Newest Review: ... used as a sofa, the back of the futon forms a /\ shape and the end part of the base is left to form the /\_ shape (when looking from the si... more
Get Your Futon!
Member Name: norton501
Advantages: Futon-y (several positions)
Disadvantages: HEAVY and CUMBERSOME to move around/ to lift and unfold the mattress part- like big sandbag!
I bought a double-bed sized fold out futon about 6 years ago. I had just graduated and my boyfriend at the time convinced me to spend my first full pay packet from my first month working full time on a futon. I have no idea why I agreed to this (I was hoping to spend the money on things you buy when you're 21 like Hello Kitty stationery/ writing paper and clothes/ shoes, not a FUTON). I am still bitter about this as the futon cost me £500.
**The Futon Shop**
I bought it from a shop called "The Futon Shop" who sell futons in all shapes and sizes. Delivery was free on the same afternoon that I bought the futon. The shop seemed to be a small independent retailer but I have done some research and they have a website: http://www.futonshop.co.uk and are based in Sheffield but deliver all over the UK. The futon I bought was the Tokyo futon with the pine base (still selling, now for £375 for a single to £675 for a king sized futon plus the pine frame).
The futon was delivered and the man from the store kindly offered to carry the futon into the spare room and I was wondering why he was pouring with sweat after carrying the soft part up the stairs. I just thought he was unfit or in a rush! The futon came partially assembled- the pine base was folded up into the L shape and all we had to do was figure out how to add the removable wooden arms. This was just a case of screwing the arm parts on when the futon was in the L (sofa type) position.
To make the upright position: the pine base is folded into an /\_ position. The base of the futon is essentially in thirds so when the futon is being used as a sofa, the back of the futon forms a /\ shape and the end part of the base is left to form the /\_ shape (when looking from the side)- the bit you sit on.
To make the flat bed position- this is really easy- all you do is pull the pine base along the floor so it goes from a /\_ position to _ _ _.
From the website I have learned that there is also a mid way position - you can prop the edge piece up to form a \_ _ shape! I never knew this and the futon as I recall did not come with an instruction manual.
**The Soft Part**
To look at them, futons look light and come across like a sofa bed- something you can put in your spare room in case you have to accommodate guests and need a fold up bed. However, the thing that surprised me is the soft part- the bit that you have to fold into a 'b' shape when in the sofa potion, this literally WEIGHS A TON ! The futon I had felt as if it was filled with sand as it was a nightmare to fold up as there are no carry handles or bits to pull on- and as it is filled quite a lot- the material is not baggy so you cannot get a good grip on it.
To fold the futon back into an upright sofa position (/\_) it is easy to adjust the pine base. the hard part is lifting and folding the soft part as you have to fold this into a 'b' shape- so you have to move the soft fabric part on the flat bit of the pine base with the base in the /\_ position, then stand in front of the futon and use all your strength to lift the front two thirds back up so it folds back where your knees are to form a !> shape (looking again, from the side!).
This is the hardest thing to do and each time I had to fold the futon back up from a bed into a sofa as it filled our spare room when it was folded flat- I endured lots of swearing, trying to grasp the bit I was trying to lift and dropping it and skinning my knuckles against the material as I couldn't get a grip of it and struggling with it's weight. I ended up kicking and nudging and pulling and pushing and just trying to generally 'lift and try to throw/ shunt it in the right direction'. Many times, I had to give up and just push the fabric up against the pine base in a very untidy way, just as it was so heavy to try to lift and fold up!
I consider myself to be quite strong and can lift a fair weight - I don't have gripping or lifting problems. If you have any sort of mobility issues or cannot lift or grip heavy and bulky items then avoid these like these will be no good for you- unless you have one or two strong people to help you - for example, a futon like the one I had would be no good at all for an elderly relative or for someone with any sort of shoulder or neck/ back injuries! It is not kjust the weight- it is the cumbersomeness- it is bulky and awkward to grip so that makes it harder to fold up.
The futon I had had a slotted pine base that was sturdy and well made. I slept on the futon many times over the years and found it to be really comfortable- I got a good nights sleep and woke up feeling refreshed- but I like firm mattresses. The bit you sleep on is very very firm- but I am sure they are filled with just sand, so if you like soft mattresses, then again, this would not be suitable for you. When laid flat, the futon is practically on the ground (only 2-3 inches off the ground)- so it is like sleeping on the floor.
When the pine base is laid flat, and if you are trying to unfurl the bit to lay on (the heavy bit), you have to be very careful if standing on the wooden slats not to get your foot stuck between them- so whilst dragging the mattress type bit around you do have to stand on the pine base- but once or twice I put my foot between the slats as it is only a few inches off the ground and almost fell over which I'm sure would have done quite a lot of damage to my ankles and feet (but that would have been my own silly fault and not the fault of the product)- (just a word or warning!).
Sadly, my ex selfishly gave away the futon I had shelled out £500 on to a friend of a friend who said they wanted a futon for their spare room. He gave it to them for free (yes, again, I am bitter- but this is why he is an ex because he did things like that) without asking me and leaving us without a spare bed! So the tale of me and my futon, does not end well. However, I would say a few things if you like the idea of having a futon-
1: Lift the soft part when you are in the shop- try to unfold and fold it up so you know what you will have to contend with
2: Definitely get home delivery or assistance to carry this up stairs if you have stairs in your house
3: Shop around
4: Understand the work you will have to go through to fold and unfold this- there is no way a child or a teenager could lift this if they had one in their room.
Other than those cautionary points, I do often miss having the futon- as it was great to sleep on. But it was really awkward and a struggle to manoeuvre around. Expect bruises and skinned knuckles from lifting and folding/ unfolding!
Summary: You will suffer for style if you like the look of futons, they are multipurpose, but very heavy!
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