Futons are comparable to mattresses, only they are flatter and not as thick, large, nor do they utilize a spring method in most cases. They are interchangeable as a settee or as a foldout bedding. For many homes, they are a quintessential part of living room furniture, but because of their functionality to serve as a bed, they can also be found in a bedroom, or really, any place of rest.
Family rooms are a good place for futons, and because of their compact size when unfolded, they are advantageous to have in areas where space is limited. This includes college dormitories and cheaper apartment buildings. In addition to this general information, this article will go over a little history on them and the different types on the market. They are comparable to leather sofas (or sofas in general).
A Small History on Futons
Futons have had their origins traced to Japan, all the way back to the 13th century where most people were sleeping on floor mats composed out of straw. The Japanese nobles got slightly more luxurious offerings, but they were nowhere near as soft and comfortable as futons are in this day and age. Around the 17th century, cloths were stuffed with softer materials, such as spare wool, which formed the basis for futon cushions.
It was not until much later on when cotton became domesticated to manufactures, and foldable mattresses were weaved for higher-class families. These cost somewhere in the range of ¥1,200,000 yen ($15,618 USD – £9,708 GBP) back then, which was nowhere near the budget of the vast majority of 18th century Japanese folks. Industrial complexes for the production of these types of bedding did not come until about a century later, and it was at that point everyone could purchase them, since raw cotton started becoming imported into Japan, thus making production costs much cheaper.
Different Types of Futons
Upholstered futons are relatively inexpensive than other standard types, using generally cheaper materials. Wood frame futons are very durable and offer a rather luxurious and prestigious look to a room, suitable for an area with matching hardwood flooring. Due to both the longevity and the inexpensiveness, metal frame types are one of the most popular, and commonly seen in dormitories.
Last but not least, wicker-grade futons offer a more woodsy and natural feel, which are not usually kept indoors, but outside on porches, or in areas around a garden. Most designs have some form of unfolding, but the elevation depends on the model; some can lay flat like a bed, while others may imitate a chaise lounge. It depends on specifications, but these features can be viewed before purchase.