A futon is a type of mattress that makes up a Japanese bed. They are sold in Japan at specialty stores called futon-ya as well as at department stores.
Western futons are only loosely based on the Japanese original, with several major differences. They are usually placed on a configurable frame for dual use as a bed and a couch, but are not intended to be stored away during the day. They are usually filled with foam as well as batting, often in several layers, and are almost always much thicker and larger than Japanese futons, resembling a traditional mattress in size. Western-style futons are a cheap alternative to a bed or other furniture, and are often sold in sets that include the mattress and frame; in fact, in the United States, "futon" often refers to the frame, not the mattress. Most Japanese people would not recognize a Western-style "futon" as a futon.
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