Chic Futon Sofas for Sitting and Sleeping

Yes, we said “chic futons.” Trust us on this one.

Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon - Navy Linen
See? We told you futons could be chic.Novogratz

A futon sofa is a great choice for guests to sleep on, or for you to snuggle up on for a movie night in the living room. Today’s futons are surprisingly sophisticated looking and streamlined—most of the time, you can’t tell the difference between them and a real coach. Here are the ones we’re shopping for.

Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon - Navy Linen
It has a wooden frame and polyester and foam filling as well as curved armrests and slanted legs that make it look like a traditional couch.Novogratz

Once you get the hang of it, futons are pretty easy to switch from couch to bed and back again. You fold a lounger futon twice to set it to couch mode, and you sit on the width of the mattress. A bi-fold futon takes just one fold to sit up, and the length of the mattress serves as the couch, which means you’ll get more seat room than with a lounger. For adequate support, be sure the slats on the frame are at least two and a half to three inches wide and no more than two and a half to three inches apart.

Best Choice Products Modern Linen Convertible Futon Sofa Bed w/Removable Armrests, Metal Legs, 2 Cupholders - Gray
When it’s in couch mode, you can pop down the middle cushion and use it to set down your beverage.Best Choice Products

As with a regular bed, the mattress will be the most important consideration when buying a futon. Thin ones are inexpensive, but they often don’t provide enough cushioning to stop you from feeling the frame underneath, especially the gap where it bends. Thicker mattresses are more expensive and harder to fold, but they reward the extra effort with increased comfort.

DHP Emily Futon Sofa Bed, Modern Convertible Couch With Chrome Legs Quickly Converts into a Bed, Black Faux Leather
Also available in linen and velvet, it has a split back that allows it to be half in sit mode and half in sleep mode at the same time.DHP

Wood and metal are the most popular futon frame materials. If you go with the former, hardwood lasts longer. As for the mattress stuffing, cotton and foam weigh less and hold their shape well. A cotton-polyester blend is even lighter and you’ll still be able to avoid sagging. A cotton-wool combo is ridiculously soft—but not very flexible. Innerspring mattresses have a spring between layers of foam and cotton, and although they weigh more, they’re flexible and feel similar to a traditional mattress. Just don’t forget a futon cover to protect your investment.

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