If you have a small space, opting to purchase a multi-purpose piece of furniture is a good idea— and when it comes to a guest room or office, nothing is better than the humble futon. This couch-sleeper combo is perfect for those with limited square footage and anyone who frequently makes use of their guest room bed.
And if you’re wary of futons from your college days, don’t worry—they’ve come a long way! From convertible sofas and bunk beds to sectionals, split-backs, and traditional Japanese-style options, you're bound to find something that suits your needs and taste.
When making a futon purchase you need to make sure that both the seated and sleeping part is comfortable. "Although sometimes a sleeper, the primary use of these pieces is typically still seating, so comfort is a must," says Michelle Castagna, President of the International Furnishings and Design Association, Florida chapter.
Keeping this in mind, we searched high and low to find the most attractive designs for every budget and considered each futon's ease of set up and quality of design. Our top pick is the CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Liberty Sectional Storage, which combines a versatile design with an affordable price point.
Here are more of the best futons on the market today.
CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Liberty Sectional Storage Futon
Great for tall people
Multiple position split-back
CosmoLiving's Liberty Sleeper is a couch, a chaise lounge, a storage compartment, and a bed—all in one. The legs and frame are made of solid wood, and the upholstery comes in your choice of chic velvet or chenille in a variety of colors.
This chaise can be reconfigured to either side of the couch for ultimate convenience, and the roomy 7-foot length makes this a great sleeping option for tall people. While it might be on the slightly more expensive side of the spectrum, its customizability and attractive design make it worth the price—especially if you live in a small space.
Price at time of publish: $960
Size: 84 x 60.5 x 32.5 inches | Materials: Solid wood frame, velvet upholstery | Cushions: Polyester foam | Sleeper Size: Twin
Serta Rane Convertible Sofa
High-density foam cushions
Easy to set up
Durable metal frame
Doesn't fit standard bedding sizes
Weight capacity is only 300 pounds
On a budget? You can't go wrong with the Serta Rane. This sleek convertible sofa boasts clean lines and a modern silhouette, and its tufted seat and back come in four neutral colors. With high-density foam cushions and a backrest that folds completely flat, it's a couch by day and a bed by night.
Thanks to Serta's Click-Clack technology, this futon is easy to set up and even easier to convert into a sleeper. Plus, it comes with the brand’s Finger Guard technology, which prevents fingers from being squished inside the futon. Just take note of the weight capacity and the fact that it only folds down to one position.
Price at time of publish: $218
Size: 66.1 x 33.1 x 29.5 inches | Materials: Chrome and wood frame, polyester upholstery | Cushions: High-density foam | Sleeper Size: Twin
CB2 Una Boucle Sleeper Sofa
Free fabric swatches
Extensive at-home assembly
CB2’s Una Ivory Boucle Sofa proves that futons can be extremely stylish. The minimalist wood frame contrasts perfectly with the textured boucle upholstery (which comes in ivory and gray, by the way) to make a statement piece of furniture that’ll fit nicely in multiple decor styles.
The futon folds open from a 90-degree angle for sitting to a flat queen-sized bed that can sleep two. The mattress is extra comfy, too, made with pocketed coil springs and topped with foam cushions. Be aware that there is a fair amount of assembly required at home, unless you opt to buy CB2’s In-Home Delivery service, which includes assembly.
Price at time of publish: $1,999
Size: 84 x 40 x 31 inches | Materials: Metal frame | Cushions: Foam | Sleeper Size: Queen
Best Bunk Bed
DHP Twin-Over-Futon Convertible Couch and Bed
Ladders on both sides
Doesn't come with mattress
Full assembly required
If you want to create a cool space for your kid's room, check out the DHP Twin-Over-Futon. This bunk bed-style option accommodates a twin mattress on top and has a standard-sized futon on the bottom, so your kid can hang out during the day and have a spot for an overnight guest at night. It’s also a solid piece of furniture for a dorm room—if there’s no room for a sofa, this is a great way to create some seating.
With ladders on either side and a guard rail up top, it's easy to climb and offers security for sleeping. The mattress is sold separately, and be aware that mattress height should not exceed 6 inches.
Price at time of publish: $269
Size: 78 x 54.5 x 72.5 inches | Materials: Metal frame | Cushions: Not listed | Sleeper Size: Twin
MaxYoyo Japanese Floor Futon Mattress
Lots of sizes and colors
Memory foam fill
Bulky to store
Unlike sofa bed futons, Japanese futons are plush, quilted sleeping pads that can be placed directly on the floor, no frame necessary. MaxYoyo's Floor Mattress is one of the best options out there. Filled with ultra-plush and supportive memory foam, this 4-inch futon is great if you already have a non-sleeper sofa and don't like the feel (and effort) of an air mattress. It comes in four sizes and a bunch of different colors and can simply be folded and stored away when not in use.
Price at time of publish: $180
Size: 80 x 60 x 4 inches | Materials: Microfiber cotton cover, memory foam core | Cushions: Memory foam | Sleeper Size: Twin, full, queen, king
Mercury Row Clarissa 32" Wide Convertible Chair
Solid wood frame
More expensive than sofa-size options
If you're working with limited square footage, consider this clever and attracgtive convertible chair from Wayfair. The Clarissa has a solid wood frame, tear-resistant upholstery, and foam-filled cushions with sinuous springs, resulting in a nice-looking chair that secretly functions as a bed. Whether configured as a chair or unfolded into a bed, you and your guests will be comfy and supported.
Price at time of publish: $305
Size: 32 x 36 x 32 inches | Materials: Solid wood frame, polyester upholstery | Cushions: Foam and polyester | Sleeper Size: Twin
Urban Outfitters Greta Recycled Sleeper
Multiple recline options
Recycled leather upholstery
Metal frame can be squeaky
Looking for a leather option? You'll love this sleeper sofa from Urban Outfitters. With genuine recycled leather upholstery, a plush foam fill, and pintuck detailing, the Greta is just as cushy as it looks. A sturdy metal frame is completely concealed within the cushioning, offering a unique legless look that minimalists will appreciate. You can use it as an extra-large upright couch, a partially reclined lounger, or a fully flat mattress. It's easy to set up and switch into an upright or flat position thanks to the clicking position locks.
Price at time of publish: $1,199
Size: 82 x 41.7 x 30.8 inches | Material: Recycled leather upholstery | Cushions: Foam | Sleeper Size: Full
Best with Storage
Pottery Barn Shasta Square Arm Upholstered Storage Futon
Single seat cushion
Lots of upholstery options
Weeks-long wait on made-to-order pieces
Pottery Barn's take on the futon is this upholstered sofa-style sleeper. The Shasta boasts a durable frame made of engineered wood and laminated veneer lumber and can be customized in a range of colors and fabrics. Underneath the firm polyester-filled cushions is a hidden storage compartment for bedding, blankets, pillows, or anything else you need to keep out of the way. It's definitely on the high-end, but it's worth it if you don't have room for a traditional sleeper but want the same look.
Price at time of publish: $1,199 for Park Weave Fabric
Size: 86.5 x 37 x 34 inches | Material: Engineered wood and LVL frame, various upholstery options | Cushions: Polyester-filled | Sleeper Size: Full
Overall, we recommend the CosmoLiving Liberty Sectional Storage Futon (view at Amazon), for its versatility, style, and relatively affordable price tag. If you're looking for something even more budget-friendly, check out the Serta Rane Futon (view at Amazon), which is durable, comfortable, and priced well under $200.
What to Look for in a Futon
You should consider the amount of space you have for a convertible futon before purchasing. A larger room may allow for a queen-size futon, while a dorm room or shared bedroom may require a convertible chair. Considering the size of your futon will also help you prepare for the size of accessories you'll need like pillows and sheets. Keep in mind that some futons may not be standard bed sizes, so you may have to make larger-sized sheets work on a smaller futon.
As Castagna mentioned, it's important to remember that you're looking for something that works as both a seating option and a bed. For this reason, adequate cushioning is crucial. We recommend getting a futon with foam or polyester cushions at least 4 inches thick. High-density foam and options with sinuous springs can also offer a comfort boost while enhancing durability.
Solid wood frames are ideal for futons, as they're dependably sturdy and can bear the most weight (a fact that's great to know when you're buying any furniture). Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) can be good for furniture frames as well, as it's exceptionally strong and stable. You'll also find options with frames made of metal, such as chrome or steel. The latter typically offers better durability, though it depends on the design.
Futons typically convert into a bed by folding down the back, creating a fully reclined makeshift bed. If you want something even more versatile, look for a futon with a split-back design or one that folds back into different positions, so you can use it for lounging instead of sleeping.
How do you make a futon more comfortable?
One of the best ways to make a futon more comfortable is with a mattress topper. You can find memory foam, gel, and down-filled options to place over the cushions for another 2 or 3 inches of plushness and support. Another option is to put an air mattress on top, so it's a little higher off the ground. Beyond that, comfy bedding can go a long way.
What size sheets fit a futon?
This depends on the size of your futon—or rather, the size of the "bed" it folds out into. Many futons convert into standard mattress sizes, particularly twin or full, which should be specified in the product description. In that case, you can use the appropriate sheet size. However, some are in between standard sizes, and others are smaller than a twin. If your futon is in between bedding sizes, we recommend going a size up with sheets.
What is the difference between a futon and a sleeper sofa?
"The main difference between a futon and a sleeper sofa is that the sleeper sofa has a concealed mattress in the frame, which is separate from the sofa cushions, whereas the futon uses the seat cushion(s) as the mattress," says Decorist designer Mikayla Keating. Therefore, a futon requires less square footage, making it especially suited to small spaces. Another difference is that futons are typically much less expensive than traditional sleeper sofas, often by hundreds of dollars.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in furniture, decor, and home improvement. She's well-versed in high-quality furnishings and knows what to look for in terms of materials, construction, and joinery. To write this article, she did a deep dive into the top picks on the market and consulted Decorist designer Mikayla Keating and Michelle Castagna, President of the International Furnishings and Design Association, for additional insight. The final products were selected based on their functionality, design, and construction.
You can check out more of Theresa's work on Byrdie, MyDomaine, and Verywell Mind.