When I moved to Wellington from Melbourne I brought my futon with me. Being tall means that back trouble is not likely, but inevitable, so a decent bed is all important.

I bought the futon from a place on Smith Street on the recommendation of the girlfriend at the time. She had bought one for herself, and reckoned they were a pretty good brand.

I’ll not forget heading in there to buy it. I was looking at the range, which had five different levels. Now, I’ve always been partial to not buying the very bottom of the range on anything (because you inevitably end up with crap), but instead buying in the middle. Unfortunately the middle was a few dollars out of my limited price range, so I was thinking of buying the very bottom of the range. This was a futon that (then) cost a staggering $A80.

Now, the Chinese lady who was selling the futons was hilarious. I’d been in the store for two minutes when she had me cracking up by talking about my eyebrows. If you’ve never seen me, they’re rather large. One might say, caterpillaresque. Apparently this is a sign of great political power.

Anyhow, after chuckling this off, I opted for the bottom of the range. No! she exclaimed, we call this one, “the mother-in-law” because it’s so uncomfortable. The girlfriend retorted, but you sold me that one a month ago!

There was much laughter and the making of excuses, and I purchased the second from the bottom. And it was the most comfortable sleep ever. A lot of people hate a futon, but I’m used to them, and slept on that bed for four years.

What you might also need to know is that a foam or latex squab is not a futon. A proper futon is either 100% cotton, or a cotton/wool mix. When seeking to replace my old futon with a slightly larger one, I discovered that finding a decent futon in NZL is nigh on impossible.

Here’s the story. We made a trip to Auckland to see the only two places that sell them. We’d looked in Inhabit here in Wellington, but… their top of the range futon was more slim than the bottom of the range one from Melbourne. They are a terrible futon, and I DO NOT RECOMMEND INHABIT.

So, this left us few options. Back-supporting mattresses are up to $2k each, so that wasn’t an alternative.

Auckland has two places. Futon-Ya-San, and Futons NZ. After checking them out, we opted for the Futons NZ option.

Bad move. They freighted the futon to us, and it was immediately bad. The cotton and wool packed down to about 2cm of lumps with two days, and most of the filling formed a spine down the centre of the mattress. It was like going camping. But less comfortable. Worse still, they must have made and oiled the base the day they posted it. We had to keep it in the bathroom to air out for about a week before we could sleep in it, it stank of linseed so badly.

Fortunately they’re decent guys, so they took the futon back (we kept the base we bought from them, once the smell had subsided it was ok). We then approached Futon-Ya-San about having a mattress freighted to us.

Man, what a farce this was turning out to be. Ya-San said 5 days to assemble the mattress. We phoned up after the 5 days, and got the reply, sorry, haven’t made it yet, another 5 days. We phoned five days later to ask how they were going. Sorry, one of our workers is off sick, and it hasn’t been made. We pointed out that we’d already paid, and the mattress still wasn’t on it’s way.

We talked it over, and decided to forget it, and approach the place in Melbourne. Futon-Ya-San then accused us of a lack of good faith, and not giving them sufficient warning! Unbelievable… They refunded our money, and we got in touch with Real Futons, the greatest futon-makers in the universe.

I phoned them up, and in no time I was chatting to Glenn, owner of the company. Now, Glenn is a top bloke. He was a pleasure to do business with, helped us out, and made a convincing argument for buying the very top of the line! And he’s right. If you’re going to freight a mattress all the way from Melbourne, why the heck not buy the Wool Super! It’s like sleeping on a cloud!

Originally I was going to organise my own freight from his workshop to Wellington, but he took care of that for us. MAF and Customs were only a slight hassle. And it was eventually delivered to the door!

And even better, they left us with this.

If you’d like to arrange to have a futon for yourself, I’m sure I could help you out, for a very small fee 🙂