While they’ll do an adequate job of putting up your mother-in-law for a night or two, futons aren’t always as great a solution if you plan on spending one-third of your life on one for the near future, especially cheaply made ones.
There's no need to abandon the idea of getting a futon though, you just have to consider a few things before pulling the trigger.
Even if you already have a futon with a metal bar making a permanent dent in your back included, there are still some tricks you can use to make sleeping on it not just bearable, but genuinely comfortable as well. Here are a few choice tips on making this happen and ensuring that you get a decent sleep, even on your rickety old futon for a change.
You can offset a lot of the headaches (as well as aches in your joints, neck muscles, back) that stem from a poor futon by doing research first and going for a futon which is thickly padded and has a layer of memory foam which helps keep your body comfortable while bouncing back to its original shape shortly after sleeping.
Another good idea is to get one without those clunky wooden arms that do nothing for the restless sleepers among us. While it’s understandable that there’s not always time nor room in one’s budget for a premium option, do consider the fact that you or a loved one will be spending a lot of time on it, so the question becomes whether or not saving a couple of bucks now is worth the hassle in the long run.
So, you’re stuck with a less-than-ideal futon and can’t replace it? All’s not lost yet! When dealing with the comfort problems of a shabby futon, the best results come if you attack the issue from two sides. Most people think that slapping on additional layers of a sort will do the trick, and while it’s an essential part of making the futon better, it’s just one part of the equation.
You’ll want to use something to make your futon’s frame more robust. If it’s noticeably sagging in one place or even just slightly uneven, piling additional layers on won't fix the problem. One thing you can do is to insert additional wooden slats between the existing ones if your futon has a wooden frame. If no separate frame is present, you can put a sturdy, flat object like a box full of old magazines or something under the problematic spot to make it level. As silly as it sounds, you can even insert a layer of cardboard between the frame and mattress for noticeable results.
Once you’re sure that you’ve done everything to make the futon’s base firm and uniform, you can move on to enhancing the layer people will actually be sleeping on. If you’re just a little bit disappointed in your futon’s comfort level, a mattress topper may be all it takes to make things right. Whether you’re a fan of the good old egg carton pattern or prefer one in the style of a comforter, the small boost a topper provides may just be enough.
If that fails, you’ll need to resort to thicker alternatives. The first thing you may want to try is a duvet or comforter. Fluffy and airy, but surprisingly effective at smoothing out imperfections in your mattress’ surface, comforters are light and inexpensive, plus you can buy a larger one and fold it up for extra comfort.
Memory foam mattresses are another option that are becoming increasingly less expensive – if you aren’t averse to placing a call or two to the right place, you can get a sizeable chunk of memory foam delivered which you can then tailor to your futon’s dimensions at a fraction of a normal mattress’ cost, or you can always pay extra for a pre-made one.
Finally, consider an air mattress – it’s far cheaper than a regular one, its firmness can be regulated via the amount of air you put into it, and its sizeable thickness will get your body farther away from the floor. Provided you don’t need to put the futon away every night, you can leave it on and avoid the annoyance of continually having to deflate and inflate it back up again altogether.
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do to your futon to turn it into a viable resting place not just for the passing guest, but for a regular sleeper as well. All it takes is the right mindset, a little elbow grease and a bit of ingenuity. Now go and put some of these tips into practice on your own futon!