futons
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The 9 Best Futons for Every Style and Space

Plus, interior design experts share tips for how to buy and style one.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Futons aren't just for college students trying to cheaply furnish an apartment. Modern futons are ideal for anyone with limited space, and there are plenty of stylish options to choose from. Unlike sleeper sofas, which conceal a thin, foldable mattress underneath their cushions, futons simply lay flat to transform into a makeshift bed for overnight guests. And, more good news, futons tend to be much more affordable than other types of sleeper sofas.

To determine the best futons on the market, we spent hours researching, scouring user reviews, and considering factors such as size, comfort, material, folding mechanism, and style. For expert advice on how to choose and style the best futon for your space, we consulted Caron Woosley, founder and principal designer at CW Interiors, as well as Alessandra Wood and Karina Lameraner, vice president of style and senior creative director, respectively, at the online interior design service Modsy

"Opt for a piece that will be both comfortable and stylish in your space," says Lameraner. "You'll want to consider what kind of mattress material will work best for you."

Our top pick, the Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon, stands out for its functional split-back design, stylish upholstery, color variety, and affordable price. 

Find more of our recommendations for the best futons below, and keep scrolling for more details on how to choose the best one for your space and needs. 

Our Top Picks

futons
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Best Overall Futon: Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon

View at Amazon (From $320)

Who it's for: People who want a futon that looks like a regular sofa.
Who it isn't for: People who prefer a softer mattress.  

This bestseller stands out for its stunning tufted cushions, curved armrests, and overall rounded appearance that gives the illusion of luxury at a great value. It's definitely a design-forward piece, with a dozen different colors to choose from as well as both linen and faux leather upholstery. 

But just because it's beautiful doesn't mean it isn't functional—it has a split-back design, meaning you can recline one cushion at a time, recline both halfway back for lounging, or fully recline both cushions to create a bed. It provides firm support for both sitting and sleeping, but it should be noted that if you prefer a softer, more plush mattress, this might not be the right choice for you. 

Product Details: 
Dimensions: 81.5 x 34.5 x 31.5 inches
Weight Limit: 600 pounds
Upholstery Material: Linen or Faux Leather

Adoncia 65'' Armless Sleeper
Credit: Wayfair.com

Best Budget Futon: Wade Logan Adoncia Armless Sleeper

View at Wayfair ($240)

Who it's for: People who need something compact and budget-friendly.
Who it isn't for: People who want a futon that sleeps more than one adult. 

If you're working with a tight space and budget, then the Adoncia Futon is for you. At about 65 inches in length, it's the most compact of the full-size futons on our list. It's just the right size for a single sleeper, kids' bedroom, home office, dorm, or first apartment

Made with a foam-filled polyester upholstery, this futon features button-tufted cushions for a classic look that's adaptable to many styles of decor. Although the manufacturer claims it can sleep two, its size suggests it is probably best reserved for one. 

Product Details: 
Dimensions: 65 x 29 x 27.56 inches
Weight Limit: 440 pounds
Upholstery Material: Polyester

Mistana Dingler 77'' Round Arm Sleeper Sofa
Credit: Wayfair.com

Best Modern Futon: Mistana Dingler Sleeper Sofa

View at Wayfair (From $380)

Who it's for: People who like mid-century modern furniture and want something colorful. 
Who it isn't for: People who have difficulty assembling furniture. 

At first glance, you wouldn't think this mid-century modern piece was a futon since it looks like an actual couch—that is, until the back cushions fold down to make a bed. But at 77 inches wide, it's compact enough to fit into small apartments and rooms. It comes in a variety of chic earth tones, including olive green, burnt orange, mustard, and more, all with wood frames and legs. 

The cushions feature both pliable foam and supportive coils, the ideal combination for both seating and sleeping. In terms of assembly, reviews are a little mixed, so it might be a good idea to have a helper when assembling this piece.  

Product Details:
Dimensions: 77 x 32.5 x 33 inches
Weight Limit: 600 pounds
Upholstery Material: Linen

Sand & Stable Allison 84" Wide Velvet Reversible Sleeper Sofa & Chaise
Credit: Wayfair.com

Best Sectional Futon: Sand & Stable Allison Reversible Sleeper Sectional

View at Wayfair (From $1,120)

Who it's for: People who want the added seating of a sectional with the functionality of a futon. 
Who it isn't for: People who have a small space. 

A sectional sofa is already an extremely versatile seating option, but make it a sectional futon, and you have a truly shape-shifting piece of furniture. Stretch out your legs on the chaise lounge, which can be configured on either side of the sofa, or recline the back all the way to convert it to a spacious sleeping area. 

The tufted cushions, velvet upholstery, and wood legs bring a sophisticated look to any space, while the firm foam cushions and solid wood frame make for a sturdy, supportive structure for seating and sleeping. At 84 inches wide, it's the largest futon on our list, so it's best used as a centerpiece in a living room. 

Product Details:
Dimensions: 84 x 60.5 x 32.5 inches
Weight Limit: 600 pounds
Upholstery Material: Velvet

RELATED: The 9 Best Sectional Sofas You Can Buy Online

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Credit: amazon.com

Best Memory Foam Futon: Novogratz Tallulah Memory Foam Futon

View at Amazon ($590)

Who it's for: People who want a comfortable and supportive futon that doesn't compromise on style. 
Who it isn't for: People who don't like vintage-inspired design. 

Just because you prioritize comfort, doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. This popular futon from Novogratz features high-density memory foam cushions upholstered in velvet with button-tufted arms and backs for a vintage-inspired look. It has a split-back design, so you can recline one cushion at a time, recline both halfway back for lounging, or fully recline both cushions to create a bed. 

Available in a variety of colors, you're sure to find something that will tie your space together. The soft fabric, sturdy frame, and firm but supportive memory foam are the biggest sellings points, and since it has the look and feel of a much more expensive piece, you really can't go wrong. 

Product Details:
Dimensions: 83 x 33.5 x 32.5 inches
Weight Limit: 600 pounds
Upholstery Material: Velvet

Lucid Comfort Collection Ollie Vegan Leather Futon
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Best Leather Futon: Lucid Comfort Collection Ollie Vegan Leather Futon

View at Wayfair ($440)

Who it's for: People who want the look and feel of genuine leather without the price tag. 
Who it isn't for: People who want fabric upholstery.  

Genuine leather furniture comes with a hefty price tag, but this faux leather futon gives you the upscale look without the expensive price and maintenance. Unlike fabric upholstery, which is more prone to stains, faux leather is stain-resistant—all you have to do is wipe away spills with a damp cloth. 

The foam cushions on this futon are firm but comfortable, and when it lays flat it offers a little more room than a twin-size bed. If you prefer the feel of sleeping on a fabric surface, this can easily be remedied with a fitted sheet or mattress topper. 

Product Details:
Dimensions: 82 x 36 x 32 inches
Weight Limit: 600 pounds
Upholstery Material: Faux Leather

EMOOR Japanese Floor Futon Mattress, Twin Size
Credit: Amazon.com

Best Japanese-Style Futon: EMOOR Japanese Floor Futon Mattress

View at Amazon (From $186)

Who it's for: People who want to store their futon when not in use. 
Who it isn't for: People who want a piece that doubles as seating. 

A Japanese futon is the minimalist's alternative to a sofa futon. It's essentially a sleeping pad that sits about 3 inches tall and can be rolled up and stored out of sight when not in use. Of course, if you're in need of seating, Japanese futons are not going to provide that for you. But they're an inexpensive and space-saving alternative to traditional futons for those who only need one for sleeping, and unlike an air mattress, there's no inflating and deflating required. 

The three-layered structure of this futon features a firm pad sandwiched between soft fiberfill pads on the top and bottom. This soft-firm-soft structure provides both comfort and support, allowing your overnight guests to get a good night's sleep. 

On the downside, the EMOOR Futon is non-washable, so the manufacturer suggests using a cover (like a fitted sheet) and washing it regularly. The futon is available in seven different sizes, from twin all the way up to king. 

Product Details:
Dimensions: 79 x 39 x 2.5 inches (twin) to 79 x 71 x 2.5 inches (king)
Outer Fabric: Cotton
Inner Filling: Polyester

Zipcode Design New London Linen Convertible Chair
Credit: Wayfair.com

Best Futon Chair: Zipcode Design New London Linen Convertible Chair

View at Wayfair ($390)

Who it's for: People who don't have space for a couch but need an extra bed for overnight guests.   
Who it isn't for: People who want a full-size futon for seating multiple people. 

Part chair, chaise, and bed, this "futon chair" is ideal for home offices or spare bedrooms. When upright, it spans just 41 inches, so it doesn't take up precious square footage when not in use. The multifunctional design provides four different seating and sleeping options: upright chair, chaise, reclining chaise, and bed. And the linen upholstery and channel tufting brings retro, '70s-inspired style to any space. 

But you should be warned: Even if you purchase this futon chair for guests, you may find yourself spreading out on it for movie nights or mid-day naps, too. 

Product Details: 
Dimensions: 40.55 x 37 x 32.28 inches
Weight Limit: 300 pounds
Upholstery Material: Linen

Apt2B Haden Urban Sofa Bed
Credit: Apt2B.com

Best Splurge Futon: Apt2B Haden Urban Sofa Bed

View at Apt2B ($1,278)

Who it's for: People who have frequent overnight guests and want something well-made and durable. 
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a futon. 

It can be hard to justify spending over $1,000 on a futon, but if you're one to host frequent overnight guests, or if you plan to sleep on the futon yourself, a model with a higher density foam is worth the splurge. The Haden Urban Sofa Bed has a foam density of 2.0, as opposed to more moderately priced sofas which typically have a density between 1.5-1.8. Not only does a denser foam mean a better night's rest, but it's also more durable, withstanding years of frequent use. 

The 100 percent polyester upholstery is easy to maintain and comfortable for sleeping, and the plywood frame provides a sturdy, durable base for the bed. The armless silhouette and neutral color options would fit with any style of decor. 

Product Details: 
Dimensions: 74.5 x 37 x 36 inches
Weight Limit: Not listed
Upholstery Material: Polyester

Final Verdict

The Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon earned the top spot because it merges function with style at a good price. Its split-back design allows you to recline one or both cushions, or fully recline to create a bed, and the tufted cushions, curved armrests, and numerous color options make it feel like a much more expensive piece. 

If you're looking to spend a little less and save on space, the Adoncia Armless Sleeper can adapt to many different spaces, and spans just 65 inches in length.  

How to Shop for a Futon Like a Pro

Primary Function

The most important thing to consider when purchasing a futon is how you intend to use it. Because of their dual nature, futons may be used primarily for sleeping, lounging, or both. 

If you plan to use your futon primarily for sitting and lounging, then you don't necessarily need to splurge on the most plush futon mattress out there. Instead, consider how the futon will fit into your space, how many people it can seat, and whether or not it will work with your existing decor. 

For those who plan to use a futon primarily for sleeping, there are a few more things to consider. You may want to invest in a futon with a thicker mattress, possibly even memory foam. You'll also want to make sure the frames are easy to adjust when switching back and forth from upright to flat. Or go frameless with a Japanese futon—a sleeping pad that can easily be folded up and stored when not in use.  

Size and Type 

It's critical that you measure your space before purchasing a futon to ensure you can accommodate it both in the upright position and when it lays completely flat—most futon beds hover somewhere between a twin and full size mattress when laid flat. And of course, make sure whatever model you choose will fit through all doorways and stairwells en route to your space! 

Although futons are already designed to save space by replacing two separate pieces of furniture with one, you can find futons designed specifically for extra-small spaces. If you're really tight on space, a futon chair is a great alternative: This single-seater takes up far less space when upright, but can lay flat to create a makeshift bed for overnight guests. 

Finally, if you have a little more space to spare yet still want the functionality of a futon, a sectional futon with a chaise lounge gives you the best of both worlds. 

Mattress

Because they are used for both sitting and sleeping, futon mattresses are not as thick as your standard box spring mattress—but this doesn't mean you're doomed to a night of tossing and turning when sleeping on a futon. To minimize pressure, you can opt for a high-density foam mattress: "Look for fiber-wrapped, high-resiliency poly foam cores that will preserve their shape with time and usage," says Woosley.

However, you should also consider that thicker mattresses tend to be less ideal for folding into the sofa position, not to mention more expensive. If you plan to use your futon for sleeping only sporadically, purchasing an inexpensive mattress topper might make more sense than splurging on an expensive futon mattress.  

Upholstery and Color

Like sofas, futons come in a variety of different upholstery fabrics, including linen, leather, faux leather, velvet, polyester, and chenille. You may be drawn to a certain fabric for aesthetic reasons, but it's important to consider the feel and durability of each fabric, as well as how easy they are to clean

Polyester is a type of microfiber that's stain- and abrasion-resistant, easy to clean, and soft to the touch, making it an all-around great pick. Linen and chenille are also soft to the touch, which may appeal to frequent futon sleepers, but they are more prone to soiling. Velvet gives an instantly elegant touch to any space, but it can be difficult to clean and maintain. Finally, leather upholstery is extremely durable, but only if properly maintained. It requires regular maintenance and is one of the most expensive upholstery fabrics. Fortunately, faux leather can provide a similar look to genuine leather, but it's far less expensive and easier to clean, albeit less durable than the real thing. 

In terms of color, your choice is going to come down to personal preference and what will work with your existing decor. However, your lifestyle may also play a role in which color you choose, too: Folks with kids or pets may want to avoid lighter colors that will show stains more easily. 

Questions You Might Ask

What is the difference between a sleeper sofa and a futon? 

A sleeper sofa has a thin, foldable mattress concealed in the frame that is separate from the cushions. To use it, you need to first remove the sofa cushions and then use the pull-out mechanism to unfold the mattress. 

A futon uses the same cushions for both seating and sleeping, and does not have a pull-out mattress built in. To lay it flat, you simply press down on the back of the futon. Therefore, futons are generally lighter, more affordable, and take up less space. "A futon can sometimes be more comfortable to sleep on than a sleeper sofa, as the mattress doesn't have to be thin enough to fold into the sofa," says Wood.

How can you make a futon more comfortable? 

The best way to make a thin futon mattress more comfortable is to top it off with a mattress topper, featherbed, or layers of comforters to put more space between you and the hard frame. You can also add a fitted sheet to make it feel more like a real bed, and of course add plenty of pillows for lumbar support and blankets. To maintain a comfortable futon, Woosley says to "regularly plump and manipulate cushions to maintain shape when converting back from a bed to a seated position." 

What size bed sheet fits a futon?

This is going to come down to the size of your futon—but most fall somewhere between a twin (75 x 38) and a full size bed (75 x 54). If your mattress falls in between these sizes, go with the larger size bed sheets. 

How do you make a futon look better?

Futons have a reputation for not being as stylish or expensive looking as full-sized couches or sleeper sofas. But you can easily dress up an inexpensive futon with throw blankets (which can also be used for sleeping), a colorful throw pillow or two, a rug, and a stylish side table. All of these additions can make a futon look more prominent in your space. 

"Never place it in the same space as a Papasan chair, and clear all dying plants from the room," says Woosley. "Erase any trace of decor that hearkens back to the old college days (except maybe a retro walnut turntable!)". 

Additionally, futon placement also makes a difference in how it's perceived—rather than cramming it into a corner or against the wall, place your futon out in the open, a few inches away from the wall at minimum. This will create more space around your futon and in the room in general.  

Take Our Word For It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, she spent hours researching top-rated futons and reading customer reviewers. She also received tips from Caron Woosley, founder and principal designer at CW Interiors, as well as Modsy's vice president of style Alessandra Wood and senior creative strategist Karina Lameraner.