High-quality construction. Firm and supportive. Retains its shape well over time. Made from premium cotton-polyester blend that is comfortable and durable. Available in five colors.
Material shows signs of wear sooner than expected. May puncture easily.
Plush, tufted design is cozy and inviting. Offers medium support. Twill fabric is durable and holds up well through years of use. Available in 14 colors and four thickness levels.
Some reports that colors appear much different in person, making for difficult returns.
A basic mattress that fits most futon frames. Independently encased coils offer firm support. Microfiber cover is easy to remove and clean. Reasonably priced. Several colors available.
Not very supportive; middle tends to sink after moderate use. Doesn't fold easily when used on a futon frame. Heavy.
Classic futon design. Extremely functional and portable because it folds effortlessly. Lightweight and easy to carry. Can be used as a lounging mat on its own. Comes in dozens of colors.
Not quite as supportive as mattress-type models. Fabric feels slightly scratchy.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Whether you live in a tiny ultra-space, want extra seating for your living room, or need a sleeping spot where overnight guests can crash, a futon is a versatile addition to any home. Futons consist of two main elements: a frame and a mattress. The futon frame folds to form a couch and stretches to form a bed — how you use it is up to you.
You can customize your futon frame with the mattress of your choice. In fact, the mattress you choose will greatly affect the aesthetics of your room and the comfort of those who sit or sleep on it. Before you make the important decision of which futon mattress is right for you, there are some factors to consider. What is the mattress made of? How durable and comfortable is it? Do you like the look and feel of the outer fabric?
Regardless of whether your futon frame is made of wood, metal, or another material, you can find the best mattress for your needs. To learn more about futon mattresses, read this shopping guide, and be sure to check out our list of favorites.
The concept of the futon originated in Japan in the seventeenth century. The Japanese would fill cloth sacks with cotton and wool and place them on the floor for sleeping. The futon as we know it today gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and it now serves as a staple in many homes.
Before you choose a futon mattress, we recommend having a futon frame ready. Wood and metal frames are common. A wood frame lends a classic element of warmth to any living space. A metal frame is cheaper than wood and a popular choice in dorm rooms and other budget living quarters.
Futon frames are either bi-fold or tri-fold; the latter is also known as a lounger. A bi-fold futon frame folds lengthwise and typically fits three to four people when upright. A tri-fold frame folds widthwise and typically fits one to three people when upright. Of course, the capacity of a futon frame depends on its size. Take the frame’s measurements first to make sure you’re buying the right mattress for your frame.
Notably, some futons can be purchased with a frame and mattress. Furthermore, some futon mattresses are permanently attached to the frame. Many are more customizable than this, however, and that’s the type of product we’re focusing on in this review.
Some futon mattresses are simply cotton pads. These are lightweight, easily folded, and often quite firm. What’s more, a cotton mattress is highly affordable — these are some of the cheapest futon mattresses available. Be warned, however, that a cotton futon mattress will wear down quickly and won't provide much support while you sleep.
Some futon mattresses have inner springs, or metal coils, much like the traditional bed mattress. These are quite comfortable for sitting and sleeping, but they can be hard to fold. Notably, futon mattresses with inner springs are less common these days.
For longevity, comfort, and ease of folding, a foam/polyester blend is an excellent choice. These mattresses consist of layers of polyester and foam and tend to be on the firmer side. They’re lighter than pure cotton and also provide more support.
Futon mattresses made of memory foam are popular today. Note that the quality of the foam can vary from product to product, so price range will also vary. A good foam futon mattress will mold to your body regardless of your sleeping position. These mattresses tend to have a great shelf life, making them excellent choices for daily use. If your futon will be used only occasionally, however, you might want to stick with a cheaper mattress material.
The functionality of a futon is a marvelous thing, but it’s not worth the expense if your futon isn’t also comfortable. After all, you don't want your guests going home with back pain due to your uncomfortable guest bed. And even if your guests aren't sleeping on the futon, they'll still notice if the seating is uncomfortable.
The inner components of the mattress impact comfort. As mentioned, futon mattresses with innerspring coils or memory foam aren’t too different from real mattresses, and they tend to hold up well with regular use.
If you yourself will be sleeping on the futon, it doesn't hurt to think about your sleeping position. If you're a back sleeper, you'll likely want a firm mattress for extra support. If you're a stomach sleeper, firmer mattresses are also useful for preventing neck strain.
The thicker the mattress material is, the more comfortable it will be. But comfort isn't the only factor to keep in mind. If you have a thin metal futon frame, it will likely look better with a sleek mattress. If you have a sturdy wooden frame, a thick mattress will go handsomely with it. For adults, a minimum mattress thickness of six inches is recommended.
For those who care about home décor, the aesthetics of a futon are not to be overlooked. Note that some materials lose shape quicker than others — like coil mattresses. Foam futon mattresses, on the other hand, tend to hold their shape longer.
In terms of style and color, you can easily modify both with a mattress cover. Popular materials for mattress covers include cotton, microsuede, and microfiber.
A futon mattress can cost anywhere from $75 to $450. Price largely depends on mattress size, thickness, and material.
A budget-priced futon mattress can be had for $75 to $120. These are no-frills mattresses. Twin sizes are common in this price range, though you can find some full sizes as well. Mattresses in this price range are about six inches thick. Bear in mind that lower-priced futon mattresses are usually made from cotton or another material that doesn’t offer the best support. Traditional Japanese futon mattresses are sometimes found in this price range.
For $120 to $200, you can find a full-size mattress made with coil springs, a foam/polyester blend, or a foam/cotton blend. There are more eight-inch-thick models in this price range, and sometimes, the mattress includes a cover.
If you have the budget, you may want to splurge on a memory foam futon mattress. You can find these in the $200 to $300 range. Mattresses in this price range tend to be thicker and more comfortable overall. For greater than $300, you will find products with suede mattress covers. You will also find full futons that include both a frame and a mattress.
For a luxurious pop of color, try Mosaic’s Full Size 10-Inch Futon. It comes in red, blue, green, and other bold color choices. Users like how soft and comfortable it is, and they report that the mattress fluffs up quickly once it has been removed from its compressed box. The material is cool to the touch and retains shape with daily use. Mosaic’s mattress is comfortable when upright, too, and it’s very easy to clean. It would nicely complement a rich wooden frame.
We’re also fans of EMOOR’s Futon Set, which comes complete with mattress, comforter, and pillow. This would be a great set for a dorm room, given how compact and easy to fold it is. Note that this is a traditional-style Japanese futon meant for floor sleeping, though it would work on a wooden platform, too. The mattress is firm with just enough pressure to support your back but not so much that you won’t sleep well.
Q. How do I clean a futon mattress?
A. You can use a washcloth, warm water, and mild soap to remove surface stains. Deodorize the futon by sprinkling baking soda on the surface. Let the baking soda sit for an hour, and then vacuum it off.
Q. How long will a futon mattress last?
A. With proper care, a futon mattress can last as long as a conventional mattress. Five to ten years of use is a general rule of thumb.
Q. How much does a futon mattress weigh?
A. A futon mattress can weigh anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds depending on size, thickness, and material. Remember that all-cotton mattresses are heaviest and foam mattresses are lightest.