself looks gorgeous, and it comes in three colors.
Next, let’s talk about its frame. Futon frames can look a little cheap, but this futon comes with one of the best-looking frames around. It’s real hardwood, grown on a plantation. You can position the frame in order to change your seating position as well. The arms act as a tray, and you can move them to your liking.
In addition, this sofa futon also comes with two drawers on the bottom. You can use them to store belongings or toiletries for your guest if you so wish. If you’re looking for a piece of furniture that can store a few things, you can’t go wrong with a futon mattress that lets you do both.
Another plus is that this futon is easy to assemble. One downside of ordering a futon couch or another piece of furniture on Amazon is that you have to put it together. Sure, it saves money, but some pieces of furniture are so complicated that you want to pay the extra money. However, this is one of the best futons for that, as the assembly is a breeze.
So, what about the reviews? This sofa futon has one of the best-looking futon frames around and looks high quality, but some futons are all style, no substance. This futon has received positive reviews, with most people saying that it’s well worth the money if you’re looking for the best futon on Amazon.
In fact, as of this writing, it has yet to receive a review score below 3 stars. The more critical reviews say that it’s not user-friendly and it’s too firm, but that is going to happen. With a futon mattress, comfort is subjective, and some people can’t figure out how to use the furniture for whatever reason.
#3: D&D Futon (Best Japanese-Style Futon Mattress)
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As we said, in Japan, futons refer to those floor beds you may have seen in Japanese media. While some people may not like the idea of sleeping on the floor, the futon mattress is quite comfortable, in our opinion.
Plus, it’s great for people who don’t have much space. There is no futon frame, so you just roll it up when you’re done. Easy peasy.
D&D makes some great futon mattresses and other furniture for cheap. In our chair sleepers post, we discussed their bed, which is quite comfortable. As such, their Japanese-style futon mattress is worth considering. At 80 inches in length or about 6 1/2 feet, it should fit most people. When you get the package, it may look a little smaller, but that’s because the mattress is sealed. Once you open it, it pops to its normal size.
It’s mostly cotton, with a layer of fiber and foam to top it off. It’s also flame retardant, too. Other than that, there’s not much else to say about this futon mattress. It does its job quite well.
But what do the reviews say? Reviews are quite positive. Most say it’s one of those futon mattresses that’s very comfortable. It’s cheap, easy to store, and fits most tall people.
There were some negative reviews. Obviously, we have the crowd who thought it was uncomfortable. However, what was worth noting was that there were a couple of negative reviews that claimed the futon mattress was smaller than described. However, they may have gotten lemons, as this sentiment isn’t shared by most people.
If you want a traditional futon bed for cheap, one thing you can do is buy one without the split back futon frame. This just comes with the mattress. If you have a frame handy, or are planning to buy one later but need a futon mattress now, this one will work just as well.
The mattress comes with coils designed to give you balance and support your body quite well, which is something that many mattresses do not do very well in this budget range. The mattress is supposed to last for years as well, keeping its original shape with ease.
Oh, and you can buy the mattress in many different colors, which is always nice. It is a little silly when the mattress is only available in a couple of colors.
Most people give this mattress positive reviews. Most say that it’s one of the more comfortable futon mattresses available on the market today and that it’s good for the price.
Suspiciously, there are a lot of negative reviews that are voted to the top, with these saying that the mattresses have stains and bedbugs in them. However, with most reviewers saying that this mattress comes factory sealed, we want to believe that these people either ordered it from the wrong seller or a competitor is boosting their reviews.
If you’re looking for Japanese futons, buying a set may be your best bet if you want to save the most money. This set comes with the mattress, pillow, and comforter for the best sleeping experience.
As you may imagine, a Japanese futon set is easy to store and fold, should you need to travel or stow it away. The mattress part is made from fluffy, yet firm materials that will keep your back in the best posture possible. It’s fully cotton and does require a cover to keep it as clean as possible.
This set does come in different sizes, too. You can get sizes up to queen, making this great for most needs. Some futon mattresses only come in full size, so if you have a bigger person or two people, that can be a problem.
This futon mattress set has had positive reviews, with most people saying that it’s a comfy little package. For those who need a bundle, reviewers say you can’t go wrong with this one. There was a negative review that said they had horrible back pain after sleeping on it for a few months, but that was the only exception, and we never know what is going on in their life for that to happen.
What About the Cheapies? Our Best Products Under $X
Trying to sleep for less? These futons are cheap and get the job done.
#1 Best Under $200: Mozaic Futon Mattress
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The good thing about using a split back futon as a bed is that you don’t have to pay much, even if you buy new. This Mozaic Futon Mattress is under $150, making it perfect for those who are on a budget. It’s great for a dorm, or for people moving into their first apartment.
It’s nothing fancy, but the mattress itself consists of polyester memory foam. Memory foam is something that most people are comfortable with, and the memory foam in this full-sized mattress is quite comfortable and is topped off with cotton twill. You can reverse the mattress, too.
We should probably mention that this includes no futon frame. It just has the mattress found in most couch futons. If you have a frame already, or want to get one later, this mattress for a futon frame can work just as well.
Reviews have been decent, with some claiming that this cheap futon works well enough. However, the score is a little lower than most futons on the list. One reviewer claimed the futon frame stunk. Another said that it was just plain uncomfortable.
#2 Best Under $100: Tatami Floor Mat
If you’re looking for Japanese futons, this one is quite cheap and you can get it at Walmart. The review score is mostly positive, even if it’s not the best one around. However, this futon is great for a guest or if you’re sleeping at someone’s house and you want to pack your own bed.
#3 Best Under $70: Japanese Futon
This one is one of the best futons if your budget is thin. For those who need a temporary place for sleeping, you can’t go wrong with this one. You can pick between multiple colors as well. We can’t attest to the quality, but it’s still worth checking out if you need futons but you don’t have much money.
If you want to go cheaper, you may need to buy used or go to a thrift store. If you’re doing so, make sure to try the futon beforehand. When ordering online, make sure there is a return policy. You don’t want to purchase a futon that ends up being uncomfortable and you can’t return it.
Is It Okay To Sleep on a Futon Every Night?
When you think of a futon, especially a split back, you may imagine it to be designed for guests. It’s not supposed to be something you sleep on every night. The Japanese futon, meanwhile, seems to be more normalized towards being slept on every night, and the Japanese don’t seem to have a problem with it. However, you may read horror stories about someone getting bad back pain after sleeping on one for months. So is it meant to be slept on every night?
The answer is yes, but like anything, it all depends on several factors – the first being quality. You can find many futon mattresses, both split back and Japanese, but the quality can differ. Having a mattress that is firm, yet comfortable, is the ideal way to go. The futon is quite good at supporting your back, especially if you put it on the floor, as it can enhance the firmness.
With that said, those who have chronic back pain may want to look elsewhere, as futon mattresses could aggravate the back. You may need memory foam mattresses to conform to your body’s shape in order to avoid severe back pain.
Futon mattresses come in different levels of thickness. If you’re a back sleeper, the thin futon works well. Side sleepers should try a thicker one.
You also need to think of the materials. Cotton is the default, but more and more have foam or polyester construction. This can help support you better and help to avoid mold.
Cleaning the bed is important as well. Most futon mattresses can’t be cleaned themselves, and you need to buy yourself a cover that you can put on it. Putting on a cover and washing it regularly can make the futon last longer and allow you a better night’s sleep.
In conclusion, it’s just like a normal bed. A cheap futon can be good for a single night, but if you are going to sleep on it every night, you may look into purchasing a futon made from the highest quality materials. A high quality foam futon may be the answer.
Are Futon Mattresses Standard Size?
Futon mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. Most come in full size, which is good for one adult. However, you can buy bigger mattresses for couples or bigger individuals.
Like any mattress, you should review the dimensions before purchase. The best futons mean nothing if they’re too small for you and it hinders your sleeping. Read the dimensions, measure yourself, and make sure you have the space for it.
Otherwise, just look up futons in a certain size and see if they exist. On Amazon, we could find futons up to queen size, which should be good for most situations. There could be bigger ones as well, but you may need to look elsewhere. King-sized futons can be a little pricier.
Are Futons Comfortable Beds?
Comfort is subjective. Some people can sleep on rocks, while others are pickier. If you’re one of the latter, you may wonder if you can find a futon that works for you. They tend to be on the firm side, after all.
When you select a futon, try to find one with the right thickness. Look for ones made from memory foam and see how many inches of padding they have.
So, what about when you’re at someone’s house, the futon is the only place to sleep, and you find that the futon isn’t that great? There are several ways to make a futon more comfortable for you. Here’s how.
Get a Mattress Topper
This is the easy way to make any bed more comfortable. Whether you’re in a hotel that has a back-breaking bed, or you’re stuck on a futon, a mattress topper can soften up the mattress a little bit. You can find them at most stores, and you simply put it on your mattress. It’s quite simple and you may end up using it for your main bed, especially if you find a nice foam one.
Put an Air Mattress Under it
For Japanese style futon beds, some people may find that they are unable to sleep on them because they are so low. If you’re one of those people, you can purchase an air mattress and put the futon mattress on top of it. This can give you a little more cushioning and make it easier for you to lie down on your back. While some may hate the air mattress, topping a futon on it can give you a more comfortable feeling than what you’re used to.
Use Your Comforter
If the futon you’re sleeping on has a comforter, a quick way for you to make it a little more comfortable is to put the comforter on it. This can give it more cushioning, making sleeping easier. If you have two or more comforters, stack them. You may be surprised by how nice it feels.
Add Wooden Slats
Putting wooden slats under your futon mattress can prevent it from sagging and add more comfort, especially if your mattress is older. It can add a little more life to it.
Flip the Mattress
Another simple solution is to take that mattress and flip it. This can add a little more comfort to the mattress and it can allow it to last longer.
Make Room Changes
Finally, you need to look at your own room. When you’re sleeping in a poor environment, it may be that which is making you have trouble falling asleep, and you’re just using the futon as a scapegoat. Look around and see if you can make some room changes, including:
- Keeping the room cool. Keeping the room temperature in the 60s (Fahrenheit) can help you fall asleep. Temperature can depend on how many blankets you have, if you’re sleeping with another person, and your own preferences.
- Avoiding distracting sounds. If there are people outside being noisy or odd bumps in the night, this can make it hard to fall asleep. You may want to buy a fan or play some white noise in order to get some sleep and drown out anything that could wake you up.
- Make sure the room is dark. Use blackout curtains if you’re sleeping during the day. If you can’t do that, use a sleep mask to keep yourself from being woken up by the sunlight.
Who Makes the Most Comfortable Futon?
There’s not going to be an objective answer to this. Even if the majority of people say a futon is comfortable, you may be a person who thinks it’s like sleeping on a rock. On the other hand, you may be a person who can sleep on an uncomfortable futon and feel just fine.
The best way to figure this out is to try several futons from different manufacturers and see which one you like the best. However, this can be hard, especially for online shoppers. Your best bet is to read this article and see which one looks the most comfortable.
Should I Pick an American or Japanese Futon?
There is no right answer. It depends on what you’re looking for. Here are the pros and cons of both.
These futons can double as couches, which can be quite convenient. You simply fold the couch into a bed and vice versa. Some of them are able to be folded from multiple sides, allowing you to have a futon for different uses. The downside is that they do take up space, and it can cost more for a comfortable one.
These futons can be rolled up and stored away, making them great for smaller houses or houses that use minimalism. In addition, it does not cost as much to get a quality one. These are only recommended if you need to use a futon to sleep on. Some may not like how low they are, though.
So it depends. In the perfect world, you could use either or both, but we understand budgets and home size can prevent that. Think about your house and your needs, then buy one based on that. You’ll be glad you did.
Verdict: Your Best Futon Bed
There you have it. These are the best futons money can buy. Whether you’re using them as a place to be comfortable or to sleep on, these five futons will liven up your living space. Now, let’s summarize the five.
First, we have the Novogratz. This is the best futon in general. It comes with everything, it’s easy to assemble, it’s comfortable, and it’s mid-range in price, making it the perfect contender for the number one futon.
For number two, we have Kodiak Futon. This is almost double the price of the first, but those with the budget may find it to be worth the price. Although design is a little subjective, we do feel it has the best design. Not only that, but it’s made with two shelves you can use to store everything. Like the first one, it’s easy to assemble, too.
Third, we have the D&D Futon. This is the best Japanese-style futon. The Japanese-style futon is a thin mattress you can roll up and put on the floor, and we believe that D&D is the best one for the price.
Fourth, there’s the DHP 8-Inch. If you have a low budget but you want an American futon mattress, this is the best one to get. It’s comfortable enough, but it does not have a frame. For those who don’t care about that, however, this futon is worth checking out.
Finally, we have the EMOOR. This is a Japanese futon set that comes with a mattress, comforter, and a pillow. If you are looking for a Japanese futon that has it all, this is an easy purchase to make.
So, there are five futons, each of which have their own unique use. Futons are more than cheap mattresses for sleeping guests. For some people, they can be used to sleep on every night, especially if you get a good quality one. Look through all these products and do some research on your own, as a good futon is worth ruminating over. They can be an investment, but even futons that have a return policy can be difficult to return if you’re not satisfied. Don’t buy one based on one article; read several in order to find the best futon for the job.
If you find one that works for you, we hope that it gives you the best night of sleep possible. Good luck with your search.