If you need an inexpensive futon that can serve as an occasional guest bed, Ikea’s Grankulla futon chair and its corresponding Munkarp mattress will suffice. It’s reasonably priced, sturdy, easy to move, and quite comfortable when used as a chair. Open for personalization and flexible enough to seat or sleep in multiple positions, this wood-and-foam solution is just what you’d expect from Ikea – spiffy design at a low price. But you do get what you pay for, so there are some flaws as it relates to assembly and durability.
This product is sold in two separate pieces, but they are designed as a unit. The Grankulla is the wooden chair frame itself, and the Munkarp is a special mattress outfitted with the necessary crease and straps for fitting the frame. There are two widths available for both the Grankulla and the Munkarp: 27 1/2 inches (super-slim twin) and 55 1/8 inches (double). I have the skinny model.
PROS of the Ikea Grankulla Futon Chair and Munkarp Mattress:
– It’s easy to bring home from the store – even in a small car – because the mattress is condensed and shrinkwrap-rolled like a large sleeping bag and the box for the frame is only as long as the frame width you select.
– You can paint the frame, stain it, or leave it as is.
– The narrow version, which I own, is slimmer across than a regular twin bed, so it can fit into a narrow space if need be.
– Multiple positions = options: Grankulla/Mukarp serves as a chair, a chaise lounge, and a totally flat bed. For both the chair and chaise settings, the frame has two notches for the amount of “uprightness” you desire.
– The cover is easily removable and washable.
– For the narrow model, as of June 2006, the frame is $25 and the mattress is $75.
CONS of the Ikea Grankulla Futon Chair and Munkarp Mattress:
– It’s annoying (though not terribly hard) to put together – more screwing and loud hammering than you might expect.
– The specially packed foam mattress requires a day or two to take shape before it’s ready for use. It also smells kind of creepy and stale at first, but that odor luckily disappears. At any rate, don’t plan on using the Grankulla/Munkarp for at least two or three days after you’ve unpacked and assembled it.
– The mattress is tolerable for sleeping but not comfortable for more than a night or two as a guest bed. If you use it as a chair, it inevitably develops an indentation where your butt normally is when you’re sitting, so when it’s laid flat out as a bed, the dip on an already thin mattress is quite noticeable.
– Ikea only stocks a limited selection of covers. There were only navy and red ones at the time I bought my futon chair.
Other thoughts on the Ikea Grankulla Futon Chair and Munkarp Mattress:
– The futon chair has no arms, which can be good or bad depending on your preferences and space.
– You’re basically relegated to using their specially designed cover, which sports holes for the velcro straps to poke through and connect the mattress back to the chair for stability.
– It can scratch a hardwood floor if you don’t buy felt pads for the bottom. Remember to pick these up for a spare buck at Ikea.