How to Choose a Futon Frame
Before you buy a futon frame make sure you understand the difference and can choose between the good and the bad. Most of the time the old adage "You get what you pay for" is true.
First decide on your timber:
Pine. Pine is Ok for slats and small spans but not strong enough for stretcher rails between arms or seat decks.
Rubberwood. This timber is fine for arms but, due to the size of the tree, the only way you can create long pieces for stretcher rails and seat decks is to finger joint it. This means you join lots of little pieces together using a zig-zag joint. This may just about be ok for a 2 seater but is rarely strong enough for a three seater. Also, please note, some retailers mislead their customers by calling it "Malaysian Oak". This wood is not Oak; it has a different colour and is nowhere near as strong.
American Oak. American Oak is a strong durable wood with a natural lustre. Ideal for short and long pieces therefore strong enough for two and three seater frames. Make sure the timber you are buying is solid and not a cheaper wood with an Oak Veneers.
One of the most important parts of a metal futon frame is the steel thickness used for the tube and stretcher rails between the arms. With a 3 seater we suggest you try it out with three adults to see if it bends. If it does don't buy it. These cheaper bases normally have a middle supporting leg half way between the two arms. This is there to try and stop the frame from bending. If you see one don't buy it.
Next look at the futon slat support. If it has thin bars or tube, walk away. These tubes will bite into the futon and break the filling. If it has a wire mesh this is just as bad. After a short time the mesh will sink with use allowing the support bars to push up into the futon.
The best metal frames have wood slats or sprung beech slats. These allow the futon to breathe whilst supporting the filling without cutting into it. Sprung slats have the added advantage of improving comfort.