Futon Frame Buying Guide


Choosing the right futon frame can actually save you money over time. A frame that is well built will ensure that your futon will be functioning for years to come. There are several things to keep in mind as you shop for the perfect frame. The type of material from which they are made is very important. Also be sure to check out the way the futon folds up.

Since a futon is both a couch and a bed, they are made to fold up. There are two ways they can fold: horizontally or vertically. Essentially, they do the same thing by providing you with two distinct types of furniture options, from a sitting position to a lying down one. The bi-fold frame is the most common and creates a standard sofa and bed. The tri-fold creates a chair complete with a back rest and place to prop your feet up. Bi-folds also come in larger mattress sizes.

Although this aspect of futon frames will be a purely personal choice, the one consideration here is to find out how far away from the wall the futon needs to be placed in order to fold it up. Generally, six inches are required, although there are models, called wall huggers, that need less space.

The material used to make futon frames is very important. Basically, it can be either wood or metal. Both types of materials are sturdy. If you are leaning toward wood, oak is more durable than pine and either can be stained to match the existing decor of the room.

Metal frames are usually a little smaller and lighter in weight than the wood ones, making them a popular choice for apartments or dorm rooms. Metal frames are also available in a lot more colors and offer a sleeker, contemporary design.

Although the choice of materials comes down to personal preference, with either type you should carefully check the construction of the frame. Look at how it’s assembled. On the metal frames, inspect the welding. The frame will be supporting the weight of the mattress, plus it needs to be able to adjust from a sofa to a bed. This means that the quality of the frame’s construction is vital to the life of the futon. Many good manufacturers offer a warranty. This is important in case something should go wrong.

The width of the slats that will hold the mattress is another place to check out before making a purchase. The slats on either a metal or wood frame shouldn’t be more than two or three inches apart. A larger space may cause the mattress to sag between the cracks, which will make sleeping on it very uncomfortable.

Before making a purchase, physically try out the movement of the frame. Change the futon’s position from a sofa to a bed and then back again. Do this with the mattress on it to give you a realistic idea of how it feels. If the movement is halted and rough, this may be a red flag of warning. Basically, the frame should allow a smooth transition between the sofa and bed settings. It should not require a great deal of effort.

Once your futon is home, you will be very glad that you took a little extra time to check out these features on the frame. A futon can last for years but the best place to save money is right now, before you buy it. Make these decisions before shopping and you will end up with a sturdy and beautiful piece of furniture.


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