It’s no secret that Japan has had a lasting impact on Western culture. From kimonos to origami, Japanese culture has infused our vocabulary and everyday lifestyles with its traditions and practices. Perhaps one of the most subtle but recognizable symbols of this is the futon sofa. It’s likely that you have seen or heard about these unique pieces of furniture. But what exactly are they? Where did they come from? Are they just sofas with beds hidden inside? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between futon sofas and sleeper sofas.
What’s the Difference Between a Futon Sofa and a Sleeper Sofa?
A futon sofa is a sofa with a futon hidden inside. A sleeper sofa is a sofa with a bed hidden inside. Both can be transformed from sofa to bed and back again. While futon sofas are traditionally Japanese in style, sleeper sofas are more American. The biggest difference between the two is that sleeper sofas have a solid frame inside that transforms into a bed. Futon sofas are made with a futon hidden inside the sofa. Futon sofas are typically made of sturdier materials like wood, rattan, or wicker, and often have a more traditional or Asian design. On the other hand, sleeper sofas are usually made with a more modern or contemporary design and can be made of a variety of materials like fabric, leather, or metal.
Where Did Futon Sofas Come From?
As their name suggests, futon sofas originated in Japan. The Japanese futon sofa is a type of couch that opens up into a bed. They are traditionally made with a solid wooden frame and a soft fabric as the upholstery. Futon sofas can come in a variety of colors, designs, and shapes. And since they’re usually made with a wooden frame, they’re often quite heavy and immobile. The first futon sofas were created by the Tokugawa shogunate, who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. The shogunate needed a furniture piece that was easy to transport, yet comfortable enough for their high-ranking officials. They found the perfect solution in the futon, a type of Japanese bed that is easy to fold and store. Since the futons were hidden inside the sofas, the shogunate could move their furniture around without attracting attention or suspicion.
What Makes a Futon Sofa Unique?
The key difference between futon sofas and sleeper sofas is the futon. Futons are the Japanese-style mattresses that are often used as bedding in Japanese households. The futon is hidden inside the sofa and can be removed and put back whenever the sofa is transformed into a bed. Unlike sleeper sofas, most futon sofas are made with a wooden frame. This makes them much sturdier than sleeper sofas, as well as a bit heavier. This extra support and weight is necessary to hold a mattress. Unlike sleeper sofas, futon sofas are often made with a variety of fabrics. Most futon sofas are suitable for all seasons, and come in materials like cotton, linen, or wool. This allows them to be more versatile and appropriate for year-round use.
Are There Other Differences Between Futon Sofas and Sleeper Sofas?
The frame: Like we mentioned, futon sofas have a wooden frame that holds the mattress. Sleeper sofas, on the other hand, have a fully-formed frame that transforms into a bed. The fabric: Since futon sofas don’t have a closed frame, they often have a removable cover. This allows you to take the cover off and wash it whenever needed. Many sleeper sofas have a non-removable cover. The leg structure: Futon sofas usually have shorter legs, since the wooden frame holding the mattress takes up more space. Sleeper sofas, on the other hand, have longer legs that sit on the floor. The weight: Futon sofas are often made of wood or rattan, which makes them much heavier than sleeper sofas. Sleeper sofas are usually lighter, since they don’t need to hold a heavy mattress.
Should You Get a Futon Sofa or a Sleeper Sofa?
The biggest consideration when choosing between a futon sofa and a sleeper sofa is your budget. Futon sofas are usually more expensive than sleeper sofas, since they contain a futon, which is a mattress. Futon sofas are usually better suited for living rooms or family rooms, since they have a more traditional, Asian design. Sleeper sofas, on the other hand, are great for bedrooms, since they have a more modern, contemporary design. And since sleeper sofas are lighter, they’re easier to move around if you want to change the décor of your room.
Futon sofas and sleeper sofas share a lot in common. Both types of sofas have a futon or bed hidden inside them, are easy to transform from sofa to bed, and are great for people who want a versatile piece of furniture. The biggest difference between the two is the frame. Futon sofas have wooden frames that hold the mattress, while sleeper sofas have fully-formed frames that transform into a bed. And while they may look similar on the outside, it’s important to know the subtle differences between the two so that you can find the sofa that’s right for you.