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Both traditional Japanese and Western-style futon mattresses fold easily. Folding and hiding them creates a versatile room for non-sleeping activities.
This guide will help you learn more about futon mattresses and how easy or difficult they are to fold.
Traditional and modern-day futons
When used, Japanese and Western futons vary in where you place them and how you store them when not in use.
People place traditional futons on the floor or a tatami mat. These futons are cotton or soft materials, making them flexible enough to fold and store in a closet.
Modern Western futons are sofas with a thick mattress that effortlessly transforms into a bed when unfolded.
Types of Futon Mattresses
Futon mattresses use different materials, and the level of comfort and support varies depending on the material.
- Pure Cotton – This type of futon is made of cotton and offers the easiest folding capability.
Remember that it is also the thinnest and firmest among others available in the market.
- Cotton and Foam – A mattress made with combined cotton and foam is the most popular type of futon.
This is because they are available in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. This futon is medium firm and easy to fold.
- Coil and Innerspring – Some futon mattresses come with coils and inner springs. This type of mattress is specially designed for restless sleepers because of its firmness.
Most designs prevent motion transfers between springs, which makes the bed less bouncy when you shift around while sleeping.
On the other hand, because of the extra materials used to make this type of mattress, it is heavier and thicker than other futons.
The springs could also pose problems during folding or unfolding as they could get stuck.
- Memory Foam –Mattresses made with memory foam offer the most support and comfort among other futon mattresses.
It molds to the body and evenly distributes weight, which could help relieve body pains, thus promoting more restful sleep.
However, this comfort level is priced and may cause a dent in your pocket.
What to consider when choosing a futon mattress
Futon mattresses are deal breakers.
You wouldn’t want to sleep on an uncomfortable bed or force someone to sleep overnight, would you? And you also wouldn’t choose a piece of tacky furniture in contrast with your interior design.
So, how do you choose the right futon mattress? What are the things you need to consider?
- Usage – Think how often someone will be sleeping on the futon. If you will entertain occasionally, it is best to buy a cotton futon mattress that is cheaper and easier to tuck away.
On the other hand, consider splurging a little if you often have guests at home and go for a more comfortable coil spring mattress or a cotton foam mattress that can hold its shape even if you use it for a long time.
- Aesthetics – Buy something that would look great with your other stuff, especially if you are to set up the futon in the living room.
Another thing to remember, “Futons are the tacos of beds” and should be warm, comfy, and homey.
Choose a frame that complements your living room interior and a thick, comfortable mattress that would go well with it.
Don’t forget to consider the room size when choosing the futon frame and mattress sizes so it doesn’t look out of place or take up too much space.
I’ve had the opportunity to experience both Japanese and Western futons, and each offered a unique sleeping experience.
The Japanese futon, placed on the tatami mat, felt close to the floor and provided a firm and supportive surface.
It was a minimalistic and space-saving option, allowing the room many uses during the day. But, it required regular airing and care to keep it fresh and moisture-free.
The Western futon, with its coil spring or cotton foam mattress, felt more like a traditional bed. It offers a comfortable and familiar experience.
The ability to convert it into a sofa during the day was convenient for extra seating in smaller living spaces.
It was less demanding in terms of maintenance, as it could be used like a traditional bed frame with a mattress, and is the real winner for me.
If you wonder if futons are still in demand, read Are futons still popular? Bring out the beauties.