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My Futon Mattress

Updated on July 6, 2011
Futon mattress - Courtesy:
Futon mattress - Courtesy:

When it comes to simplicity in a personal sleep system, nothing beats the basic structure of the futon. Over the years the futon has reached epic heights in both popularity and ridicule, though never really finding solid ground in the U.S. on which to build a mainstream following.

That's fine with many like me, who have found over the years that the futon mattress is a rock-solid sleep solution, both functional and affordable. It is, in fact, the perfect complement to the quasi-minimalistic lifestyle I've been cultivating throughout my adult life

The Futon Mattress

My First Futon

The first futon I ever owned was a $100 job that my father purchased for me when I moved to NYC. In 1989 I transferred from a comfortable college situation in Adrian, Michigan to the relative uncertainty of New York City. I had enrolled in CUNY Brooklyn (Brooklyn College for those in the know) and taken up residence with my uncle in Manhattan's East Village.

My father paid for the futon mattress, without a frame of course, and then helped me carry it 4 blocks back to the rent-control apartment on E. 4th Street. The futon fit neatly on the hardwood floor and looked rather nice against the exposed, brushed-brick interior of my bedroom.

Futon mattresses are so sleek and simple in design, so from that moment forward I have been a fan of the futon lifestyle, and have owned one in every city I've lived from thereon-in.

Many Futons Later...

I've lived all over the United States (Michigan, NYC, Upstate NY, Washington D.C., Vegas, Delaware, etc.), and every step of the way there has always been a futon underneath me to help provide a good night's sleep. While I've always owned a futon for my sleeping needs, I've only once actually owned one futon frame to lay it on. The futon mattress frame was a rickety job, that quickly found its way out to the curb, waiting for the garbage-man to relocate it to its rightful resting place...

Futons mattresses can be purchased at a reasonable price, whereas a futon frame cannot, so I've always just opted to toss the futon on the floor and take it from there. Resting the futon mattress on the floor takes nothing away from the experience, and causes no discomfort whatsoever..

In fact, Japanese futons were never designed to be rested on a frame of any kind. Rather, they were to be placed on a tatami mat, which is a thin bamboo-style mat that rests directly on the floor. I won't be going into the history of the Japanese Futon here; There are plenty of Hubs that cover that material.

I do like to have futon mattress covers handy though, as it's much easier to clean a futon mattress cover than it is to clean the futon itself. So for me, futon frames are an excessive piece of furniture, whilst futon covers are absolutely crucial.

The futon bed I currently own rests neatly on the floor in my living room. It doubles as a comfortable place on which to watch TV, and an occasional place to catch some much needed rest. While I enjoy living a semi-minimalistic lifestyle, it would take a miracle to convince my girlfriend to give up her Über comfortable king-sized bed for a thin cotton mattress without a frame.

It would also take a miracle for her to convince me that we would be better off without the futon. I have been forced to move four times in the past two years, for reasons that were ultimately out of my control, and moving a standard bed+mattress combo would have proven to be much more difficult than it ultimately was to relocate the futon.

I simply rolled the futon mattress into a burrito shaped lump, tied it up with strapping I had laying around from an old construction gig I worked several years ago, threw the thing in the back of my Chevy S-10 truck, and completed the move without incident. Try doing that with a California King!

Regardless of my future living considerations, rest assured that there will always be a futon mattress nearby, sans frame of course!

Futon mattress covers

When it comes to protecting my futon mattress from the elements, then there truly is no substitute for a futon mattress cover. In the beginning, I gave very little consideration to protecting my mattress from normal wear and tear, as was documented in an earlier paragraph.

Nowadays, though, I'm very well aware that the mattress cover will undoubtedly add longevity to the life of any mattress I own. Simply throw a couple Pacific Coast pillows on the futon for one of the best night's sleep you'll ever get.

Single futon

A single futon mattress is a very handy piece of furniture, as it can be thrown in a corner as an extra chair, then expanded to provide a comfortable resting pad for guests or children.

Speaking of children, wouldn't you rather have a single futon mattress in their bedrooms, as opposed to the ultra-tacky beanbag chairs that many still purchase for their kids' bedrooms, dorms, etc?

Another great addition to the futon mattress could be a heated mattress pad, which will help keep you and your mattress nice and toasty on those cold winter nights. With a heated mattress pad placed directly underneath the futon cover, you will also enjoy the benefits of extra padding for support. Anybody who's slept on a futon knows that there will inevitably be mornings when we awaken with a bit of stiffness in the joints from our night's sleep.

What is your preferred type of bedding?

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