One of the more obvious reasons to have a futon mattress in your home is because of issues with space. This is partly why futons had such a great run in the 1980s in the Western cultures, as we began to really embrace this type of bed. However, comfort quickly took more importance over price and space issues, so many people abandoned their futons or simply relegated them to their college kids and bachelor pads.
However, futon mattresses are very much still a part of many home designs, modern home designs at that. What about quality and comfortable sleep? These issues have been addressed and you might be surprised to learn what types of styles are available today. In some cases, the futon has replaced many people’s conventional mattress. However, it is much more common that people are searching for futons as second beds for a guest room, home office or just to use as additional seating in an entertaining area. You might be someone who entertains often and maybe have occasions for frequent if not unexpected house guests.
This isn’t necessarily why futons were invented, but they certainly fit the bill perfectly for such an arrangement. Briefly, the traditional futon is an Asian invention. It has been around for hundreds of years and is still used as the traditional bed in many Asian countries, including Japan. Their style of futon is a bit different than ours. They utilize a two-part system. The top portion is called the kake-buton and is often a soft, quilted layer. The bottom part is the mattress portion, called the shiki-buton. These are both used together and laid on top of a mat, a tatami, to form the traditional futon.
So, the real question is: Can a futon mattress help me sleep better at night?
The answer is a resounding yes. But, it isn’t that there is something necessarily magical about the futon so much as it is about having a fully supportive mattress and pillow system. You can also make sure that you have allergen-free materials and bedding to be extra precautious. In the end, the goal is to feel comfortable and supported.
Now, knowing this doesn’t make you use it any differently in your home, because you are likely looking for one of the styles that we use here, the thicker mattresses with the bed frames and that. The style of futon that we use is often much thicker than those traditional Asian ones. That old, flattened futon of the past is just a distant memory, thankfully. Today, brand name manufacturers of conventional mattresses, like Sealy™, Simmons™ and Beautyrest™ for example, sell futons as well. You can also find them online at various specific retailers or large auction stores like Ebay and Amazon.
What makes futons such a good choice as a second bed is cost and comfort. What more could you ask for? There are still futons that are made of cotton and wool wrapped foam core styles, but there are also more elaborate futons as well. The simple styles, in twin and full sizes can cost anywhere from $100-150 USD and may even include a bed frame for the mattress. While the frame is nothing special, it can still give you something to start out with until you find a more desirable one. For the more ‘elaborate’ styles, like the futons with inner coil springs or memory foam styles, you’ll spend a bit more. These might cost more in the range of $300-375 USD for a similar sized futon. All of the newer models made by these large manufacturers are quite comfortable and will last you much longer than the older versions of these flexible futon mattresses.