Lynnette Rutledge. Futon. March 02nd , 2018.
Having worked in furniture for many years I have always believed strongly in that you get what you pay for or that the value of what you're buying is in direct relation to the quality of the product and the price placed on those goods or services. I also believe that some products are capable of giving an entire line of furniture a bad name due to their specific lack of quality and unjustly so because one type of product doesn't represent the qualities of an entire line of furniture. No better example of this can be said than what black metal futon frames have done against the futon industry in the last 10 years. In this article I'll explain my position about the negative aspects these metal frames provide and why it would be best for consumers and retailers alike to move away from these frames that are giving the industry a bad name.
What you should know is that there was a break or separation in the quality for futons that emerged in recent years brought about by many mass merchant retail stores. The futon industry up to this point had been dominated by futon specialty stores and retailers who committed themselves to purchasing products made by the many United States futon manufacturers. These different companies were responsible for the innovations and stunning designs being created in solid woods like oak, ash and maple throughout the futon industry. Many of these frames were built as good or better than many conventional sofas in the market since they utilized hardwood construction in their frames.
As we have already mentioned, futon frames need reinforcement. The more reinforcement a futon has the more likely it will stand the constant abuse of friends and family. After all, futon frames are not only mechanisms with moving parts, they must also support the weight of your futon mattress and people as well. A general rule is that you should look for as much reinforcement as possible. You could simplify things by keeping a scorecard and counting off the number of angle brackets, stress supports and rub guards a given futon comes equipped with.
Mattresses were also made quite well including quality innerspring mattresses made with steel components manufactured by Leggett & Platt, a supplier of steel components for many of the top mattress manufacturers throughout the United States. An extensive network of futon cover manufacturers also began to work hard at producing quality zippered covers from upholstery fabrics as well as more modern materials like microfiber. This level of quality is what would make futons a viable alternative to other conventional furniture and the popularity for these products soon began to grow.
During the 1990's however cheap import futon frames made from hollow tubular steel were introduced into the American retail market. These came with imported mattresses that were constructed to be no more than 5\" to 6\" thick and contained ground up textile or fabric scrap. Various colored outer coverings that were not removable were tufted around the mattress materials making these difficult to clean. They retailed very cheap and individuals on a budget recognized the futon design from higher end wood models and felt these were indeed bargains since futons had a very good reputation for longevity and quality construction. Unfortunately these black tubular frames would begin to give futons a bad name.
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