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What is an Armless Futon?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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An armless futon is a type of sofa bed without furniture arms on its sides. While the futon is the name of the entire sofa, it can also refer to the mattress pad alone. Since there are no chair arms on an armless futon, it tends to look much more like a bed when opened flat than the kind with a furniture arm on each side. Like other types of futon, the armless version is made up of two main pieces: the pad and the frame.

Many armless futon frames are made of wood, while some are constructed of metal. The armless futon sofa bed may have a mechanism that allows the backrest to slide down to create a sleeping position. Alternatively, levers in the lower part of some futons let the backrest be flipped down. Some armless futons have two wheels near the back legs to make it easier to push the sofa bed away from the wall when it's in the flat position.

Generally, armless futons tend to look more modern and informal than their armed counterparts. Some armless futon sofas are available with two cylindrical bolster cushions placed where arms would go. Instead of bolster cushions, a throw pillow placed on one end of the couch can accent the sleek armless look of the futon.

Armless futon frames may be made of long slats of wood with some horizontal wooden sections to join them. Many of these are of light pine wood, although some are stained dark. Lower priced armless frames for futons may be made of black metal tubing. Some armless futons are sold with box-like drawers that fit under the sofa frame. These can be convenient for storing bedding.

Typically, the pad mattresses and covers used for futons with arms also fit the armless models. Many futon covers are somewhat like a fitted bed sheet, only heavier and with elastic edge on the entire outer part rather than just at the corners. Fit is especially important with an armless futon style, as without the furniture arms, the sides of the seat show more. A pair of armless chairs or a chaise lounger in a similar style can be good seating pieces to arrange with this kind of futon in a living room. A glass-topped coffee table can coordinate well with armless furniture if it adds to the light, airy feeling of the pieces.

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