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Futons of the 1970s have come of age; get ready to jump aboard

Futons of the 1970s have come of age; get ready to jump aboard

Leisure suits, Disco, bell bottoms and futons – welcome to the 1970s of yesteryear.

And while you may be hard-pressed to find a “Saturday Night Fever” album complete with tunes from the Bee Gees, futons – believe it or not – are still going strong.

According to Suzanne Diamond CEO of The Futon Shops, futons get a bad rap, but they may be great comfort for some. While it’s true futons are typically thought of as something from another decade their precision has changed since their early days.

“We are in over 3 million American homes, and our customers love us,” she said. “In the old days futons were thin and made from cotton. Today’s futons are thick, made from micro coils, coconut coir, organic wool and cotton. We offer memory foams and gels made from a hybrid plant-based foam.” 

And she should know since she has been in business since 1976 and has 11 locations throughout California.

“I manufactured some of the first futons in America in the 1970s, even then, it was based on natural fibers and natural materials as an alternate to polyurethane foams made from chemicals and bi-products of refining oil,” she said.

Diamond said it’s true futons do have a negative connotation: “Because companies started importing cheap futons from China, and flooding our market with click claks that they called futons but actually are cheap sofa beds. There is a negative perception of futons that is hard to break.”

Fools for Futons

However, today’s buyers are far from those flower kids of the 1970s and 1960s; the core of her business she said: “still want natural fibers, organic materials and no chemicals in their sofa.

Futons also aren’t just one-size-fits-all as they range from “very firm to very soft and come in twin, East Coast Queen or California King.” She manufactures 45 different configurations and said: “Our futons are more like mattresses.” 

Futons might also last longer than your typical mattress, Diamond added: “Polyurethane foam, memory foam, gel, all disintegrate with age. As polyurethane foam ages, the chemical particles become airborne and can be absorbed into the bloodstream causing a variety of diseases.”

Return on Investment

Futons may also prove to be a good investment if you’re looking for a sleeping cushion to last more than a few months.

“We manufacture our futons from the ground up. Buying wool and cotton from farmers and doing our own felting, So, we are farm to futon. This cuts out the middleman and makes our mattresses very affordable.

Diamond also sells organic sofas, that are traditional looking but made of organic and natural materials instead of Dacron polyester and polyurethane foams. She also sells platform bedroom groups made from natural woods with linseed oil finishes instead of varnishes and paints.

“We make custom cushions for Bay windows, boats and RVs. We handcraft bed and decorative pillows, out of natural fibers, slip covers, and cushions covers in hundreds of fabrics,” she said.

Why Switch

The best thing about owning and sleeping on a futon Diamond said is that you can have a chemical-free sofa that turns into a comfortable bed. You can also take off the slip cover and wash it or replace it, and if you want a new look, simply change the cover.

And if you’re wondering if Diamond practices what she preaches and sleeps on a futon herself, the answer is a resounding yes: “Of course I do! I sleep on the Dawn mattress.”

If you’re ready to try a futon Diamond said: “come in and tush test them. We’ll ask if you are a back sleeper needing a firmer bed, or a side sleeper, needing a little more support of hips, shoulders and knees. Also, how much do you weigh, are you sleeping alone or with someone else? Do you co-sleep with your children?”

In the end, a futon can give you an honest sleep and one you won’t soon forget!

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