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Practical, portable and right on trend, futons are ideal for accommodating guests or creating a Japanese-inspired living space. These folding mattresses are designed to be laid on the floor on tatami mats, or mounted onto frames to create futon sofas that double as beds.

Nowadays, there are a whole host of different options available, from single futons for overnight stays, to futon bunk beds that incorporate a normal mattress and a futon bed frame. Whether you’re looking for a minimalist design feature, a foldaway bed or a convertible sofa, the Houzz UK Shop offers a variety of comfortable futons to meet your needs.

If you’ve been inspired by the minimalist movement, check out this article on simple Japanese design rules to learn how to transform your space.

Why is it called a futon?

Futon is a Japanese term that originally referred to a round cushion padded with cattails. Today, the loanword is used around the world to mean a stowable sleeping mat or a type of sofa bed. Traditional futons are padded mattresses that can be folded up and stored, whereas western futons are thicker and often mounted on an adjustable frame. In Japanese, futon refers to the entire bed setup (including blankets and pillows), whilst the word shikibuton is used for the mattress(es).

What are futons filled with?

Traditional Japanese futons are filled with soft cotton padding and often have a thick duckweave cover. They are comfortable but can be quite heavy. Futons can also be padded with wool, latex, foam and other synthetic materials.

What size is a futon mattress?

As futon mattresses were originally designed for easy transport and storage, they may be slimmer and shorter than standard UK mattresses. This makes them ideal for use as guest beds or even as mattress toppers. However, if you’re worried about comfort, you can also find mats in many of the standard UK sizes, including single and double futons. The majority of futon sofa beds are designed to fit your existing bedding so there’s no need to purchase new sheets or duvet covers.

If you have children, you can also find baby and kids’ futons. These can work well for toddlers as they bypass the need to install safety rails on the bed. There’s also something intrinsically fun about sleeping on the floor, making these soft mats great for sleepovers with friends.

Are futons good for sleeping?

As with anything in life, this very much depends on the individual. Japanese-style futon beds are often quite thin and a lot firmer than the mattresses you may be used to. They also have a slightly uneven surface due to the tufting which could prove to be uncomfortable. However, if you invest in a good-quality futon, it should ensure a good night’s sleep, even if it takes some getting used to. The firm padding can also help relieve back pain and improve circulation as pressure is evenly distributed.

If you find traditional futon mattresses uncomfortable, you can try layering several together or purchase a western-style futon instead. The latter are usually thicker and are also mounted on frames for more a ‘standard’ bed experience. The Houzz UK Shop also offers a range of sofa beds which often have more substantial mattresses.

Firm beds can be detrimental to people with certain joint or bone conditions so check with your doctor if you have any doubts.
United Kingdom
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