Western futons can help you save space by combining a mattress and a seating option, whilst a Japanese futon offers a simple and portable mattress that can be used for sleeping on the floor that doesn’t fold up into a chair or sofa.
But what’s the best futon bed that you can buy online in 2021?
The best futon bed is the Dillon Futon Bed from The Futon Shop because it combines a compatible mattress and frame that eliminates the need to shop for the two separately. The 8″ mattress is thicker than most futon mattresses for better comfort and support, and can be used every night.
The rest of this article reviews the Dillon Futon Bed in more detail and lists some alternative purchases – such as the best futon sofas, bunk beds, and corner sofas if you have more specific needs.
7 Best Futon Mattresses and Frames Reviewed
Here are the 7 best futon mattresses, frames, and beds to buy online in 2021:
1: Dillon – Best Futon Mattress and Frame Package
The Dillon Futon Bed from The Futon Shop is the best option for those that want to buy a futon mattress and frame in one go that are guaranteed to be compatible.
The Dillon can be used every day and night for sleeping and sitting comfortably – it’s not just limited to occasional use.
You can also choose a slipcover in a range of colors to help protect your new futon mattress.
You can buy this futon bed on finance with Affirm at 0% APR to increase affordability – click the red button below to learn more about this payment option.
The Futon Mattress
- Includes natural wool in the comfort layer for pressure relief and 4 inches of pocketed micro coils in the support core to help keep you in good posture and prevent pain.
- 8-inch mattress thickness to offer greater cushioning, support, and pressure relief than regular futon mattresses that are usually only 6 inches thick – this can benefit front, back, and side sleepers.
- Available in full, queen, twin loveseat, full loveseat, and queen loveseat sizes to suit both single sleepers and couples alike.
- Chemical-free to help prevent allergic reactions – uses natural wool as the fire retardant and is free from fiberglass.
The Futon Frame
- Has a Strata wall-hugging feature so that the futon can be extended into a bed without the need to move it away from the wall.
- Is low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to minimize smells and irritants.
- Available in black walnut, pecan, and cherry wood finishes to suit a wide range of decors.
- Regular daily and nightly use.
- Those who want a futon that can be used for both sleeping and sitting.
- Anyone that wants to buy a compatible futon mattress and frame package without the hassle of having to shop around and worry about the sizes not matching up.
- Front, back, and side sleepers – the thicker 8″ mattress with the wool and micro coils can provide a balance between pressure relief and support that will suit all sleeping styles.
2: Eco Sofa – Best Futon for Sitting
If you plan on spending more time sitting on your futon than sleeping in it, then the best futon that you can buy is the Eco Sofa because this upholstered non-toxic sofa bed is made from highly durable natural latex foam that allows the futon to withstand wear and tear when in the seated position.
However, this Eco Sofa is also excellent for sleeping on because the natural latex can provide excellent pressure relief by adapting to the contours of your body for greater comfort when you sleep on your front, back, or side.
Furthermore, the micro pocket coils can provide support that’s more adaptive than regular springs to help keep you in good posture and prevent aches and pains.
This Eco Sofa futon includes both the mattress and the frame, which means that you can use it straight away after purchase without having to worry about getting a compatible mattress.
3: Shikibuton – Best Organic Japanese Futon Mattress
If you’re just looking for a simple futon mattress for sleeping on without any need for it to fold up to be sat on, then this Japanese Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress is ideal because it’s designed to be placed directly on the floor and does NOT require a bed frame.
You should buy this Shiki Futon if you want a mattress that can easily be folded up and transported for convenient sleeping without having to worry about needing a bed frame – although you can place it on a tatami mat if you need more support.
The medium-firm feel and 5-inch thickness option are ideal for helping to keep you well supported when you sleep on your back in this futon.
If you have allergies or have sensitive skin then this Shiki Futon is a good buy because it’s free from allergens and toxins that may otherwise cause an allergic reaction (see some of the best regular anti-allergy mattresses to buy here).
Click the button below to find out more about this Shiki Futon now.
4: Chair Bed Sleeper – Best Simple Futon
If you’re really tight on space and only require a futon that can sleep a single person and be used as a chair when folded up, then this Chair Bed Sleeper is the best choice because it comes in a single twin size and retracts to form a simple chair when required.
Click the button below to learn more about this chair bed sleeper.
5: Okinawa – Best Wooden Futon Frame With Storage
If you need a futon with storage drawers then the Okinawa Bi-Fold Wood Futon Frame is an excellent choice because it comes with pull-out storage drawers that sit beneath the frame.
This wooden futon frame comes in honey oak, natural, and mahogany finishes to suit a wide range of decors.
When you buy this futon, you only get the frame – so make sure to buy a compatible mattress from the Futon Shop at the same time by clicking the button below.
6: Cinnamon Maple – Best Futon Bunk Bed For Kids
The Cinnamon Maple is an excellent futon bunk bed to buy for kids and even college students because the single sleeper mattress sits over a fold-out sofa bed that can be used for reading, studying, and relaxing to help you save space in your sleeping area.
Click the button below to learn more about this futon bunk bed.
7: Flipper Sectional Sleeper – Best Corner Sofa Futon
The Flipper Sectional Sleeper is a full XL-sized corner sofa futon that can provide the functionality of a corner sofa for seating during the day and then converting into a full-sized bed at night for sleeping.
The video above shows you how the Flipper Sectional Sleeper folds out into the bed function whilst also providing storage below the cushions.
Click the button below to buy this corner sofa futon now.
How to Buy a Futon Mattress and Bed Frame
To buy a futon mattress and bed frame that’s right for you, you should pick the right type of futon, choose a mattress that’s suited to your sleeping style, and pick a compatible frame as follows:
1: Pick the Futon Type
When it comes to buying a futon bed, there’s a distinction between traditional Japanese futons and western-style (American) futons as follows:
Traditional Japanese Futon – Best For Floor Sleeping (Not Sitting)
A traditional Japanese futon (also called a Shikibuton or Shiki Futon) is a mattress that doesn’t require a frame and can be slept on directly on the floor or placed on top of a tatami mat for more support and cushioning.
Japanese futons don’t generally fold up to make a sofa and are instead bought mainly for the purpose of sleeping on the floor – although some futons can be folded up to form a casual chair or sofa, as shown in the video below, but this is not typically their primary purpose:
The benefits of a Japanese futon include:
- Very affordable – Japanese futons can cost less than $100 – $200.
- Can be rolled up and transported easily.
- Doesn’t require a frame.
The potential drawbacks of a Japanese futon include:
- Average mattress thickness of 2-4 inches can be uncomfortable for side sleepers and heavier weighted sleepers.
- Not typically designed to fold up into a sofa or chair.
- The associated drawbacks to sleeping on just a mattress on the floor.
Buy a Japanese futon if you:
- Are shopping on a budget.
- Need a lightweight and portable mattress.
- Do NOT need a futon that folds up into a sofa or chair.
- Sleep mostly on your front or back (side sleeping can be uncomfortable).
Western Style Futon – Best For Sleeping and Sitting
A western-style futon comprises of a mattress and a frame that work together so that you can sleep on the futon when it’s extended and sit on it when it’s folded up – you can either buy the futon mattress and frame together or separately.
Western futons are the best choice if you want to split the functionality between sleeping and sitting but with an emphasis on sleeping – with a sofa bed being the better option if you’ll be using it mostly for sitting.
The video below shows you how a western futon can switch between being used for sitting and lying down on:
The benefits of a western futon include:
- Suitable for both sleeping and sitting.
- Average mattress thickness of 6 inches for more comfort and support.
- Typically cheaper than a regular mattress – western futon mattresses (without the frame) can cost less than $200.
The potential drawbacks of a western futon include:
- Requires a frame making them less portable than a Japanese futon.
- Not as comfortable for sitting as a sofa bed.
Buy a western futon if you:
- Plan to mostly sleep on your futon with some sitting (get a sofa bed if sitting is the primary function).
- Are looking to save space and maximize functionality in apartments, guest rooms, and small living spaces.
2: Choose the Mattress
Choosing the right mattress to go with your futon frame is critical because getting it wrong can result in discomfort and even a mattress and frame that won’t work together.
Here’s what you need to consider:
Most western futon mattresses will have a medium level of firmness – making them well suited to front, back, and side sleeping positions (although the thinner profile of these mattresses may not be ideal for heavier weighted side sleepers over 230 lbs).
However, a softer futon mattress can be better for side sleepers and lighter-weighted sleepers because the greater ‘give’ can help to accommodate the lumps and bumps of your hips and shoulders better than a firmer mattress can (helping to prevent hip pain).
Conversely, a firmer futon mattress can work better if you’re a stomach/front sleeper, a back sleeper, and/or weigh more than 200 lbs because the lack of material ‘give’ can help to keep you in good posture and guard against back pain.
The thicker the futon mattress the more cushioning and pressure relief it can potentially offer – which is important for side sleepers that need more material depth to absorb the more prominent shoulder and hip regions.
Most western futon mattresses are 6 inches thick – making them suitable for most back and front sleepers, whilst side sleepers over 230 lbs may need to look for a slightly thicker futon mattress to offset the deeper material compression to prevent painful pressure points and bad posture.
Traditional Japanese futon mattresses are some of the thinnest mattresses that you’ll find at just 2-4 inches thick on average – making them potentially very uncomfortable for heavier weighted sleepers, side sleepers, and those that prefer a softer mattress.
Japanese futons are therefore better for those who like sleeping on their front or back and prefer a harder sleeping surface in general.
Japanese futons are typically made out of a cotton cover and cotton fill which makes them feel somewhat thinner and provide less pressure relief, but they are likely the cheaper option.
Western futons are usually made out of a combination of materials like cotton and polyester, with a foam filling – although higher-end futons may contain memory foam and/or latex foam for better pressure relief and mobility  – expect to pay more for these more comfortable materials.
However, if you’re planning on sleeping on your futon every night, then it’s likely better to invest in a futon mattress made from memory foam, latex, and/or micro-coils for better durability.
Futons made out of memory foam are best suited to side sleepers and lighter-weighted sleepers because the adaptive nature of the foam means that you can get better pressure relief when compared to a cotton futon mattress.
Latex foam offers similar adaptive comfort qualities but it’s a bit more breathable – making it a better choice for warmer sleepers.
Futon mattresses that contain springs can help to provide more bounce that can help you to switch positions easily if you’re a combination or a restless sleeper.
Number of Folds
Futon mattresses can be bi-fold (standard seat and back-rest) or tri-fold (seat, back-rest, and foot-rest) – make sure that you have a corresponding bi-fold or tri-folding futon frame to avoid incompatibility.
Never assume that just because a mattress and a futon frame are the same sizes that the two are compatible because some mattresses aren’t designed to be folded up on a futon frame.
To avoid any issues, you should specifically look to ensure that the mattress can be used with a futon frame or just buy a compatible futon mattress and frame together.
Beyond the functionality, you should also consider how the appearance of the mattress when folded up and extended fits with your bedroom decor.
3: Pick a Compatible Frame
When opting for a western-style futon, it’s crucial that the frame is compatible with the futon mattress in the following ways:
Make sure that for a bi or tri-folding futon mattress that you pick the correct bi or tri-folding frame.
Ensure that the futon mattress is sized appropriately to fit a compatible twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, or California king frame.
Futon frames are typically made out of wood or metal – both can be good choices as long as you ensure that the materials are of good quality (look for a reputable manufacturer and for item specifics like ‘solid wood’ over wood composites).
- Wood – sturdy and durable.
- Wood composite – not as sturdy or durable as solid wood but likely cheaper.
- Metal – strong and sturdy but has a reputation for squeaking when not put together properly.
Sources and References
 Wikipedia – Futon. Accessed 10/2/21.
Image Attribution and Licencing
Main image: ‘Comfortable Sofa Bed and Cushions’ by Venus Photo (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.
All other product images provided by their respective merchants and used with permission under the terms of a private affiliate agreement.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.