Futon vs. Sofa Bed – Which One is More Comfortable for Sleeper?

Are you worried about friends coming over? Do you need extra space to accommodate your relatives for a night? Don’t panic as your problem has a solution. You can have a futon or a sofa bed. But wait! Do you know which one to buy?

People consider futon and sofa bed to be almost the same thing. However, there is a difference between their structure, style, and sizes. How they vary from one another and which one is better is what we will be discussing here. A comprehensive comparison will help you to choose the most suitable for you.

So, come on and let’s get an idea to find the better of two.

Also, you can read Top 10 Rated Mattress Brands in 2021.

Different between Futon and Sofa Bed

Features Futon Sofa bed
Price Cheap Expensive
Cleaning Easy Difficult
Looks Normal Great
Mattress options Yes No
Assembly Yes No



Futon A futon is traditional bedding in Japan. It is like a sofa that doubles as a bed. So, it can be used as a guest bed. You can fold it up and store. You can switch it to a bed or a couch whenever you need. Japanese futons are thinner as compared to the American futons. Their fold takes less space in your room.



A sofa bed contains a bed inside. It consists of metal frames which you pull to reveal the bed inside. As it resides bed in itself, the mattress width has to be thinner. The bed is underneath its cushions. Sofa beds can contain many different materials and sizes.

Which One Is Comfortable For Sleeping: Futon Vs. Sofa Bed?


Futons are comfortable for sleeping purposes. Some of them have a mechanism in them for choosing the firmness level. They are light and portable. They are the adjustable mattresses which can fit your needs. They use organic cotton, wool or latex in their construction. This makes them clean and comfortable for sleeping peacefully.

The futon is thinner as compared to your regular mattresses. So, they may not be a good choice for people with back pain. However, they can give enough support to sleep for a night or two. The thinner futon is better for back sleepers while thicker is a good choice for side sleepers.

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Sofa Bed

Sofa beds may not be the best choice when it comes to sleep. Though, they can serve this purpose for a short time. It is because the mattress has metal bars inside. The mattress is thin and may degrade in its quality with time. So, a sleeper will feel the rods in it and will be uncomfortable to sleep on. Also, they have a fixed level of comfort or firmness. So, this makes them less comfortable as compared to futons. However, they can serve as a sleeping bed for some time.

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Like the sound of Sofa Bed? Click here to read our full review.

Pros and Cons of A Futon

  • Futons are an affordable choice when it comes to accommodating your guests and relatives in your home.
  • They are light in weight. This makes them portable and a good choice for emergencies.
  • A good thing is that they have a dual display and multi-purpose. This means they can be a sofa like and opened up to become a bed.
  • There are different frames types as you need. These may vary from the metal frame to hand-carved wooden frames.
  • They take a very little space and are roomy. Often, they are more spacious but take less space than a couch.
  • A low-quality futon may accumulate cotton with time. So, it becomes uncomfortable to sleep on them. It may be possible unless a futon contains polyfoam.
  • Their mattresses are thin.

Pros and Cons of ASofa Bed

  • Sofa beds have a vast variety of sizes and designs. You can choose the traditional types to modern types.
  • They are very convenient to use when a lot of your relatives are coming over. They can give you a good option for arranging an instant bed for them.
  • They don’t need any assembly set up. You just need to lift it properly and place anywhere you want.
  • They are definitely space savers. They don’t take much of your room’s space. This makes them a good choice for having in your small home.
  • They are expensive as compared to the futon.
  • It may be a hard job to clean a sofa bed.
  • The sofa bed fabric is of such type that it gets dirty sooner.

A Comprehensive Comparison Between The Two

Futon and sofa bed; though considered same differs a lot when comparing them on a serious basis. We are writing a comparison here which highlights the differences between the two.

Outer Structure And Style

Futon and sofa bed vary a lot when it comes to their structure. A futon is a bed and a couch at the same time. You can convert it any time you want from couch to bed or vice versa. They have a foldable structure. Their frame then contains the mattress’ coating. Also, the futon has a varying level of mattresses and firmness. They don’t contain any bars or frames. Just unfolding is necessary to make it a bed like structure,

The sofa bed is very different in structure from a futon. It is a normal sofa but contains metal bars underneath. These metal bars support the mattress in it. You can pull these metal bars out and use this sofa as a bed. Further, there is no option of firmness level in the sofa bed. And, the mattresses are usually thinner as compared to the futon.

Comfort Level

The futon is comfortable to sleep on. They have varying level of firmness. They utilize organic cotton and wool material in their construction. This makes them a good choice for sleeping for up to several nights. However, you cannot hide that it is a futon. And, it may be a little uncomfortable for sitting position. But, they are easy to move around.

A sofa bed can also give a good amount of comfort but not for regular sleep or long hours. They have already a thinner mattress and that may degrade over time. This results in revealing the inner bars and it becomes uncomfortable to sleep on it. It is because they have a fixed level of comfort. Also, they are heavier as compared to the futon.

Price Comparison

The futon is less expensive as compared to the sofa bed. They are easy on the pocket and have varieties. Also, you have the choices to make according to your room theme.

The sofa bed is an expensive choice but if you are buying it with other furniture, it may look good. However, you can always buy a cheaper one. But, you will have to compromise for its quality. A low-quality sofa bed is of a low price. But, it may wear out soon.

Upholstery Options For The Two

There is an option for upholstery in the futons. You can choose the type, thickness and material of the mattress that you want in it. This makes it a great option to match with the theme of your room or other furniture.

There is no option of upholstery in the sofa bed. The metal or wooden frames are fixed and does not allow upholstery. If you want to change, it may be a tedious and expensive task to do.


Cleaning of a futon is not a strenuous task. The covers are sometimes removable and this makes it easier to clean it. Because it acts as a regular bed, it contains the hypo-allergenic material. Also, they are easy to clean.

Sofa bed’s covers are fixed. And, it may be difficult for some to clean them. You cannot take them off easily and wash. This increases further when upholstery is needed. So, it is not easier to wash a sofa bed as compared to a futon.

You may be want to learn more about How to Choose a Mattress Fit For You.

Set Up Of The Two

Futon has a minimalistic look and size. They are adjustable even in limited spaces. Because of their compactness, they are light in weight. Also, they don’t carry any metal bars and rods in them. So, this makes it easy to move around. But, futon needs a setup. You need someone who knows how to properly set this up. Follow the instructions that come with it for its assembly.

Sofa bed takes more space than a futon. They are larger in sizes. So, this makes their setup a little difficult. You need to place your sofa bed in a spacious place in your house. Because it is larger itself. And, takes further space when acting as a bed. But, it does not require any process for set up. You just need to pick it with care and place wherever you want.

Outer Look

The futon is an obvious thing that it is a futon. You cannot deceive someone that it is a sofa because of its structure. That is why it may sometimes look like an ordinary piece. So, you can place it in any other room when guests are staying so as not to affect the look of your drawing room.

Sofa bed comes in different designs. It looks good when you place it with other furniture items. So, you can place it in your drawing room.


Futon and sofa bed both have their advantages and disadvantages. This is what we discussed above. A futon is a good choice when you want an inexpensive and easy to clean bed cum sofa. However, for decorating purposes, a sofa bed is a good choice but is expensive. It is better in appearance than a futon and available in sizes and designs. However, its customization is a difficult task. For that, the futon is a good choice. You can select the mattress options in it. So, think and decide the one you want.

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