Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Best Rated Futon Mattress For Sitting in the Sofa Couch Position for 2017

For those that are going to use their futon as their daily sofa or couch for sitting, rather than an occasional guest bed, need to realize that your comfort is all about the mattress you choose.  Many people who have slept or sat on a futon and did not like it is usually due to the inferior quality of futon mattress.  Because this is America, we have freedom of choice, choice that is for your futon mattress.  One important factor to take into account when using choosing a futon mattress for your bi fold frame, is the thickness.  Many cheaper futon mattress can be less than 6" thick.  Futon mattresses less than 6" in thickness are better used on a platform bed or on the floor.  If the mattress is too thin, the seating becomes way too deep and your feet won't touch the ground.

A good ideal thickness for a futon mattress on a bi frame is between 7" to 10" thick, most fall between 8" to 9".  Keep in mind that there is a difference in the sitting feel between a full and queen size frame.  A queen size frame is perfectly fine as a sofa, however a full size is more ideal and proportionate to the average body size.  A queen size frame will have a higher back and may feel like you are being pushed a little forward.

As for the type of futon mattress to choose, you can go with either cotton and foam, or all high density foam no cotton.  All cotton futon mattresses with no layering of foam will not keep their shape well and will become uneven in different places of the mattress.   Also, the lack of foam will cause the cotton to eventually clump together and flatten around the edges.  Your once 8" futon mattress will soon become 5" after a short period.  Innerspring futon mattresses are not ideal for long periods of sitting for adults.  This type of mattress is better used in the bed position.

As for the best cotton based futon mattress with foam, you can either choose from the following three that are recommended by Dr. Futonberg.

The first cotton and foam futon mattress option is the 8" Double Foam.  This mattress is okay and adequate, but not nearly as good as the Moonlight mattress.  The 8" Double Foam contains two 1" thick slabs of foam sandwiched between the cotton.  This is simply a cheaper option.

The Moonlight mattress is the best choice of cotton and foam futon mattresses because it contains 6" of foam in the core middle of the mattress, surrounded by 3" thick of cotton batting, giving it a total of approximately 9" thick.  Because the foam is configured in the core of the mattress, the futon will sit evenly giving you the best of both worlds of plushness and firmness.  Remember that cotton alone is firm. Configuring foam in the mattress will help keep the shape of the mattress as well as providing a bit of plushness.
Moonlight Futon Mattress by Gold Bond

The Feathertouch futon mattress is the lightest and most plush cotton based mattresses from Gold Bond.  It contains over 90% foam and the rest is cotton.  Because foam is lighter than cotton, this mattress is very plush and has the closest feel to a sofa cushion compared to the rest of the cotton and foam futon mattresses.  The Feathertouch is highly recommended if you plan on purchasing a queen size futon because it rests nicely on the frame, gives adequate seating depth and facilitates the operation of your futon frame.
Feathertouch Futon Mattress by Gold Bond

The second type of futon mattress ideal for sitting are high density foam based by Otis Bed.  These futon mattresses do not contain cotton but rather the highest quality of HD foam of 2.0 density.  Rather than cotton, these mattresses use a thin layer of poly-dacron encasing the foam.  These mattresses are very light and easy to move.  Because the edges are boxed or squared off, the futon keeps its shape and will not flatten like the rounded edge cotton based futon mattresses.

Out of all the models, Dr. Futonberg recommends the two best foam based mattresses for the use in the sofa position.

Memory foam is one of the best options for a futon mattress.  Memory foam is dense and flexible.  It rests perfectly on a bifold futon frame.  Memory foam futons also aesthetically look the best on a futon frame.  The edges are perfectly even and the crease in the middle folds nicely without bunching up.   As for the sitting feel, the memory foam provides a supportive seating and back cushion molding to the curves of your body.  The Pulsar mattress contains several inches of regular HD foam and three inches of memory foam towards the surface.  The HD foam is used as a base for support so you don't sink all the way to the bottom.  The Pulsar is also very flexible making it easy to open and close your futon frame without struggle.  Because of the memory foam, the notorious crease in the middle of the mattress disappears in seconds when laid flat.

The second option for an ideal foam futon mattress for sitting is the Haley 110.  The Haley 110 is a thick 8" mattress using multiple layers of 2.0 high pressurized density foam which is convoluted or egg crate shape.  The Haley 110 feels like a luxury mattress or sofa cushion.  It has a nice give or bounce giving it a springy feel despite the fact that it lacks spring coils.  It gives adequate seating depth and can withstand a lot of sitting with your weight concentrated in one spot without bottoming or flattening out.   


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Long Will a Sofa Last Compared to A Futon Sofa Bed?

This is what cheap bonded leather looks like in less than 2 years

Many people who require the dual function of a sofa and a sleeper in one piece will debate over weather they should go for a sofa bed or a futon.  Even for those consumers who do not require the sleeping function, still can't decide if a futon is more suitable than a sofa just for sitting.  In North America, a futon carries a stigma of being cheap or better suited for university students.  This misconception began in the late 1980's and early 1990's when the metal frame futon set package was introduced to the market and imported from China.  These metal frames tend to be very cheaply made and the mattress included is usually hard and lumpy and does not contain pure cotton. It can be very uncomfortable to sit on and sleep on.

However, when it comes to the futon, it's all about choice.  You can choose to follow the sheep to their early futon grave and buy a cheap frame and futon mattress, or you can can INVEST in, rather than simply buy, a quality frame and mattress that will last.  If you compare a cheap sofa to a futon, you will find that your average sofa retailing between $500 to $800 has very little options.  Sofas in this price range will allow usually only two or three choices of fabrics- microsuede or bonded leather. Bonded leather is another term used for cheap fake leather.  Microsuede is synthetic suede made from polyester.  Color options are very limited, and if you decide to pick a fabric or color that is not stocked, be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars more and wait about 3 to 4 months for your sofa to be imported by ocean freight from China.

Typical cheap microsuede sofa that consumers fall for

Before we discuss the features and benefits of a futon over a sofa, let us first understand the disadvantages of these cheap sofas that are so popular on the consumer market.  The microsuede sofa featured above is your typical cheap sofa usually found at an Ashley Home Store or Jennifer Convertible.

Disadvantages of These Cheap Sofas:

  • Non removable or replacement seating and back cushions. (Seating cushions only come off  for sofas with pull out mattresses). This means you cannot replace the cushions
  • The microsuede or microfiber used is a low quality polyester.  This material will give you crazy electric shocks during the winter time and will make your hair stand up.  In addition, cheap microsuede will sag like a hundred year old lady.  This sofa featured above was used for less than a year and a half, and you can already notice the sagging and wrinkling of the fabric
  • The density of foam in the cushions is very low.  This means that they will flatten fairly fast with frequent sitting.  
  • Light weight inner frame causes easy breaking or cracking.
  • There are different types of fake, bonded or "faux" leather that manufactures use.  Not all faux leather will peal like the one you see in the first picture.  There is quality faux leather(also referred to as "leather textile").  Innovation Living, a Danish based manufacture of modern quality sofa beds, use a high quality of leather textile that is ten times more durable than your "bonded leather".  Cheap bonded leather tends to be thin and shiny due to the high amount of polyurethane used.  Bonded leather peels easily, especially after the polyurethane on the surface dissipates as well as your body sweat which absorbs into the sofa when sitting on it frequently.  The life expectancy of a cheap bonded leather sofa is under two years with frequent usage.  By this time, the foam from the seat cushions will be flattened.  
Cheap sofas show wear very fast especially the loosening of fabric and flattening of foam

Some people may consider reupholstering their sofa, but soon learn that such a task would cost almost the same as a new sofa.

Futons will give you the most options for the same quality, if not better than your average conventional sofa.

Advantages of a Futon:

A futon can be just as high end as a sofa, if not more

  • Exposed wood frame.  This means cat's can't scratch the arm rests, and upholstery doesn't get ruined
  • Futon frame can be set up and transported easily to any space, many full length sofas cannot.
  • Futon mattress (seating and back rest cushion in one) is not attached to the frame.  This means you can choose from dozens of mattresses that meet your comfort level or firmness.  You can always easily replace the futon mattress down the road.  One size usually fits all, unlike conventional sofas, either the cushions are sowed onto the frame or cushions have to be made custom due to different sizes.
  • Futon covers are inexpensive. You can easily update the look of your futon by changing the cover on the mattress.  If you stain it, you can either machine wash the cover (depending on material) or get it dry cleaned.  
  • Futons allow for the highest level of customization at an affordable price without special ordering.  Conventional sofas with option in arm rests and fabrics tend to take many months to deliver and will cost a lot more.  Futons allow for accessories such as bottom storage drawers as shown in the photo above.  Futon storage drawers not only function for storage, but also will give your futon a completely different appearance of a high end sofa.  
Because there are so many options for removable futon covers, it is much easier to decorate and match the decor of your room

  • A futon mattress is quite versatile and can be used on a floor or platform bed, an RV bunk bed or sleeping loft, not only just for a futon frame.
  • A futon will give you the highest level of comfort, provided that you know how to choose the right mattress for your frame.  
  • A futon will out last any conventional sofa by at least 20 years, provided that you maintain your frame and replace your mattress once it is worn out.  There is no graveyard for the futon. This is a piece of furniture that your grandchildren will some day inherit provided you take care of it.  
  • Besides the futon frame which is usually made in Indonesia or Vietnam, the futon mattress and cover are usually made in the USA.  As we know, American manufacturing tends to be at higher standards than the Chinese imports.
In conclusion, consumers must be cautious before dropping a few hundred dollars on a cheap conventional sofa that looks good online or in the store.  Looks and price only tell half the story.  A futon should be treated like a piece of real estate.  This means it should last you for many years, and you can always make updates to it and change the look.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

How to Make Your Futon Look Presentable

When it comes to futons, many people have this misconception that futons are cheap, ugly and are for poor people or struggling students.  The reason for such misconception is because during the late 80s and throughout the 90's, there has been an influx of cheap metal futon frames.  These metal futon frames tend to break easily and come with a cheap flimsy mattress.

Futon Design Ideas with Accent Pillows

In contrast, the original style all wooden futon frame is the best choice for a longer lasting piece of furniture.  The futon is all about choice.  It's very important that you choose the right type of frame and mattress first.  Because the futon is piece by piece, unlike conventional sofas, you are not stuck with just one look.

When it comes to choosing the right type of mattress for your futon frame it is important that you stay away from the standard mattress that comes with the set package.  If you are choosing a cotton based mattress, make sure that it has some foam layering inside.  A cotton futon mattress with no foam, will not look even and rest well on the frame.  The foam keeps the cotton in place and enables the mattress to bend evenly.

When it comes to the final stage in designing your futon, the most important element of the design is the futon cover.  You want to make sure that the futon cover is the right size for the mattress.  If the cover is too loose, you will see a lot of wrinkles.  Also, the thinner thread count futon covers tend to show a lot of wrinkles. For this reason, you should look for a heavier texture cover that fits snug over the mattress.

Futon Decorating Ideas With White Frame

This what happens when you buy the wrong futon cover

As you can see int he two pictures above, the first futon looks great with a tight fitting cover and accent pillows.  The second futon looks ugly as sin.  This is what happens when you either buy a cheap futon cover or use a bed sheet.  This ugly futon belongs in a garage, not a living room.

The idea is to make your futon resemble a conventional sofa.  Because sofas have separate seating cushions and back cushions and a futon is all one piece, it is important that you define the crease in the middle of the mattress.  This can be done by nicely folding over the cover to hide it.  However, the best idea is to use throw pillows.  When you place the pillows in the middle of the mattress along the crease, this gives an illusion that the futon has a separate seat and back cushion like a conventional sofa.

Adding side bolster pillows along the arm rests is a great idea.  Not only does this make the futon look warm and inviting, but it also is much more comfortable to lean against.  Most people tend to lean against the arm rest on a sofa.  Because futon frames are bear wooden arms, the bolster pillow softens up the hardness.

One of the most important things to keep in mind for a futon is making sure the mattress rests nicely on the frame and does not slip off the edge.  Non slip grip strips for your mattress is a perfect solution. Some futon frames come with a non slip pad which works well, but grip strips are better because they really hold that stubborn mattress in place.  Nothing looks worse than a drooping futon mattress.
Keep your futon mattress in place with non slip grip strips for your frame.

If you really want to make your futon look high end, add bottom storage drawers as shown in the picture with the white futon frame.  By adding storage drawers, you make the futon look complete.  This no longer looks like your cheap futon but rather a high end sofa.

What's wrong with this futon?


Monday, September 26, 2016

Best Sleeping & Sitting Solutions for RVs, Campers, Cabins, Tiny Homes & Sleeping Lofts for 2017

When it comes to small tight spaces like an RV or low ceiling sleeping loft, your typical innerspring mattress just won't do due to size and thickness.  A few things you should keep in mind for your RV mattress.

*Foam is the best option
*Thickness should be 8" or less
*Longevity and density
*Light weight and can fold

The best American based manufacture of premium RV and camper mattresses is Otis Bed from Buffalo, NY. This company has been around since the late 1890's.  The quality of foam they use in their mattresses is the highest density of high density pressurized foam on the market.  Made to last 10 plus years with frequent usage.  Otis Bed offers several different foam mattresses in different thicknesses and firmness.

The best recommended and thinnest model is the Stratosphere mattress. The Stratosphere measures just under 7" thick and provides superior support and comfort.

The picture above was taken inside a tiny home of less than 300 sq.ft.  This tiny home happens to be a double loft. Meaning there is a sleeping loft on each end of the house.  Most tiny homes do not have conventional stand up bedrooms.  Sleeping lofts tend to be under 4ft tall from the floor to the ceiling.  Given the little room, there is no need to put a conventional bed frame nor box spring in this space.  A foam futon makes more sense than the cotton based futon.  The main reason is weight. A cotton futon will weight 4 to 5 times more than a foam futon mattress.  This makes a big difference when transporting the mattress and fitting it in a tight space as well as lifting it and changing the linens. Otis Bed manufactures the best premium foam futon mattresses which give the highest level of comfort and are built to last for many years.

The great thing about these foam mattresses is that the manufacture will use 12 to 14" of foam which is compressed into 7 to 9" thick.  This gives the mattress some give or rebound as if it contained coils.  I don't recommend coil innerspring mattresses for a number of reasons.  

1. Innerspring mattresses less than 10" thick tend to be on the lower side of quality.  The springs will wear out fast, and they are heavier.

2. Special sizes in innerspring are harder to find.

Bunk beds in RV's are smaller than standard twin and cot sizes.  Special size foam mattresses can be made to order.

3. Innerspring is not good for sitting long periods of time.  Your body weight is concentrated in one spot of the mattress increasing the wear.

4. You can't fold an innerspring mattress and stow it away if necessary.

Best Rated Foam Mattresses for RV Campers & Sleeping Lofts

As for sitting and lounging solutions, foam futon mattresses are perfect for built in sofas and chairs in your RV, trailer, cabin or tiny home.  Special sizes and covers can be made for non standard mattress sizes you can't buy in store.  As for a sofa bed in your tight space, you need something functional that will not take up a lot of space when converted from a sofa to a bed position.  Conventional pull out sofa beds are the least preferred type of sofa bed for RV's.  Not only is the mattress extremely uncomfortable, but the mattress in the bed position will occupy 88" of floor space from the back of the sofa to the front of the end of the mattress.

As show above, this RV has a slide out where the sofa is positioned.  Look at all the unnecessary wasted space the mattress takes up.  You can't even walk around it.  The mattress is less than 5" thick, very flimsy and you will eventually be able to feel the support cross bar sticking up in your back.

A jack knife sofa bed or "modern futon" is a perfect inexpensive solution for an RV.  This style of sofa bed is bi fold and will open up width wise, saving you quite a bit of space.  Also, these sofa beds usually have extra storage underneath the seating deck.

Example of a jack knife style sofa bed used in an RV

Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to Prevent Cats From Scratching and Destroying Your Sofa Couch

I worked for many years in furniture retail sales and I have been asked the same question so many times, I thought I would write a little blog post about it.  The common question I receive from customers is "what is the best type of fabric that my cat won't destroy for my sofa?".

How to stop your pets from destroying your furniture

I can answer this question truthfully because personally, I myself have been a cat owner of several different cats over the last 30 years.  The short answer is that there really is no type of fabric that is scratch proof.  Be it leather, vinyl, microsuede, polyester, rayon, it doesn't matter. Cats will destroy it.

I tell my customers that they simply cannot worry about their cats destroying their furniture.  If you're worried about your pets destroying your furniture, then you can either clip their nails every few weeks or train them not to go on the furniture.  Easier said than done.

Okay, so really, there has to be a sofa that can hold up against cat claws.  The simple answer is a wooden futon frame, futon mattress and cover.  Most cats like to scratch the arms of sofas.  However, a futon frame is wood which cats cannot scratch.  However, cats can still scratch the futon mattress and cover.  Most cats like to go underneath the futon and try to scratch the bottom of the mattress.

The futon really is the best option if you have pets.  The reason is that you can easily replace the futon cover and mattress.  A futon cover costs on average between $40 to $150.  This is not too expensive compared to reupholstering your sofa, replacing cushions of discontinued models, or replacing the sofa all together.

Image result for cat and futon

That is the beauty of the futon.  Everything is piece by piece.  You can easily replace the futon mattress or futon cover.  Your frame should hold up for a while, provided that you operate it correctly.
The best idea is to invest the futon set package.  The futon set package allows you to choose your style of futon frame, comfort level of futon mattress and lastly your futon cover.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What type of futon mattress should I use for a tri-fold futon frame love seat?

If you are looking for a futon replacement mattress for your tri-fold futon frame, it is important to understand what type of mattress will work best.

As you may have noticed, UrbanFutonbeds.com does not feature this type of tri fold futon frame love seat.  The futon frame love seats that are featured on the site have a built in ottoman extension piece.  In order for the mattress to fit on the frame, the mattress in a love seat size will come in two pieces. One piece is the seating cushion part and the second piece of the mattress is for the ottoman.  When the ottoman is not in use, the second part of the futon mattress can be stored behind the frame.

The reason we do not feature these types of frames is because they are not as popular as they once used to be.  Aesthetically, they do not look too appealing either with the mattress either folded where the seat cushion is or either the other half of the mattress hangs off the back cascading.

As you can see in the picture above how the mattress rests on the frame.  If you are looking for a replacement futon mattress with this type of frame, you have three choices.  First, you have to get a cotton based mattress and not a foam futon mattress.  The reason for this is because the foam futon mattress can not bed as easily.  The three different futon mattresses that will work for this type of frame are either the 4" all cotton, the 6" all cotton or the 6" single foam and cotton.  The best choice would be the 6" single foam with cotton futon mattress by Gold Bond.  Having at least a single layer of foam is better because the mattress will have more flexibility and won't develop as many loose creases.  Any mattress thicker than than six inches simply won't work well because it will be too hard to bend on this type of frame.

6' Thick Futon Mattress with single foam by Gold Bond


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Best Rated Mattress for Sex for Active Couples - The Pros & Cons by Dr. Futonberg

                                     (Warning: semi-graphic language in this article)

There are two main functions of a mattress. First is “sleeping” and second is “conceiving”. Or we should only hope it’s for conceiving, but we can call it “making love”. This is a question that doesn’t get asked much but it should because I'm sure it's on many couples' minds. To answer this question as best as possible, I may have to be a little graphic in nature but I’ll try to keep it clean.

First, there really is no such thing as the best mattress to have sex on because it all depends on the positions and activities of foreplay you happen to practice. We can break the mattresses down by category of main ingredient, such as innerspring, high density foam, and memory foam (temperpedic like). Each category of mattress has it’s pros and cons, so only you can decide what type of mattress best suits you and your partners activities. I will also take into account that the quality of mattress has to be decent and not something cheap and generic like. We’ll focus on mattresses that retail online between $400 to $1000 in queen size.


First we start with innerspring mattresses. Innerspring coil mattresses are good for love making if you like a little bounce in your thrust. The bounce of the springs will keep the motion going but will lessen the impact. Also if you invest in an innerspring mattress, make sure it contains a thick and strong foam encasement perimeter. This feature will give extra support along the edge of the mattress so it doesn’t cave in. Not all love making is done in the middle of the bed, some couples use the edge. It is especially important that the mattress has extra foam pad layering over the thick 10″ or greater for the size of the coils. The reason for this is if you are making love in the (woof, woof, or ruff ruff position - the sound a dog makes), keep in mind that for the man, all of his body weight will be concentrated in the knees which will really weigh down the coils in that particular spot. This could throw the man a little off balance. Make sure that the mattress has enough quality foam padding over the coils.

For the missionary position or the cowgirl mounting position, the innerspring mattress will keep the movement going but will lessen the impact. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Only you can decide.

Memory Foam

The opposite feel or texture to innerspring coil mattresses is memory foam. Memory foam or temperpedic like mattresses will slow you down in the thrust or the motion but will strengthen the impact of a deeper penetration. Memory foam type mattress can work well in many positions but no so much in the doggy way. The reason being is that if you weight more than your spouse you will not be surface level because it will feel like you’re in quick sand or a slowly sinking ship. So depending on whoever is doing the thrusting part, that person will have to work a bit harder on a memory foam mattress than an innerspring mattress, so you should be in good shape unless you literally want your lovemaking to become a distant memory on your “for-sleep-only” memory foam mattress.

The Best Type of Mattress for Sex is High Density Foam by Otis Bed (in the Doctor's opinion)

Last, we have the best of both innerspring and memory foam worlds. I’m not talking about the combination of both memory foam and innerspring, which does exist, but something a little bit more affordable for the new college graduate starting out in their career, or the new young couple or perhaps a guest room where you know you’ll be hosting guests who treat your bed as if it was in a motel that charges hourly rates. The type of mattress I believe is the best for having sex is the all-high density foam platform/futon mattresses by Otis Bed. I know I sound a little biased promoting this brand, however there is a lot of validity to my endorsement. Otis Bed mattresses are the best of quality and also very affordable. All the mattresses ship easily in a vacuum compressed box. I suggest two different model types of mattresses for your platform bed frame.

The Moonshadow futon mattress is an excellent choice for active couples.  It's considered soft in the sense that it has some bounce or give, yet it is firm in support.  It's a thick foam mattress measuring between 8" to 9", yet it is stuffed with more than 14" of the highest density foam, compressed into 8" to 9" thick.  This gives the mattress some give so it feels like it has springs.  It's the best of both worlds of firmness and softness combined together.   For just between a $400–$600 Otis Bed offers affordable quality mattresses that have a 10 year manufacture’s warranty and feel like a high quality innerspring or even latex type mattress.

High density foam futon and platform bed mattresses by Otis bed are designed with the highest quality and density of multiple compressed layers of high pressurized foam. When you have 14–16″ of high density foam compressed into 8–10″ thick, it gives a spring like feel or slight bounce to the mattress. It’s the best of both worlds giving you good steady bounce for motion, thrust and impact.

Top Best Rated Foam Mattresses by Otis Bed
Haley 110
Haley 150

High Density Foam Futon & Platform Bed Mattresses by Otis Bed