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Choosing A Futon Mattress


There are many factors to consider before deciding on a mattress for your futon frame (bifold frame, lounger, or chair with ottoman). Numerous futon mattresses can be used for futon frames as well as platform beds, but there are models that can only be used on platform beds due to their firmness (cannot be folded/bended on a futon frame). Some important considerations include the following: 

  • What are the components and thickness (loft) of the mattress, and what are the qualities of these components in comfort and durability? 


Select a futon according to the thickness and comfort you desire. Inexpensive mattresses may be so thin that you are able to feel the frame beneath. Thicker mattresses may be harder to fold and more expensive. Also, check the materials the futon mattress is made of and how these characteristics affect comfort, weight, durability, etc, of the mattress. Mattresses can be one single material or a combination of materials. Examples include all cotton or foam, a cotton-foam combination, a cotton-wool combination, a foam-polyester batting combination, innerspring, memory foam, etc. CertiPur-US certified foams are made without ozone depleters; made without PBDEs or the following Tris flame retardants: TCEP, TDBPP, TDCPP or TEPA; made without mercury, lead, and other heavy metals; made without formaldehyde; made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million). Click this link to learn more about CertiPUR-US certified foam mattresses: Home - CertiPUR-US.

You may find it useful to contact a local retailer and ask what lines they carry and the characteristics of the mattresses. It is particularly helpful if your area has a showroom where you can test the futon mattresses on the frames with both sitting and lying down. Some mattresses are dual-comfort, which feature a softer side and a firmer side when flipped over. These vary in softness and firmness on each side, depending on the materials used on each side. These mattresses are very popular, as they give you a choice for sitting and sleeping, if you choose.

  • If you are keeping the frame you currently have and are replacing only the mattress, you will need to know the size you need for that frame. Here are some suggestions for determining the size mattress you need for an existing frame:


(1) You can check your mattress tag for style and dimensions. If you have a tag, either write down the information or take a picture of the tag so that you can show it to the retailer to determine the model and size you previously purchased. 

(2) If you cannot locate a tag, you can measure the width, length, and thickness of the mattress. You can also take several pictures of the mattress from different sides or angles.

(3) If you don’t currently have a mattress to check for measurements, you can measure the seat deck of your frame (where the mattress sits). The widths and lengths vary with the manufacturer, but a full size seat deck for a bifold futon frame will typically measure 54.5” to 55” in width and 70.5” to 74” in length. A queen size seat deck for a bifold futon frame will typically measure 57” to 59.5” in width and 77” to 78” in length. Seat decks on models without “arms” on the ends typically measure longer than models with “arms.” There are enough width and length discrepancies between the two sizes to determine if you need a full or queen size (Full: 54.5-55” W x 70.5-74” L / Queen: 57-59.5” W x 77-78” L).

Ultimately, the mattress should be comfortable and provide the right level of support for sitting or sleeping. If you are buying the mattress mainly for guests, a medium-firm mattress should provide the comfort and support for most people that sleep on their side or back. A manufacturer’s warranty against defects in the mattress is also a sign of good quality and provide the buyer with protection against any unforeseen issues with their mattress.

Hopefully, these tips will help when you are in search of a futon mattress. Please let your retailer know if you have a specific budget for your mattress, so you won’t be tempted to overspend on your mattress. There are numerous options to keep within your budget when shopping for a frame, mattress, and cover. Head into your store with your list and let your retailer help guide you with your purchase - they are happy to share their insights and experience! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and spend the time needed to make a purchase. Also, your retailer will be happy to write a quote for the items you are interested in, if you are not ready to buy at the time of your visit.  

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