How to Buy a Futon Mattress

The futon has come a long way in the past forty years, but the traditional 100% cotton futon mattress is still a favorite among college students and the "living space deprived.

" There are now many different types of futon mattresses available, so you should know what you're looking for before you buy.

Examine the futon mattress frame. A typical futon is a bi-fold style that goes from an upright position to a flat sleeping position and the mattress is about the same size as a full sized bed. There are also trifold and platform futons, and futons now come in single, twin, full, queen, and even king mattress sizes.

Decide how much this futon will be used and how it will be used to help you set a budget. If the futon will only be used on occasion for overnight guests, a standard futon mattress should suffice. However, if this futon mattress will be where somebody sleeps every night, invest in a thicker, higher quality mattress.

Find out what type of mattress filling works best for your needs. You need a mattress that is at least six inches thick, and thicker if it'll be your primary sofa or bed. Futon mattresses are stuffed with a number of materials including cotton, wool, polyester, different types of foam, innerspring and hybrid materials. Each material offers different pros and cons.

Choose a thicker foam core with cotton polyester blend batting if this futon mattress will become a bed on a regular basis. This option provides a comfortable sleeping for most people and this mattress will fold well without sagging and hold up well to everyday use.

Buy an innerspring futon mattress if you sleep primarily on the futon and want the closest experience to a traditional bed that a futon can provide. This is a much pricier option, but good if you need additional support. A wool futon mattress is also a pricier but very comfortable option for sofa and sleeping futons.


  • Buy the thickest futon mattress that you can afford for maximum comfort and durability. Six-inch mattresses are the minimum thickness you should buy, but at a mattress at least 9 inches thick is best if you'll be sleeping on it every night.
  • Don't forget the mattress cover. There are a number of excellent options available for every taste, from tie-dye to high quality leather.