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Futon vs Sofa Bed: What Is The Difference And Which One Would You Buy | If you're considering a Futon or Sofa Bed, Read This

In the battle between a futon vs a sofa bed, the first step is understanding how they are different from one another.

Well, let us first clarify what the need of each product is.

The futon and sofa bed are used for essentially the same purpose and are somewhat similar. However, some may argue that they are entirely different.

We have compiled a list of differences and we have also contrasted several features and qualities of both products which might make the difference a bit more vivid and you can then generate a clear idea of the two.

Futon vs Sofa Bed

Features Sofabed Futon
Easy to setup Yes No
Redecoration Difficult to do Easiertodo
Choice of mattress Depends on the manufacturer Depends on you
Fits in Larger Spaces smaller spaces
Relative price Expensive Cheap


structure of sofa bedstructure of sofa bed

While comparing structures and construction of the futon vs sofa bed, we found that it is often the case that the sofa bed is built and constructed like a normal sofa or a couch and then there is a metal frame underneath which can be pulled out and then the entire product can be used as a bed rather than a sofa.

However, the futon is sort of a convertible product which can switch between a bed and a couch as many times as you like. The manufacturer usually incorporates a particular mechanism wherein it allows the product to convert easily. They fold easily and take up lesser space as nothing is being pulled out. They are a great product for smaller spaces such as apartments and dens.


Speaking in a general tone, it is easier to remove, iron and cleans a futon as it is as easy as the process seems. The cleaning of a futon is easier because it is much less expensive and requires lesser work to remove, iron and clean.

The same cannot be said for the sofa bed, unfortunately. Just taking off the slip-on covers of the sofa-bed may seem like a difficult challenge as they are somewhat fixed and tight. And if the sofa acquires the use of upholstery instead of sheets or covers, then the challenge becomes ten times as difficult because then the cleaning process takes longer; especially the reupholstering process.



In terms of comfort, the sofa bed provides only one setting or level of comfort and the firmness and other qualities cannot be altered. After some time of using these products, they become less comfortable and soon you will be able to feel the wooden frame and metal screws as the foam starts to wear out. And because the mattress is not easily removable, the entire product might have to be thrown out instead of replacing the worn out component.

The futon, on the other hand, utilizes a unique mechanism which allows you to choose the comfort and firmness level of the mattress which is immensely convenient. The futon is easily movable and is light in weight. These products boast a highly versatile system of bendable or adjustable mattresses. However, for a sitting position, there is no way to hide the fact that it is indeed a futon. The product is not very suitable for sitting positions as it is in uncomfortable in that sense.


Drawing a vivid contrast between the two choices, we found that the sofa-bed is best suited for larger spaces where the mattress can be pulled out and used easily. The retractable metal frame which encases the mattress is easy to pull out, however, it requires a larger area to accommodate itself.

The futon, on the other hand, is best suited for smaller spaces and is not easily set up as the conversion requires a proper mechanism and someone who knows how to effectively set up the product. This can be difficult and cumbersome if one does not have the proper instructions on how to execute the conversion.

Blending in

The futons and sofa-bed have different and unique looks and blend in with the environment in a manner opposite to the other. The former offers a much more natural look and blends in with the environment extremely well, as it usually matches with the furniture and overall ambiance. It also doesn’t look awkward or look like it does not match the rest of the scenic look of the lounge.

However, the later does not offer such amenities and it will always make itself obvious and make itself stand out in a way which will make it look awkward and weird. The overall look of the futon makes it look like it was made to be used as a standalone piece of furniture. As it requires a small amount of space, it is desirable to place it in the guest room or a smaller room. It is not the most suitable lounge furniture.

Also read:Best futon mattress   (Top 6 choices, guide and reviews)

Price and value of Futon vs Sofa Bed

In general terms, the futon is relatively cheaper and will range from $599 to $999, however, cheaper ones can be bought at a trade-off for a variety of different aspects of the product, like wood, metal material, the foam and so on. It is easier on the pocket, however, it does pose its cons which have been discussed in several preceding sub-headings of this article.

The sofa-bed is relatively more expensive, however, proves itself to be not worth the money as it poses more cons than pros and has been proven to be inferior in contrast to its counterpart. It is advisable to purchase this product when buying an entire furniture set to go to your lounge or living room. Otherwise, it will not deliver on your expectations. This product is available at cheaper prices, however, those products are not up to the standard which they should be, and will offer a very bad experience overall.

Choices for upholstery

With a sofa bed, it is usually the case that the upholstery is fixed onto the wooden or metal frame and it is not a choice to pick out your own liking of the upholstery. The entire product must be taken apart if you wish to change the upholstery and that can be expensive as well as a tiresome and, long process.

The futon, however, provides the option to simply choose the mattress and cushion covers you want. Changing the upholstery is fast, easy and reliable. It makes for a great option when you are the kind of person who likes to redecorate and give a new look to the room or house. There are numerous stylish covers and upholstery options available for the futon.

Mattress Sizes of Futon vs Sofa Bed

The sofa bed usually comes with a thin mattress which is obvious since it affects the overall height and weight of the product. However, these mattresses are somewhat uncomfortable and you can feel the wooden frame and screws sometimes as well. These mattresses are also not easily replaceable as they are of a unique thickness which is difficult to replace. There are hardly any replacement mattresses of these products available online.

The futon has a unique conversion mechanism which makes it easy to pick out any mattress from any brand of any size. It does not restrict you to use only one kind of mattress, rather it gives the freedom to replace and also to redecorate. This makes the product look stylish and it will help to give a fresh new look to your room or where ever you decide to place it.

Addition of more padding or cushions

When you buy this product, it is more likely that you bought them as an extra piece of furniture which is able to serve dual purposes. However, one major drawback in both of these products is the fact that most people will be able to tell that they are laying on a product which has a dual purpose. So in order to provide more comfort and convenience, one can add padding and cushions. Since the sofa bed’s upholstery is fixed and cannot be replaced as easily.

This is a bit of a challenge with a sofa bed since their upholstery is fixed and cannot be replaced, so you must find cushions and paddings which are either similar or in contrast to the upholstery which is already fixed. We would recommend you to add contrasting cushions and paddings as it uplifts the entire product and makes the room look stylish as well.

With a futon, you get the option to choose your own mattress as well as the covers and cushions that go with it. You can choose matching cushion covers, mattress tops, paddings and even other accessories to go with this product.


These two products will provide you with the optimum experience which you require. Regardless of which product you choose, they will both prove to be a worthy purchase. The futon is a better choice when you intend to place it in a smaller space and you like to redecorate and move things around. It provides a more versatile than the sofa bed, and, it also costs lesser.

The sofa bed is a better choice when buying it with other furniture, or as a furniture set. It is not as versatile, however, it is much more aesthetically pleasing and stylish than its counterpart. It costs more, however.