How to Select a Futon Mattress


Picking the right futon mattress can be a daunting task. Really, how do you choose the right futon with all the options available?

You will be relieved that you are not the only one with this burning question. Here at Futon Creations, we want to make the selection process as painless as possible. There is no “one size fits all” futon mattress. The first step in narrowing down the ideal futon mattress is to determine what it is that you are looking for and what is most important to you.

Key Points To Consider:

  • Determine the size you need.
    To determine the size, measure the area (L x W) the mattress will lie upon. Alternatively, if you are replacing an old mattress, lay the mattress on a flat surface and measure the length and width. Below are some of the more common sizes:
  • Chair 28"L x 54"W
    Chair Ottoman 28"L x 21"W
    Twin 39"L x 75"W
    Loveseat 54"L x 54"W
    Loveseat Ottoman 54"L x 21"W
    Full 54"L x 75"W (most common)
    Queen 60"L x 80"W

  • Determine how you will be using the futon mattress.
    Will you be using the mattress mainly as a bed, occasional sleeper or daily convertible? The selection process should revolve around its intended use. If the majority of time it will be used as a bed or as a daily convertible, select a mattress that best suits your sleeping needs. As an occasional sleeper, you want to select a mattress that is ideal for your sitting pleasure.
  • Determine if you need a soft, medium or firm support futon mattress.
    A soft mattress provides a plush surface whereas a firm mattress will provide a more rigid surface. Medium support is a good compromise and ideal for the in-between or undecided consumers.
  • Are you a back, side or stomach sleeper?
    Most people know what type of support they prefer. However, there are some of us out there that are still unsure. For those, determining if you are a back, stomach or side sleeper may help narrow down the mattress selection. In general, a stomach sleeper prefers a more firm mattress while a side sleeper prefers a soft to medium mattress. A back sleeper can almost sleep on anything, but generally prefers a medium support mattress.
  • Physique and weight can affect mattress experience.
    Often not thought about, but an important consideration, ones weight and physical attribute will play a role in how a mattress is perceived. For example a slender ninety pound adult may experience a mattress to be on the medium side, yet for the same mattress a 300 pound individual may feel it's too soft. Medium to firm support, spring or extra thick mattresses should be considered when using with larger weights.
  • Is the actual weight of the mattress a deciding factor?
    This may sound unimportant but should be considered for the more physically challenged individuals. By nature heavier futon mattresses are harder to handle when converting a complete futon set.
  • How thick of a futon mattress do I need?
    For the best futon experience, we recommend selecting an eight inch thick or above futon mattress. Generally, six inch thick and thinner futon mattresses should generally be reserved for the cost conscience individuals or those that has special handling requirements such as rolling the mattress up and storing in a small space or for tri-fold frame applications (requiring two points of fold).
  • Are there any allergy considerations?
    There are futon mattresses that cater to allergy suffers. Review the mattress components for hypo-allergenic considerations.
  • Determine your budget.
    Once you have determined the type of mattress you are looking for, determine your budget. This should narrow it down to only 2-3 futon mattresses.

A more expensive or thicker futon mattress does not mean that it is the best choice for you. It is also a misconception that firmer is better. Each person is unique and will experience a futon mattress differently. Ultimately, you have to know yourself and what it is that you need for a proper futon mattress selection.

Common Components:

  • Cotton batting commonly used in the futon mattress manufacturing industry is a natural product, and provides great support and ventilation. Densely packed, cotton is heavy and on the firm side. Over time it will compact and become more firm. Regular rotation, flipping, and beating of the mattress are recommended. Short "break-in period" learning of new position).
  • Poly/Cotton blend is lighter and fluffier that cotton batting alone. Not as firm as cotton, it also reduces compression. Regular rotation, flipping, and beating of the mattress are recommended. Short "break-in" period.
  • Polyester is generally used on the outer layer of the futon mattress before the casing. It provides a soft to the touch layer, reduces weight, and is a good ventilator. Short "break-in period."
  • Wool is a natural product and a great medium to keep temperature moderate. It is also considered a hypo-allergenic material. Short "break-in" period.
  • Innersprings (Bonnell) provide great support and resilience. Springs has a variable rate of compression, ideal for heavier weights. Although a heavy futon mattress material it also helps retain the mattress shape and life. The "break-in" period for spring mattress is long, but over time it will learn a new memory and become easier to operate (fold).
  • Pocketed Coil Springs provide great support and have a variable rate of compression, ideal for heavier weights. The closest you can get to an actual bed mattress, the individual coil springs allows the mattress to contour to individual body types. It is resilient and does an excellent job retaining its form. Moderate-long "break-in" period.
  • Block Foam is light, resilient, and adds softness. Providing structure, the block foam wants to stay flat and has a moderate to long "break-in" period. Over time it will learn a position and become easier to manipulate.
  • Convoluted Foam or Finger Foam is light, provides softness, and increases air circulation. The further it moves from the center the softer the futon mattress will be. It also aids in blood circulation reducing tiredness and fatigue.
  • Latex Foam behaves the same manner as block foam and convoluted foam, but has hypo-allergenic properties.
  • Memory Foam is an excellent source for resilience, softness, and support. The dense material responds to pressure gradually and offers great contouring properties adjusting to the natural curves of the body. It is a heavier material and has a "continuous break-in" period as it constantly rebounds.