Back to top

What is the history of the Japanese futon bed?

Although this versatile piece of modern furniture became popular in the 1970s, it was inspired by a Japanese futon design which had been around for centuries. The original word in Japanese is “Shikibuton” which means a roll-away futon mattress.

These original futon beds were born out of the need to save space, as apartments in Japan have traditionally been small with rooms serving many purposes.

The futon mattress was traditionally spread on the floor for the night and then rolled away during the day. This simple, yet incredibly useful piece of space-saving design has become widespread in Western homes where the futon mattress can be quickly detached from the futon frame, instantly turning your living room into an overnight guest bedroom.

What is the difference between a pull-out sofa bed and a futon mattress?

A futon and pull-out sofa bed might serve the same purpose but in slightly different ways. When you’re sitting on a futon frame, it’s actually the futon mattress which provides the cushioning. When you want to create a futon sofa bed, the mattress detaches from the futon frame to provide a place to sleep for the night.

The difference with pull-out sofas, or sofa beds, is they are one self-contained unit where the mattress and frame are inside the sofa itself and pulled out from under the cushions to create a sofa bed.

Due to these differences, you need to really think about what your needs and budget are. A futon frame is more of a statement piece to compliment any interior and because the futon mattress is detached and rolled out on the floor it takes up less space during the day.

Alternatively, pull-out sofa beds provide a more comfortable, long-term sleeping arrangement but because they have a dual purpose the sofa might not be as comfortable to sit on when it’s folded away.

Multi-purpose futon sofa beds for a wide range of spaces and purposes

The practical and stunning futon sofa is suitable for a wide range of spaces: due to its small size, it fits into any living room, guest room or even an office space. In addition, the futon sofa is the perfect choice for a small apartment, where there is no space to store spare mattresses. Far from being just a space saver, the futon couch can also provide a place to snuggle up for movie night or take a nap. The futon sofa can also be used as a complete replacement for a traditional bed if you want to maximise a small space as much as possible.

High-quality futon sofas from Karup Design

Karup Design is a Danish company whose product range covers high-quality futon sofas, outdoor seating furniture and other versatile storage furniture. Karup Design's products are known for their natural materials, clear design language and plush padding. Browse Karup Design's high-quality futon sofas in the Vepsäläinen online store. There are several different models and colour options available.