What Bed Size is a Futon? The Ultimate Guide

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When it comes to futon bed sizes, there are a lot of options to choose from.

But what is a futon? What bed size is a futon? And how do you know which one is right for you?

Whether you’re looking for twin or king, western or Japanese, metal or wood…I’ve got you covered!

In this article, I’ll answer all of your questions about futons and give you a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best futon for your needs!

What Is A Futon?

sustainable futon in sofa mode

A futon is a piece of furniture that can be used as a bed and a sofa.

It’s basically a mattress that’s placed on a frame. The frame can be laid flat to form a bed or folded up to create a couch/sofa.

Futons are popular because of their versatility.

They’re perfect for small spaces because they save you from having a bed and a couch. They’re also perfect for guest rooms because they can quickly turn into a bed when needed.

Futon Mattress Dimensions

There are seven standard futon mattress sizes:

Twin (39” x 75”)

A twin-size futon mattress suits small adults or children and would be ideal for a small guest room or studio apartment.

Twin futon mattresses are commonly found on loveseat frames or chair-sized tri-fold frames (you can read more about futon frames later in this article).

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 7ft x 10ft when using a twin-size futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

Twin XL (39” x 80”)

A twin XL mattress is the same width as a twin mattress but is five inches longer. Making it ideal for taller adults.

The size and flexibility of twin XL futon mattresses make them a college dorm favorite.

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 8ft x 10ft when using a twin XL futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

Full/Double (54” x 75”)

A full futon mattress (sometimes called a double) would be suitable for two small adults or children.

This size is the most common for use in medium to large spare rooms and is what most people would think of if you asked them to picture a futon.

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 10ft x 12ft when using a full-size futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

Full XL (54” x 79”)

A full XL futon mattress is the same width as a full/double, just 4” longer. Making it perfect for taller adults who don’t need the width.

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 10ft x 12ft when using a full futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

Queen (60” x 80”)

A queen-size futon might suit your needs if you have a big open-plan living space or large spare room.

Queen futon mattresses can sleep two average-sized adults with no issues.

To ensure comfortable use, I’d recommend a minimum room size of 10ft x 14ft when using queen-size futon mattresses.

King (76” x 80”)

A king futon mattress is the widest size available and can comfortably sleep two adults of any size.

King-size futon mattresses are perfect for a large master bedroom or open-plan living space.

Due to their size, king and California king futon mattresses are usually only seen on tri-fold futon frames.

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 12ft x 14ft when using a king futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

California King (72” x 84”)

A California king futon mattress offers the same overall surface area as a king but is narrower and longer.

It’s perfect for tall adults who want the extra length but don’t need the width of a standard king.

I’d recommend a minimum room size of 14ft x 12ft when using a California king futon mattress to ensure comfortable use.

large size futon in bed mode

How To Choose A Futon Mattress

There are many things to consider when choosing a futon mattress, such as:

  • Materials
  • Company ethics
  • Certifications
  • Price
  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Thickness
  • Flexibility
  • Warranty
  • Sleep Trials

I’ve covered all of these in detail in my Organic Futon Mattress article, so I won't go over old ground here.

Futon Mattress Materials

There are four main types of futon mattresses; foam, innerspring, hybrid, and cotton.

Foam Futon Mattresses

Foam mattresses are the most common type of futon mattress. They’re made from various materials, including memory foam, latex foam, and polyurethane foam.

Foam mattresses are popular because they’re comfortable and durable. They’re also affordable and easy to care for.

Innerspring Futon Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are less common than foam mattresses, but they offer a more traditional sleeping experience.

They’re made from coils that are surrounded by padding.

Hybrid Futon Mattresses

Hybrid futon mattresses are a combination of foam and innerspring.

Cotton Futon Mattresses

Cotton mattresses are made from cotton batting that’s surrounded by padding.

They’re a good choice for people who want a softer sleeping surface.

Futon Mattress Styles

Futon mattresses fall into two main style categories; Japanese and western.

Japanese Futons Mattresses

Japanese futons are the thinner of the two types. They’re typically made from cotton or a cotton/polyester blend.

They’re popular in Japan and designed to be laid directly on the floor or on a soft base called a tatami.

Western Futon Mattresses

Western futons are the thicker of the two types. They’re typically made from foam, cotton, or an innerspring core.

They’re popular in the west because they offer a more comfortable sleeping experience.

How To Care For A Futon Mattress

Futon mattresses are easy to care for, but it’s essential to follow the care instructions that come with your futon mattress to ensure it has a long lifespan.

Many have removable covers that are generally machine washable with eco-friendly washing powders.

Protect your futon mattress from sweat, body oil, spills, etc. by using a sheet, topper, or protector.

You should store futon mattresses in a cool, dry place when not being used. Also, consider zippable storage bags for extra protection.

Futon Frame Styles

Futon frames are not the same as traditional bed frames because they need to be able to convert from sitting mode to sleeping mode.

There are three main futon frame styles; bi-fold, tri-fold, and loveseat.

Bi-Fold Futon Frames

Bi-fold futon frames are the most common type of futon frame.

They have two sections that hinge in the middle, allowing them to be converted from a sofa to a bed.

Tri-Fold Futon Frames

Tri-fold futon frames are less common than bi-fold frames.

They have three sections that hinge, allowing them to be converted from a sofa to a bed.

Some tri-fold futons are made up of two parts: a primary seating or bench part and an ottoman-style footrest portion.

Loveseat Futon Frames

Loveseat futon frames are the least common type of futon frame.

They’re designed to fit into small spaces and are usually a chair rather than an entire sofa.

How To Convert A Futon From Sitting To Sleeping Mode

The process for converting a futon from sitting to sleeping mode, and vice versa, depends on the type of futon you have.

For bi-fold and tri-fold futons, you’ll need to remove the seat and back cushions before folding the frame in half or thirds.

For loveseat futons, there may be a few extra steps to get it down to a small bed.

Once the frame is folded, you can add the mattress and bedding.

To convert the futon back to sitting mode, you’ll need to reverse the process.

Always consult the manufacturer handbook if you're unsure how to operate your futon frame.

Futon Frame Materials

Futon frames are usually made from wood or metal.

If you’re unsure which material suits you, you might want to read my Metal vs Wooden Bed Frame article.

I wrote it with traditional bed frames in mind, but the same points apply to futon frames.

Futon Alternatives

There are a few alternatives to futons that offer similar functionality, such as:

  • Sofa Beds: Sofa beds have a hidden bed inside them. They convert from sitting to sleeping mode in the same way as a futon.
  • Day Beds: Day beds (also called trundle beds) are designed primarily for sleeping but can also be used for seating during the day. They usually have a trundle bed underneath them, which can be pulled out and used for extra sleeping space.
  • Murphy Beds: Murphy beds are designed to be folded up and stored away when not in use. They take up less space than a futon but are more expensive.
  • Rollaway Beds: Rollaway beds are similar to Murphy beds. They have a wheeled frame that can fold the mattress in half. It can then be wheeled into a storage area, such as a closet.

Futon Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Futons are cheaper than sofa beds
  • Futons are easier to convert from sitting to sleeping mode than sofa beds
  • Futons take up less space than sofa beds

Cons

  • Futon mattresses are not as comfortable as traditional mattresses
  • Futon frames are not as durable as conventional bed frames

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Weight Can A Futon Take?

Queen futons can take around 200-300 pounds of weight. However, this will depend on the make and model of your futon.

If you're planning on using your futon as a bed for two people, it's best to choose one with a weight limit of at least 400 pounds. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines if you're unsure.

Is A Futon Comfortable To Sleep On Every Night?

Yes, a futon can be comfortable to sleep on long-term. However, it will depend on the type of mattress you choose for your futon.

Many different types of mattresses are available, so choosing one that suits your needs is essential.

Why Are Futons Low Down?

Futons are traditionally low down because they're designed to be used as a seating area during the day. However, some futons now come with legs that you can add to raise the height if necessary.

How Do I Stop My Futon Mattress Sliding?

If your futon mattress is sliding around, it's usually because the frame isn't level. To fix this, you can adjust the legs of the futon until it's level.

Alternatively, you can buy special clips or grip tape that stop the mattress from moving.

Is It Healthy To Sleep On A Futon?

Yes, organic futons meet all testing standards and it's perfectly healthy to sleep on one In fact, some people find them more comfortable than regular beds. However, if you have any health concerns, it's always best to speak to your doctor first.

Also, be careful you choose a futon frame and mattress made with non-toxic materials to reduce off-gassing.

The Final Word

Important considerations when shopping for a futon include materials, company ethics, certifications, price, comfort, warranty, and sleep trials.

And don’t forget to follow the care instructions that come with your futon mattress to ensure it has a long lifespan.

In terms of sizes, futon mattresses are usually available in pretty much the same options as traditional mattresses.

The differences come in thickness and flexibility. Futon mattresses are thinner and more flexible than traditional mattresses, so they can bed and fold when being converted to sofas or being folded up ready for storage.

Get In Touch

Are you already familiar with futon mattress sizes? Do you regularly sleep on a queen-size futon?

Or do you have a queen futon mattress stored in the guest room for when the family invades over the holidays? Drop me a line and let me know.

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James is a senior editor at The Roundup and has been in journalism for over 10 years. He was born in the UK but raised in Florida, where he currently lives with his wife and two daughters. James is passionate about sustainable living and environmental issues which are reflected by his work as an editor of TheRoundup.org.
James Miller
James is a senior editor at The Roundup and has been in journalism for over 10 years. He was born in the UK but raised in Florida, where he currently lives with his wife and two daughters. James is passionate about sustainable living and environmental issues which are reflected by his work as an editor of TheRoundup.org.

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