Futon vs Bed: Which is Better?

Choosing a sleep space is important to ensure a good night’s rest and the perfect amount of comfort. When it comes to a futon vs bed, which is better? What should you be asking yourself before making a purchase on one of these products?

How much room do you have to occupy? What kind of sleeper are you? Are you a still sleeper or do you like to move around in your sleep? All these things should be considered before purchasing a futon or a bed. A bed will definitely give you more room, but if you have a smaller space, a futon may be a better fit.

Having a hard time choosing? Don’t worry! We’ve compiled some easy comparisons for you to check out to help you on your sleep space journey. Keep reading for more information!

What is a Futon?

A futon is a Japanese style mattress that easily folds into a couch. The futon is meant to act as a bed with a mattress in a tighter space. Since a futon can easily be rolled back up into a couch, the accessibility and space saving attributes make the futon a popular choice in home furniture.

Depending on the thickness, a futon can feature a quilted mattress or a very large pillow top instead of a standard mattress with box spring. Futons can commonly be found in day rooms, smaller apartments and dorm rooms, or basically any space that needs an extra sleep option. Here’s a modern futon for you to look at to get a better idea.

Benefits of a Futon

One of the greatest benefits of a futon is how it can save you space. Since a futon can easily be folded up to create a couch, a futon would be the perfect addition to a small apartment or dorm room. The futon easily pulls out flat to resemble a bed. The size of the futon and the mattress material will vary, so it’s important to choose a futon that would work for your particular living situation.

Aside from the freeing up of space, futons can also add a modern sense of style to your living space. You can get as creative as you want with a futon – changing up the mattress cover and adding all kinds of funky throw pillows. This would be a great concept if you have your futon in a living room or common space. Futons are easily dressed up or down depending on the company. Also a major plus, futons are much less expensive than a bed.

Downsides to a Futon

A futon is a space saver, but this can also mean it won’t give you adequate support. Since a futon can be easily folded, the mattress or pillow of a futon won’t be as thick or sturdy as a bed mattress. Futon mattresses are really just a covered, thin pillow sometimes. Of course, you can choose a futon with a thicker mattress, but even then, there is no real guarantee the futon would provide a sturdy enough sleeping space.

Because of the futon’s foldable mattress, the mattress can wear down relatively easily from constant movement. Futon mattresses have been known to bunch up and create lumps in the mattress that creates a difficult element to sleep on.

What is a Bed?

A bed is the most familiar concept when it comes to sleeping. A bed typically includes a steel or metal frame, a box spring for support and a standard mattress. Beds come in many sizes – anything from twin sized to XL or California King.

Since beds typically are bulkier and heavier, you’d find a bed in a room that has adequate space. Of course, the actual size of the bed can vary depending on size needs, but typically beds are heavier and more difficult to move. They also tend to provide multi levels of back and joint support depending on what you need out of your mattress.

Benefits of a Bed

A more traditional concept, a bed has plenty of benefits. Since beds are commonly used worldwide, there are thousands of styles and designs to choose from. There are beds made specifically for people with back pain or joint issues, beds for kids, beds for the elderly and beds for the physically impaired.

Since beds are sturdier, you can easily get adequate support from your mattress to ease any sort of pain. The metal frame of a bed offers support while the box spring adds that extra layer of firmness. Some beds don’t come with a box spring, so really it depends on the type of mattress you’d need in this case.

Downsides to a Bed

Although beds are more traditional, they can also be more of a hassle. Beds have many pieces to them in order to remain a sturdy sleeping structure. If you’re someone who moves around a lot, this could be a major headache in the move department. Beds are heavier and require more setup time, so this may not be good for someone who wants a quick and easy setup.

Beds also take up space. Unlike the futon, you can just fold a bed away and have a piece of furniture that doubles as a couch or sitting space. Beds are simply beds. Although you can find a bed size that would fit even the smallest spaces, once a bed is set up it isn’t going to move unless you tear it down.

Futon vs Bed Comparison Table

Futon Bed
Affordable Many sizes to choose from
Can be moved around easily Can help in back pain and support
Can double as a couch Has several pieces in order to assemble
Mattress may be too flimsy Can be very expensive
Mattress can develop lumps over time Can take up too much space
May not provide an adequate sleep space for someone with back issues Can be too firm or too soft


In conclusion, in order to make the best possible decision for your future sleep space, you really need to take some important things into consideration. What is the size of the space I’m working with? Do I have any special sleeping needs I need to consider? What is my budget?

Once you answer those key questions, you’ll be able to determine whether a futon or a bed would be best for you. No back issues with a small apartment? The futon is your best bet. Have lots of back pain and a decently sized room to occupy? Get a bed with a mattress suited to your needs.

Whichever of these options you choose, keep in mind that there are so many styles, designs and shapes to pick from. Hopefully this article has helped you in understanding the differences between a futon and a bed option. Happy shopping and good luck on your sleep space adventure!