In many situations, futons are ridiculously comfortable. In addition to being affordable, compact, and easy to move, futons make for excellent sitting and sleeping areas. But futons can also feel stiff, lumpy, or poorly supported, depending on the age and type of mattress you buy.

Brown and orange pillows on white bed in natural bedroom interior with wicker lamp and wooden bedside table with vase
Brown and orange pillows on white bed in natural bedroom interior with wicker lamp and wooden bedside table with vase

If your futon is currently uncomfortable, or if you’ve had bad experiences with futons in the past, there are several things you can do to make your futon experience more comfortable.

Shop for the Right Mattress

Everything starts with the right futon mattress. There are thousands of futon mattress varieties to choose from, each with strengths and weaknesses you’ll need to consider. But if you’re willing to do some proactive research and invest in your new furniture, you should end up with a mattress that’s comfortable – and one that serves all your furniture goals at the same time.

If comfort is your top priority, you’ll want to at least consider the following:

  • Size. First, you’ll need to think about size. Many people purchase futons so they can save space, since futons can be smaller and more compact than traditional beds and sofas. However, you’ll still want enough space to sleep or sit comfortably. Queen and King sized futons are especially popular, but you can also pay extra for additional length if you need it.
  • Filling materials. There are many filling materials to choose from, affecting factors like the weight, firmness, rigidity, and flexibility of the mattress. Cotton and polyester, as well as blends of cotton and polyester, are common choices, but you can also get a foam mattress or even one with an innerspring system, like a traditional mattress. Different people have different preferences here; your best course of action is to try out a variety of different futon mattress styles and figure out what you personally like best.
  • Surface material. Futons are also available with many different types of surface/exterior materials. Ideally, you’ll be using a futon cover to protect your mattress, so this isn’t as big of an issue for personal comfort.
  • Quality and longevity. Invest in a futon from a company you trust. Look at consumer reviews and product specs – and see if you can find a quality assurance guarantee or something similar.

Choose a Better Frame

Most futon frames are designed with comfort in mind, but not all futon frames are ideal for this. If you have a thin or worn mattress and a frame made from thin metal bars, you may feel the bars poking through the mattress. Seek something with sturdy support and a frame you won’t feel through the mattress.

Use a Memory Foam Mattress Topper

If your futon is starting to age, and you need some extra cushioning or extra support, consider using a mattress topper. These inexpensive accessories typically fit perfectly and provide a few extra inches of material (often memory foam).

Add a Comforter for a Layer of Protection

If the mattress topper isn’t enough, or if you want a layer of extra cushioning between your futon mattress and your futon frame, consider using a thick comforter. It can also serve as a layer of protection if you use it on top of your futon.

Care for Your Futon Mattress

Futons will stay comfortable longer if you care for them properly.

  • Flip and rotate. If your futon mattress feels lumpy or inconsistent, flip and/or rotate it. Do this regularly to allow for more even wear.
  • Use a futon cover. A simple futon cover will keep your futon cleaner and in better condition for a longer time.
  • Air out and sun sanitize. It’s common for people to air out their futon mattresses in the sun to kill microorganisms and keep the mattress comfortable.
  • Recognize and correct for flaws. Be on the lookout for mattress and frame flaws that could compromise your comfort – and correct them if possible.

Additional Tips

These additional tips can help you stay even more comfortable:

  • Have a backup solution. If your futon is losing comfort, invest in a backup solution, like an air mattress.
  • Use a quality pillow. A nice pillow can make even a worn futon much more comfortable for sleeping.
  • Identify a failing mattress. All furniture has a finite lifespan. Eventually, your aging futon will reach the point where it’s no longer comfortable or functional; at this point, you should consider replacing it with a new mattress.

Futons naturally range from very comfortable to very uncomfortable; the quality is dependent on the buying choices you make and how you maintain this mattress. As long as you make an investment in a quality futon set, you should enjoy a relaxing experience from the outset – from there, proper care and maintenance will keep you comfortable for years to come.