In-Depth Primer ~ 

How To Choose The Right Futon Mattress for Your Home or Apartment

Choosing the right futon mattress is easy once you understand how the filling materials cause the mattress to react differently to the weight of the human body and other criteria. The following explanations should help you determine which futon mattress will perform best for your personal needs and application.

Trying to graph the different configurations is subjective judgment at best. For weight, shorter is better as long as the minimum (6 inch) futon thickness is maintained. Firmness, rigidity, and flexibility are relative to the desires of the mattress user. Please use this guide wisely. It is meant to help you understand how the product will perform, not judge its quality or value.

Futon Life Recommends

Futon Life recommends a minimum six-inch thick futon mattress for use on Tri-Fold futon frame and a minimum eight-inch thick futon on any Bi-fold (2 fold) convertible futon frame. A thinner mattress is acceptable, but only as a rolled-up, closet-stored, floor or tatami mattress. The six-inch measurement applies not only to the new product but also to how thick it remains over its usable life.

To measure thickness of your futon, go to the middle of the side, place a hand on the top and bottom of the mattress, and squeeze your hands together gently. Measure the distance between your two palms. If it is not a solid five inches, the mattress does not meet the minimum. Please remember that this method is not scientific since each person’s concept of “gentle” is subjective. Close to five inches is good. Three inches is not.

Make sure the futon store offers a written guarantee for their frames against breakage under normal use. Also, educate yourself as to how a specific frame works. Proper use of the mechanism will insure a long life for your new futon sofa sleeper.

Testing conversion mechanisms, by putting them through the same kinds of rigors they will experience in your home, can be accomplished right in the store. If the conversion is difficult at the store, it will probably be difficult at home. Be sure to convert the frame with a futon mattress on it. If it looks and feels weak and sloppy in the store, don’t buy it.

Slip Stoppers aka Gripper Pad or Non Slip Pads

Futon mattresses have a tendency to slip and move around on a frame. A Non-Slip Gripper Pad eliminates this problem.
Non-Slip Gripper Pad is placed underneath the futon mattress, on the seat deck and keeps the futon mattress from moving, slipping and sagging. Most frames come with some kind of slip stopper pad attached to the frame so the mattress won’t slide down and off the front of the frame. Futon Life recommends using a slip stopper that covers the entire surface of the seat and backrest.

Futon Mattress Sizes

Name of size   Measuring


Single / Twin          39" x 75"  
Double / Full   54" x 75"  
Queen   60" x 80"  
King   78" x 80"  
California King   72" x 84"  
Extra Long      
Double/Full    54" x 80"  
Single/Twin   39" x 80"  
Seating Sizes      

Also known as

Double / Full Love Seat   54" x 54" Full Lounger (top portion)
Queen Love Seat   54" x 60" Queen lounger top (top portion)
Double / Full Ottoman   21" x 54" Full Lounger (bottom portion)
Queen Ottoman   21" x 60" Queen Lounger (bottom portion)
Single / Twin Loveseat   39" x 54" Twin Lounger (top portion)
Single / Twin Ottoman   21" x 39" Twin Lounger (bottom portion)
Chair    28" x 54"  
Ottoman for chair   21" x 28"  

The sizes listed here for futon mattresses are the standard sizes for all mattresses as designated in the standard recognized by ISPA (the International Sleep Products Association)

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