Updated at: 15-01-2023 - By: Jane

A new spare bedroom bed is in order, but you’re not sure what kind to buy. Or perhaps you’re on a budget and looking for something for your master bedroom?

If you’re on a tight budget, a futon or an air mattress are your best bets for an affordable solution. Now that you’ve narrowed your options down to just two, the decision-making process begins. For some people, one of them will win out over the other based on their own circumstances.

We’ll help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a futon against an air mattress in this post.

Overview – Inflatable Bed vs. a Futon

The cost of futons is often higher than that of other types of bedding. 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. You can fit them both in a small house. If you’re short on space, a futon and an air mattress are a godsend because they can both be folded and deflated.

Both blow-ups and futons can be used for a variety of purposes, yet the ones they fulfill are vastly different. While a futon can be used as a couch, an air mattress is small enough to go camping.

What is a Futon?

To begin with, the futon was only a thinly padded mattress that could be unrolled and placed on the floor. For many years, the original design for Japanese futons was simple and practical, but this product category has now evolved into low-profile couches with elaborate frames that come in various sizes from twins to queens. To make them both a sofa and a standard bed, the 1970s saw the introduction of frames.


Pros and Cons

If you want to save money on a futon, browse around for a lower-end model. If they don’t come with a removable cover, cleaning them is going to be a major headache.

The futon’s greatest strength, in our opinion, is its adaptability. 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.

A futon’s greatest asset is its long-term usefulness. In contrast to regular mattresses, futons can last for many years if properly cared for.

Ease of Cleaning

Futon cleaning can be a real pain, and it can also be rather expensive. Because the covers on most futons aren’t removable, you’ll have to hand wash them. 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.

Keeping your futon clean requires following a set of guidelines recommended by specialists in the field of hygiene.

  • Once a month, place in direct sunshine. Sunlight destroys germs and bacteria while also releasing a pleasant aroma.
  • The surface should be vacuumed on a regular basis.
  • When a pet or child causes a spill or a stain, be sure to properly clean the area. Otherwise, dry cleaning is an option.
  • When necessary, use a spot treatment.


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. Back discomfort can be relieved with a custom-made solution, rather than with an inflatable one.


The futon truly shines in this category. Even if you’re furnishing your child’s college dorm room, you’ll appreciate how adaptable and versatile these beds are. Invest in an adjustable bed frame that can be used as a couch during the day and a bed at night to get the most bang for your dollars.


The flat slab of cotton with a basic upholstery cover has gone a long way since then. Nowadays, many futons feature tufted stitching to give them a more luxurious appearance. Frames have evolved as well. Wood and metal can be customized in virtually any hue or finish.

Removable arms and even sectional L-shaped structures with storage are two of the most modern and innovative designs we’ve seen in this category.

What is an Air Mattress?

Inflatable or blow-up beds, such as air mattresses, are exactly what they sound like. It’s a bed that’s filled with air that you can sleep on. If you don’t have a lot of space, this may not be the best option. Inflatable mattresses are prone to popping, which could compromise their long-term durability.

Pros and Cons

Inflatable bedding’s greatest selling point is its low cost. Then there’s the fact that it’s easy to carry and low in weight. As a guest room or couch sleeping arrangement, you may quickly inflate it for guests. Go camping with it as well. When it’s not in use, simply deflate it and store it.

Many people believe air mattresses are less comfy than futons or normal beds. But there are things you can do to make yourself feel a lot better, like: (more on that later).

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning these beds is as simple as wiping them down with a washcloth. Waterproofing is normally on the top layer, so this makes sense. You may simply wipe or blot it away if something falls on top of you, and it’ll be gone in no time.


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



Because they’re filled with air, these mattresses tend to be supple. 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. In addition, they come in a variety of sizes, from twin to king. If you’re bringing it along, make sure you’ll have access to a pump-powered outlet. A lot of air will be needed to inflate it otherwise.


Most of the beds are modest in design and don’t look like they belong in a high-end hotel. For a more realistic-looking bed, opt for a replica with a frame and some high-quality bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

When it comes to your level of comfort, the bedding you choose can make all the difference. The first step is to make sure your bedding is comfortable and supportive. Mattress toppers and pads are also available if you discover that the bed’s sleeping surface is too firm or that you aren’t getting adequate support.

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?

For camping, a blow-up mattress is the best option. 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. As a result of their high-quality materials and production costs, many of the greatest brands charge more for their products. Futon frames come in a variety of materials (metal, wood), and there are also extras like futon covers and mattress covers that drive up the price. Customers should only purchase high-quality futons from us. This means that good-quality, name-brand futons, made of such materials as latex and memory foam as well as innerspring and pocket coils, can be quite costly.

Are futons better than mattresses?

People who prefer to sleep on the floor will appreciate a futon. However, we won’t recommend this treatment to anyone who suffers from chronic back discomfort. 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?

The lack of support and adequate spinal alignment in air mattresses has been demonstrated in numerous studies to be harmful to 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. Standard beds with high-quality mattresses are the greatest choice for persons with back discomfort.

The floor or surface you lay an inflatable on must be able to hold its weight and have no rough spots that could puncture it if you buy one. It’s common for air mattresses to slide around in people’s beds because they don’t have enough cushioning under the carpet to keep them in place while they sleep.

Due to the low quantities of ozone gas produced by air mattresses, they are not suggested for people with breathing difficulties like asthma.

An further drawback of air mattresses is that, unless you choose one with an electric pump, they might be difficult to inflate. Additionally, if you reside in an area where the temperature stays consistently high, your mattress may certainly become damp due to the stored moisture. Your body will become cold and clammy, and you’ll have respiratory issues as a result.

For the first time, let your child utilize an inflatable bed on his or her own and expect him to loose it or become stuck in a way that causes him to cry. Due to the fact that air mattresses do not provide the same level of protection as traditional box springs, it is possible for children to become trapped between or under them while they sleep.


Are futons healthy to sleep on?

In the same way that you would use a standard mattress, you can utilize a futon. There is no evidence to suggest that regular use of one would harm your health. You should be able to sleep on a futon every night as long as 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 sore from lack of sleep.

Can you put an air mattress on a futon?

You certainly can. An air mattress on top of a futon, which is often low to the ground, makes it easier for people to sit down. That’s not all; because they’re stacked together, this can also serve as a comfy spot to sleep as well as provide additional height.

Are futons good for everyday use?

Traditionally, the futon was used as a bed in Japan. Sleeping on it is simply like sleeping on any other mattress. To ensure a good night’s sleep on a futon, make sure you have enough padding to keep your body in the correct position. There is no evidence that this mattress is harmful to your health if you use it as a conventional mattress.


To help you choose the right choice, think about what you plan to accomplish with this bed.

Evaluate the following:

  • Purpose: Are you planning to keep it in your bedroom permanently or only use it when you have guests? Traveling with it is an important consideration for you.
  • Frequency: Is it going to be your primary bed, or are you only going to use it on occasion?
  • Comfort: Do you suffer from back discomfort or have a medical condition that necessitates a high level of comfort?
  • Budget: Do you have a spending limit of more than $150?
  • Design: What are your preferences when it comes to how the item looks in the room it’s in?

A better knowledge of its function and which alternative is ideal for your needs can be gained by determining the answers to the following questions.

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