Who doesn’t have a scary story from a sleepless night on a coarse bed? Well, this is a common scenario, and just hearing about futons is enough to make certain people cringe!

However, futon products have come a long way from huge momentary beds to firm mattresses, swank slip-covers, and classic wooden frames.

Today, it can be one of the most favorably versatile pieces of furniture you will ever buy. Futon mattresses usefully cushion a wood frame which serves both as a bed and a seating spot.

It provides padding that is useful for both sleeping and sitting on and thereby results in a supportive, flexible, and bouncy mattress that uses certain fill materials.

Since it can be a bed and a couch, it will take minimal effort to transform from one mode to another compared to a sofa sleeper. This alone makes it an attractive choice over the traditional bed for those with restricted square footage.

Another reason is that futons are relatively inexpensive as compared to traditional beds and sofas. While the price can increase with the most affluent models, its quality will certainly set you back almost less than half as much as a similar sofa night.

futon mattress in a ryokan room

In addition to this, it is relatively simple and direct in its creation, allowing you to rearrange, disassemble, and assemble them with ease.

A final reason ties into its versatility- you can change your futon’s appearance to fit any style room you may desire with mattress covers and replaceable mattresses.

Since you can buy a mattress and frame separately, the combinations can be easily tailored to your preferences and tastes.

Choosing The Best Futon Mattresses

Once you understand the filling materials and how they cause the mattress to respond differently to the human body and other criteria, it becomes easier to select a mattress.

For weight, shorter is considered better as long as the 6 inches minimum thickness of futon is maintained. Flexibility, rigidity, and firmness are relative to the desires of futon mattress users.

The choices for futon mattresses are very extensive- some are filled with pieces of wool and cotton, while others contain coils.

So before you buy a futon mattress, make sure you measure your space accurately to account for your mattress’s size when unfolded and folded.

This also helps to tape off the “umbra” of your probable new furniture so you can optically see how much space it will take up in your room.

And, of course, you desire a futon mattress that provides a restful sleep, so you must keep the following things in mind.

futon on a traditional bamboo floor

  • Adults typically require a mattress that is a minimum of 6 inches thick.
  • For optimal comfort and support, buy a mattress with an innerspring futon that will offer the highest ease and comfort level- much like an actual bed. This is especially recommended if you or your guests will sleep on the mattress with regularity.
  • Foam and cotton batting mattresses provide reasonable levels of comfort and support for short-term use and hold their shape over time. In addition to this, these options are lighter than traditional innerspring mattresses.
  • Testing out these mattresses in-store is believed to be the best way to find out which one is appropriate for you. It is recommended to consider your entire family for testing to find a bed that will work best for the majority of sleepers.
  • The higher the quality futon mattress you buy, the longer it will last, and if it is not used very frequently, it may last up to 20 years.

Essential Factors That You Need To Consider

Keep in Mind its Aesthetics

Think about how you may desire your futon mattress to appear. The best futon mattress will always keep its shape while providing the same comfort as day one. Also, as much as you wish to think about the comfort the mattress offers, you will still need to consider how your futon mattress will appear. 

Although coil-filled futon mattresses are comfortable, they may lose their shape over time.

On the other hand, a memory foam futon mattress will hold shape for a more extended period of time. In addition to this, they are even better for futons that are most commonly used as couches.


When it comes to picking the best futon mattresses, comfort is everything.

You must remember that comfort is not just about sleeping well but also sitting comfortably on your futon bed. So if your futon bed is in the living room, there are higher chances that guests will sit on it every time they visit.

Even the best futon mattress will give in to the constant pressure, so you have to keep the usage in mind when shopping for comfortable futon mattresses. In this case, getting an exceptionally contouring mattress like many traditional Japanese futons that support any sleep position will be the optimal choice.

So make sure you buy a mattress that is comfortable both while sleeping and sitting. The materials used to craft the futon mattress will determine the type of comfort you get from it.

So when considering comfort, get rid of the idea of lumpy mattresses. This is because futon mattresses on the market today are made to appear and feel as comfortable as the regular mattresses you use on your regular bed.

While some of them will be firm, others will be plush, and you can simply sink into those mattresses in comfort. The soft cotton batting on your memory foam futon will provide pressure relief in any sleeping position.


You must consider how often you or your guests may sleep on the floor futon. If you desire to use it for the guest bed occasionally, you may consider purchasing a less expensive mattress, for instance, a cotton-filled one.

If you plan to use it nightly and not only on your guest bed, you must spend on a high-quality, coil-filled futon mattress.


When purchasing a futon mattress, you must keep in mind that it is two in one product, and in some cases, it will serve as the seat cushion, while in others, it will just be a bed in the guest room.

So you must make sure that the futon mattress is versatile to play both these parts comfortably. Also, select a comfortable enough mattress to serve your personal requirements and easy to move around.

Mattress Cover

You must determine if you require a cover for your mattress so that you can pick one according to your fabric and color preference.

In addition to this, you can choose between solid patterns and colors. The fabric choices may include a tufted microfiber cover, microsuede, and cotton.

Some mattresses already come with water-resistant covers; however, many do not. This may also affect the overall cost of your futon mattress, so you must keep this consideration in mind too.

Size of the Frame

While a queen-size futon mattress may be the most comfortable and spacious, it implies you will have to buy already or own a queen-size frame, which can be too big for a small room.

So it is recommended you must take measurements of your room before making your final purchase to fend off size constraints. And your room shall thank you for it.


This will immensely depend on the materials used to create this mattress.

It is recommended to choose a futon mattress made up of materials that will last longer and serve you better.

In addition to this, you must check its warranty as this will tell you how long the manufacturer thinks the particular futon mattress will last without any issues.

Remember, for your mattress to last long, you too need to take proper care of it.


Futon mattresses are a fantastic cheap option as you can easily get high-quality mattresses for a lower price.

You can purchase a high-end mattress for much less than a high-end couch.

The Thickness of the Futon Mattress

Sleek, thin futon mattresses look much better with thinner mattresses.

On the other hand, significant wooden pieces require thicker mattresses in order to match their frames. So it is imperative to consider the kind of mattress you and your family prefer.

Make sure you determine the one you desire to sleep on, and also do not let color influence your decision. Remember, you can always purchase a cover for your futon mattress.

Preferred Sleeping Position

The preferred sleep position dramatically determines the type of mattress you get. Whether you go for a thicker mattress, a memory foam mattress, a soft or firm mattress, or a more traditional mattress that has a mid-firmness, it will all depend on how you sleep.

In case you sleep on your side, you must consider a softer futon mattress so that your shoulders can sink into the mattress and there is less pressure on your spine and neck.

On the other hand, if you sleep on your back, you may require a firmer mattress to support the back and have an elastic foam layer to let your spine relax.

Stomach sleepers will require the firmest futon mattress as it will prevent any strains to the neck. Also, pick a thin pillow to avoid back pain.

Types of Futon Mattresses

a futon sofa bed in a small apartment

Regardless of the purpose of the mattress, there are certain things you must consider when buying a futon mattress. The following are the different types of futon mattresses.

Memory Foam Futon Mattress

This is considered the novel gold standard for all types of mattresses. Memory foam mattresses have undoubtedly skyrocketed in popularity recently, and a plethora of people are switching out their spring mattresses for them.

However, foam futon mattresses are not always made of great quality memory foam but still offer several benefits. Additionally, they are the most comfortable type according to most users.

This is because they are best at offering support to your body, whether you sleep on your stomach, side, or back. Unlike spring mattresses that offer unbalanced support due to the coils, foam futon mattresses are supportive all over.

They also last longer as compared to other types of futon mattresses.

However, there are specific cons to purchasing this type of mattress. They are more expensive, and if you are not using it frequently, a foam futon mattress can be way too expensive for certain users.

Spring Futon Mattresses

Although they are the old standard for mattresses, they may soon totally be recouped by memory foam. They are made with metal coils covered with a quilted layer, which ensures that your mattress stays firm and comfortable.

Also, they are reasonably priced, though not very cheap when compared to some other types of mattresses. Additionally, they are comfortable for sleeping, and this type of futon mattress is what several people are used to sleeping on at night.

However, on its downside, a spring futon mattress can be heavy and quite tricky to fold. If you have a sleeper sofa/convertible couch futon, this mattress can be challenging to mutate to the sitting position.

Wool Filled Futon Mattresses

Although they are rare, they do bring something exquisite to the mattress. Since wool is very soft and warm, you will get warmed up quicker than by using cotton futon mattresses.

This is because heat is retained much better in wool, so buying them can be a wise decision in cold regions.

Cotton Futon Mattresses

Cotton futon mattresses are an excellent option for those on budget. Such mattresses are considered very firm and resemble the Japanese floor futon mattress laid down on the ground by the people of Japan. They are easy to fold up as they are lightweight, but they are not as solid as foam or spring futon mattresses.

On its downside, cotton futon mattresses do not provide the same quality as foam and spring futon mattresses in several respects. Also, they wear down prompter compared to other mattresses and do not offer as much support as foam or spring futon mattresses.

So, if you decide to go for the traditional Japanese futon, make sure you pick a high-quality foam rather than a regular mattress.

Foam & Polyester Futon Mattresses

young woman lying on a futon

Such blended types of mattresses usually tend to last much longer than other types of futon mattresses. Polyester is used as the top layer to make the mattress medium-firm, which certainly depends on the thickness of the polyester layer. It is also found to be softer as no cotton is used, and you only get the feeling of the foam layers. In addition to this, it is lightweight, as dense cotton is believed to weigh down the mattress.

Foam/Cotton Hybrid Futon Mattresses

Futon mattresses that combine cotton and foam can be the best of both worlds in several ways. They are more supportive, comfortable, and last longer than plain cotton futon mattresses.

However, they are not as supportive and comfortable as foam futon mattresses, and they are not as cheap as cotton futon mattresses.

Innerspring Coil Mattresses

The futon mattresses that have innerspring coils in them are believed to resemble the regular mattresses that come with springs fitted in them.

The innerspring futon mattresses are wonderful as you can sleep on them comfortably and wake up relaxed the following day. The presence of coil in the mattress offers additional cushioning as compared to other dense cotton mattresses. Sometimes a high-density foam may not work for everyone, and you may notice that you like the traditional futon over other futon mattresses types.

In addition to this, your body pressure points are easily absorbed by the mattress, thereby allowing you to enjoy a restful sleep. It is with the presence of high-density foam that these mattresses offer additional comfort to their users.

Some Popular Traditional Mattresses

White bed linen on a bed in a white bedroom

Serta Cypress Duct

This is the right futon mattress if you are seeking a Queen size comfortable futon mattress to sleep or sit on. Manufactured by a reputed household named brand, it is durable, resilient, and fits well even for small frames, thereby making it perfect for all types of usage.

The multi-layer polyester/cotton and foam make it comfortable without being excessively firm, so you can enjoy a plush feel when sleeping on it.

The mattress is made in the U.S, where stringent regulations and safety checks apply, and if you do not use it frequently, it can serve you for several years.

Royal Sleep Memory Foam

Available in both Queen and Full, this futon mattress is 8 inches high and designed with multilayers and thickness, which is enough support without being too huge.

It consists of four layers of premium cotton and polyester blend, a layer of polyurethane foam, and two layers of memory foam. Its thick and soft design further serves great for bed as well as couch usage.

Although not all are great for both types of everyday sitting and sleeping, this one certainly has the support and strength to take regular and heavy loads making the mattress close to being the best one around.

Mozaic Full Size Gel Memory Foam

This mattress is excellent for those who prefer a more cradled and softer feel. In addition to this, it is exceptionally comfortable and durable and comes with a poly cotton fabric cover which is lace tufted to give it a stylish look.

The core fill is made up of polyurethane foam and visco memory foam which combines to give a support plush comfort and lengthy mattress life.

This particular model is also considered as the best futon mattress for couch as well bed usage. As it is made in the US, you can certainly expect to get the reliable services of American technology.

DHP Independently Encased Coil

DHP 8-inch independently encased coil high futon mattress is a heavy-duty bed that will serve you as both a bed or couch even if used on a regular basis. With a firm thickness, it comes with independently sheathed coils that you can barely feel.

The coils in the DHP futon mattress add to the support, motion isolation, and sturdiness of the mattress and are also wonderfully pocketed to make sure you only feel comfort instead of its structure.

Pocket coils are also known to be more silent as compared to other types of innerspring mattresses.

It comes with a 1-year warranty and is also economically priced for an excellent quality mattress, which has no odors compared to other latex and foam mattresses.

Serta Sycamore Duct

This futon mattress offers both great comfort and a good level of support, thereby offering a plush feel and medium firmness that can be used as a bed or couch.

The top layer of the mattress is made up of a bulky cotton fiber blend, while the main core is spring construction.

This mattress is of excellent quality, featuring Cottonique, which is a unique combination of selected cotton grades with polyester fibers that make for an exclusive and durable cushioning blend that is long-lasting and much better than regular cotton.

This implies the product is more comfortable, lightweight, and resilient.

However, it may not fold and flex to the desires of each and everyone, but it is still great for a single fold.

Available in Full and Queen sizes, along with three different colors. The mattress comes shipped rolled and wholly boxed.

Final Thoughts

Futon mattresses are certainly a versatile piece of furniture as they can be used as a bed and a couch, which allows users to make the most of space in their room.

However, there are abundant elements that buyers must keep in mind while shopping to determine the best futon mattress options.

Also, there are a plethora of great futon mattresses out there, and all that you need to do is to know what to seek when shopping for a new mattress. This guide will undoubtedly be helpful in showing you how to find the best mattress so you and your guests can enjoy a sound sleep on your futon.

a futon sofa in a small apartment

Remember, finding the ideal futon mattress is undoubtedly personal.

This is because the perfect futon mattress for someone else may not be the ideal mattress for you. However, there are certain general guidelines that you must keep in mind.

If you plan to use your futon mattress as a bed more than a sofa or couch and desire a comfortable mattress, you can opt for a spring futon mattress.

If you desire the most comfortable futon mattress and want it to fold up for sitting on easily, then a foam mattress can undoubtedly be your best choice.

On the other hand, cotton futon mattresses are perfect for those who do not desire to use them often and want something economical.

And finally, a foam/cotton mattress is excellent if you desire to get a decent amount of use out of your mattress but still wish to save some money.

Remember, it is highly indispensable to choose the right kind of futon mattress to get maximum support and comfort.

So stick to this comprehensive guide and determine your options- as you can see, there are several different types of futon mattresses to choose from. Still, the one you select will ultimately be down to your particular needs and preferences.

Stacey Morgan – STAFF

Stacey Morgan – STAFF


Stacey is the co-founder of Mattress Guides and continues to recommend and review countless mattresses. Together with Ted, Stacey makes sure that thousands of people are sleeping well and wake up healthy and ready for the day.

Updated at November 22, 2021