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Best Futon Mattress 2021

Last Updated: September 23, 2021

Futon mattresses are a good choice for anyone who tends to have visitors who stay the night but have no guestroom or limited space in their apartment. Futon mattresses and floor mattresses can offer a place to sleep and double up as a sofa or some other piece of furniture.

Futons are the traditional style of bedding in Japan. They are typically used and then folded away in a closet to maximise space. Western-style futons often differ in certain aspects and commonly have a dual function as sofa beds.

Although these mattresses may not be for everyone, they do offer some great benefits:

  • They can free up space if used as a bed
  • Versatile and can function as a sofa, guest bed, foor cushion, play mat etc.
  • Portable
  • Easier to clean than regular mattresses
  • Possibly more affordable when compared to regular mattresses
  • May offer good back support

There are many futon mattresses on the market. The best one for you will depend on personal preference and your intended use for it. Factors such as your preferred firmness, choice of design, available sizes, budget, and space will help you find the futon best suited for your needs.

(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs in Conclusion)

FUTONCORE MATERIALTHICKNESSSIZESPRICE
EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress ClassePolyester Pad8cmTwin XL (100 x 210 cm)£412.99
MAXYOYO Japanese Floor Mattress Futon MattressCotton + Memory Foam10cmSingle, Double, Queen, Twin£328.11
Happy Beds Metro Wooden Folding Guest Futon MattressMulti-Layer Fibre Filling8cmSmall Single, Small Double£79.99
Evergreenweb Futon Folding MattressWaterfoam8cmSingle£84.98
MustMat Tatami Futon MattressRush Grass3.05cmEU Single£320.29
LJ Folding FutonCotton + Memory Foam10cmEU Single, Large Single, Super King£115.20
Prices are referring to the smallest or single size. Spring count generally refers to a king size. Information may be subject to change, please check with the brand/manufacturer before purchasing.

1. EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress

EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress
(Image credit: EMOOR)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Traditional-type futon
• Teijin Mightypop filling (antibacterial, anti-dust mite)
• Versatile uses
• Those with a higher budget
• People who suffer from certain household allergens
• Sleepers who prefer a firmer surface

The EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress Classe is a simple and basic futon mattress made in Japan. This futon mattress is 8cm thick and is described as firm but not too hard. This mattress consists of a firm polyester pad cushioned on either side by a material called Teijin Mightytop that serves as an anti-bacterial, anti-mite, and deodorising stuffing. It is suggested that these properties will last for approximately 2-3 years. The outer layer is made from 100% cotton.

The futon mattress itself measures 100 by 210 cm (only one size). It is delivered vacuum packed, so you will need to leave it to expand once opened. This futon mattress can be placed on a frame, be used as a mattress topper, be used on a tatami mat, carpet or even on the floor if the sleeper does not mind the extra firmness. The manufactures note that this mattress is non-washable and recommend the use of a cover.

This EMOOR mattress may be a good option if you're looking for a good quality traditional-type futon mattress. Customers overall rate this product very highly. According to independent reviews, some people find it aids in reducing back pain others commented that it was not quite as thick as they had expected. Overall, customers rate this product very highly.

2. MAXYOYO Futon Mattress

maxyoyo Futon Mattress
(Image credit: MAXYOYO)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Wide variety of uses
• Different design prints to choose from
• Additional dustproof cover and storage bag
• Those with a more flexible budget
• Sleepers who enjoy a memory foam layer
• People who want the option to replace or be refunded

If you are looking for a cute futon mattress with a range of potential uses (camping mattress, bedroom or lounge futon, floor pillow bed, tent mat, kids play mat, dog bed, mattress topper), this futon mattress from MAXYOYO is a good option.

This futon mattress consists of a five-layer design. The top and bottom layers consist of microfibre cotton, and the middle layer consists of 5cm high-quality memory foam. The cover consists of 100% cotton – a soft and breathable top layer. The manufacturers state that the depth after quilting the thickness of the mattress is "more than 10cm".

It comes in several sizes – single, double, queen, and twin, and you have the choice of deer, flowers, or flamingos print. With the purchase of this mattress, you get a matching dustproof cover and canvas storage bag.

MAXYOYO offer a no-questions-asked replacement or refund if you are not satisfied with your purchase (please always read conditions). Customers generally seem happy with their purchases – some people comment that it is very comfortable and easy to fold and store and others mention it was not as thick as they had expected.

3. Happy Beds Folding Guest Futon Mattress

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happy beds floor futon mattress
(Image credit: Happy Beds)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Easy to assemble and convert
• Solid pine frame
• 5-year guarantee
• Those on a tighter budget
• People who would like a choice of colour
• Customers who want to buy British

The Metro Futon is an ideal solution for people with small rooms or guests frequently staying the night. This futon is easily converted from a bed to a chair in just a few seconds. The frame is made of solid pine wood and supplied partly assembled, making it easy to put together.

This futon mattress is available in two sizes – a small single or a small double, mattress depth is 8cm, and customers have the choice between seven different colours.

The Metro futon is handmade in the UK, and customer reviews seem mostly positive. This manufacturer offers a 5-year guarantee, and shipping to mainland UK is free.

4. Evergreenweb Futon Folding Mattress

Evergreenweb Futon Mattress
(Image credit: Evergreenweb)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Easy to convert and store
• Option of added bed linen
• Removable cover for easy washing
• Those looking for a versatile futon mattress
• People prone to household allergies
• Customers seeking an affordable option

The Evergreenweb futon mattress is a potentially good option if you're looking for something affordable, easy to use, and store. This mattress is available as a single mat, single and double mat, and single and double mat with cotton bed lining. It has an 8cm depth and can be used as a bed, floor cushion, camping mattress, or folded and used as a seat.

This foldable mattress is composed of a robust and environmentally-friendly polyurethane waterfoam. It comes with a breathable, hypoallergenic cover that can be removed and washed separately.

The Evergreenweb futon mattress is made in Italy, shipped compressed to you, and customers generally seemed satisfied with their purchase.

5. MustMat Tatami Futon Mattress

MustMat Tatami Futon Mattress
(Image credit: Mustmat)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Traditional Japanese tatami mat
• Various uses
• Easy to fold, carry, and store
• Sleepers who prefer a firmer surface
• People who are not bothered by the rush grass smell
• Customers with a higher budget

If you are on the lookout for a traditional Japanese Tatami mat (made in China), the MustMat option may be a good idea. It may be well-suited for a bed, meditation space, yoga room, or Japanese tearoom. This mat is available in one size (199.9 x 89.92 cm) with a depth of 3.05cm, and it is suggested that you buy two and place them side by side if you are looking for a US queen size (UK king size). It can be folded in four, easily carried, and conveniently stored.

The mat’s sleeping surface is made from 100% rush grass, with a backside of non-woven fabric. As it is made from a natural material, it might have an odour to it - bothering some people more than others. It's recommended that you leave it to air in a well-ventilated room for a few days for the smell to dissipate, however, it is also noted that the smell may not completely disappear. In order to clean before use, it is advised that you dust it, wipe it with a damp cloth, and then leave it to dry in a well-ventilated area. It is also advised to avoid exposing the mat directly to the sun and this could cause premature ageing and could compromise the quality of the mat.

The manufacturer offers free delivery and reviews suggest the MustMat Japanese Tatami is well-liked and the majority of customers are satisfied with their purchase.

6. LJ Futon

LJ Thicken Foldable Mattress Futons
(Image credit: LJ)
HIGHLIGHTSSUITABILITY
• Versatile use
• 5-layer design offering comfort and durability
• Breathable fabric allowing for temperature regulation
• Those looking for a middle of the range purchase
• People who enjoy a firmer sleep surface
• Customers wanting a choice of colour and design

The LJ futon is based on the traditional Japanese Tatami mat and can be used as a bedroom/living room futon, floor mattress, tent mat, children's play mat, meditation/yoga mat etc. It is easy to fold, store, and move around should you need to.

It measures 200 cm in length with four different widths ranging from 90 cm up to 180 cm. After quilting, this mattress has a depth of 10 cm and is available in four different designs. This futon consists of five different layers. The top and bottom are soft cotton layers. Between these is a 5 cm layer of memory foam surrounded by feather silk cotton. The combination of materials is said to provide a soft yet supportive, durable and breathable mattress upon which to sleep or sit.

The manufacturer recommends unpacking and leaving to expand for a few days prior to use, and regular vacuuming to keep this mattress clean, with no dry cleaning or bleaching.

The Japanese Futon

A futon is the traditional Japanese style of bedding. The complete futon set consists of a floor cushion/mattress (shikibuton) and a duvet/comforter (kakebuton) placed on the ground or a tatami mat (a woven reed mat). Traditionally, futons are folded and stored away every day, freeing up usable space.

Good to note:
It is considered bad manners to not pack away or air out your futon during your stay at a Japanese home.

The Japanese Futon

They are also aired in the sun regularly to help combat mould and dust mites. It’s a regular sight to see futons hanging over balconies of buildings in Japan. The floor cushion/mattress (shikbuton) is the part of the set that has been transformed into the western futon bed/sofa-bed concept that we commonly see today.

Fun fact!
The Japanese also ‘beat’ their futons regularly using a futon tataki, a special tool usually made from bamboo.

Western-Style Futon

The Western-style futon is based on the Japanese version, but there are several differences. These futons usually resemble low wooden sofa-beds and are often set up on a slatted or weight-bearing configurable wood or metal frame allowing for use as a bed, chair, or sofa. They may have the dimensions of a western mattress and are often too thick to fold. They are generally thinner than a regular mattress.

Their functionality is often of utmost importance, most notably when you have limited space, have frequent overnight visitors, need a sofa that can function as a bed, or need a budget bed.

What Is A Futon Mattress Made Of?

Before cotton was widely available, early futon mattresses/cushions were filled with reeds, rice straw, hay, leaves or even animal hair. Today, most futon mattresses have a cotton or polyester covering. The filling consists of foam, innersprings, or a combination of foam and coils.

The filling needs to be flexible enough to allow it to convert between bed-to-sofa positions. Some futon mattresses use foam for cushioning, whilst others use memory foam. Others use regular foam or coil mattresses and a thinner top layer consisting of memory foam. Hybrid options of foam and innersprings or coils are also available.

Fun fact!
The English borrowed the word 'futon' from Japanese originally meaning "round cushion filled with cattail flower spikes".

Characteristics Of A Futon Mattress

Some characteristics may vary between futons, and it is necessary to consider the following factors when looking for the futon that is best for you. These factors are, of course, also dependent on the intended use of the futon and personal preference.

Characteristics Of A Futon Mattress
  • Weight: a lighter futon may be a better choice for practical reasons, although this should not be at the cost of comfort. A thin futon mattress could start ‘bottoming out’, allowing the sleeper to feel the frame or slats underneath them - not very comfortable. 
  • Firmness: cotton and some viscose foams will feel harder than the softer materials like low-density foams or polyester batting.
  • Rigidity: rigidity is the ability of the sofa to maintain its square shape when in the sofa position and will depend, for the most part, on the materials used. The sofa shouldn’t sag in the middle when in the sofa position.
  • Flexibility: the flexibility will determine how easily the futon can fold and would be a key consideration if you were looking for a futon to function as a sofa, for example, not a bed.
  • Brand: Brands with a good reputation are always a good idea as you can trust that high-quality materials have been used. This could have an impact on the comfort and durability, as well as the safety of the product.
  • Price: Cheaper futons can be more uncomfortable than the more expensive ones. There is always the option to purchase a mattress topper and cushions to make it more comfortable, although, with that added expense, it may be a better idea to buy a better quality futon.
  • Design: The design features of your futon are essential and will directly relate to how comfortable it is. How easy it is able to convert or fold out into a different position should also be taken into consideration.
  • Size: Available sizes will also need to be taken into consideration.

Are Futons Comfortable?

Whilst some people say that futons are just as comfortable as other beds, others may complain of back pain or stiffness the next day. Futons are generally known to be firmer than other mattresses and may not work for everyone. It is commonly believed that a firm mattress can have a positive therapeutic effect on lower back pain, however, a systematic review✓ of the available literature suggests that this is far from conclusive.

Are Futons Comfortable?

Some futons make more comfortable beds than others. It's essential to choose a type of mattress based on the desired feel and firmness and its suitability for its intended use. A futon mattress with springs may give you the most bounce and feel most like a more regular bed, but it may also be more troublesome to fold or bend into the sofa shape than other types.

Cotton mattresses may be the easiest to roll up and move, while foam mattresses may be best for those wanting pressure point relief. The design will also determine how comfortable the futon is. If you can feel the metal or wood of the frame, you most likely won't be very comfortable. Some people choose to add a mattress protector to their futon and convert an uncomfortable sleeping surface into something softer and more cushioning.

Is A Futon Right For You?

As with other mattresses, this will depend on individual preferences, and in the case of a futon, your intended use for it. The following factors may guide you in making the best choice:

Pros Cons
✓ Affordable✗ May require assembly
✓ Easy to clean✗ Mattress can be thin
✓ Can offer good back support✗ Might not be as durable as a bed or sofa
✓ As a bed - a space saver✗ Could be difficult for elderly individuals
✓ As a sofa - an extra bed for a guest or lounging in front of the TV
✗ Possibly too firm for some

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a futon mattress?

A futon mattress is part of a complete set that makes up the traditional Japanese style of bedding. The complete futon set consists of a floor mattress (shikibuton) and a duvet (kakebuton) placed on the ground or a tatami mat (a woven reed mat). Traditionally, futons are folded and stored away every day, freeing up usable space. Nowadays, a futon mattress can refer to traditional Japanese style bedding, a Western-style convertible sofa, or a platform or folding floor mattress.

What is the best futon mattress?

The choice of the best futon mattress will depend on individual preferences and your intended use for it. Factors such as your preferred firmness, choice of design, available sizes, budget, and space will help you find the futon best suited for your needs.

How to clean a futon mattress?

There are two methods - the dry method and the wet method. The dry methods involve vacuuming your futon, sunning it, sprinkling some bicarbonate of soda/baking soda over it, leaving it for an hour, and then vacuuming it again. These methods combined should produce the best results. The wet method involves using a cloth to softly blot the stain with a stain-specific solution and then further blotting to remove any remaining wetness.

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