Save Space With Futons

By: charisma
Futon is a thin mattress stuffed with cotton batting or similar material and raised on a foldable frame. Futon also refers to a small couch that turns into a bed when it has been unfolded. Futon in Japanese means a mattress and are sold in Futon-Ya stores in Japan.

Traditional Japanese Futons

A Japanese futon set consists of Shikibuton, Kakebuton, Mofu and Makura. Shikibuton is a type of mattress, Kakebuton is a type of comforter, Mofu refers to a blanket and Makura is the pillow. The Japanese futon sets cost around $100.

Futons are created from individual woven straw mats of uniform size, bordered by plain cloth and packed with straw. In Japan futons are used on tatami floors. Japanese futons can be folded and are kept in closet during day time. This is done so that the tatami floor can breathe.

Futons act as a sofa during the day and can be converted into a sleeping bed at night. Basically the futon is used to save space. The futon sofa has cushions that are usually stuffed with cotton batting and can be found in a variety of colors, sizes and fabrics. Futons are used for sleeping and sitting and futons provide a good back support. In Japan futons are usually taken out in the sunlight and occasionally beaten with a stick to take out the dust.

Western Futons

Futons became available in the west in the early 70s. People became interested in futons because they were inexpensive and saved considerable space. In the beginning most of the futon sofa users were students, first time homeowners and apartment dwellers. After the 1970s futons became very popular in America. Today the futons come in luxuriant colors and fabrics, from rich brocades to lush tapestries.

The western futons are thicker and larger than the Japanese traditional futons. These futons resemble the conventional furniture which are filled with foam and batting in number of layers. In a reverse trend, western style futons have gained popularity in Japan because they are cheaper and more convenient than the traditional Japanese futon.
Western futons have strong frames and are usually made of strong dense wood which can withstand stress. There are three types of frames available in western style futons, bifold, trifold and loveseat.

Bifold can be folded in half and is the best for couches. It is also good for every day conversion from bed to couch. Trifold folds into three folds and they are provided for long futons. The loveseat futon is fairly popular and is very useful in small spaces. The loveseat frame comes into two parts couch and ottoman.
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