A futon chair has a jointed frame that flattens out and transforms into a single-width bed. Most futon chairs use a single-unit cushion that bends in the center to form the seat and backrest; in the sleeping position, the cushion lies flat and acts as a mattress.
Like a full-size futon, a futon chair has both movable and fixed components. The stationary legs or sides provide stability for the moving seat and backrest. When the chair is in a sitting position, the sides act as armrests. In a sleeping position, the sides serve as guardrails.
Futon chair frames are often made of wood or metal. Traditional wooden futon chairs feature larger side frames and a club chair-style design. Modern futon chairs often use a more streamlined design and minimalist legs. On these chairs, the folding mechanisms are integrated into the cushion, which is fixed to the frame.
Some futon chairs use a legless design. Instead, the frame of the chair rests directly on the floor. The back and seat angle up to form a reclining, lounge-style seat. To create a sleeping surface, the chair flattens out onto the floor. This type of futon chair takes up more floor space than traditional models but makes a bolder style statement.