Early designs involved a steel tooth design that would fit into pocket welds on the arms. These would snap off over use. The alternative design was to run a bolt through the arms and into the rails. While better it still did not address the issue of bending stretcher rails. Bent hinges also added another issue that would happen from use over time. While not as common as the other problems this issue still led to the failure of many black metal frames.
It was soon discovered though that these frames were not such a bargain that they appeared to be. The first problem with black metal frames is the round metal bars that make up the seat and back sections of these frames. Where as wood futon frames are using flat slats, black metal frames have hollow round bars. Thinner mattresses would slide through the gaps between the round bars. On wood futons this was never a problem.
As a couch, students can use the futon to entertain or watch TV. Then they can open it for guests to sleep on. For dorm rooms, modern futons can be used as a way to diversify a space. Used as a couch during the day and a bed at night, the dorm room can look like a living room or a bedroom depending on what a student wants to have at any one time. There are also outdoor futons and swing futons for patios or porches.
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