A woman relaxes on her sofa bed while reading a book in a light-filled living room with large rug

The futon sofa bed debate: which one is a winner?

The futon sofa bed debate: which one’s a winner?

Back in the wonderful and wacky era known as the ’80s, futon beds were all the rage. But like many things from that time, they’re now a distant memory.

As the quintessential bed on the floor, futons were ideal for versatile spaces. But as times and tastes have changed, so have our preferences in bed.

Enter: the futon sofa bed transition. Today, sofa beds have become the darling of the quick comfort scene. And if you’re looking for a way to combine two key household pieces into one, a sofa bed is the solution.

Before diving in, we need to learn the difference between futons and sofa beds. What is a futon? How does it work? Are sofa beds hard to pull out? Are futon mattresses good to sleep on? And who the hell brought the mullet back from the ’80s? Okay, maybe that’s a separate issue.

Koala is here to answer all of life’s big questions.

So, what is a futon?

Aussies thought futons were pretty tubular beds in the 80s and 90s, but the history of the humble bed dates back a lot further than that. Way back to the 19th century in Japan.  

Traditional futons weren’t the heavy ones we’re used to today. They were a lot thinner, and the mattress was usually filled with long-staple cotton. You could roll them up and tuck them away, which was pretty handy if you were short on space.

So, what is a futon today? Well, the modern futon is a little different. And it doesn’t always use the base found in the earlier Japanese iterations (called a ‘shikibuton’). Today, you might even find the phrase ‘futon’ used for a click-clack sofa bed to add to the confusion. But whatever you call them, they still have some great features. Namely, convenience.

Are futon mattresses good to sleep on?

All in all, futons are fine. But they do have limitations. And while we would never encourage a futon/sofa bed rivalry, there are some variances to be aware of.

The main difference between futons and sofa beds comes down to look and function. Sofa beds are proper sofas that convert (in a variety of ways) to a bed. While a futon is generally a simple mattress that sits on a frame and folds in the middle to create a sofa-like furniture piece. Don’t get us wrong – we love a futon. But we just love our sofa beds a bit more. 

Are futon mattresses good to sleep on? Sure. But there might be better ways to get a good night’s kip.

Go a sofa bed instead

So, what is it that makes the sofa bed such a practical and comfortable furniture legend? We thought you’d never ask.

Koala’s sofa beds are as comfy as they come, so you and your guests will be supported throughout the night. With a quilted sleep layer and cushioned armrests, it’ll feel like a luxurious hotel hidden away in your sofa. This ain’t your grannie’s dusty old pull-out. This is Australia’s most comfortable sofa bed.

Plus, there’s no need to drag the elephant-like weight of a futon out when someone wants to crash. The Koala sofa bed range goes from sit to sleep in seconds. Just slide and flip, and it’s ready for action. Pull-out game strong.

Everything that Koala makes has our commitment to the planet designed in it. And that includes our sofa beds. They’re made with FSC® certified wood and filled with CertiPUR-US® materials, which means they’re made to the highest sustainability standards.

And finally, making the futon sofa bed switch means getting two key furniture pieces for the price of one — a sofa and a bed. Somebody call the Barefoot Investor; he may be out of a job.

So, are sofa beds worth it? We reckon they are. Koala is rated as the number one sofa bed in Australia and the creator of the best sofa bed range. And not that you can’t already tell, but we’re incredibly humble too.

A Koala Cushy Sofa bed made up ready for sleep in a lounge room with timber floor, large windows and a stone fireplace
Koala’s Cushy Sofa Bed is stylish, comfortable and converts from sofa to bed in seconds

Cuddle up in a Koala sofa bed

That’s right, we aren’t just mattresses. Our expert knowledge of sleep extends to all things, including sofas. So, if you’re ready to make a change, here are Koala’s best sofa beds.

  • Koala Sofa Bed The best-value, award-winning Koala Sofa Bed is our first baby that ticks all the boxes. With a combo of layers on the cushions for a comfy experience, plus CertiPUR-US® and FSC® certified materials, your back will be grateful.
  • Cushy Sofa Bed If you wanna make the futon sofa bed transition in comfort, this is the way to go. The Cushy Sofa Bed is loaded with calming features like moveable cushions, soft, textured fabrics and effortless style.
  • Cushy Sofa Bed Luxe Edition Ooh, you fancy. If you’re eyeing off the Cushy Sofa Bed Luxe Edition, you must like the finer things in life. And we don’t blame you. This baby has a relaxed look, made with premium boucle-finish fabrics that are wonderfully touchable, plus an upholstered base. Boujee on a budget.
  • Stunner Sofa Bed Trying to impress your most un-impressible guest? The Stunner Sofa Bed is the way to do it. Just slide out the base, flip over the cushion and you’re ready to relax for the evening. You’ll get an elevated laying position that feels like a fancy bed but with a compact, space-saving footprint. Plus there’s some clever hidden storage to stow away your duvet, pillows and cushions. Handy!

Not only do we make some cracking sofa beds, sofas and armchairs, but we make them with a solid guarantee. You’ll get 120 nights to try your new stuff at home, and if you aren’t in love with it, you can return it for a product refund. Plus, Koala delivers quickly and flexibly around Australia for true no-fuss furniture shopping.

Sit, sleep, slay with Koala

Whether you’re sleeping on the sofa for the night, have regular crashers or just wanna relax to the max while watching a movie, the sofa bed is the dude for the job. Say goodbye to the futons and hello to the future with Koala’s comfy range of sofa beds and mattresses.

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