Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 23, 2010

Choosing the right frame

Here at The Futon Shop we carry several different hard wood frames. If you have taken a look at our website, you are sure to wonder which one would suits me best?

To put it simply, we have standard wood frames, wallhugger wood frames, and then we can transform any of these bi-folding wood frames into a love-seat style.

The difference in these frames lay in the function of the folding/ unfolding when put up against a wall. A standard futon frame usually swivels backwards when opening and you’ll either need to, a) Pull it away from the wall, or b) Leave a fair amount of space between the frame and wall to avoid smashing the frame into your beautiful wallpaper.

Standard frames carry a variety of extra features to the arms style such as a magazine rack, folding end table, or flip top cup holder/storage unit. You can also add rolling drawers underneath these frames for a easy-to-access storage space for blankets, pillows, or a Play Station 3.

Wallhugger wood frames can be put next to the wall without having to move it away. They collapse from the back and slide out towards you when opening from the front. They sit slightly lower and everyone will notice it, some more than others. These types of frames are becoming more and more popular as people value the ease and practicality of it. They also come in a variety of very stylish armrests and color finishes that are very pleasing to the eye.

When both of these frames are in the upright position you won’t be able to tell the difference until you open and close them. You will want to ask your local futon specialist to point you in the right frame and show you how they work.

Here’s a link to our website with animations to give you an idea:

So what is a love-seat style standard wood frame or a love-seat style wallhugger?

When we transform any of the standard or wallhugger frames into a love-seat style, they still have to be pulled away from the wall if it’s a standard type, or left at the wall if a wallhugger type. The best way to visualize this is to rotate the futon in the opened position so that when put against the wall, you have a smaller space taking up the wall. Now cut off a third of the mattress from the bottom length, put that away, and close the futon frame. You should end up with a smaller sofa and an ottoman futon piece.

Standard love-seat frames come with a sliding ottoman piece that comes out of the frame. Wallhugger love-seat frames come with a separate free standing ottoman, which will have collapsing legs to hide under the frame.

There are 2 sizes for bi-folding frames: Double/Full or Queen.

You can get love-seat styles in Twin, Double/Full, or Queen.

Keep in mind a futon mattress size for a Twin is 39″ x 75″, Double/Full 54″ x 75″, and Queen 60″ x 80″.

A bi-folding frame would line up against the wall with a futon length-wise. When rotated, a love-seat style would line up against the wall width-wise. See the distinction? A full size futon frame would hold a futon mattress aligned to the wall 75″ while a love seat would be smaller sofa lined up against the wall 54″.

Depending on the type of arm you choose for your frame, that will give you the final wall space.

Another feature of a love-seat is that your futon mattress will be split in 2 parts: the sofa part and the ottoman part. You can tuck the futon ottoman behind the frames since they angle slightly or put it in a closet.

When looking for support, hardwood frames with slats (like our own) are the way to go. They will allow your futon to breathe and prevent your futon from collecting moisture and molding. Since most of American household floors are not made of tatami mats, this is the best way to take care of your futon for years and years.

If you take care of your wood futon frame, it can out last your futon mattress.

We are also proud to say our wood frames come from plantation and reforested wood. This will make less of an impact on our rainforests and natural surroundings.

One last word for a technique in opening and closing a futon frame: When closing the frame at the final step, grab the top of the futon mattress in the middle, pull it forward and use the side of your calves to push in the bottom part of the frame body while moving your hips towards the wall. Remember to get a feel of the mechanisms so your body will remember the muscle memory.

Until next time!



  1. Great Info…very useful

  2. Great post, very informative!!

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