Futon Frame Styles
There are several types of futon frames available including wallhugger futon frames, outdoor futon frames, front loading futon frames, and bunkbed futon frames. Of these types there are two major constructions; the bi-fold and the tri-fold models.
Bi-fold frames come in two main sections or pieces and accommodate a standard one-piece mattress. Bi-fold futons are the most popular and are easiest to find. They have one crease that folds up or down to create two separate sections, called the seat and back deck. Typically, a bi-fold frames width (distance from arm to arm) corresponds to the mattress length. This is the amount of wall space you will need. For example, a standard bi-fold full size futon frame can range in a length from 77” to 80”. This is the amount of wall space you will need at minimum to accommodate this frame. If you do not have much wall space available, the tri-fold frame may be a better option.
Tri-fold frames were the first type that was widely available when futons were new on the market. As the name suggests, these futons fold in two separate places to create three sections: the seat, the back and a lower portion or foot. Within the tri-fold group, there are two types. These types are designated by a permanently attached foot portion or a separate ottoman portion. The attached version may be more convenient while the separate ottoman is more space saving. Whereas bi-fold frames typically need more wall space, a tri-fold frame uses more floor space. The width from arm to arm corresponds to the width of a futon mattress, rather than to its length as that of a bi-fold futon frame. A full size tri-fold frame may measure 55” to 60” in width.
A novel futon frame design has been developed by Strata Furniture. This futon frame has been called the “wall hugger” as it can be converted from a sofa, to a lounger, to a bed without having to physically move the frame away from the wall. The wall hugger frames have an innovative design that allows them to be converted while keeping the legs of the futon stationary. Traditional, “front loader” futon frames require clearance of approximately 10” from the back of the frame to the wall. So, if you are looking to save floor space, you will have to physically move the entire frame away from the wall in order to convert it from a couch to a bed. This is not so with Strata’s conversion mechanism. Strata’s wall hugger frames can rest directly against a wall and convert from a couch to a bed without having to be moved.
Lifestyle Solutions, one of the largest Futon Frame Manufacturers, provides a wide variety of high quality Indonesian Oak futon frames as well as modern convertible sofa beds. Innovative models such as the Martini futon frame, the Manila futon frame and the San Mateo futon frame are just a few. These wood futon frames feature a front loading and locking mechanism as well as fully reinforced joints. Lifestyle Solutions has recently unveiled a new line of Solid American Oak Futon Frames that are as beautiful as they are durable. They include the Tahoe, the Ranier, the Mt. Baker, and the Townsend.
Night and Day Furniture, a company based in Vancouver, Washington, makes a truly unique futon frame conversion mechanism they call the Shoe Fitting. This system is primarily a two piece system consisting of what they call the “sea horse” and the “Snapper”. These two pieces allow for easy assembly and operation with much less wear and tear as other futon frames.