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Problem with Cheap Futons

The British public in general have had little regard for futon furniture and consequently have thought that a cheap futon is a consumer right. Although futons have been available in the U.K. for more than 30 years and for most of that time there were many specialist futon shops that offered products imported from around the world with a high degree of quality, the bulk of sales have been at the bottom end of the market, and sometimes that has led to the problem with cheap futons.


To make a cheap futon mattress it’s necessary to use fillings that are not only heavy but also lack density resulting in an end product that is unwieldy and with a tendency to collapse. Cheap futon frames use lower quality pine or redwood that often has many knots in the timber that can lead to weak points and breakages.

Wherever else futon furniture is sold in the world consumers usually buy a removable top cover that can be cleaned and will protect the mattress, as part of the buying process. But from the early days in the U.K. a washable removable top cover was seen as superfluous, something to be bought at a later date but usually forgotten about and not a way to buy a cheap futon. Instead people chose a coloured cotton drill for the casing of the mattress and end of story.

One of the reasons futons became a mainstream product with widespread availability was that consumers knew they offered excellent value for money  but there was resistance at higher price points so a cheap futon became the norm for the industry. Some specialist shops, department stores and even bed stores that sold other sleep and sitting products tried to educate and demonstrate to consumers there were many more interesting futon products available and certainly not expensive, but it became an uphill struggle especially when the economic climate became more difficult.

Over the past decade many of the specialist futon shops migrated away from the high street to the internet, other non specialist futon outlets grew weary of the shrinking margins and gave up, so currently the problem with cheap futons still exists, but only from far fewer retail outlets.

For quality affordable futons there are also many online outlets that provide excellent service. Try FutonsOnline here in the UK.

sad metal futon
Very cheap futon with thin futon mattress