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Whether you’re lacking space in a small apartment or you’re trying to double your home office as a guest room, futons can be a functional way to add sleeping space to your home.

Depending on your reasoning for purchasing a futon mattress, your budget, and your personal preferences, the product you end up choosing can really vary. Find out our top picks for the best futon mattresses and what you should consider when making your final choice.

There are a lot of elements to take into consideration when choosing a futon. Here’s what we looked for when choosing our top picks:

  • Variety. Futon mattresses can be made from different materials, have different thicknesses, and have a totally different feel from other types of mattresses. We made sure to include a variety of materials and thicknesses so you can consider what may be best for you.
  • Customer reviews. Customer reviews can really help determine if the futon mattress is as comfortable and well-made as advertised. We made sure the positive reviews greatly outweighed the negative in all of our picks.
  • Brand or company. Even though futon mattresses aren’t as big of a purchase as a regular mattress, it’s still important to find options from reputable brands that use quality materials. It’s also important that they comply with the Federal Flammability Standard, which ensures mattresses don’t promote the spread of fires.

Pricing guide

These prices in this guide are based on full size futon mattresses, unless otherwise stated.

  • $ = under $105
  • $$ = $105–$250
  • $$$ = over $250

Best budget futon mattress

Porch & Den Guthrie Futon Mattress

Price: $

This Porch & Den mattress has one layer of foam and three layers of cotton batting — which is just a layer of cotton fabric for extra cushioning and insulation. This futon mattress is popular for its low price point, and reviewers say it’s perfect for kids to sleep on.

Some reviewers say it’s too thin to sleep on every night and works better for sitting. Overall, we think this is a good pick for anyone looking to get a cheap mattress for an existing futon frame, but we wouldn’t recommend adults sleeping on this every night.

Best Japanese-style futon mattress

D&D Futon Furniture Traditional Japanese Floor Futon Mattress

Price: $ (twin size)

Traditional Japanese futons are a type of mattress that’s not used with a futon frame. They’re meant to be stored away during the day and put directly on the floor at night.

This Japanese-style futon is made in the United States and complies with federal safety standards. While some reviewers point out that it’s not quite the same as a traditional Japanese futon — it’s more similar to a thick comforter — it’s still a really comfy option.

Some reviewers suggest getting a tatami mat (which is a traditional Japanese floor mat) to place underneath it or using it on a rug or carpet to avoid sleeping on a hard floor.

Best firm futon mattress

Serta 8-Inch Chestnut Cotton and Foam Futon Mattress

Price: $$

This Serta futon mattress comes in full and queen sizes and has two memory foam layers. Reviewers say it’s comfortable enough to sleep on every night and doesn’t slip down the futon frame like many mattresses do.

Some reviewers said there was some off-gassing — so this one might need some time to air out a bit before you can sleep on it. Since it comes compressed in a box, some recommended letting it air out outside.

Best foam futon mattress

Serta Willow 8-Inch Futon Mattress

Price: $$$

This 8-inch-thick futon is made from multiple layers of foam, including layers of gel foam — which is known to trap less heat than traditional memory foam. Reviewers say it’s really comfy and use it for all kinds of sleeping arrangements — from kids’ rooms to their own everyday bed.

Like many futon mattresses, customers report that there is some off-gassing after unwrapping. Make sure to give it a few days to air out before having guests over to sleep on this one.

Best rated futon mattress

DHP 8-Inch Independently Encased Coil Futon Mattress

Price: $$

This futon mattress from DHP mirrors the construction of a hybrid mattress. It has individually encased coils and foam layers on top, which can together provide awesome support and helps relieve pressure points.

It comes highly recommended by reviewers, who say it’s extremely comfortable for sitting and for sleeping. Reviewers also say it’s a little heavy, so be sure to unwrap it where you want it to be for the long term.

Still searching for the right sleep products?

Let us help. Shop our top picks for mattresses by condition or sleep position to get the sound sleep you deserve.

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When you’re searching for the perfect futon mattress, make sure to consider the following:

  • Purpose of the futon. If you’re planning on using this mattress every night for yourself to sleep on, you might want to consider a higher quality and potentially more expensive futon. If you’re thinking of using it for the occasional guest, strictly for sitting, or for a dorm room, you can probably get away with lower quality, cheaper options.
  • Futon frame. Whether you already have a futon frame or you’re still looking for one, try to get a mattress that matches the size and quality of the futon frame. Also, a lot of mattresses don’t come with a frame — so keep that in mind when budgeting.
  • Futon placement and size. Futons can be used for all kinds of reasons, so consider where this futon will live. Are you planning to put it in a dorm room, child’s playroom, office, or guest room? This will help you figure out what size futon you should get.
  • Futon style. If you’re trying to add a chic-but-functional piece of furniture to your living space, style might be an important factor to consider. But if you’re just trying to add an extra place for your friends to crash, style might not matter much to you.
  • Firmness and materials. A 2011 study showed that mattress firmness can affect pain, sleep, and daytime function. So if you’re planning on sleeping on this every night, make sure you’re taking extra care to find the right firmness level for you. Take cues from product descriptions and customer reviewers to determine what materials are used in the mattress’s construction and how firm the mattress is.
  • Thickness. If you’re planning to use this futon for an adult to sleep on every night, a thicker mattress might be more comfortable. But, if you know it’ll mostly be used for sitting or for kids to sleep on, a thinner mattress might make sense too.
  • Durability. Again, if you’re trying to find a futon mattress that you’ll sleep on every night, durability is super important. If the mattress needs to last for just one year in a dorm room, it’s not too big of a deal. Take a look at what customer reviews say about durability to determine if the product fits the bill.

Futons are great for saving space in small living spaces, making your office or playroom more versatile, or even just giving you an extra spot for your friends to crash in your living room.

Whatever reasons you have for purchasing a futon, make sure to consider who will be sleeping on it, how often it’ll be used, and where it’ll live in your home.

This can help you decide how much money to spend, what you might want it to look like, and the comfort level and thickness of the mattress itself.

Ruby Thompson is an associate editor on Healthline’s Wellness team. She recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School with her master’s degree in journalism, specializing in media innovation and content strategy. Outside of work, she spends most of her time snuggling her cocker spaniel pup, taking barre classes, and wishing she knew how to cook.