A futon is a flexible mattress on a frame: it can either be folded up to use as seating or unfolded to use as a bed. When your cousins come to stay, they might sleep on a futon in the living room.

In the U.S., the word futon generally refers to the combination of a mattress and a light frame; in Japan, a futon is simply the mattress itself, usually stuffed with cotton and laid out on the floor for sleeping. If you visit a traditional Japanese home, you might sleep on a futon with a tatami mat beneath it and a duvet, or kakebuton, covering you.

Definitions of futon
  1. noun
    mattress consisting of a pad of cotton batting that is used for sleeping on the floor or on a raised frame
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    type of:
    a large thick pad filled with resilient material and often incorporating coiled springs, used as a bed or part of a bed
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