Have you seen all the futon frames on the market today? There are so many that it can be hard to tell what’s good and what to stay away from. Today we’re going to discuss frame material. Futon frames are generally made in two mediums, metal and wood. Metal frames have made some vast improvements over the years: they have taken on a very modern look and you’ll find them in a wide variety of finishes and styles. Wooden frames have also improved over the years, as the selection of sizes, finishes, and styles on the market are on the rise everyday. So let’s take a look at what makes a good futon frame.
If you’re looking at a metal frame, be sure to check the slat width. The slats on a futon frame are part of the seat and back “decks”, the part that your mattress rests on. As a rule of thumb, slats should be at least two and a half to three inches wide. Slats that are thinner will not provide adequate support for your mattress and can even damage your futon mattress. Also, take a look at the distance between the slats; they should be no more than two and a half to three inches apart as well. Try to steer clear of those “mega mart” metal frames that use bars as slats. They’re usually too far apart and the shape of the bar slats really provide no support. Another thing to look at when shopping for metal frames is the construction. Do the welds look solid? How is the frame connected together? Make sure you take a good look at how the frame you’re looking at is put together; bad welds and connection points can be a real headache in the future.
When looking at wooden frames, you’re going to follow the same advice as for metal. Check the slats – you want the width to be the same as with metal, two to three inches wide with an equal distance apart. Also important in wooden frames is the material used in construction; look for frames made out of hardwoods (maple, ash, and birch). Futon frames made out of hardwoods can be expected to give your futon frame a longer life and they are generally nicer looking frames. Solid hardwoods can also have very beautiful grain patterns that really set them apart from the softwood and metal futon frames. That isn’t to say that metal and softwood futon frames don’t have a place in the market, but they don’t have that nice classic feel you get with a solid hardwood futon frame. With wooden frames, take a good look at the construction, see how the frame is put together. I always tell my customers to look for frames that feature mortis and tennon construction as opposed to lap joints. Mortise and tennon joinery will provide a solid futon and extend the life of your frame.
Ok, we’ve been over the basics, now the last thing to consider, besides ‘Do I think this frame will look good with my paint color?’ is the warranty. Any frame worth its salt should have at least a five year warranty or even higher. Most of the manufacturers that I deal with have at least a five year warranty, some with a warranty for twelve years! That’s almost unheard of in the futon frame industry. If a manufacturer is willing to stand behind their product for that long, you should shop with confidence and know that you are going to get a great frame that will last you for years to come.