The results you’re about to see are based on statistical analysis of over 3,000 user reviews.
We looked at over 37 futon frames over the last 9 months and rated them in 4 quality categories.
We did our best to include all types and sizes. In the table below, you’ll see the overall ratings of the frames and quick links will take you to the full reviews.
Best futon frames – top 8
- Studio bi-fold frame
- Eastridge frame
- KD lounger
- Zinus King size futon frame
- DHP Vermont
- Arden frame
- DHP Aleesa
- DHP Aiden
Studio Bi-fold wood futon frame
This is one of the most popular frames out there, primarily because of the simple design that allows versatile use, both as a couch and as a bed.
- positions – five angles of reclining
- material-wood, tulip poplar
- available sizes – Full and Queen
- dimensions and weight of the full – 76 x 4 x 9 “ / 49 pounds
- dimensions and weight of the Queen size 81 x 5 x 9 “ / 57 pounds
More detailed information about the Studio bi-fold wood futon frame
Seat and backrest height
The seat depth is approximately 24 “ while the backrest is, according to our measurements, about 27 “ high.
We’ve seen no official listed maximum weight limit for the frame, but based on the experiences we’ve seen, we would say that it can comfortably sleep two adults, even those on the heavier side.
Overhang of the mattress
According to our measurements, the overhang is in the range of 1.5-2” on one side, which means that the combined overhang is approximately 3 to 4 “.
In couch mode, the depth of the seats is 42 “.
Clearance from the floor
Measured from the floor to the surface of the frame, the clearance is 10 “. Having the thickness of the frame in mind the clearance of the space under it is 8.5-9 “.
The lowest parts of the frame are the braces and the clearance between those and the top surface in 7 “.
The highest part in a horizontal position is the platform – according to our measurements the clearance here is 9.5 “.
The top surface of the frame is flat, but the angle of the fold it is designed (slanted) to keep a mattress safely in place, unless your futon mattress is especially sturdy, thick and features innersprings.
The frame can be easily folded and packs pretty small so it can be stored away while not in use.
It’s common to see/hear squeaking noises in most wooden futon frames. We did see a bit of that with this Studio bi-fold model, but not nearly as much compared to other products.
We attribute that to the solid construction. The images can be a bit deceiving in those terms, because it looks kind of thin and flimsy – in person, it’s well-crafted and stable, which minimizes the squeaking, even for a restless sleeper.
Slats and spacing
The distance between the slats is 3.5 “, while the slats themselves are approximately 2 “ in width. When folded down to a horizontal position there is a clearance of about 4.5 “, measured from the seating section and the backrest.
The company uses UPS for delivery (UPS grounds to be more precise) and no signature is required.
Wood sources and manufacturing
We have seen some claims that the wood used for the Studio Bi-fold is imported from China and we’re not sure what the source of that is. The wood is US-made with no harmful chemicals used.
To be specific – it’s 100 % Poplar.
The angles and mechanism of the recline
The mechanism used to recline the frame into the five angles available is simple and uses notches. No springs are included.
The back legs of the frame include wheels, which makes it easier to pull it away from the wall when setting it down.
Because it’s easy to move, there’s no need for special clearance between the wall and the sofa.
What kind of mattress to use?
Ideally, the design of the mattress will be bi-fold but the other types work as well. If you’re using a hybrid between innersprings and other materials, you might see some movement or sliding, especially if the mattress
is new and thick.
Assembly, disassembly and moving
If you’re using this occasionally, for example in your vacation home, you might need to assemble and disassemble it. Unlike most of the wood futon frames the Studio bi-fold is pretty easy to disassemble and put back together.
The fasteners and other parts needed for assembly come included and there’s only a few screws in the main joint that you’ll need to drive in yourself, our advice here is to use a classic Phillips screwdriver.
Finish of the wood
As we mentioned, it’s made of Poplar and comes with a smooth finish, so there is no need for further touch-ups. We have seen, however, that some people prefer to paint it, but that’s a matter of personal preference and it’s not about wood protection.
Eastridge Wood Futon Frame – full and queen-size
- Body material – solid hardwood
- Wood finish – detailed finishing, multi-layer
- Angles – the frame can be inclined into three positions
- Warranty – five year limited from the manufacturer
- Details of the full-size in the sofa position-size – 33.5 “ high, 81 “ wide, 32 “ deep / 96 “ wide one fully reclined
- The height of the armrests is 23.25 “
- Details of the queen-size – 86 “ wide, 36 “ high, 32 “ deep
More info about the Eastridge
The sturdy wooden structure is solid enough to be used with pretty much any mattress but we would say that it works as best with thicker models.
Is there any sliding?
The answer to this will be more about the mattress than the frame. With sturdy innerspring mattresses you might some sliding and if you experience the issue, we would recommend placing a slide-stop fabric between the wooden surface in the mattress.
The Eastridge is more intricate than the Studio bi-fold (mentioned above and), according to the user experiences we’ve seen, assembly takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Instructions that come included are pretty simple to follow and straightforward.
KD Lounger Tri-fold Wood Futon frame – Twin, Full and Queen
- type of wood – hardwood, dry kiln
- finish – comes unfinished but it’s pretty easy to coat or paint
- no harmful chemicals used
- Warranty – 5 years from the manufacturer
- size and weight
- twin – 41 x 9 x 7 “ and weighs 39 lbs
- full – 53 x 9 x 6 “, 52 lbs
- Queen- 61 x 9 x 6 “, for 55 lbs
- loveseat – when used as a loveseat, it’s 37 “ wide, 45 “ long and 10 “ high
- lounger – 62 “ long
More detailed info and faqs
Folding of the footrest
The bottom footrest section can be folded under the seat, which can convert the lounger into a bi-fold or loveseat.
Type of mattress to be used
If you’re getting this tri-fold lounger and what want to make the most out of the versatility it offers, with go with a mattress that’s flexible and can be folded easily. This way you can fold it along with the footrest and make a comfy loveseat.
For sleep, even a coil-based mattress will work.
Specifics of the recline angles
The four angles mentioned in the info sheet range between 55 and an angle that’s close to the full 90 degrees.
If you see issues with the mattress sliding, which can happen depending on the mattress type, it’s smart to use non-slip futon grip pads or tape grippers.
Disassembly and storage
To disassemble it, you just disengage a few bolts and fold the frame, which is especially important for people looking for a portable sleep solution.
Can it be used as the without the lower section?
If you remove the lower section, it will remain functional but won’t be a fit for a mattress. It’s designed to be used as a tri-fold.
Clearance from the wall
The support of the frame is pretty close to the back legs and you’ll only need to move it slightly. We’d say 8-10 “.
DHP Vermont metal futon frame
- material – full metal, used for both the arms and the frame
- the weight is approximately 47 pounds
- size – 39 x 76 x 2.5 “
- thickness of the arms – just over 2 “ thick
- weight capacity – 600 pounds
- More info and frequently asked questions
Measured from the floor the clearance is about 18 “.
The mesh wire distributes weight very well, and combined with the steel bar that runs across the middle it makes for a very stable surface.
The company warrants for the frame to be without any defects on arrival, both in workmanship and the materials. This extends to one year from date of purchase and it’s limited to the defective parts.
Make sure to closely follow the instructions because you can void the warranty by not assembling it properly.
To claim the warranty, keep the receipt. If you buy online, you can always print out a confirmation of purchase.
DHP Aiden metal futon frame
- construction – silver or black metal frame
- size and weight – 30 x 77 x 29 “, 43.5 pounds
It comes with instruction manual and classic screwdrivers will be enough to do the job of the assembly – it can be done without using power tools.
We feel like it’s worth mentioning that the assembly is a bit more complicated than with wooden frames and takes more diligence.
This is a full-sized metal futon frame and your choice of a mattress should be adjusted to that – any other size, apart from the full, will not work.
We mentioned above that the arms measure approximately 2 “ in diameter and come included.
We’ve seen a few questions about it in our inbox and we believe that the source of the confusion is the fact that there is a similar version of the frame from the same company (Dorel Home Products) that comes without the arms.
Once set up, the armrests cannot be reclined or removed without disassembling it.
Arden wooden futon frame – full and queen-size
- Material – hardwood with finished decks and seat
- finish – multilayer
- positions – three angles of recline
- warranty – five years
- Full size – 75.5 x 23.5 “
- Queen-size 80.5 x 36 “
Frequently asked questions and further information
Is the wood all-natural?
The Arden doesn’t include any manufactured wood – it’s hardwood top-to-bottom.
As per the seller, the recommended maximum weight is approximately 250 pounds for one person. The frame can fit two people.
Clearance from the floor
In the flat position we measured the clearance between the floor and the base to be 10 “.
In couch mode, it will be somewhat lower in the areas when the frame has a certain give and bends slightly.
Shipping and assembly
The Arden comes in two separate boxes and is shipped within a few workdays (1 to 3, as per of the seller).
It’s a bit trickier to assemble than some of the above-mentioned models. We’d say that you’ll need two people to make sure that all the parts are properly aligned.
By closely following instructions, it should take about an hour for two people to fully set it up.
If you don’t want to move it when changing it from a couch to bed , we’d recommend placing it for 5 to 6 “ from the wall.
Switching between the bed and the couch position is easy, which is a huge plus.
- construction and finish – matte black metal
- capacity – 600 pounds
- size – 30 x 77 x 37 “
- weight – 50 pounds
- features metal slip-stops on the front end of the sitting area
What to do with if a part is missing on arrival?
Whether you buy it online or at a store, the re-sellers don’t carry individual parts and the manufacturer (DHP) has a toll-free number that you can call. They ship the missing part for free.
The mechanism includes hinges and springs so make sure to keep your fingers away from it while setting it up and down.
Reference information about choosing the best futon frame
Types based on construction
The most common type is bi-fold.
With this type, you fold both the mechanism and mattress in half. For sleeping the frame folds flat using various types of mechanisms, from hinges and springs in metal frames to the simpler notches you see in wooden frames.
Loveseats and lounges
If you’re working with a limited space, a loveseat-size might be right for you. It comes in all the same size as other frame types (Twin, Full and Queen).
It’s the most versatile type, because apart from of bed and sofa/chair, it can be used as a lounger.
To do that, you use a pullout deck.
In some ways, a tri-fold is similar to a loveseat with the main difference being the two is this – the later uses a separate section to elevate the legs, while the tri-fold is a connected construction of three pieces.
To make the most of a tri-fold frame, it’s best to pair it with a thinner mattress.
Types based on material
Wood futon frames
For indoor use or classic porches most people go with the wooden futon frame. What our research and stats tell us is that majority of owners find it to be more stylish.
They can come finished or as raw wood, which is a less common version. You would go with an unfinished surface if you’re not sure about what color will work best with the style of your home.
There’s no upholstery included, so it’s very important that there are no notches or similar imperfection because this can damage the mattress.
The type of wood used will determine the price range. Generally speaking, softer wood will be less expensive, while hardwoods will come with a higher price tag.
You might find that many companies don’t specifically list the type of wood used for the frames, so let us get into that for a minute.
If it’s pine, it’s safe to assume it’s a Southern Yellow, which belongs in the harder and heavier spectrum among the pine types.
Southern yellow is superior to other pine types in terms of the stress it can take when used for furniture. Other sub-types can prove too brittle to withstand prolonged use.
The best futon frames in this category feature metal plates as connections between the parts.
Generally speaking, metal screws applied directly into a wooden structure can cause a structural issue by stripping the joints over time.
The bottom line is – when choosing a wood futon frame make a note of the exact type of wood and go with hardwood (if within your budget) and models that feature metal-on-metal connects for the major joints.
Apart from being less expensive a frame made of softer wood variety will give you a chance to go for a customized look by painting or staining. You can even use specific colors to give the frame a more luxurious look.
We already mentioned that hardwood is superior in terms of durability and looks – the colors are richer and look more natural. The downside of hardwood is that it tends to be more expensive.
The terms “hard” and “soft” are relative and should not be taken at face value.
Most companies won’t engage in this kind of wordplay, but there is more to separating the two types than just the hardness of the end-product.
Let’s explain that with an example – Ochroma Lagopus also known as Bolsa (the origin of the word is Spanish and it means raft) is most widely spread in Ecuador which has the ideal climate for it.
What’s interesting about this type of wood is that it belongs to the hardwood in classification but it’s actually pretty soft and light, which goes back to our point that if you see hardwoods listed as the material, just make sure that it’s actually made of superior wood types.
A few words about specific wood types
Oak is high-quality wood and used to make durable furniture. It’s heavy and hard and comes in two varieties – Red and White.
Red oak is the more popular choice in the furniture industry.
You can recognize it by its extended rings in the finished piece of furniture. If you get an unfinished, raw oak frame, you can easily customize it by staining.
On the hardness scale, maple belongs in the medium-to-hard range. The unfinished look of maple is very light (color).
If you do get an unfinished maple frame, bear in mind that it’s very stain-friendly and can be coated to look similar to cherry or other high-end wood.
The higher price tag of Mahogany is not just about how rare it is – it also has superior properties in terms of being resistant to shrinkage and shape-changes over time.
Not prone to decay, it’s as close as it comes to perfect wood for furniture.
That’s why you’ll see vintage, aged pieces of mahogany in a luxury furniture stores.
A mahogany frame will be a rarity because of the price, but you can occasionally find one with a mahogany finish.
Metal futon frames
Metal futon frames are usually more affordable but most people don’t find them as appealing to the eye is wood. That’s why this type is frequently used for porches and outdoors.
Comfort of metal futon frames
The metal bars or mesh wire used are generally less comfortable than wooden slats. The best futon frames of this type will be made of stainless steel with a matte or glossy finish.
Hybrids between metal and wood
We would say that this is a sub-type of the metal frame because it’s made with a metal base and wooden armrests.
It’s common sense that the comfort of this combo will be similar to that of a metal frame but, since the base is covered by the mattress and the wooden arms will give it a touch of style.
Classification by size
The six sizes available out there are Full and Queen sofa, loveseat, Twin, Single and Chair.
Twin size futon frame
Twin size futon frames come in two styles – as chair or a lounger.
The chair is not intended for sleep since it doesn’t include the extended ottoman rest for the legs.
Full size futon frame
Typically, the length of full-size will be 75 “ or higher. If you measure the outer dimensions, they will vary depending on the specific design.
Loveseat is approximately 20 “ shorter than a full-sized frame but, if it can be extended into a lounger, you can still use it for sleeping.
This type of loveseats is also known as a “pullout.”
Queen futon frame
Queen futon frames are usually 80 “ long to accommodate the Queen mattress and the total size depends on the add-ons like armrests.
Queen-size futon frame only (without the additions like arms and tables) will measure 78 to 81 “ (length).
King-size futon frame
King-size futon frames are not available as dedicated products for futons and the option you have is getting a king-sized foundation and pairing it with your mattress.
The king-size frames for futons are available as platform wood or metal foundations.
Alternatively, you can always improvise make a king-sized frame of your own design by placing wooden slats onto a queen-size foundation.
Japanese futon frame
A Japanese futon frame isn’t really a frame in the literal meaning of the word, but it’s sometimes used to describe the Japanese futons that include sturdier edges.
Traditionally, a Japanese futon is used by placing it directly on the floor and if you want to use his use it with a frame you’ll need a flat surface
You can improvise by putting a thin layer of plywood onto the frame.
Where to buy
Because of their versatility futons have seen an increase in popularity in the last decade, and the pieces are now more widely available.
You can find them in stores like IKEA, Target or Walmart.
Walmart futon frames
Walmart carries a wide range of futon brands. You can see the Walmart futon frames by navigating to their sites and doing a search.
IKEA futon frames
The search results on the IKEA website return a somewhat different range of offers than those available at Walmart, Target or on Amazon.
Summary and updates
Over the 6 months between the updates, we gather all the new information and data we can to make our ratings more accurate.
If you feel like we’ve missed something in this guide, feel free to contact us directly or comment below – we’ll respond within 24 hours.