How to buy a Futon
If you are looking for an affordable, versatile and comfortable solution for overnight guests don’t discount the futon. The dorm room staple has gone through quite the upgrade over the past few years. Add character or spice up any room while giving guests a comfortable place to rest. When thinking about purchasing a futon there are a few items to consider. With the multiple options and sizes it is a good idea to have an idea or plan on how and where you will be using your futon. You will also want to get to know the futon mattresses, namely what will work on your frame and what will not. And lastly, the type of material you would like your frame made of, namely metal or wood.
There are a few basic steps to purchasing a futon frame.
One of the first steps in purchasing a new piece of furniture, is knowing how you will be using your futon frame and which room will you be using it in. Select the room and determine how much space you have to work with. Will your futon frame be used every day in the living room, or will it be in a separate guest room that will be used occasionally? Are you purchasing a futon frame for a children’s room or a dorm room? These questions will help to determine not only the amount of space you have to work with but also the type of construction your futon frame has. As an example, you would not want to purchase a pine futon frame for a child’s room as the wood is softer and more prone to denting and splintering. For a child’s room the better choice may be an all metal frame both for its durability and price. This same metal frame however, may not be well suited for a sofa bed in your living room. A solid oak wood futon frame may be a better solution as it is both durable and elegant. There are also outdoor futon frames, these frames are made locally in the USA by JustLeanBack have been specifically designed to withstand exposure to sunlight and moisture.
With Futon Frames this can be extremely important as it can determine the style of futon frame that you purchase. There are two main types of futon: tri-fold and bi-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 futon 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.