Lynnette Rutledge. Futon. April 16th , 2018.
This isn't just an issue with one manufacturer in particular. We've seen this from 4 different metal futon frame manufacturers offering these frames. There is just not enough materials or quality of construction to justify these frames as a viable furniture solution for consumers. It should also make people question purchasing one of these frames when they only carry a 30-90 day warranty. Any manufacturer who warranties a piece of furniture for this amount of time doesn't expect it to last very long and neither should you as the consumer. 98% of our futon related service issues over a 10 year period resulted from failures with black metal frames. Often within the first year of ownership.
When investigating a futon frame consider these three things: 1) Hardwood will tends to be stronger than pinewood, 2) Solid wooden cross members will tend to outlast jointed cross members and 3) The More reinforcement the better. Most modern wood futon frames have six major parts; a left arm, a right arm, a back deck, a seat deck, and two stretcher rails (sometimes called cross rails). The hardware that fasten all of these wooden pieces together are most often made up of an ingenious bolt and barrel nut (dowel nut) system that act very much like little vice clamps that hold the joints in place. This makes futon frames easy to assemble and disassemble which can have many advantages.
The patents and inventions featured in this article are truly just a sampling of the many designs and innovations by various futon inventors who had the vision to create and design furniture in an all new light. The futon industry itself has grown up quite a bit since its humble beginnings in the early 80's and many futons you'll see today are based on these early concepts and designs. I found it fascinating to study the evolution of the futon from a simple tri-fold design into the sofa looking frames of today. The innovations that came from these designs really helped to move forward this line of furniture that we know today. Next time you see a futon frame I hope you'll think about these inventors and the legacy they've left on this furniture category.
Stress supports are usually narrow boards that help to reinforce the slats from the underneath. Not only do they reinforce the slat, but for those companies whose stress supports fit in snuggly against the front and back framing boards--they have the added benefit of helping to keep the futon frame from skewing when it is converted from bed to sofa. Likewise, stress supports with three screws per support are better than those with only two.
Futons do make a sensible investment as they provide all of the features and benefits of a sofa sleeper but at a fraction of the cost in many cases. If you find the right frame that is well built from quality materials and a good mattress your futon experience is sure to be a positive one. Avoid metal futon frames that are made more to hit a particular price point then they are to be a piece of furniture that can offer longevity as a dependable sofa and sleeper for your home. The right futon can provide you and your family with years of quality use. The wrong futon frame will simply become disposable furniture.
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