The Black Futon

August 23, 2008 by admin 

Black futons are probably the most popular choice for Americans looking for a multipurpose solution for their living spaces. If you are shopping for a black futon, you should be aware there are many differences to consider before you buy. Use this article to help you make the right choice and find the ideal black futon for your sitting and sleeping needs.

Not all black futons are a created the same. First of all, most black futons are made of metal instead of wood. While you might find that there are some black futons made of rubber wood or a similar material, most black futons available on the market are made of tubular metal.

Probably the most important thing to consider before you buy a black futon made of metal is how it is constructed. When judging the quality of a metal black futon, you should consider the following:

  • How thick is the metal?
  • How sturdy are the hinges?
  • What is the quality and accuracy of the welds?
  • How are the stretcher rails connected to the armrests?
  • How many tubular bars are there to support the mattress?
  • Are these support bars crimped on the ends where they connect to the deck framing?

Asking these questions of your futon dealer will help you from following thousands of other consumers who purchased black futons that were doomed to fail from the start.

Taking each bullet point, one by one, you should look to buy thicker metal futon frames over thinner gauge models. The exact thickness may be hard for you to gauge as a consumer. In general, however, a black futon frame made of metal should weight between 50-65lbs to be of premium quality. Any black futon that weighs less should be questioned to some degree. Of course, any metal frame that weighs more should likely be more solid. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a general standard, but not the rule.

Always look for solid heavy duty hinges when purchasing a black metal futon frame. Checking the gauge of the hinge should not be too difficult. Another general rule of thumb (emphasis on “general rule of thumb”) is that the hinge should be roughly the thickness of a quarter. When possible, test the hinge by opening and closing the futon frame with the mattress intact. Converting a black futon frame made of metal can be vary in difficulty depending on the weight of the futon mattress.

However, the hinges should operate evenly. If one hinge seems to convert more quickly than the other, and the seat becomes somewhat skewed, you might suspect that lower quality hinges are in use.

Solid, even straight beads of welding should run the entire length of the two pieces of metal they are connecting. In some case you might see spot welds that connect the panels on the side of the arms. But in general, you should see very few spot welds. Many black futons often use cheaper welds and metal materials that often can result in metal fatigue and failure. While it might be difficult to tell, you can often guess that if budget tack welds are used, the black futon is very cheaply priced, you are more likely to experience catastrophic failures.

Stretcher rails should be connected with two bolts instead of one. Black futons that have only one bolt may have slot where the rail fits into. These futons should be avoided.

Decks that have many bars that are crimped on the ends to allow a longer weld are more desirable. Bars that are spaced 4-5 inches are considered to be better. The less bars you have on your black futon frame, the more likely a bar will fail. Equally problematic, a black futon that has too large a gap between the bars will likely cause more discomfort. On many futon mattresses, these gaps can be felt through to the surface.

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. Always consider that cheaply priced black metal frames will likely be more prone to failure than those that are more moderately priced.

Finally, knowing a little bit about what to look for and ask about will make you a more savvy shopper and prevent you from making a poor investment in the black futon you are considering. Good luck!


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