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Glossary of Futon Terms

What is a Futon?

In the United States, a Futon is a modified sleeper sofa based on a Japanese bedding concept. During the day it is a sofa and at night it can be made into a bed.

Brief History of the Futon Mattress & Futon Frame

The shikibuton or Japanese futon mattress was a pad that could be stowed during the day and rolled out at night. These mattress were essentially rolled out onto the floor. 

In the modern era, the futon mattress concept was reworked and fitted with modern materials such as treated cotton blends, various specialty foams, processed wools and polyesters. This gave the mattress greater thickness and different qualities of comfort. This new Futon Mattress could then be set on a wooden or metal framing system that could adjusted. When the frame was flat, it formed a platform and would be in the bed position.

Down the center of the platform, however is a split with a hinge mechanism.  This allows the user to pivot one side up to essentially form an "L" which allowed the futon frame to act as a sofa.

Because futon mattresses are bendable, they can easily match the shape of the frame to act as a mattress in the down position and sofa cushion in the upright position.