Why is my futon stuck? Learn the why’s and the how’s to fix it

Stuck, can’t unfold, won’t sit upright – you must have experienced this with your futon, and at the time you have no idea what caused it, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. As futon owners, most of us have had the same experience and understand it’s not a pretty or comfortable one. 

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To help you understand what is happening with a stuck futon, we will cover why it gets stuck, what you can do about it, and tips and tricks on how to fix it.

A brown futon bed in a room.

Why do futons get stuck?

Futons are a popular addition to any home because of their flexibility, which allows you to use them as a chair or a bed, according to necessity. However, there are times when they are not the easiest furniture to work with.

Sometimes, futons get stuck and won’t open up all the way or move to the right position for you to use it as a bed or convert it into a sofa. But what causes this?

Mattress cover, topper, or other items trapped

The most common reason that causes a futon to get jammed is fabric -mattress covers or toppers trapped in the hinges, slides, and other movable parts of the futon. 

There are also instances when pillows, comforters, and other futon accouterments cause this problem when they get stuck between parts that should be moved to convert the futon. 

This is especially true when you use an additional mattress to improve the height of the futon.

Issues with hinge pins, nuts, and bolts

Loose pins, nuts, and bolts could cause the futon to get stuck as they result in the misalignment of parts that should move smoothly in a specific direction. When this happens, the pins will not be able to perform the task they were intended for.

Similarly, if the hinge pins are screwed incorrectly, it could cause parts of the futon to not only get jammed but may lead to jolting as the platform is not balanced properly. 

Rusting and corrosion of these metal parts could also lead to the futon getting stuck, leaving you unable to convert it from a sofa to bed, or vice versa.

Problem with rollers and slats

Rollers are responsible for the smooth movement of the backrest and seat of the futon, while the slats hold and support the mattress and everything on top of it. 

The rollers help adjust the frame to an upright, reclined, or lying down position and can be found underneath the seat.

Rollers and slats can cause the futon to get stuck when the slats move out of their proper position and get in the way of the rollers. If the rollers cannot move because of the slat in its way, the futon cannot be adjusted and stays stuck in one mode. 

Improper method of pulling out the futon

It may seem simple, but there is a proper way of folding and unfolding a futon

For futons to work properly and be set in their lock or unlock phase, a precise method is required when pulling and pushing a futon frame. If this is done incorrectly, it could cause the futon to get stuck. 

Futon frames must be lifted to a certain height before attempting to pull it out. The same is true when you set it back to its default position. 

It will jam if you try to pull out a futon before it reaches the optimum height required to release the lock and hinges. 

Besides causing the futon to get stuck, you risk possible damage when you try to unstick it.

Steps to unstuck a futon

Now that we have identified why futons get jammed let us learn the preventive measures you can take and the steps you can follow to fix the problem and get the futon unstuck. 

Trapped items

Anything that is not originally part of the futon, including pillows, duvets, comforters, toppers, and so on, should be removed before converting the futon to prevent the fabric or any material from getting caught in the futon mechanisms.

Not only will this ensure nothing gets trapped in the futon causing it to jam, but you’ll also be able to see immediately if there is any problem with the futon frame or if anything is in the way.

If the covers or pillows get stuck between the movable parts, move the futon to its earlier position, then gently pry the material that got caught to prevent damaging the fabric, the frame, and the mechanism.

Hinge pins, nuts, and bolts

Hinge pins are responsible for keeping the different parts of your futon together. If the pins are loose, missing, or incorrectly screwed, it could cause the frame to get stuck or not hold its upright position. 

If your futon seems jammed and nothing is stuck in it, check the hinge pins next, as they might be causing the problem. Ensure all the hinges are present and inserted in the right places. 

Do the same for the rest of the bolts and nuts, as these pieces, when loose or missing, can prevent the smooth rolling and movement of the other parts of the futon, which could result in jamming. 


When rollers are the cause of jamming, you first have to check for any debris that could be preventing the rollers from gliding smoothly in place. 

The slats that moved out of their original spot are the most common thing that gets in the way of rollers. 

To solve this problem, you must re-adjust the slats and move them to their original spots. This will let the rollers smoothly glide in position, allowing you to convert the futon from a sofa to a bed or vice versa. 

Rusting and Corrosion

Metal parts tend to become rusty over time. If you notice the hinge pins, rollers, nuts, and bolts starting to rust or corrode, you always have the option to replace these parts.

You can buy spare or replacement parts online or in hardware stores. Make sure you have screwdrivers or other necessary tools when replacing these parts. 

Proper pulling or folding of Futons

It is not rocket science, but there is a proper way of pulling the futon frame and locking it in place to hold its position, be it in couch or bed mode.

Bifold futon

As the name implies, a bifold futon frame consists of two sides, one for seating and one that acts as the backrest when it is on sofa mode. 

Make sure to pull the frame away from the wall, then unlatch any locking mechanism before grabbing the handle or the base to ensure it will unfold.

To unfold, stand in the center while facing the futon. Grip the front part of the frame securely and slightly pull upwards to unlock. Once unlocked, pull the frame towards you. Step back until the futon is fully protracted and flat. 

Push the moving part away from you to lock the frame in place and keep it from moving or swaying out of position. 

To fold, remove any pillows, blankets, or sleeping paraphernalia on top of the futon that may catch the latch or hinge and cause jamming. 

Securely hold the backrest with one hand, pushing it inward while making a fist with your other hand and pushing down the central part of the futon that folds with it. 

Trifold futon

A trifold futon has three main parts – the seat, the backrest, and the one hidden behind the backrest. 

To convert a trifold futon from a sofa to a bed, you just have to grab the seat and pull it towards you until it is fully flat. Push the deck away from you to lock and secure it in place. Adjust the mattress until it covers the entire frame.

To fold, it is highly advisable to remove the cushion so you can easily maneuver the frame into place. 

Pull up the backrest to an upright position and go in front of the futon to push it towards the backrest portion until the pieces lock in place. Put the mattress on top of the frame, ensuring the backrest and seat are fully covered. Hide the rest of the mattress under the seat.