Futon vs. Air Mattress Mattress Comparison: Which Is Best? Update 07/2024

When it comes time to replace the mattress in your spare bedroom, it can be difficult to decide on a style. It could also be that you are looking for a piece of furniture for your master bedroom but are on a budget.

To get the most bang for your buck when it comes to bedding, a futon or air mattress are your best options. Now that you’ve narrowed your options down to just two, the decision-making process begins. One of the two will win out over the other based on your own circumstances.

The pros and cons of a futon vs. an air mattress will be discussed in this post.

Overview – Inflatable Bed vs. a Futon

Futons, despite their cheaper cost, are usually more expensive. All of the bells and whistles like a pillow top, elevated surface, or an in-built electric pump are included in the more expensive air mattress models.

However, they do have one thing in common. The two are perfect for small dwellings. If you’re short on space, a futon and an air mattress are a godsend because they can both be folded and deflated.

Both futons and blow-up mattresses are multi-functional, yet their functions are very different. Futons can be used as a couch, while air mattresses can be taken camping and used as a sleeping surface.

What is a Futon?

To begin with, the futon was only a thinly padded mattress that could be unrolled and placed on the floor. There are now a wide variety of low-profile couches with elaborate frames and sizes ranging from twin to king in the Japanese futon category. Frames were added to them in the 1970s, allowing them to be used as sofas and beds at the same time.

Pros and Cons

If you want to save money, you’ll have to shop around for a lower-end futon. If they don’t come with a removable cover, cleaning them is going to be a major chore.

As far as we’re concerned, the greatest asset of futons is their versatility. Their versatility makes them an excellent choice for any room, whether they’re used as a bed or a sofa. Additionally, they can be tucked into the wall in a Murphy-style arrangement.

The durability of a futon is one of its best features. Futons, in contrast to regular mattresses, can last for many years with careful care.

Ease of Cleaning

Futon cleaning can be a real pain, and it can also be rather expensive. To clean a futon, you’ll need to remove the entire cover. When it comes to removable covers, you’ll need to determine if you’re prepared to sacrifice a little style in order to save some time and money.

Hygiene specialists advocate specific cleaning procedures for futons.

  • Once a month, place in direct sunshine. Sunlight destroys germs and bacteria while also releasing a pleasant aroma.
  • Make sure to vacuum the floor on a regular basis.
  • When a pet or child causes a spill or a stain, be sure to properly clean the area. Take it to a dry cleaning, if that’s more convenient for you.
  • Spot treat when necessary.


Most futons are less expensive than a standard mattress, but more expensive than a blow-up mattress, regardless of the size and quality you choose.


Even though they have a reputation for being too firm, they may now be purchased in a variety of different comfort levels, from gentle to “extra firm,” according on the user’s needs and preferences. An inflatable back support may not be the best option if you’re suffering from back pain.


Futons shine in this category. Whether you’re equipping a college dorm room, a spare bedroom, a home office, or a compact room, these beds are ideal. Make the most of your money by purchasing a couch with an adjustable frame that can be used as a couch during the day, and a bed at night.


Since the flat cotton slab with the monotonous upholstery cover, designs have come a long way. As a result, a growing number of futons now include tufted stitches resembling a high-end couch. Frames, too, have changed over time. Wood and metal come in just about any hue or finish you can think of.

We’ve seen retractable arms and even partial L-shaped structures with storage in some of the most modern and innovative designs, so far.

What is an Air Mattress?

Inflatable or blow-up beds, such as air mattresses, are exactly what they sound like. It’s an air-filled mattress that you can sleep on. Despite its portability and affordability, it may not be as comfotable as other options. Inflatable mattresses are prone to bursting, which could pose a problem for their long-term viability.

Pros and Cons

Inflatable bedding’s major advantage is its low cost. Then there’s the fact that it’s easy to carry and low in weight. The inflatable mattress can be used as a guest room or living room sleeping arrangement when you have visitors. Take it camping with you if you’d prefer. You may deflate it and store it away when not in use.

Many people believe that air mattresses lack the same level of comfort as a futon or a traditional bed. However, there are things you may do to feel a lot better (more on that later).

Ease of Cleaning

These beds may be cleaned with a washcloth. Waterproofing is normally on the top layer, so this makes sense. You may simply wipe or blot away any spills that occur on the surface of the table.


This is one of the cheapest ways to get a good night’s sleep. They can cost as little as $10 and go up to a maximum of a few hundred dollars.


As the name implies, these mattresses are filled with air, which results in their suppleness. It’s best to avoid using a stomach-sleeping mattress because it doesn’t provide enough support for your chest or lower back.


It doesn’t get any more adaptable than this mattress because you can carry it with you everywhere you go. As a bonus, they are available in a variety of sizes, from twin to king. Take it with you if you plan on using a pump, and make sure you’re in an area that has one. In order to inflate it, you’ll need a lot of air in your lungs.


Most of the designs are simplistic and don’t resemble high-end beds at all. However, if you want a more realistic-looking bed, you may acquire a replica that has a frame and also add nice bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my futon and/or inflatable bed more comfortable?

When it comes to comfort, the bedding you choose has a significant impact. The first step is to get comfortable bedding, such as silky sheets and firm pillows. Because of the firmness of your mattress or lack of support, a mattress pad or topper may help alleviate these problems.

Using an air mattress with a futon is a novel approach. Using a futon as the base, you’d then add an inflated mattress on top.

Which one is better for camping?

When it comes to camping, nothing beats a blow-up bed. Regardless of how thin your futon is, it will still be heavy, cumbersome and difficult to clean.

If you’re planning to go camping, you should absolutely choose for a blow-up mattress.

Why are futons so expensive?

As with other home goods and appliances, futons come at a price. High-quality materials and production expenses mean that many of the best-known brands demand a premium for their products. More than that, the various materials used to make futon frames and other accessories like futon coverings and mattress covers contribute to the soaring costs of the furniture. Customers are advised to purchase only high-quality futons. Branded futons with high-quality materials like memory foam and innerspring can cost a lot of money.

Are futons better than mattresses?

For those who prefer to sleep on the ground, a futon is an excellent option. However, we won’t recommend it to anyone with a long-term back problem. Traditional mattresses, on the other hand, are healthier for people with back pain or other long-term health issues because they conform and adapt to your body while being softer.

What are the disadvantages of adjustable air mattress beds?

Because air mattresses lack sufficient support and spinal alignment, they are not recommended for those with back problems. Blow-up and futon beds provide additional support, but air mattresses don’t provide the same level of safety or security. The best option for persons with back discomfort is to obtain a regular bed with a high-quality mattress.

A level surface must withstand the weight of an inflatable, and it must not have any rough places that could puncture the inflatable. Sometimes, individuals put air mattresses in their bedrooms only to discover after the fact that the carpet doesn’t have enough cushioning to prevent the beds from sliding around in the middle of the night.

Asthma patients should avoid using air mattresses because they release low levels of ozone gas, which can exacerbate their symptoms and damage delicate lung tissue.

Additionally, air mattresses might be difficult to inflate unless you buy one with an electric pump, which is another drawback. Additionally, if you’re prone to night sweats or live in a humid climate, you may find that your mattress becomes soggy as a result of moisture buildup. The outcome is a clammy body and respiratory issues when you wake up in the morning.

Using an inflated bed on his own for the first time, your youngster is more than likely to get himself into a predicament that results in crying. Because air mattresses aren’t nearly as protective as regular box springs, this can also be dangerous when youngsters become caught between two beds or under them while sleeping.

Are futons healthy to sleep on?

Mattresses, including futons, are utilized in the same way. There is no evidence to suggest that regular use of a mattress pad would have an adverse effect on your health. You should be able to sleep on a futon every night if you have the correct style of futon that provides adequate support and padding.

Are futons better for your back?

Regardless of whether you sleep on your side, stomach, or back, the finest futons for back pain should give appropriate support and proper spine alignment. When you wake up in the morning, your muscles won’t be as sore as they were the night before.

Can you put an air mattress on a futon?

You certainly can. With an air mattress on top of a futon, it will be a lot easier for people to get in and out of the bed. In addition, because they’re stacked together, this can serve as both a comfy place to sleep and a height-enhancing feature.

Are futons good for everyday use?

The futon is a Japanese bed style that dates back centuries. Like a mattress, it is utilized as a typical, everyday sleeping material. A futon should have enough padding to keep your body supported when you sleep on it on a regular basis. There is no evidence that this mattress is harmful to your health if you use it as a conventional mattress.


It’s important to think about the goals you have for your bed while making a decision on which one to go with.

Evaluate the following:

  • Purpose: A permanent fixture in the bedroom, or just something you use when guests come over? If so, do you need the ability to take it on the road with you?
  • Frequency: Is it going to be your primary bed, or are you only going to use it on occasion?
  • Comfort: No, I don’t suffer from back pain or any other health issue that requires a higher level of comfort.
  • Budget: Is your spending limit $150 or less?
  • Design: Is the look of the room where it’s placed significant to you, or is it not?

You’ll have a better idea of what the bed’s purpose is and which option best suits your requirements once you’ve answered these questions.

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