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What is a Futon Frame?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A futon frame is the part of a futon that the cushion or mattress sits on. In general, this consists of one or more pieces joined together to create the body of the futon. The frame will usually also include a mechanism that allows the frame to change from flat to upright, and lock in place to avoid accidental transfer from one state to the other. A futon frame will typically be made from wood or metal and can come in a number of different styles, including bifold, trifold, wall hugger, and casual convertible.

Consisting of a mattress and a futon frame, a futon is a type of furniture that provides the benefits of both a couch and a bed. This is possible because the frame of the futon can be adjusted to either lie flat or fold up on one side to act as a couch. The mattress or cushion is typically padded and somewhat firm, though not supported in a way that would make it rigid.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A futon frame is usually made from either metal or wood, and stronger woods are generally preferred not only to support the weight of users but to also handle the stresses placed on the frame by frequent changes in form. The various styles of futon frames tend to be as varied as any other piece of furniture, with common styles matching those seen in both couch and bed design. There is also typically a raised armrest on each end of a futon frame so when it serves as a couch there is support for the arms of those sitting on the futon.

Among the various styles and shapes of futons, bifold futon frames tend to be the most common. These futons fold only a single time, creating two surfaces from the mattress: one sat upon and one leaned against. This type of futon frame will typically “fold” lengthwise along the frame, which provides a wider couch and seating for more people. There are also trifold futon frames that “fold” twice, creating three surfaces along the mattress, and will usually fold across the width of the frame and mattress.

There will usually be one surface to sit on and one to lean against, with the third surface either extending back behind the person’s head, or down below the seat of the cushion as a couch. These can even act as recliners, allowing a person seated on it to have his or her feet raised. Wall hugger futon frames allow the futon to be placed against a wall and not have to be moved to change between couch and bed. A casual convertible is a type of futon that is a single piece with the futon frame and cushion joined together.

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      Man with hands on his hips