Do futons break easily? This is when your chosen frame matters

Futons are the favorite furniture for people who want versatile pieces in smaller rooms to save floor space.

It is also a more budget-friendly option than buying couches and beds separately.

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But of course, if you’ve never had one, it is only natural to ask if futons break easily. If they do break, the money you save by buying a cheap one will be lost because you’ll need to spend more to fix it or buy a new one.

In this article, we’ll discuss if futons break easily, how to prevent them, and how to fix them without spending too much.

When the frame matters

Western futons are different from traditional Japanese futons. They come with frames to make them higher from the ground. You can also use them as a couch when you are not using them as a bed.

Manufacturers construct futon framing from plywood, solid wood, steel, or thicker metal alloys.

The weight a futon frame can hold depends on what it’s made of. Steel and solid hardwood ones are the best futons that can hold more weight than MDF and cheap metal alloys.

Type of MaterialWeight Capacity
Plywood150 – 200 lbs
Hard (Solid) Wood500 – 770 lbs
Basic Metal250 – 500 lbs
Heavy Duty Metal500 – 600 lbs

As you can see, the type of material used determines how much weight a futon can carry before it reaches its breaking point.

If you are heavier, we recommend you choose a steel or solid hardwood frame that can support your weight.

What’s more, the structural design, the spacing of slats, and the support in the middle play a major role in the stability and sturdiness of the futon frame.

The design determines how much weight the frame can handle. The slats help with weight management, and the support in the middle allows the frame to carry more weight than initially intended.

A futon bed with cheap metal alloys or MDF can carry heavier loads. If they have extra legs supporting the middle and use more pieces, they can carry more weight.

Do futons break easily? This is when your chosen frame matters 1

Why do futon frames break?

There are three common reasons why futon bed frames break:

  1. You exceeded the recommended weight limit.
  2. Some ready-to-assemble (RTA) fasteners connecting and holding the pieces together are loose.
  3. The manufacturer used “finger-jointed” short pieces of wood as the board.

How to prevent futons from breaking

  • You can easily prevent a futon from breaking by choosing one that can carry the firm mattress and your added weight or that of your friends who often sleep over at your house.

    If you are heavy or meaty, avoid softer and flimsy frames that break easily. If your budget allows it, purchase sturdier frames with legs in the middle for better support.

  • When you hear any creaking or notice some wobbling at the joint, check for any loose RTA fasteners and tighten them immediately using an Allen wrench or a 5mm hex.

    Loose bolts or fasteners can cause unintended stress to other parts of the futon, causing it to break.

  • If the futon is made with weaker finger-jointed boards or beams, it is best to reinforce the structure with hardwood and screws to make it sturdier.

  • Add slats for better weight distribution. If you cannot do it to support the weight, you can place a solid board on top of it to make it last longer and become more comfortable to sleep in.

Easy fixes for broken futons

Fixing broken futons is easy, especially if you are handy with tools. Try these quick fixes when you find some parts of the futon broken or not working correctly.

  • Bent or broken metal frame – Straighten the bent metal and add support by welding another metal onto the frame. You can also use solid wood as extra legs for more support to the middle part of the frame.

  • Broken wood parts – You can fix broken regular wood with glue. Ensure you have enough clamps to hold the pieces together while it dries. If you don’t, the wood pieces won’t stick together well.

    For the broken main beam, after the glue dries, add another strong beam from end to end behind the original one to make it stronger and prevent future breaks.

  • Broken slats – When checking these pieces and you notice any shifting, you can move them back into position and space them evenly.

    This will help the frame handle weight more efficiently to prevent it from buckling or breaking. If they break, you can replace them by purchasing pieces of wood the same size.

    You can also repair them using metal mending plates and screws, or wood and glue, to secure the broken pieces.

  • Glides and Hinges – Glides are part of the futon that manages the gentle unfolding of the frame. Meanwhile, hinges hold the futon in place, folded or unfolded.

    If the futon is not sliding smoothly or has damaged hinges, you can buy replacement parts online or from hardware stores. The glides and hinges usually come in pairs.

Customer Feedback:

According to Redditors, there are common factors that may affect the durability of futons:

  • Quality: The quality of the materials used in a futon, such as the frame, mattress, and cover, can significantly impact its durability.

    High-quality futons made from sturdy frames and durable mattresses are less likely to break easily.
  • Weight Limit: Futons typically have weight limits, and exceeding these limits can lead to structural issues or breakage. It’s essential to be aware of the weight capacity and use the futon accordingly.
  • Maintenance: Proper cleaning of the futon can extend its life. Regularly rotating and flipping the mattress, cleaning the cover, and ensuring that all parts are in good condition can help prevent breakage.
  • Intended Use: The way a futon is used also affects its durability. Using it primarily as a bed may result in less wear and tear than using it as a couch for sitting, folding and unfolding it frequently.

My Recommendation:

I recommend against opting for cheap futon options. While saving a few bucks upfront might be tempting, the long-term implications may not be as wallet-friendly as you’d hope.

Cheaper futons often compromise on material quality and you might find yourself dealing with wear and tear much sooner. The fabric might start thinning, the frame could become wobbly, or the foam may lose its firmness. 

In a short span, you could end up with an uncomfortable seating or sleeping solution that’s neither aesthetically pleasing nor functional. 

It’s worth considering a higher-quality futon for a more satisfying and durable investment and a better experience.

Do futons break easily? This is when your chosen frame matters 1

Frequently Asked Questions

Can futons withstand frequent use?

When you convert futons and use them as beds every night, you will wear them out faster than using them as couches occasionally. Frequent use affects the futon’s lifespan, despite its versatile design.

What is the average lifespan of a futon?

The quality of materials used, how often you use them, and how well you maintain them can all affect a futon’s lifespan. Generally, a futon can last between 5 to 10 years.

Are there ways to prevent the futon from breaking?

To prevent futon frames from breaking, it is important to choose one made of high-quality materials.

Additionally, avoiding jumping or roughhousing on the futon can help prevent damaging the frame, the mattress, and its springs.

Tightening screws and lubricating moving parts, can also prolong the lifespan of the futon frame.

How can I maintain the durability of my futon?

To maintain the durability of a futon, it is important to clean and rotate the mattress regularly.

Keeping the frame well-maintained and avoiding excessive weight on the futon can also help prolong its lifespan.

What are some common reasons for futons to break?

Metal or wood futon frames break due to poor-quality construction, thinner materials, excessive weight, rough use, or lack of maintenance.

It is important to choose a high-quality futon and maintain it regularly to prevent damage.

Are there any specific weight limits for futons?

Futons typically have weight limits ranging from 250 to 750 pounds, depending on the frame and mattress.

It is important to check the weight limit of a futon before use to prevent damage or injury and ensure you have a good night’s sleep.