Do futons break easily? This is when your chosen frame matters

Futons have been the “go-to” furniture of homeowners and young professionals looking for multi-purpose pieces that fit in smaller rooms to save as much floor space as possible.

It is also a more budget-friendly option than buying couches and beds separately.

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But of course, if you’ve never had one, it is only natural to ask if futons break easily. Because if they do, then the “budget-friendly” advantage they offer will be negated since you’d either have to spend more to get them fixed or buy a new one entirely.

In this article, we will address your concerns on whether futons break easily, how you can prevent them from breaking, and how to fix them (in case) they break – without breaking the bank.

When the frame matters

Unlike the traditional Japanese futon that sits on the floor, western futons are manufactured with frames to make it higher from the ground and double as a couch when not used as a bed.

Futon frames are made from different materials, including plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard), solid hardwood, steel, and metal alloys.

Depending on the materials used, the weight capacity of futon frames varies – with steel and solid hardwood having higher weight limits than MDF and cheap metal alloy frames.

You can read this article to learn more about futon weight limits and understanding capacity

Type of MaterialWeight Capacity
Plywood150 – 200 lbs
Hard (Solid) Wood500 – 770 lbs
Basic Metal250 – 500 lbs
Heavy Duty Metal500 – 600 lbs

As you can see, the type of material used determines how much weight a frame can carry before it reaches its breaking point. If you are on the heavier side, we recommend you choose a steel or solid hardwood frame that can support your weight.

What’s more, the structural design, the spacing of slats, and the support in the middle play a major role in the stability and sturdiness of the futon frame.

The design determines how much weight the frame can handle, the slats help with weight management, and the support in the middle allows the frame to carry extra weight than initially intended.

Even frames made with cheap metal alloys or MDF can carry heavier loads if they have extra legs supporting the middle and use more slats to help with weight management.

Do futons break easily? This is when your chosen frame matters 1

Why do futon frames break?

There are three common reasons why futon frames break:

  1. You exceeded the recommended weight limit.
  2. Some of the ready-to-assemble (RTA) fasteners connecting and holding the pieces of the frame together are loose.
  3. The manufacturer used “finger-jointed” short pieces of wood as the board.

How to prevent futons from breaking

  • You can easily prevent a futon from breaking by choosing a frame that can carry your weight or that of your friends who often sleep over at your house.

    If you are heavy or meaty, avoid flimsy frames that break easily. If your budget allows it, purchase sturdier frames with legs in the middle for better support.

  • When you hear any creaking or notice some wobbling, check for any loose RTA fasteners, and tighten them immediately using an Allen wrench or a 5mm hex. Loose fasteners can cause unintended stress to other parts of the frame, causing it to break.

  • If the frame is made with weaker finger-jointed boards or beams, it is best to reinforce the structure with hardwood and screws to make it sturdier.

  • Add slats for better weight distribution. If you cannot add slats to support the weight, you can place a solid board on top of the slats to make it last longer and become more comfortable to sleep in.

Easy fixes for broken futons

Fixing broken futons is easy, especially if you are handy with tools. Try these quick fixes when you find some parts of the futon broken or not working correctly.

  • Bent or broken metal frame – Straighten the bent metal and add support by welding another metal onto the frame. You can also use solid wood as extra legs for more support to the middle part of the frame.

  • Broken wood parts – You can fix broken regular wood with glue. Don’t forget to check if you have enough clamps to hold the pieces together while waiting for the glue to dry out, or the glue won’t stick, and the wood pieces won’t adhere properly.

    If it is the main beam that is broken, make sure that once the glue is dry, reinforce the board by screwing another hardwood beam behind the original one, extending it from one end to the other, to prevent more breaks in the long run.

  • Broken slats – When checking the slats and you notice any shifting, you can simply move them back into position and space them evenly. This will help the frame manage the weight more efficiently to avoid bucking or breaking.

    If they are broken, you can replace them by buying pieces of wood of the same size. You can also repair them using metal mending plates and screws, or wood and glue, to secure the broken pieces.
  • Glides and Hinges – Glides are part of the futon that manages the gentle unfolding of the frame, while hinges hold the futon in place, be it folded or unfolded. 

    If the futon is not sliding smoothly or the hinges are damaged, you can buy replacement parts online or from hardware stores. The glides and hinges usually come in pairs.

To learn more about futons, check out Can you cut a futon mattress? How to do it?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can futons withstand frequent use?

Futons are designed to be versatile and used frequently. However, the frequency of use can impact the lifespan of the futon. If used as a bed every night, a futon may wear out faster than if it is used as a couch occasionally.

What is the average lifespan of a futon?

The lifespan of a futon can vary depending on the quality of the materials used, the frequency of use, and how well it is maintained. On average, a futon can last between 5 to 10 years.

Are there ways to prevent futon frames from breaking?

To prevent futon frames from breaking, it is important to choose a frame made of high-quality materials. Additionally, avoiding jumping or roughhousing on the futon can help prevent damage. Regular maintenance, such as tightening screws and lubricating moving parts, can also prolong the lifespan of the futon frame.

How can I maintain the durability of my futon?

To maintain the durability of a futon, it is important to regularly clean and rotate the mattress. Keeping the frame well-maintained and avoiding excessive weight on the futon can also help prolong its lifespan.

What are some common reasons for futon frames to break?

Futon frames may break due to poor quality materials or construction, excessive weight, rough use, or lack of maintenance. It is important to choose a high-quality futon frame and maintain it regularly to prevent damage.

Are there any specific weight limits for futons?

Futons typically have weight limits ranging from 250 to 750 pounds, depending on the frame and mattress. It is important to check the weight limit of a futon before use to prevent damage or injury.