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Traditionally used in Japan, futons are unsprung mattress beds which can transition from a sofa seat into a bed easily. Likened in part to sofa beds, futons are usually stuffed with cotton batting and are inexpensive to make; typically heralded for their excellent back support and convenience.

Not only are futons a novel way to dress a home or a spare room, but they also celebrate a culture that we have long been interested in. We know that our members love experiencing and bringing different ideologies into their homes, through everything from decorative accessories to items of unique furniture. And futons slot perfectly into that category.

What are they used for?

A futon is essentially both a seating area and a bed – quite literally made up of a thin mattress which folds under itself to form a seat and can be extended into a bed for sleep. It is a custom item of furniture in Japanese apartments, providing a space saving solution which is both convenient and stylish.

In good weather, we often see our members choosing to take their futons outside to enjoy the sunshine, due to the transportable design and lightweight build of traditional futons, particularly when compared with regular sofa beds.

Comfort vs. Style

The first thing to consider, and our top tip for anyone looking to buy a futon, is to consider what your primary use for it will be. If you intend to use your futon as a seat most of the time, only occasionally calling on it to be used as a bed, the comfort can take a step back in light of ensuring you find the very best design.

Modern futons available in our high street retailers can range from metal frames to wooden frames, and even just the simple futon pad as would traditionally be found in Japan, with each variation embracing a different style and design finish. Some of our favourite designs are wooden in support with thicker futon pads, though be aware that these wooden frames can sometimes be more difficult to operate and so if you plan on interchanging the futon regularly between a seat and a bed, you may want a more operational design.

Where to find the best futons on the market

When it comes to locating the best futons on the market, think about what you want and then think about the space you have available.

Whether you are buying a futon as a design feature or a space saver will feature heavily here, and it may be worth getting to grips with the maximum space you have and then ensuring you know the size of the futon both folded up and fully extended – to ensure you have the room for it.

In terms of high street retailers selling futons, the variation available is huge and will allow you to focus keenly on your budget and desired appearance in selecting the best product. With both homeware stores and more specific futon retailers providing a range of traditional and more modern designs, we know our members will love the variety to select from – from plain wooden and white finishes, to more extravagant and intricate designs.

Top Tip: Due to the increase in popularity as an outdoor piece of furniture, many of the retailers are now offering garden futons as a separate feature, with weather-proof fabric finishes and convenient storage options. Consider looking at both the indoor and outdoor selections before making your decision, particularly if you plan on moving your futon both inside and outside.

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