About Our Futons

About Our Futons ... Millions are discovering revolutionary futon furniture, the modern alternative to conventional sleeper-sofas. Take a tour through these pages and discover the versatility, functionality and value of beautiful, modern futon furniture.





Be a Wise Consumer ...
The more you know the better. By reading and learning the basics you will be better prepared when you go shopping for your new futon furniture.



The Futon Difference ...
Space-saving futon furniture makes any room bigger. Sofa by day, bed by night - versatile and functional futon sofa-sleepers are ideal in that extra room for overnight guests, or as a primary sofa or bed anywhere in your home. Comfort, simplicity and space-saving efficiency are qualities that appeal to young and old alike.



Quality Unfolds With Real Value ...
Quality-made, durable futon furniture is an excellent value - it's considerably less expensive than a traditional convertible sofa bed, and is available in a range of styles to fit any budget and decor, giving you a real value for your home furnishings's dollar.

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History & Details of Futons Frames
 
The word "futon" is the English spelling of the Japanese word which describes their bedding system. This system includes the "shikibuton" (floor cushion) on which a person sleeps and the "kakebuton" (duvet/comforter) which covers the sleeping person. The floor mat (shikibuton) is the part of the system which has been transformed into the American futon mattress/sofa-bed concept.


The American version of the futon mattress started out on the floor. As time passed many futon makers began to see the potential of the futon frame as a new design alternative to the conventional, dual-purpose sofa-bed. Although a multitude of futon frames now exist, in the futon industry's early days it was the team of Irv Wieder (of Arise) and William Brouwer who developed the first convertible futon frames. Brouwer won the 1983 Daphne Award (sponsored by the Hardwood Institute) for his Brouwer Bed as the best new design in the Bedroom/Retail Category. Two frames were introduced to work with the futon mattress; the bi-fold and tri-fold futon frames.

Bi-Fold and Tri-Fold

The Sofa-beds of The New Millennium

There are two major differences between the bi-fold and tri-fold frame types. The first difference is the number of times the futon mattress must fold when converting from the sitting to sleeping position. The tri-fold requires the futon mattress to be folded twice while the bi-fold requires that the mattress fold only once. The second major difference between the two frame designs is that the tri-fold utilizes the shorter "width" of the mattress for seating while the bi-fold utilizes the longer "length". This gives the inherent advantage to the bi-fold because it looks much more like a conventional sofa-bed than does the tri-fold. It also provides a larger seating area for the consumer.

The Bi-Fold

The bi-fold is now the industry standard and the more popular of the two basic styles. The frames are made of wood, metal or a combination of both. The wood choices available include oak, ash, pine, teak, rubber wood and various others. There are numerous finishes available from natural to cherry to antique finishes. If there is furniture finish you are trying to match there is a futon frame for you. Some frames can even be upholstered in your choice of fabric.

The arm designs have the looks and design characteristics found in traditional furniture. Today it is hard to distinguish between the looks of a conventional sofa and a futon. The futon also has a great advantage over its counter part the sofa bed in that the mattress is much more comfortable to sit and sleep on. Futon frames are unfolded from the front or the back. It takes only seconds to convert from a sofa to a bed.


Sizes

Futon Frames come in a wide variety of sizes. The most popular size is the full size frame. This frame is designed to use a full size mattress (75” by 54”). Other sizes include queen, loveseat, cot and chair.

Other types of futon

As futon frames have become more and more a part of traditional furniture, new innovations have been introduced to the market. Two exciting innovations are the platform bed and the Click Clack frame.

The Platform Bed


Platform beds are not convertible like most futon furniture – they are always a bed. A hardwood frame supports the mattress on a series of wood slats. Due to the comfort and composition of futon mattresses there is no need for a box spring. The bed comes in many different styles and finished like the futon frames. It also may have drawers or space underneath the bed for storage. The advantage of the platform bed is an extremely comfortable, great looking everyday sleeping choice at a lesser cost.

Click Clacks

The name describes these futon frames. These are metal frames with an upholstered mattress attached to the frame. They move into many different positions using a metal hinge system. You can position them as a bed, sofa, lounger or something in between.

Assembly

Futon frames are easily delivered into the smallest of rooms. Detailed instructions allow quick assembly. It also allows for ease of moving. Instead of moving a heavy sofa sleeper you can quickly disassemble the frame and move to another room or home and reassemble.

Futon Frame Terminology

The following definitions are the commonly accepted terminology associated with the futon furniture and sofa-bed industry.

Decks:
Decks are the platforms on which the futon rests for both convertible futon sofa-bed frames and stationary platform beds.

Seat Deck:
The seat deck is the deck on which the user sits when a futon sofa-bed is in the sitting position.

Back Deck:
The back deck is the deck which the user leans back on when a futon sofa-bed is in the sitting position.

Tri-fold:
A convertible futon sofa-bed frame that utilizes three decks. The futon mattress can hang over the back of the frame, be folded under itself on the seat deck, or lay flat as a chaise lounge style seat. The tri-fold allows the futon mattress to fold twice along its usually shorter width.

Bi-fold:
A convertible futon sofa-bed frame that utilizes two decks. The bi-fold allows the futon mattress to fold once along its length.

Kicker:
The kicker is usually a small piece of wood or plastic that wedges itself between the seat deck and the back deck so the frame can be returned from a sleeper to a sofa in a simple, fluid motion. Several industry patents have been granted for the kicker.

Wall-Hugger:
A wall-hugger is a frame that can open to a sofa-bed without moving the base of the frame away from the wall. We categorize wall-huggers by their tolerance. A zero tolerance wall-hugger can be placed directly against the wall and still not touch the wall when converting. Other wall-huggers must be placed a short distance from the wall. These are called two, three, four etc. inch tolerance wall-huggers. Be sure to ask your manufacturer about the tolerance of their wall-hugger.

Futon Mattresses


Comfort. Relaxation. Peace. The mattress you choose to share one-third of your life with should embody all the comforts you deserve to help you relax in peace. Mattresses have evolved over the years and manufactures have produced a wide variety of categories and comfort levels for you to choose from which include: innersprings; foam, water, air, and futons.

Value is also important. It is hard to place a value on an item that means so much for your body and for your life. The Waking Value is possibly the most important factor because if you awake well rested after a full rem sleep, your body is totally rejuvenated to experience the new day. After you consider all the options you have to choose from, envision yourself (and your partner) waking up on this mattress then ask yourself…”is this mattress the correct fit for me?”

Practical Advice…here are some ABZ’zzz in each category to help you with your evening relaxation decisions.


History & Details of Futon Mattresses

The futon specialty sleep category has grown substantially over the years, so we will start here. Historically, futons equated to a cotton mattress. The origin of the futon began in western civilizations in the Orient. Living quarters were compact and multi-function. During the daytime the main living room also served as the kitchen, but at night, this room would transform to a bedroom simply by rolling out a cotton mattress (a futon) that was placed on top of a rice-straw pad (a tatami.) This simplistic mattress system is all natural, effective and is still used today. Americanization hit the futon. Futons, the original cotton mattresses, became elevated and they were placed on wooden frames instead of tatami’s. These wooden platforms evolved into a dual purpose piece of furniture that was used for sleeping and for sitting. Platform beds were used for the bedroom and convertible platforms were used in the living rooms. Convertible platforms became popular for the futon in studio settings because of their dual purpose and space saving nature.

The next transformation of the futon happened in the late 1980’s when manufacturers infused the cotton futon with combinations of foam and even innersprings. This transformation is still evolving today to improve the comfort and durability of the futon. The original cotton futon was firm in nature, but is extremely flexible and molds well to any platform, especially if it is convertible. Cotton futons are available in any size (cot to king) and any thickness, but standard thickness are 4”, 6”, and 8”.

*It is important to note here that the actual thickness is hard to depict in futons unless they have a tailored border. To gain insight on a futons thickness without a border, measure the edge of the mattress and measure the center of the mattress, then take the average of both measurements. This becomes important when you dress your futon and purchase a cover for it. If your futon mattress has a border, that will match the size cover you should purchase.

Futons adapt further into its American roots when manufacturers add innerspring coils to the cotton mix. This addition adds more comfort and energy to the futon. This innerspring futon has the appeal of a traditional mattress when it is placed on a platform bed, but has a flexible bonus when placed on a convertible frame because it folds up for the sofa look and down for the platform bed look. Quality of the innerspring coil does affect the comfort of the futon mattress. (Please refer to the innerspring section for more details.) Generally innerspring futon mattresses are 6” or 8” in thickness, but again can be made any size.

Foaming at the mouth for foam futons was another craze for futons. Foam will add a whole new life and dimension to the original cotton futon mattress. Literally, there are thousands of grades of foam. Foam is made from chemicals, air, and water. Depending on the mix of those ingredients will tell you how soft or firm the foam will be and how long it will last. In general, the higher density the foam is, the better the performance and durability will be. (Please refer to the foam section for more details.) The range of combinations of foam and cotton are widespread. In general, the more foam in a futon mattress, the longer the mattress will keep its shape and its original comfort. Also, the more visco-elastic foam that is used, the more body molding comfort you will achieve!

Keeping it natural with latex and wool! Latex is a rubber product (not really a foam because latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree.) The foam industry has made some foams comparable to latex, but only 100% pure latex is natural. Latex will add a definite lively buoyant comfort to the futon mattress. In general, the more latex that is added to the futon, the more durable and comfortable the futon will be.

Wool is another one of nature’s gift of padding. Wool is generally used as a wrap around the cotton, foam and/or innerspring to add comfort and protection. This also tends to keep your mattress somewhat cooler in temperature.

Futon mattresses have come a long way. They are not the flat and extremely firm pads that they once were. Some say, their futon gives them a better sleep than their $2,000 bed! Not many products can boast that! Enjoy one yourself.


About Futon Covers

Futon covers are a decorative casing used to protect your futon mattress and to personalize your futons appearance with color and texture. It is an essential component part shielding the futon mattress from everyday uses. Covers make decorating easy.

Fabrics used to produce futon covers vary by grades. They can be sewn from fine linens, tapestry cloth, micro fiber suede and even leather, just to name a few. These grades will have a bearing on the cost of your futon cover. They are reasonably priced and you are sure to find the one that expresses your individual taste and lifestyle.

Your futon cover will be easy to care for. Just remove the cover and follow the recommended cleaning instructions by the manufacturer. Most fabrics will either be machine-washed, dry cleaned or spot cleaned.

Futon covers will come in different sizes. The most popular sizes: Full 54” x 75”, Queen 60” x 80”, Twin 39” x 75”, Loveseat 54” x 54”, Loveseat Ottoman 21” x 54”, Chair 28” x 54” and Chair Ottoman 21 x 28”. Generally speaking, if you can buy the futon mattress, a cover can be purchased whether it’s off the shelf or customized to fit.

Construction of futon covers will vary. Covers may have sewn in zippers or a velour closure. The most popular construction is the box style cover. It has a top and bottom panel with a depth border and three sided zipper closure. It gives your futon mattress the appearance of upholstered furniture. You will find covers that have the same fabric all over. A solid back cover will have the main panel and border of the same fabric and back panel of a solid coordination fabric. A front print cover will have the main panel of one fabric and the border and bottom panel of a coordination fabric. One other cover is end capped. The main panel is centered and capped with a coordination color. That coordinating color is then extended to the border and bottom panel. These different constructions are significant because fabrics vary in width and cost. Offering various assemblies of futon covers provide affordable decorating options.

Redecorating has never been so simple. A futon cover can be changed to suite your new design trend. Economically transform your style by merely removing the previous cover and replacing it with a new one.