Futon Frames- Three Common Styles

Futon Frames- three most common styles

We Know Futons wants you to understand what futon frames are available out there when searching for the best futon for your situation.  One of the main decisions you will make is the type of frame your futon will be on, which is tied to the size of the mattress and the space available where the futon will be placed.  While it would be incorrect to say there are only three types of futon frames out there, it would be accurate to say that of all the futon frames on the market, there are three which are by far the most popular and are what you will in all likelihood end up choosing from.

Three common types:

The three most common types of futon frames are: Bi-Fold, Chair or Loveseat and Ottoman, and Tri-Fold.  Here we will give you a break down of the basic facts and figures for each type of the futon frames.  First off, there are a number of key measurements that come in to play when dealing with futons, and those are:

  • Distance between the arms: essentially the length of the space between the arms of the piece, which will correspond to the length or width, depending on orientation, of the futon.
  • Total wall space taken up is the distance between the arms, to which you will add the width of each arm.  Each arm typically will be between 2 inches and inches wide, adding an additional 4 to 12 inches to the ‘wall space’ needed.
  • Wall to the front edge when ‘closed’ is the distance from the wall, to the front edge of the piece when it is in it’s closed or ‘furniture’ position.
  • Wall to the front edge when ‘open’ is the distance from the wall to the front edge when the futon is in it’s open or ‘bed’ position.

Bi-Fold Futon Frame with Arms

Bi-Fold is the most common type of the futon frames, by a long shot.  This is due to the fact that the most common sizes of futon mattresses are the Full and Queen size, and the Bi-Fold frame is the most common frame for use with these futons.

Of the Full and Queen size futon frames, the Full size is most popular.  A Full Size Futon frame will measure 75 inches between the arms, and thus anywhere from 79 to 87 inches in total wall length.  When open (used as a bed), the Full size futon will be 54 inches from the wall to the front edge.  When closed it will measure anywhere between 36 and 42 inches from the wall to the front of the piece.

A Queen size futon will measure 80 inches between the arms, thus anywhere from 84 to 92 inches in total wall length- depending on the arm width.  When open, it will be 60 inches from the wall to the front edge, and when closed you can expect a distance, similar to the Full size futon, of between 36 and 42 inches.

Chair and Love Seat:

Love seat and detached ottoman futon frame

The second most popular of the futon frame is the Chair or Love-seat and Ottoman combination.  These typically will be the style for a Twin size or Twin Jr. size futon bed.  The Futon Chairs come in two main styles, those with a built in sliding ottoman and those with a separate ottoman.  Each of the two style options comes in two sizes and when laid flat (open-bed) they measure, 28 x 54 inches or 39 x 54 inches, with the distance between the arms being the 28 or 39 inches  Remember to add both arm widths for total wall space.  When laid out as a bed (open) the distance is generally 75 inches- using a 2 piece mattress.  Similarly to the other models, when closed or in their furniture position, the distance from wall to front edge is generally between 36 and 42 inches.

Similar to the Chair futon, the Love-seat futon frames will either be in a slide out ottoman style or with a separate second piece.  The Love-seats measure 54 inches between the arms, and when in the mattress )open) position they will measure 54 x 54 inches.  When used with the ottoman, they will offer the same size as the standard full size Bi-fold futon frames , but their orientation will be reversed, the 75 inches will be measured out from the wall rather than along it.  The Love-seat futon mattress will normally be in a 2 piece set.

Tri-Fold, A-Frame:

A-Frame/Tri-Fold futon with Arms

Finally, the third most popular type of the futon frames is called a “Tri-Fold (three way frame)”, or “A-Frame”.  The most popular sizes, and for these futon sets are: Twin, Full, and Queen.  The Tri-Fold frames can also be made for King Size futons, they are just less common.  Dimensions for these futons, when in the open (bed) position are as follows- Twin is 75 inches between the arms of the piece, and 39 inches from wall to front edge.  The Full size measures 75 inches between the arms with a wall to front measurement of 54 inches.  Finally, the Queen size frame and mattress when open is 80 inches between the arms and 60 inches from wall to front edge.  Some of the tri-fold frames don’t have arms that extend above the mattress frame, these are called Low-Armed.  Those that do have arms are called High-armed models.  With the high armed models you will need to add the width of the arms to get the full measurement along the wall.  These larger frames often use mattresses that are thinner and more flexible, as the mattress will sometimes need to be folded under itself, or hang/fold over the back of the frame.

As for frame construction material, generally the least expensive are those made of metal.  The next step up would be a metal and wood combination construction.  The highest quality frames tend to be made of wood, they will tend to wear better and last longer as the quality of the wood they are constructed with increases.

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