Georgia Henderson. Futon. March 16th , 2018.
If you're shopping for a futon, here are some things to think about if you see a black metal futon frame in a mass merchant or big box store. Consider the fact that most solid wood futon frames carry a warranty anywhere from a year to a lifetime warranty. Black metal futon frames have a 90 day warranty. It says something about how much the manufacturer stands behind the product. Black metal frames are made overseas. Expect to wait for a part if something breaks or if you're past that 90 day warranty, expect to pay for all replacement parts and associated costs to get your frame up and running again. Consider too that parts may also no longer be available should something break. Metal bars allow mattresses to slide into and through the gaps between each bar. This puts lumps in your mattress and can make the futon quite uncomfortable when compared to flat wooden slats on wood frames.
As a general rule, the longer the warranty on a futon frame the longer the futon manufacturer expect their futon frame to last. The shorter the warranty, the more likely you will be have to repair or replace something. Futons that are well designed, however, often outlast their warranties altogether. A solid hardwood futon frame with ample reinforcements, stress supports and angle brackets might last you 20 years or longer.
When it comes to futon mattress materials, you will want one that uses a mixture of cotton and wool as these are the softest of the lot. The cotton and polyester types are also good, as well as extremely light. Light mattresses are vital if you're planning on using them as a sofa or if you're constantly changing premises - they're just a lot more mobile. Pick the heavier mattresses if you're using it only as a bed - these provide a lot more stability and tend to not shift around a lot when you sleep.
October of 1991 saw another group of inventors including Mark S. Barton, Kurt J. Bandach and Mark E. Schlichter introduce an interesting concept of a pivoting pawl as they referred to it. This was basically a specially designed block that would hang on the seat section that would engage against a step located on the back rest and using gravitational force influences the pawl to both hang unengaged when the futon is in an upright position and to engage when the seat is lifted and the pawl engages against the step to allow the frame to be operated while standing in front and returns the futon from a bed position back into a seating position. This patent was assigned to August Lotz Co., Inc. who implemented this design into their successful line of futon products. This marked an interesting approach to frame conversion as now the frame was facilitating the movement back into a sofa position by having pawls engage into steps designed into the back rest of the frame.
Continuing moving forward in futon designs a futon patent was filed in 1994 by Peter W. Dodge (Patent Number 5513398) for a futon that featured a tilt mechanism. This allowed a transfer from the bed position to the sofa position using guide slots or routed out grooves using rollers to move up and down the seat and back sections of the futon frame. This design would soon be emulated by many other manufacturers in that the arms had become the central focal point of the operation of the futon frame.
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