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What picture comes to mind when you think of a futon? In my minds eye, I see a large pillow-like object that is filled with foam or beans of some kind. Futons have been being used for over two hundred years in Japan, and are still one of the most popular bedding furniture options in Asia.

The futon is ideal for smaller spaces as it usually can be folded up and stored away in a closet or put neatly into a corner for retrieval at bedtime. This design makes the Futon ideal for people who lack a lot of square footage in their living residence.

Although looked down upon by many American designers as just a large pillow, the futon still has a loyal following in America among college students and people who live alone. Futons can be made of many different materials and fabric, which allows for color and fabric coordination within rooms. The traditional white-with-black-accents is a very popular style and coordinates well with many different colors.

Futons come in a number of styles. Two of the more popular are the futon mattress with frame and the Futon daybed. One of the most appealing and more comfortable styles of futon is called the “down futon.” The down futon consists of a wooden frame, which can be folded down flat, and the futon mattress itself, which consists of a large pouch type pocket that is filled with down and foam. This mattress is then placed inside a large cover, which either zips or buttons closed.

The large outer shells make the futon easy to maintain and also makes it easier to clean after a night out on the town or a spilled dinner plate.

A futon makes an excellent gift for the new house owner as well as a college student. Their ease of setup, storability and ease of cleaning make the futon an excellent alternative to a traditional bed.