Futons have developed and changed over the years and now there are two styles of futon, traditional and modern, available for futon lovers. Originally futons come from Japan where traditional futons were commonly used as beds in Japanese homes.
Traditional futons consist of a foldable mattress that is rolled up and put away every morning to be stored for the day ahead. Modern-day traditional futons are still used without a frame, however, the mattress has more structure so that it can be used as both a bed and a sofa.
Modern futons can be found in an array of styles but the most common style in the West is a sofa futon. Sofa futons can be used as either a bed or a sofa making them an incredibly versatile piece of furniture.
If you have never used a futon before it is easy to question how exactly they work and also if they are difficult to use and assemble.
Here we divulge into the two different types of modern futons, the assembly process, if it is easy, how long it takes, and also how, typically, a futon is assembled.
Types Of Futons
There are two main types of futons available. These are bi-fold and tri-fold futons. Often the frames and mattresses will be sold separately, this is important to keep in mind when purchasing a futon.
The most common type of futon is the bi-fold futon. Bi-fold futons usually have a frame that consists of metal or wood.
A covered mattress is placed on the frame, this is folded to fit on the frame during the day to be used as a sofa and is pulled out flat on top of the frame to be used as a mattress to sleep on at night.
The frame of the futon often can include an adjustable backrest which can be set to recline back at certain angles to ensure comfort.
A tri-fold futon is very similar to a bi-fold futon with the main difference being that a tri-fold will usually have a hidden deck within the structure of the futon. This deck is extendable and it is pulled out to convert the futon into a bed.
With some models, the deck may be separate and only attached when it is being used as a bed. The frames of tri-fold futons can be found in metal or wood. The mattress is usually in one piece which is folded twice on the frame when in the sofa position.
With models that have a separate deck, there may be a separate smaller mattress that connects to the larger mattress when the hidden deck is connected when the bed is used as a bed.
Is It Easy To Assemble A Futon?
In the case of most models, futons are easy to assemble. Usually, the slated decks come fully constructed and it is a case of simply slotting these pieces together, as per the manufacturer’s assembly instructions, to form the futon frame.
It is important to take the time to properly piece together your futon to avoid any issues down the line.
How Long Does It Take To Put A Futon Together?
If you have purchased a traditional futon there is no frame so there is no assembly time required. If you have purchased a modern futon with a frame there will be an assembly process.
While the assembly process will differ depending on the product you have purchased, in most cases, it should take no longer than 30minutes to 1 hour to assemble a modern futon. Having a helping hand is a sure way to speed up the process.
How Do You Assemble A Futon?
Instructions are provided by each manufacturer when you purchase a futon that requires assembly. In the case of traditional futons, as these do not require a frame there is no assembly with these products.
It is only in the case of modern futons, being bi-fold or tri-fold futons, where the assembly is required. There is a difference in the mechanism behind futons as it changes depending on whether you are using a bifold or trifold futon.
For both bi-fold and tri-fold frames, slats will be purchased in a pre-assembled state. You simply attach these pieces and place a mattress on top. Usually, the three main steps should be:
- Place slated decks in the position where they will be attached
- Attach hardware, such as hinges and metal sliders if not attached already. After the hardware has been attached, piece the futon frame decks together
- Place the mattress on the futon. If your futon is in the upright sofa position you may need to fold the mattress as per instructions to fit on the frame.
How Do You Use A Futon?
Futons can be used in either a bed or a sofa position, depending on your needs. While models will vary in design, most futons can be extended into a bed by following the below steps:
- Remove anything on top of the frame, including the mattress
- Pull the bottom slat or the extendable slat in an outwards motion until the frame is lying flat and horizontal
- Lay the mattress back on top of the frame and connect the additional mattress piece if required
To return the futon to the sofa position, in the case of most futons, the steps should be:
- Remove bedding and the mattress from the frame
- Push back the slats, or the extendable deck, that you pulled into the bed positioning back into the sofa position. They should slide back as effortlessly as they were pulled out.
- Ensure all hinges have clicked back into place so that the futon is sturdy
- Return the mattress to the frame in a folded state to fit the frame in the sofa position, the mattress should cover both the backrest and the seat
What Are The Different Types Of Futons?
There are two main types of futon, being traditional and modern.
Modern futons are the most popular and they come in two styles, being a bi-fold and a tri-fold. The bi-fold is the most commonly manufactured futon and most readily available to purchase.
Why Won’t My Futon Lay Flat?
If your futon will not lie flat this usually means that there is a jam in one of the hinges.
You should remove everything that is on top of the frame so you will be able to see where the issue is. In most instances there may be something caught in one of the hinges on the frame of the futon or a hinge may need to be oiled, both of which are very quick issues to fix.
Are Futons Sturdy?
Futons are sturdy pieces of furniture, however, if you do not assemble the product properly this may lead to structural issues.
By following the manufacturer’s assembly instructions you should be able to piece the futon together so that it is sturdy and does not come apart. If there are any issues you should contact the manufacturer for assistance.