August 15, 2008 by FM
Finding futon information can be easy when you know where to look. Many futon websites provide excellent detailed information about futon furniture products that will help you get well on your way to becoming a futon expert. Before we recommend a list futon resources where you can find helpful futon information, let’s make sure we understand the basics first.
Basic Futon Information
The first thing to understand about futons is that the term “futon” is often generalized to mean the basic three parts of a futon sofa:
- Futon Frame - This is the foundation of the futon sofa made of wood or metal
- Futon Mattress Pad - The pad that folds as a sofa cushion and can lie flat when needed to serve as a bed mattress
- Futon Slip Cover - The decorative and protective covering that can be removed and replaced when needed
Because the word “futon” originally described the mattress portion only (before the futon was “Americanized”), the futon mattress pad itself is still often referred to as a “futon” as well. Just be aware of that both terms mean futon as this can prove helpful when discussion futon information in general.
Functions of the Modern Futon
The primary use of a futon is a substitution for the traditional sofa sleeper. While the this type of sofa bed is still quite popular, the futon sofa has gained massive market share over the years since it was first introduced to the United States. Like the traditional sofa bed, a futon can serve as a second bed for guests, a primary bed for small spaces like studios and dorm rooms, and can always gives the user the option for use as a place to sit when converted to the sofa position.
Which is Better? Futon vs Sleeper Sofa
Many in the futon industry will point out that a good quality futon sofa bed will generally be of better quality and higher comfort level than a sofa bed of equal price. This generalization may go only so far, however, as futons in the $2000 range might have very comparable sofa sleeper counterparts. As a general rule, however, consumers are urged to test sofa bed while in the bed position for comfort, especially at prices below a thousand dollars. For that matter, if you are going to spend more than a thousand dollars, you are even more wise to test for comfort before you buy.
The winning point, however, might be the consumers’ experience with traditional sofa beds. Often consumers complain of experiencing sagging mattresses of older and/or lower quality traditional sofa sleepers. With this type of unit, a guest will often complain about the “bar-in-the-back” experience, which occurs when the mattress sags so far that the sleeper actually rests on a metal support bar beneath the cushion.
Futon Dealers Offer Better Product Information
Negative experiences are sure to be had when people buy the cheaper “big-box” futon sofa products sold by major low and medium priced department stores, however. The old saying of you get what you paid can certainly apply to futon sofas as well. Owners of cheap quality futon sofas likely wish they had better futon information before they bought. These futon owners are generally the unhappy futon owners. Don’t buy cheap if possible.
To help avoid this experience seek out futon dealers who specialize in futons. These companies will offer the best information about futons to help you make a sound judgment come purchase time. In contrast, when a salesperson cannot talk in specifics about a given futon product it might be considered that the salesperson does not have full command of the product and lacks the knowledge to help you make a sound decision. Look elsewhere for help and make sure your dealer has solid, believable futon information.
Finally, be prepared to ask a lot of questions, especially if you are shopping on the Internet. Those who ask the most questions generally have the most favorable futon experiences in the end. Getting more information about the futon you are considering will easily make your investment that much more worth while. Best of luck!
Futon Informational Resources
Go to the Futon Association for general futon information. The Futon Association offers non-biased futon dealer information to help you find a dealer in your area or a reputable futon dealer online. For more information and resources, review our Helpful Futon Resources listing where you can discover other important resources with futon information.
Futon Dealers to Consider
Futons Etc Factory Outlet has an excellent blog which is filled with useful futon information. There “futon news” section provides all kinds of tips as well as relatively neutral sounding articles about products they sell. As always, take product reviews with a grain of salt when reading blogs from companies that sell the products under review. Still, Futons Etc Factory Outlet seems to do a respectable job of “sticking to the news” so to speak.
Another interesting stop is CSN Futons Advice Central. While this area of their website seems to promote the sale of their products more than might be palatable for some, it still offers a very usable guide to purchasing a futon and offers decent entry level information.
Possibly the best retail resource of futon information on the web comes from Futon Planet. This company prides itself on acting as the chief futon expert company around. While their ego may be loud, there is definitely no question that their site is jam packed with …