Futons are multipurpose pieces of furniture that can serve as couches or makeshift beds. But most of the possible functions of a futon could hypothetically be served by another piece of furniture.
For example, a couch could just as easily serve as your primary seating area, and a traditional bed often serves to offer more comfortable sleep than a futon.
So when is a futon the right fit for your home?
The Advantages of Futons
Let’s start by talking about the advantages of futons:
- Inexpensiveness. Futons tend to be much less expensive than couches, beds, and other types of traditional furniture. If you’re working with a limited budget, or if you just don’t want to spend much money on your furniture, futons could be the right choice. Despite their inexpensiveness, it’s unfair to call futons “cheap” because they aren’t necessarily low quality. With even a limited budget, you can get a high-quality piece of furniture that looks great, supports your back, and feels comfortable.
- Compactness. Futons are also advantageous because of their compactness. They tend to be small and easier to maneuver than their larger, bulkier furniture counterparts. If you have a limited amount of space to work with, futons can probably still fit. They can also serve as a complementary piece of furniture, adding a bit more of a flourish to an already-assembled room.
- Firmness and back pain. Most people intuitively believe that softer mattresses are better for your back and better for sleeping, since they’re perceived as more comfortable. But it’s also possible for your mattress to be too soft, resulting in back pain. By contrast, most futons tend to be firmer than the average mattress, providing more rigid back support. If you experience chronic back pain, it’s worth trying to sleep on a futon for a few nights; you might wake up better rested and more comfortable.
- Portability. If you’re the type of person who moves around frequently, or if you just like the flexibility of moving your home furniture on a regular basis, you’ll be pleased to hear about how portable futons are. They tend to be smaller, lighter, and easier to manipulate than comparable pieces of furniture, which makes them highly agile. In some cases, you may be able to move a futon entirely by yourself; together with a partner, you’ll have no problems lifting and moving your futon wherever you want it to go.
- Cleanability. Futons also have the advantage of being easy to clean, especially when compared to a mattress. Over time, mattresses tend to accumulate dust, dirt, and microorganisms that can present hygienic problems and lead to discomfort – and cleaning mattresses can be a major pain. By contrast, it’s easy to vacuum your futon, take it outside, and beat the dust out of it. You can also leave it in the sun to help sanitize it.
Factors to Consider
So are these advantages worth it? Is a futon the right fit for your home?
There are several factors to consider:
- Furniture intentions. What are you hoping to accomplish with your furniture? Are you looking for the world’s most comfortable bed? Or do you just want a spare bed you can use to accommodate guests? Do you want a couch that ties the room together and serves as a centerpiece? Or a peripheral piece of furniture that serves to provide additional seating capacity?
- Design and aesthetics. What is the design of the room where your futon will go? What kind of style are you going for? Will the futon play into that style, lending itself to the flow and appeal of the room? Or could it compromise your original vision?
- Size and space. You’ll also want to think about the size and space you have to work with. Generally speaking, the less space you have, the more you should consider a futon. They can fit into small nooks where most couches would fall short – and help you make the most of even the smallest rooms of your home.
- Future plans. Do you plan on rearranging the furniture on a regular basis? Are you thinking about moving in the near future? The more portability you need, the better a futon should look.
- Personal preference. Of course, most of your futon-related decisions will fall back on personal preference. Do you like futons? If so, don’t let anything stop you from getting one.
Futons aren’t the perfect piece of furniture for every person or every home, but they do offer a number of advantages over couches, beds, and other pieces of furniture that serve similar roles. If you find yourself in need of something comfortable yet light, compact, and easy to clean, futons may be your best choice.