Or How to get an extra bed to not look like a bed.
To start with I want you to forget EVERYTHING you think you know about futons! Got it? …No, that too! There, that’s much better: blank space. Now repeat after me: “Futons are our friends. They aren’t perfect everywhere BUT are perfect in many places.” Now that wasn’t too bad, was it? Futons can make a great multi-purpose tool. IF you have gobs of space and have the luxury of a guest bedroom or never have (or want) company then a futon is not for you!…There I said it! Unlike me you do not need a futon in every room (My wife made me say that). We have a smallish home with 4 futons in it. “Hi, I’m Ernest and I have a futon problem.”… Okay, I sell the little buggers and I like them, now let’s move on!
Moving on. A futon can be a very comfortable sofa and bed. The key is in the mattress. Remember those really hard, lumpy, hideous looking metal framed monstrosities that populated every college (or just post) age persons domicile? How short a life they had and how short your sleep cycle was on them? Gotcha! I told you to forget everything you ever knew about futons. NO, seriously the heart of today’s futon is the mattress.
We do have some of the “old school” traditional cotton filled futon mattresses. Add a little foam inside and they’re okay, but just okay. Trivia: the cotton used to stuff futon mattresses is called “linters & pickers”, not seriously it is! That’s it’s “grade.” Not too appealing to lay or sit on. “Hey, I’m sitting on a ‘picker’.” There are just too many places to go with that one! The cotton batting is fine it just doesn’t wear really well. Some people do prefer it for sleeping. It will mold and bunch to fit your body. It’s a personal preference thing.
For durability we like (no, LOVE) a line by Otis. They carry a 10 year full warranty and are filled with synthetic fibers and various foams (both polly and visco) and come in a wide variety of fells and firmness’s. They also have a more square cut so they don’t look rounded on the edges. It’s more of a tailored look. Sharp! Your mattress choice will vary according to your preferences and budget. Just a word of advice: If I were going to cut corners anywhere it would not be on the mattress. Look at a simpler frame or a less expensive cover but keep the budget for the mattress.
After you’ve narrowed the mattress choice down you now need somewhere to put the thing! It just won’t levitate and hold you at the same time. Come to think of it IF it does levitate don’t call me. That’s out of my expertise. When choosing your frame always consider the durability factor. Most of our hardwood frames have a full 10 year warranty. That’s pretty good by the way. Look for ample wood, easy moving mechanisms that feel solid, a good finish there you have a winner! Style is, of course, up to you and quite frankly most frame manufacturers styles start to look like each other for the most part. Their core line will have many similar looks to each other’s line. There are a few exceptions though. We really like Night and Day’s futons (and platforms and case goods and bunk beds and …). Good variety and great quality.
Cover it all up now! The mattress or cushion cover will really make the look of your futon. Most just zip off to change or clean easily. There are a few covers that are machine washable though usually the fabrics that are dry clean only are made of “stiffer stuff” (not that they are really stiffer though some..) that will last far better in the long run. Just F.Y.I. locally to dry clean a full cover is about $10 to $15, so not too bad, really. If you can imagine it, someone is making the fabric in a futon cover for you! No really I have some elves on a sabbatical from Keebler and they are great with textiles too! Well, maybe not BUT you never know. S.I.S. Covers and Royal Sleep are our main suppliers of futon covers. We have the samples here so you can see and feel the fabrics. We’ll arrange for you to take them home to get a feel for how they look in your environment. That’ll make a big difference sometimes. We also carry a bunch of “factory select” covers at a much lower price. I guess I didn’t mention prices at all yet!?
Okay, overall, covers range from $49 to $199 in full size. Pretty big range? Right? We like it that way. It gives us a lot to pick from. And frames: full size “promotional” (it still carries a full 5 year warranty) starts at $298 and the 10 year warranty better stuff starts at $399 (that’s the Kingston) and can go up to (drum roll please…) $656 for the Shadow (cool name and for that price it ought to be!). Mattress will range from $128 to $328. So doing the math tells us that complete full futon, mattress and cover will start at just under $500 ($475 to be exact) and on. You can get a nice futon, mattress and cover for around $800 easily. Great comfort to sit and great comfort to sleep. Futons! Futons! Futons! Thanks you, thank you very much and now for my next trick….