memory foam futon

Best Futon Mattress 2020: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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Looking for a comfortable futon mattress for your futon Sofa bed or frame?

You’ve come to the right place.

Futon sofa beds provide an easy way to create additional sleeping space for guests without getting a full-size bed and mattress.

It’s perfect if you are short of space or you need a temporary sleeping space.

While a futon sofa bed is generally not quite as comfortable as a proper bed, the right futon mattress will ensure you or your guest sleep comfortably.


What’s in This Futon Mattress Buying Guide

In this buying guide, we review the best futon mattresses you can buy.

We breakdown what’s in them, how soft or firm they feel, how much they cost, and where to buy them.

If you are looking for a standard bed mattress, see our favorite budget foam mattress and our top-rated luxury foam bed.

Note: many of the links below go to Amazon. We may receive a fee if you buy within the next 24 hours – but it doesn't affect the price you pay.


Best Futon Mattresses: Comparison

Futon MattressWhy we picked itMaterialsSizeHeightWarranty Price 
DHP
DHP
Our top pickEncased coils + polyester and foamFull8”1 year$$
Classic Brands
Classic Brands
Best innerspring futon mattressWrapped coils + microfiber coverFull8”1 year$$$
Serta Cypress
Serta Cypress
Best double-sided futon mattressBonnel coils + foam and polyester/cotton coverFull, Queen8”5 years$$
Mozaic
Mozaic
Best memory foam futon mattressMemory foam + cotton twill coverFull8”5 years$$$
Luxton Japanese Shiki
Luxton Japanese Shiki
Best Japanese futon mattressPolyesterTwin long, full long, queen2.5”Not specified$$

Best Futon Mattresses: Reviews

Our Top Pick: DHP 8″ Futon Mattress

DHP Futon Mattress

DHP is one of the most popular and highest rated futon mattresses. It is an innerspring futon with a foam comfort layer and a soft polyester cover.

The encased coils provide a great balance between firm support and soft contouring. They wrap around your body to prevent uncomfortable pressure points while also holding up your weight.

Despite being only 8” thick, it feels supportive even for heavier users.

The foam filling provides a comfortable buffer between the cover and the coils. You won’t feel them digging into your body.

The cover is not removable, but a quick spot cleaning should remove any spots and stains.

Unlike a traditional mattress, aesthetics are important when it comes to futon mattresses since they are usually used in common areas such as the living room.

That’s why DHP offers half a dozen color options, including black, brown, charcoal, cobalt, merlot, and tan. You can pick the one that best matches your décor.

The DHP futon mattress is available in full size only. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

If you are looking for a futon you can use as a daily bed we don’t recommend DHP. It doesn’t hold up well under frequent use. Some parts start coming off, and some of the springs begin to pop.

We recommend it as a guest bed for occasional use.

Pros

  • Comfortable and supportive.
  • Ideal for heavier sleepers.
  • Numerous color options.
  • Easy to clean cover.

Cons

  • It doesn’t seem to last long, especially when used as a daily bed rather than an occasional guest bed. 

Best Innerspring Futon Mattress: Classic Brands Classic Black 8-Inch Futon Mattress

Classic Brands Classic Black 8-Inch Futon Mattress

Most futon mattresses are made from foam, usually memory foam. But if you prefer the firmer and bouncier feel of an innerspring mattress, we recommend this 8” futon mattress from Classic Brands.

It consists of wrapped coils with a plush 1” polyester microfiber cover on top.

Despite the lack of a thicker comfort layer, the Classic Brands futon is surprisingly comfortable. Many users describe it as feeling firm yet soft.

That’s the effects of the wrapped springs. They provide better support than memory foam, making this futon an especially good choice for bigger-bodied individuals.

At the same time, they contour against your body, ensuring you don’t feel any uncomfortable lumps or firmness.

Another advantage of using innersprings is that the futon is unlikely to lose its thickness over time, a common problem with foam futons. This means it stays comfortable and supportive for years.

The quilted microfiber cover adds a comfortable touch to the futon. The 1” thickness is enough to keep you from feeling the coils underneath.

To keep the cover clean, the seller recommends wiping it with a damp cloth.

The Classic Brands futon is available only in full size. You can use it on any futon sofa bed or frame. You can also place it on a foundation or box spring and use it as a traditional mattress.

As for aesthetics, there are two color options: black and brown.

Note that this is a one-sided futon mattress; you cannot flip it.

It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Plush and supportive.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Easy to clean cover.
  • 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • You can’t flip it.
  • Limited color choices.

Best Double Sided Futon Mattress: Serta Cypress Futon Mattress

Serta Cypress Futon Mattress

If you are looking for a futon mattress, you can flip over; we recommend Serta Cypress.

Similar to Classic Brands and DHP, it is an innerspring mattress. But it’s made with traditional Bonnel springs rather than the more common and comfortable pocket springs.

It still feels very comfortable. The springs are bouncy and firm, providing excellent support even for heavier sleepers.

The springs are sandwiched between two 1” layers of CertiPUR foam. The foam ensures you don’t feel the springs no matter which side of the mattress you sleep on.

The foam and springs are wrapped in a cotton and polyester blend cover that Serta calls Cottonique. It’s soft, breathable, and durable.

Nylon tufting keeps the cover securely attached to the mattress and ensures the inner layers don’t shift about.

To keep the mattress comfortable and improve its lifespan, Serta recommends fluffing it now and then (lift it to waist level and drop) and rotating and flipping it every month.

The Serta Cypress futon mattress is available in a Queen and Full size. You can also get it in one of several colors including khaki, green, black and gray.

Pros

  • Great support.
  • Flippable.
  • Multiple color options.

Cons

  • A mild chemical smell when new.
  • May not last long when used as a daily bed.

Best Memory Foam Futon Mattress: Mozaic Gel Memory Foam Futon Mattress

Mozaic Futon Mattress

If you prefer the softer and plusher feel of memory foam mattresses to innerspring ones, you’ll love the Mozaic futon mattress.

It consists of memory foam wrapped in a cotton twill cover. It has a medium-firm feel that feels comfortable for most people. You’ll sink a bit but not bottom out.

And since it has only one layer of memory foam without any special comfort or support layers, you can sleep on any side you want. Flip and rotates it every couple of months to improve durability.

The foam used is not just any memory foam; it is gel memory foam.

It’s been infused with cooling gel, which counters the tendency of memory foam to retain heat. The gel helps dissipate most of your body heat away from the mattress.

If you are a hot sleeper, an innerspring futon mattress is the best. But if you are a hot sleeper who loves the feel of memory foam, the Mozaic gel memory foam futon mattress is the next best choice.

The cotton twill cover also helps with breathability and moisture-wicking. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s super soft.

The Mozaic mattress is 8 inches thick and is available in full size only.

You’ll need to give it a few hours after unboxing to allow it to puff to full size. Expect a mild chemical smell – common with all-foam mattresses –in the beginning. It’ll go away in a few days.

As for aesthetics, you have eight colors to choose from, including some funky ones like burgundy, hunter green, khaki, and red. There are also a few neutral choices, such as black and ivory.

Pros

  • Plush and comfortable.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Double-sided.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Numerous color options.

Cons

  • Not ideal for overweight individuals.
  • The mild chemical smell when new.

Best Japanese Futon: Luxton Japanese Shiki Foldable Futon

Luxton Japanese Shiki Foldable Futon

A Japanese futon, also known as a shikibuton, is meant for use on the floor rather than on a futon frame. It’s placed on a Tatami mat to provide additional cushioning and maintain proper ventilation.

A Japanese futon is a great choice if you don’t have a futon sofa bed or frame. It’s usually thinner than a traditional futon mattress, and you can easily fold it and store it in a closet when not in use.

Our favorite Japanese futon is the Luxton Home Japanese Shiki Futon.

It is a 2.5” polyester-filled pad available in several sizes, including a twin long (39” x 83”), full long (55” x 83”), and Queen.

You are probably wondering whether a 2.5” mattress can be comfortable.

It is, for most people. If you are overweight or have a bigger body, we don’t recommend this futon. You’ll feel the floor or mat underneath.

You may also not find it very comfortable for daily use. We recommend it more for occasional use by guests.

By the way, you can also use the Luxton Japanese futon as a topper for your existing futon mattress or a traditional mattress.

It’s also handy as a yoga or meditation mat.

Pros

  • Comfortable for most people.
  • Accommodates tall sleepers.
  • Versatile – can be used as a mattress on its own, as a mattress topper or as a yoga mat.
  • Easy to fold and store.

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavier sleepers.
  • Requires at least three days to puff up to full size.

Futon Mattress Buying Considerations

most comfortable futon

Here’s what to consider when shopping for a futon mattress.

Materials

Most futon mattresses consist of foam, polyester, or cotton filling. Some use a combination of polyester and cotton.

These mattresses have a soft to medium-firm feel, and they are great for anyone who prefers a plush sleeping surface.

On the downside, most of them are not supportive enough for overweight sleepers.

Some futon mattresses have an innerspring interior instead of foam. Most innerspring futon mattresses use a pocket or wrapped coils with thin foam padding at the top to cushion you from the springs.

Innerspring futon mattresses are the best for most people. They provide a unique combination of contouring and support.

Regardless of your weight and sleeping position, you are likely to find an innerspring futon mattress comfortable.

They are also the best for heavier sleepers. The springs provide better support than foam.

Innerspring futon mattresses last longer and don’t lose their thickness over time. With frequent use, you can get 3-5 years out of an innerspring futon while a comparable foam-only futon mattress will last 1-2 years.

Comfort & Support

Regardless of which futon mattress you buy, it won’t be as comfortable as a traditional full-size mattress. So don’t compare the two.

That doesn’t mean all futons are uncomfortable. A high-quality futon mattress with an adequate thickness (ideally 8”) and the right materials (good quality foam or innersprings) can be almost as comfortable as a bed.

Remember that comfort is subjective. So your personal preferences matter a lot when choosing the right futon mattress.

If you find softer mattresses to be more comfortable, get a memory foam or polyester-filled futon mattress. If you prefer firmer mattresses, get an innerspring one.

As for support, it depends a lot on your weight.

If you are lighter than average or you are in the average weight range, a standard foam or polyester futon mattress will provide the right amount of support without feeling too firm.

If you weigh more than average (over 200lbs), an innerspring futon mattress provides the best support. It’s also less likely to sag after some time.

Western vs. Japanese Futons

memory foam futon

A western-style futon mattress, the type that goes over a futon frame, is the best choice for most people. It folds to become a sofa and unfolds to become a mattress.

If you have a futon frame or want to replace the mattress on your current futon sofa bed, this is the right futon mattress.

If you don’t have a futon frame and have no space in your apartment or house for one, get a Japanese style futon.

Japanese futons are minimalist in design. This type of futon mattress sits on the floor, typically on a special kind of mat called a Tatami mat.

Because a Japanese futon is thinner than a western-style futon mattress and has no foam inside, you can fold it up and store it in a closet when you don’t need it.

The main downside of a Japanese futon is that it may not feel very comfortable for overweight sleepers. The thinner profile – usually 2-3 inches – doesn’t provide enough support.

Size

Finally, decide how big of a futon mattress you need.

This will depend mostly on the size of your futon frame. Most futon mattresses are full size – as are most futon frames – but you can also find smaller twin sizes and larger queen sizes.

As for height, the standard for futon mattresses is 8 inches.

Are Futon Mattresses Bad for Your Back?

Futon mattresses are perfectly good for your back as long as you choose the right one. You can even sleep on one every day without any back issues.

To avoid back problems, know what your sleeping needs are and what kind of mattress meets them.

If you are a bit on the heavier side, you need more support during sleep. That means getting an innerspring futon mattress.

If you are a side sleeper, you need more pressure relief on your hips and shoulders. I recommend a memory foam futon mattress.

Something to note regarding futon mattresses: they do not last as long as a traditional mattress. If you keep it too long, it’ll start affecting your comfort and can cause back pain.

If you sleep on the futon mattress frequently, replace it every 1-3 years, depending on quality and durability.


Are the Cheap Futon Mattresses Worth It?

foam futon mattress

It depends on what you plan to use the mattress for. If you plan to put it in the guest room for occasional use, a cheap futon mattress will do.

But if you plan to use it as a regular sofa or mattress, don’t get a cheap futon mattress. It won’t last more than a few months before it sags, springs pop, or the cover begins to tear.

Get a good quality futon mattress even if it costs you more. It’ll save you money down the road.


Futon Mattresses: Care and Maintenance

futon mattress cover

The first thing you should do when you buy a futon mattress is to buy a cover for it. This is especially important if the mattress will be used daily (as a sofa or bed).

Most futon mattresses don’t have a removable cover. So you cannot remove it for washing. Spot cleaning can get some of the dirt out, but it doesn’t provide the same level of hygiene as a washable cover.

Using a removable cover not only keeps the worst of dirt from the futon but also makes the futon a healthier and more hygienic place to sleep.

Other care tips include:

  • Air the mattress regularly in the sunshine to kill germs and remove any stale smells.
  • Some futon mattresses require regular fluffing to maintain their puffiness and comfort.
  • If you have a double-sided futon mattress, rotate and turn it over every month to even out the wearing.

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