The futon bed is a great alternative to other types of mattress that are designed to be laid directly on the floor. While a relatively new concept in the western world, the traditional futon has been the main choice for beds across Southeast Asia and much of the world. 

Whether you’ll be placing your futon mattress onto the floor or into a futon frame, you can enjoy this time-tested method of simple sleeping. If you’re in the market for the best futon mattress for your home, we’re able to give you our insight into which ones are worth your money.

Best Futon Mattress In 2020

Serta Sycamore Double Sided Foam Futon Mattress

Serta are known for producing great mattresses and this extends to their range of futon products.

The Sycamore is constructed from a combination of convoluted foam and cotton fiber padding, which provides a comfortable sleeping surface as well as a good amount of support.

Serta Sycamore Foam Futon Mattress

The overall height is 8 inches which we find to be a good medium for futon mattresses as its not too bulky or heavy but is still substantial enough for long term use. And as a plus, it can also be flipped over to reduce sagging when used for extended periods of time and comes with a 5 year warranty. 

This mattress feels high in quality and is well priced, making it our top pick for a futon mattress. 

DHP Spring Coil Futon Mattress

DHP have focussed on support with their independently encased spring mattress. This technology is usually seen in premium innerspring mattresses so to see it here is very welcome. 

The result is a supremely supportive mattress that will reduce the prevalence of back and neck pain when used on a long-term basis. 

DHP Spring Coil Futon Mattress

To increase comfort, DHP have inserted a combination of memory foam and polyester layering in between each coil which adds additional cushioning and makes for a plush feel to the mattress.

Although only 8 inches in height, this mattress does look and feel bulkier than Serta’s product offering which could be an issue if your futon base isn’t large enough or strong enough to support it. 

Perfect for heavier people, the DHP futon mattress is a great alternative to our top pick and comes with a 10 year warranty. 

Serta Cypress Double Sided Innerspring Futon Mattress

Serta’s Cypress futon mattress is a more cost-effective alternative to our previous two entrants. 

Its just as thick at 8 inches but omits a few features which give the other options their luxurious feel. With that said, the Bonnell coil construction works well to provide more than adequate support even if it isn’t quite as plush as the DHP mattress. 

Serta Cypress Innerspring Mattress

What is refreshing to see is that the mattress is breathable in nature with plenty of channels for air to flow through it as well as an airy microfiber cover to further enhance ventilation. 

You know you’re getting quality with a Serta mattress and we think that this is a fantastic option for those with a smaller budget. It even comes with a 5 year warranty. 

Mozaic Cotton Twill Memory Foam Futon Mattress

If you prefer the feel of memory foam, then Mozaic have just the product for you. 

This futon mattress is incredibly plush and provides that cradling feeling that those familiar with memory foam know and love. As you would expect it’s also supportive too and one of the better options for backpain sufferers. 

Mozaic Memory Foam Futon Mattress

The outer cover is constructed from high-quality cotton twill which is soft to the touch and easy to clean too, making this futon mattress one of the more durable ones we’ve come across. 

Whether for sleeping or sitting, this sumptuous futon mattress is going to provide you with the utmost in comfort for years to come and will likely outlast its 5 year warranty. 

EMOOR Classe Traditional Futon Mattress

Here EMOOR have presented us with a great example of the traditional Japanese futon. 

The first thing that you will notice is that it is a lot thinner than most futon mattresses at 2.5 inches. This is because it is designed to be placed directly onto the floor rather than as part of a folding frame futon bed. 

EMOOR Classe Traditional Futon Mattress

Usefully, it can be used as a futon pad which sits on top of a futon mattress if you’re simply looking for a little more padding for your existing setup.

This mattress is constructed entirely from polyester fibers with 100% cotton used as the mattress cover. This provides for a very lightweight product that can be rolled up, relocated and rolled out again wherever its required. 

Its simple but its effective and that’s why we love it. Best of all, it’s available in several different sizes (including twin, full, queen and king) making it suitable for every type of use you could imagine. 

Futon Mattress Buying Guide

What Is a Futon?

The term futon has become a catchall for many different types of beds and sleeping solutions, which has created a great deal of confusion amongst consumers.

The original futon is the Japanese variety, which is simply a small cotton mat which is placed on the floor for sleeping on.  

The type of futon many Americans know of is the sofa or couch variety, which is essentially a convertible sofa bed. Not to be confused with a sleeper sofa which are much larger and heavier.

The final type – and the one we’re covering in this guide – is the futon mattress, which is a thick mattress filled with cotton, foam or even springs. These mattresses can be laid directly on the floor but can also be placed onto a wooden bedframe for additional height, creating what is referred to as a futon bed. To confuse things even further, this type of mattress is also sometimes referred to as a futon pad.

The futon mattress can also be used as a replacement mattress for your existing futon sofa. If your original mattress has worn out, simply swap it out for one of the ones recommended in this guide. We’ve covered sleeper sofa mattresses in a separate guide.

Futon Mattress Characteristics

Intended Use

The futon mattress can either be used as a temporary bed for guests who stay overnight as well as a permanent bed that is designed to replace your main bed.

Either option is valid but the type of futon mattress you should buy depends on which usage profile you fit into. 

Futons don’t have to be used in homes either. Some RV owners choose to use this type of furniture in place of an RV bed, providing them with more flexibility in their living and sleeping spaces. 

Comfort

Comfort is an important factor if you’re intending on using a futon mattress as your main sleeping solution. Generally speaking, futon mattresses are as comfortable as a regular mattress and sometimes even more so.

The comfort levels you experience will depend on the mattress filling and the type of base you place the mattress or whether you choose to place it on the floor.

Thickness

Futon mattresses vary in thickness, but you’re most likely to find them in the 6 inch to 10 inch range. The thicker they are the more comfortable they become in addition to being able to offer more support.

Those on the heavier side should look for the thickest futon mattress possible to ensure adequate support and to prevent bottoming out (sinking through the entire mattress).

Looking for a thinner mattress? Try our thin mattress guide.

Number of Folds

Every futon base is designed differently. Some are designed to fold in multiple places, and some are designed to remain completely flat.

If you’re replacing an existing futon mattress, you’ll need to match the number of folds in the old mattress with the new one to ensure compatibility.

The two most common types that are designed for futon sofas are the bi-fold and tri-fold futon mattress.

Futon Frames

If you’re placing your futon mattress onto a new frame, there are several further considerations to take into account.

Higher quality frames are constructed from wood of varying types.

Cheaper frames are often constructed from a composite wood or particle board material. You might even come across metal frames which are durable but not as comfortable.

The former is invariably better, but this can add several hundred dollars onto the overall cost of the bed.

Durability

Durability is an important factor if you’re going to frequently erect, dismantle or relocate your futon bed. The mattresses themselves are quite durable in nature but the frames can vary.

The materials used in your futon’s construction is the most important factor so always spend a little more if you’ll be using the bed long term.

The longer the warranty the better as it suggests that the manufacturer has confidence in their products.  

Size

The size of a futon mattress can vary considerably. If you’re placing it onto a base, make sure that the dimensions of both components match. If in doubt, consult the base manufacturer’s technical notes or user manual.

If you’re placing it on the floor, you’re free to choose the size of mattress that is most suitable for your requirements.

Do bear in mind that smaller futon mattresses are easier to fold or roll up for storage when not in use. 

Looking for an adult sized bed? See our queen size guide and our king size guide.

Sleeping Position

Your typical sleeping position is an important consideration when buying a futon mattress. Most people sleep on their side, but if you sleep in a different position, be sure to consider whether you’ll be able to get comfortable and remain adequately supported. 

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers need a futon mattress that is good at relieving pressure. This means that a medium firm mattress is going to be the best option for most sleepers. 

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers need a futon mattress that is firm enough to keep them in a neutral position while asleep. Be sure to look for a firm futon mattress if you fit into this category. 

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers also need a futon mattress that is firm. This will prevent your hips from sinking lower than your torso and throwing off your spinal alignment. 

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers need a medium firm futon mattress. This will ensure you’re comfortable no matter which position you most often sleep in. 
Traditional Futon

Should You Stay Away From Cheap Futon Beds?

If you’re set on a spring mattress, try and keep an eye out for pocketed springs. They sit in individual pockets which means that they are also compressed independently, providing far more support and responsiveness than non-pocketed springs.

The more springs the better too, but it isn’t always possible to find out just how many springs have been included at this price point. But if you can, at least 400 coils should be the target for a queen size mattress.

Looking for affordable mattresses? See our recommendation for the best mattress under $500.

Final Verdict

Buying a futon mattress can be confusing but hopefully we’ve made the process a little easier. Each of the products we’ve tested represent both value for money as well as exceptional quality. 

We recommended choosing based on how you’re going to be using your new futon as this will allow you to get the most out of it. You can then be safe in the knowledge that you’ve bought one of the best futon mattresses available.