My personal favorite when it comes to things to sleep on are single futon beds. Single not because I'm single, but because I like to have that dedicated sleeping space. And not a bed, necessarily, but simply directly on top of tatami matting, because that's how it was meant to be done. Now, I realize most of you out there will be different and will choose a single futon bed with a frame to sleep on, and that's okay. I wish to share with you how to select a futon that will be of assistance in getting a good night's sleep while remaining affordable. It should also help to know what to avoid, as there are some futons out there that shouldn't really be on the market at all.

Let's start with the ones that you DON'T want, as this will help you figure out the kind you do. You don't want a single futon chair with a cheap metal frame if you plan to use it for sleeping on, too. These frames offer terrible support and some people end up pulling the mattress off the frame and sleep on the floor, that's how bad they are. These are the single futon beds you'll find at places like Walmart selling for around $100. Do yourself a favor and give those cheap futon models a pass.

So what do you want then? Well, you want a frame that provides good support. The single futon mattress will conform more or less to its frame, depending on how thick and firm the mattress is. You don't want to be able to feel where the slats are and aren't- it should feel like you're on a flat surface. That means the empty spaces between slats shouldn't be too large, so look for many slats spaced close together. Once you have the right frame, you can choose a mattress based on how firm you want it.

You can find a futon chair bed in many places. Ikea has them, and they are a popular model though one that gets mixed reviews. Try playing it safe by going to a store that specializes in futons. Here, you can see the frames and feel for yourself the differences that good frames make. It is also possible to get a good sense of the differences in single futon mattresses in such a store. Whatever you choose, do get a single futon cover for the mattress, as this will keep it clean and help it last longer.