The futons you are accustomed to are actually derived from traditional Japanese floor beds, which can be folded up and stored to maximise space. These days, the typical futon usually means sofa bed or a couch that can transform into a bed in a few simple steps.

Cotton Blend

If you are looking for an authentic Japanese sleeping experience, a cotton blend futon is the way to go. These are much different from western-style futons, which are actually low wooden sofa beds. The authentic futon is usually paired with a doona to complete the bedding set. When using this type of futon, it is important to maintain a clean, organised, open floor space. These are actually space-savers as you are able to use your floor for other things during the day, and actual setup of the futon bedding takes mere minutes.

Western Futon

Many futons, often called 'klik klaks' or 'click clacks', use the design typically found in Western shops. These are made with durable materials like wood and steel. They are designed in such a way that the middle of the frame has a hinge, so the backrest can fold back to double as the other section of a bed frame. Western futons are versatile, but they permanently take up the floor space as opposed to traditional Japanese futons.


Futons, frames, and covers are widely sold because they are ideal for apartment or studio setups, which put a premium on floor space. Some frames are sold separately from the mattress so you can customise your sofa bed to your liking, while others sell all the accessories in a set. If you move often, consider futons that use steel frames that easily fold and are generally lighter and less cumbersome than wooden futons. If you have your own home, then nothing can match the stability and versatility of a wooden futon.