A futon is essentially a Japanese style mattress that incorporates a low-lying frame, all of which is set up low on your bedroom floor. Modern versions tend to have a folding feature, whereby it can function as a recliner as well as a sleeping surface. It saves a lot of space, and can even be rolled away and stored in a closet. It could also be taken with you when staying over with relatives or at a friend's house.

It may take you a bit of time to get used to sleeping on a comparatively harder sleeping surface. Research shows, though, that a slightly firmer surface aids the spine to realign itself, thus lowering the prospect of suffering from back pain in future years. Japanese people have been using them for a very long time, and believe in its health benefits as well as its general utility and space-saving benefits.

Regular beds, if you think about it, are quite high and take up an awful lot of space. They are difficult to move, impossible to store, and not particularly versatile. Futons, though, are incredibly versatile and are able to be positioned in any corner of your room. They don't have a complicated spring mattress, although heavier versions of a futon mattress are available. Incidentally, you can just go ahead and use a regular mattress rather than a mattress for a futon per se, and some of the best futons will allow you to cater for different depths of mattress.

A final but quite significant bonus is the extent to which children can play on a low-lying futon much more safely than on a bed. And when your child creeps into your bed at night, and falls off, much less harm is likely to come to them. The space that can be freed up can also serve to make a perfect play area for children, and then the futon can quickly be put back into place when you're ready to go to sleep. Colors will vary, so you can choose something funky or something retro. There tends to be far more choice than regular beds, in this regard.

1. Novogratz Brittany Sofa Futon in Navy Linen

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This stylish and comfortable Novogratz Brittany linen Futon supports your body excellently, allowing you to kick back and relax. The contoured armrests sit snugly beneath your arms, while the angled legs have a European modernistic flair. Linen is a material that will complement a variety of different style living areas, while its sturdy wooden frame ensures that it will bear your weight. It is easy to maintain and comfortable to lie in, due in part to its convenient foam and polyester filling. Its sleeping dimensions are 70.5L x 43.5W x 16H, while its overall dimensions are 81.5″L x 34.5″W x 31.5″H, so it is a multi-purpose, convenient and elegant addition to any household.

2. DHP Lodge Convertible Futon Couch Bed with Microfiber Upholstery

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DHP Futons have been around through more than a quarter-century. DHP Lodge Convertible Futon Couch Bed with Microfiber Upholstery offers a sleek and aesthetically-pleasing effect that will adorn any living space. It is great for more modestly sized areas and brings with it a sophisticated yet elegantly simple appearance. It boasts luxurious, brushed microfiber upholstery and generously padded tufting and seats. It is easy to convert from a futon to a sleeper and would go perfectly with the DHP futon microfiber sheet set, which is light, comfortable, and machine washable. In fact, your purchase includes 1 fitted sheet and 2 pillowcases, and 1 flat sheet, so you’re all ready to host friends as soon as you get it. It is easy and quick to assemble, and affordable to boot.

3. Best Choice Products Modern Linen Convertible Futon Sofa Bed

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This wonderfully versatile Best Choice Products Modern Linen Convertible Futon Sofa Bed is innovative and suits a multitude of different spaces. It has three adjustable positions, rather than just two, so you can choose whether you want to read, view, or sleep. When in the sleeping position there is another support to bear the load of 300 pounds. When in the second position, recline with a friend and enjoy a cold drink. Specially designed cupholders are excellent facilitators of relaxation, allowing you to enjoy your evening without having to prop a drink on a nearby table. Then, within seconds you can enjoy the benefits of a comfortable bed by removing the adjustable back and arm pillows. It comes with four strong chrome metal legs and resilient tufted linen.

4. DHP Modern Convertible Emily Futon Sofa Bed

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This DHP Emily Futon is a multi-functional piece of furniture that doubles as a comfy sofa and spacious bed. Its tufted upholstery lends it a stylish air, while it also comes in faux leather. Its chrome legs give it a certain solidity and impressiveness. It even has a split-back design, so that each guest can adjust the sofa to meet his or her particular needs; for example, one can have a doze, another read a book. For the purposes of snoozing, both sides go completely flat, turning your sofa into a bed in seconds. As well as saving space, it comes in just one box and is easy to assemble; it takes minutes. You may even decide you want to accompany your futon with the Emily ottoman, chaise lounge, or bedroom chair. Its measurements are 71″L x 34″W x 32″H in its upright position, while in its sleeping position 71″L x 43″W x 16”H. It can handle a 600-pound weight.

5. Milemont Memory Foam Futon Sofa Bed

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The Milemont Memory Foam Futon Sofa Bed takes just 15 minutes to assemble, without any expert assistance. Simply remove from its box, affix the legs, and voilà – your very own sofa. The legs can be found in the fabric zipper pocket underneath. It looks modern and cutting-edge, too, what with its faux leather and chrome legs. It has the capability of allowing people to recline on it, due to its split back, each of which functions separately, if desired. When in the horizontal posture you don’t need an extra mattress; nor do you even need to remove any couch cushions. For customer support, this is done via Amazon, although it is unlikely that you’ll need it.

6. Westfield Wood Futon Frame

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This Westfield Wood Futon Frame has an attractive and warm color-scheme and looks every bit like a traditional piece of furniture with heritage written into its DNA. It boasts natural wood gains in heavy-duty wood, as well as shapely armrests, which are aesthetically pleasing as they are practically comfortable. It easily morphs into a full-size futon sofa bed, sofa or lounger. It even has an anti-slip function which means it is extremely safe for you and your family to use. Its frames are made only from sustainable plantation hardwoods, giving you extra peace of mind that it is eco-friendly.

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7. DHP Twin-Over-Futon Convertible Couch and Bed with Metal Frame and Ladder

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This DHP Twin-Over-Futon Convertible Couch and Bed is a great way of saving space and yet retaining a stylish and attractively designed sleeping area. It goes well in a spare room, kids’ room, dorm room, and you can rely on DHP as a well-regarded manufacturer with years of experience. On the top level, there is a twin bed, which can accommodate a mattress thickness of 6 inches, and a futon on the lower level, which can also function as a double bed or sofa. The frame is composed of sturdy metal and provides effective seating support. The ladder on either side has attractive metal mesh panels and a childproof mechanism, things which ensure that the top bunk is safe. It is easy to assemble and arrives at just one box. The upper bunk can support 200 pounds of weight, the bottom 600 pounds. The bed overall measures 78″ W x 56.5″ D x 61.5″ H, and its metal framework can be selected in silver, black, or white.

8. MIERES Modern Convertible Futon Sofa Bed

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The tufted fabric of this impressive-looking MIERES Modern Convertible Futon Sofa Bed makes it very durable and ideal for family life. It converts easily from sofa to bed and back again, and creates a luxurious, relaxing ambience in any living area. Its 4 chrome metallic legs provide this piece of furniture with extra durability, stability, and resilience; its relaxing reclined position has the added bonus of having 2 concealed cup holders. Its dimensions (67(L)*31.4(W)*32.36 (H) perfectly fit into smaller spaces, while its backrest can be altered to three different angles, manually; it is great for apartments, condos, dorms, and many more spaces. It has a concealed compartment towards its base, which can be stored hardware and legs. The instructions that come with it allow you to set everything up in minutes, and you will soon be enjoying the benefits of having two pieces of furniture (sofa and futon) in one.

9. Kodiak Furniture Phoenix Futon Set with Linen Stone Mattress & Storage Drawers

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The classic hardwood framed futon quickly transforms into a bed, lending an air of style and warmth to any room, with three positions (sit, lounge, and sleep). With a generous 82L x 37D x 33H frame with 75L X 54W X 8H mattress, Kodiak Furniture Phoenix Futon Set is spacious enough to fit into any home and suit a range of body sizes. It comes in 6 different finishes, so you can opt for the one which will best suit your unique decor. Its innerspring futon mattress is of high quality, while the tufting of the upholstery makes for great sleeping and durable wear and tear. It uses thirteen gauge bonnell springs and this beautifully meets the various pressure points of your body so as to give you a very comfortable night’s rest, similar to coil mattresses. Its responsive layers of Certipur-US foam and luxurious layers of cotton give you extra comfort, while the transition from sleeping to the sitting position is facilitated by a unique hinge system. Made in the USA, the wood is hardy plantation-grown hardwood. Meanwhile, its 6 beautiful finishes are black, butternut, antique white, Barbados, natural, and espresso. It has bolt hardware and barrel nut for convenient assembly, while its tray style arms are able to be lowered or extended, as you wish. It converts to a standard full-size bed, and its superior quality 8″ mattress comes in a choice of fabric or bonded leather.

10. Smile Back Sofa Bed – 4 in 1 Multi-Function Adjustable Lounge Bed

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This ultra-sleek Smile Back 4 in 1 Sofa Bed allows you to meet so many needs in just one unit. You can set it to sleeping, sitting, or lying positions, and it even works as an ottoman sofa! Of course, it functions as a bed for the times when you need an extra one for a guest. Its modern design means it fits in well to a variety of locations, and even a balcony or office. Taking up less than 1㎡ of space it doesn’t crowd your room; neither does it take a lot of effort to store it and just bring it out when needed. It is made from breathable lined fabric which is effective at repelling stains and liquids due to its being treated. Inside it has high-density foam, which allows you to have an enhanced sense of comfort. Its metal frame provides a stabilizing influence and is sturdy, durable, and pressure-resistant, able to bear a 300-pound weight. The purchase comes with a user-friendly instruction manual and pillow, for your convenience. Its backrest also has the advantage of having 5 different levels of adjustment, which is vital for maintaining orthopedic health. There is a pedal that can be used to facilitate such adjustments.

11. YAHEETECH Adjustable Futon Sleeper Sofa

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The YAHEETECH Adjustable Futon Sleeper Sofa has a wonderfully convenient clicking device that allows you to adjust the backrest angle to your desired position. It can be set to three different angles (105, 140, or 180 degrees) very easily, thanks to this device. Alternatively, you can change it into a sofa or bed in a matter of seconds. It is composed of sturdy plywood combined with a robust metallic structure, and can handle a weight of up to 772 Lb! It is also comfortable, because of its flexible springs which will not sag. The spring wires undergirding the seating area provide great durability, while gentler springs are cleverly used for the back area, and skin-kind linen is used as a resilient yet soft covering. The armrests are stylish and comfortable. It is also safe in terms of fire risk, due to its meeting of the TB 117-2013 Flammability Standard, perfect for rental properties as well as personal use. It is useful in terms of small spaces, measuring only 23.6sq.ft. by 78.3″.

12. Harper & Bright Designs Floor Sofa Bed

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The Harper & Bright Designs Floor Sofa Bed is a very comfortable, adjustable floor sofa bed, ultra-relaxing and snooze-worthy and yet with a certain style and fashionable aura. It boasts an easy-fold design which makes it user-friendly, turning from a static floor sofa to a convenient bed in a short space of time. It incorporates and back adjuster, built into it, with locking technology that is safe for all the family. It can actually morph into five separate angles, from 90 to 180 degrees, so a whole range of desired postures can be accommodated. Its heavy-duty steel frame is covered by supportive, breathable sponge and durable materials that will weather regular usage. No assembly is required and two pillows are helpfully included. It comes in light brown or black, which can suit a range of decors. Its dimensions, when folded, are 43″ L x 25″ W x 23″ H (inch), and the back Chair is 6.5″ H x 23″ W x 43″ D.

13. Milemont Memory Foam Couch Sleeper Futon Sofa Bed

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The Milemont Memory Foam Couch Sleeper Futon Sofa Bed has an aura of luxury about it, suiting a modern ‘man cave’ or games room, even a living room. It has firm padding which gives extra support, while the PU leather is easy to take care of. Its adjustable handrest and generously cushioned back help you to sit back and relax after a day’s hard work. 2.5″ Memory foam, as a material, more specifically molds itself around your back and reverts to its shop-bought state rapidly. It will enable a visitor to have a sound night’s rest and will tend not to sag or become warped over time. In terms of installing it, it is just a case of taking it out of the box and affixing the legs. There is a really useful zip compartment underneath, which stores the relevant legs for your convenience. The chrome legs lend this piece of furniture an added sense of modern, contemporary chic. The faux leather looks great and is neither too hard nor too soft. The arms can also serve as functional pillows, which is handy when you want to quickly convert it without having to make a lot of preparations. Its dimensions are 70.5″(L) X 33″(W)X29″(H) when folded down like a bed, and 70.5”(L) X 41.5″(W)X15” (H), when used as a sofa. It has a weight capacity of 600 Lbs. These proportions make it useful in studios, dorms, apartments, and small guest rooms.

14. Mainstay’ Wooden Frame Memory Foam Split Seat and Back Futon

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This stylish Mainstay’ Wooden Frame Memory Foam Split Seat and Back Futon has fold-up armrests which support your arms and will be loved by family and friends alike. It has a split seat and back which allows two different people to do different things simultaneously. It easily transforms into a completely flat supportive memory foam bed, guaranteed to give you a good night’s sleep. It is fashioned from a sleek-looking wooden frame and has sturdy legs that feel secure. It is ideal for smaller apartments and dorms rooms, due to its seat dimensions: 72″ W x 34″ D x 32” H, and sleep dimensions: 72″ W x 42.5″ D x 16.5″ H. Weighing 75 pounds, it can support a weight of 600 pounds. It has deluxe suede upholstery for that extra sense of something special; however, it is long-lasting and cleans easily, with professional fabric cleaner or wet cloth. You should not expose the memory foam to strong sunlight, though.

Features To Consider With Futons

Adjustability

With an adjustable futon, you don't need to take up the lion's share of a room's space, but can have the futon strategically stowed at the side, thus freeing up a lot of square inches. Furthermore, with many futons, there is a range of settings to meet the needs of various postures, so that you can set it for reading, for viewing, for relaxing, or for sleeping. A regular bed, on the other hand, has no adjustability whatsoever; it is extremely heavy, eats up a lot of peripheral space, and cannot be used as a sofa or chair, or set to various positions.

Comfort

Futons are obviously not exclusively designed to be beds; even the best futon cannot replicate a well-designed bed; rather than the 'futon as bed' or 'futon as a bed' notion, it is better to think of the benefit of 'futon to bed' because you are essentially getting two pieces of essential furniture for the price of one. Not all futons are equally comfortable, though. High-quality products like Nirvana futons are one thing, but cheaper futons will not be made from such high-quality padding and may be either too hard, so that you can feel the underlying framework, or too squidgy, due to the mattress being made from a cheaper foam. Futon beds do not generally allow you to lie completely flat, like a regular bed mattress, which has specially designed sprung mattresses. However, they are on the whole meant for just a night or two's worth of sleep, rather than as a proper bed for bed replacement.

The same can be said for the sofa; the quality will dictate the firmness. If it has a rather thick mattress when flat, then this could end up slipping downward slightly, and even be difficult to fold and fit into a shape. Guests might find they continually keep the mattress in an upright position when it's in 'sofa mode'. Higher-end products should continue to keep their shape, however, so it's worth doing your homework and seeing the exact specification, material, and reading a cross-section of different reviews.

Design

It is important to determine which room the futon will be living and therefore how much you have to work with. It could be that you only intend to use it seldom, or then again, it might be being regularly turned from sofa to bed and back again, on a regular basis. Pine wood, for example, looks great but due to being of a softer texture is not as useful for a children's bed; easily scuffed and scratched; a metallic frame might be better for them. If the budget isn't such a pressing concern then solid oak might be even better still; it also looks more elegant and stylish.

You then need to determine which, of the main two kinds of futon, you'll select, ie. tri-fold or bi-fold. Tri-fold futons separate in two different places, thus making three sections; the back, the seat, and a lower part of the foot. Some tri-fold futons have a permanently attached foot portion while others have a separate ottoman portion. The attached version might be more convenient but the separate ottoman version might save you more space. A tri-fold futon will tend to use up more floor space than a bi-fold futon, and may measure 55" to 60" in width.

Bi-fold frames have two main sections and are perfect for a one-piece mattress. They are quite popular and easy to find. They have just one crease down the middle, and each side is called the back deck and seat, respectively. The width will tend to match the length, and a standard model can range from 77" to 80". You'll need more wall space to accommodate it, so if you don't have this then maybe the tri-fold option is better for you.

A third alternative is a futon called a 'wall hugger', which transforms from a bed to a lounger to a sofa, all without having to move it away from the wall. Unlike old-school 'front loader' futon frames which need 10" from the frame's back to the wall, this newer design can rest completely up against a wall and still operate its mechanism perfectly.

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Size

Futons tend to come in single, twin, full, and queen-sized versions. There are space saver frames called two pieces loveseats, and they can have either a pull-out ottoman or separate ottoman. An over of the various kinds of measurements is as follows:

  • Chair Futon Body - 28" x 54" when opened to bed position.
  • Twin Futon Bodies exist 2 styles: Twin Split and Twin Lounger.
  • Twin Split Body measures 39" x 54" when open.
  • Twin Lounger Body - similar to Twin Split but comes with the ottoman part that slides into the frame.

Full futon bodies are available in 3 styles: Full, Loveseat, and Full Lounger.

  • Full-Size Body measures 75" x 54" when open.
  • Loveseat (Full Split) Body is 54" x 54" when open.
  • Full Lounger Body - to Loveseat but includes the ottoman part that slides into the frame.

Queen futon bodies come in 3 distinct styles: Queen, Queen Split, and Queen Lounger.

  • Queen Size Body - 80" x 60" when open.
  • Queen Split Body measures 60" x 54" when open. To use it as a bed, you will need an optional stand-alone ottoman a
  • Queen Lounger Body is similar to Queen Split but includes the ottoman part that slides into the frame.

Space Saving

The great benefit to futons is that they can be folded up and stored when not being slept on. They are really useful in a situation of limited space, such as student accommodation, spare room, bedsit, shared house, or even 'man cave'. Rather than two pieces of furniture, one is better in terms of saving space. One can allow you to maximize its usage but in a way that enables you to forget about it when it's not actively being used.

Weight Capacity

Futons need to be sturdy enough to comfortably support two adult sleepers, if necessary. Generally, you'll want your futon to have a 600 lb weight limit, which should be more than enough for most couples. The metal or wood frames are generally very supportive and are distinct from the body of the futon per se. Wood frames tend to be able to bear a heavier load, but will generally cost more as a result. They can even bear up to 750 Lbs, should you have a need for such capacity.

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Futon FAQ

Q: What's the difference between a futon and a sofa bed?

A:

A futon is essentially a sofa bed but with some differences. A sofa bed, for example, is initially built like a regular sofa, but then a metal frame undergirds it. This can be pulled out so that the whole product can be used as a bed instead of a sofa. The futon, by contrast, is a more versatile, convertible item that can keep switching back and forth, smoothly and efficiently, due to its specifically designed mechanism. Unlike the sofa bed, the futon doesn't usually require anything to be extracted and put in place. Everything you need is already there, integrated, and in place.

Cleanliness

It is easier to clean a futon than a sofa bed, due to the material being less costly and there being less to remove, clean, and iron. A sofa bed, however, requires you to remove the slip-on covers, which can often be very tight; if upholstered this then needs to be removed then it is even further still, the re-upholstering process painstaking and laborsome.

Comfort

Sofa beds offer but one setting in terms of firmness and comfort; in general they cannot be adjusted. They can even be a little uncomfortable, due to the underlying structure sometimes being felt when lying down on it, especially as the material ages. The futon, by contrast, easily folds into a range of positions and is made from lightweight material; adjustable mattresses can be removed or replaced. There is no denying the fact, however, that futons are not as comfortable as sofas in terms of sitting back and relaxing.

Set-Up

In terms of bigger areas, the sofa bed has the edge, due to the extent to which you can pull out the mattress, as well as the retractable metal frame. The futon is handy for smaller areas, due to the compact conversion process. It is important, however, to know exactly how to do this, lest it becomes a really painful chore. The choice, then, is between an easier but larger affair, or one that is slightly more cumbersome but capable of fitting into tighter spaces.

Blending In

Futons tend to blend in a bit more, due to their smaller, more stylish design, which really sits snugly in a corner or end of a room. Sofa beds, however, look rather more clunky and really draws attention to itself. A futon can fit nicely into a bedroom, whereas a sofa bed fits in better in a lounge. It depends, however, on the particular design and style.

Price And Value

A futon will generally set you back at around $600 – $1000, although cheaper versions can be had if you're willing to compromise on the quality of materials (eg. foam, metal, wood, etc.). A sofa bed, however, is costlier although this cost could be reduced if bought as part of a living room furniture set. Futons have a better reputation for value for money and have a certain 'wow' factor that comes with the more subtle, less obvious design.

Choices For Upholstery

Sofa beds usually have upholstery that is fixed onto the frame (metal or wooden), which means the whole unit must be disassembled if you want to change it, for whatever reason. This can be both expensive and wearisome. A futon, by contrast, lets you select the cushion covers and mattress you want, and the upholstery can be changed easily and efficiently, without much hassle.

Mattress Sizes of Futon Vs Sofa Bed

The sofa bed generally has quite a thin mattress; it must be fairly low in order to make the sitting experience as comfortable as possible. Sometimes you can, however, feel the frame and even screws, though, which is not good. It is not so easy to replace these mattresses; there simply aren't that many on the market. The futon's conversion mechanism means that it is slightly easier to select from a range of different mattresses; any size. It should be easy enough to replace the original mattress when the time comes.

Addition Of More Cushions Or Padding

The sofa bed's upholstery is fixed, therefore it is not particularly easy to upgrade or re-fashion the comfortable, inserting more padding. Instead, it is more effective to just add more cushions, preferably in matching patterns. This should spruce up your sofa bed and make it come alive again. With regard to a futon, you can go for a matching effect, with covers, cushions, mattress tops, and a range of other features.

futon or sofa

Q: Is a futon a single or double sized bed?

A:

Futons are compatible with mattresses, therefore there should be no difficulty in using standard American mattress sizes in your futon. The depth can vary from 5 to 20 inches; however, the width and the length are exactly the same as they are with normal bed mattresses. Futons are usually 32 inches wide x 75 inches long; twin size mattresses and futons tend to be 39 inches wide x 75 inches long. A twin extra long is equal to the width of a twin and the length of a queen, 39 inches wide x 80 inches longs. Double size mattresses and futons are 54 inches wide x 75 inches long. An extra-long full/double is 54 inches wide x 80 inches long. Meanwhile, Queen size mattresses and futons are 60 inches wide x 80 inches long. California King size mattresses or futons are 72 inches wide x 84 inches long. The golden rule is that futons are compatible in width and length with normal, bed proportioned mattresses, so you don't need to invest in some kind of new, radically different sized mattress.

Q: Is sleeping on a futon every night bad for your back?

A:

The biggest thing that research has uncovered is that it is your body posture that is more important than your sleeping surface. In fact, the most effective way to lie down at night is to lie in such a way as will elongate your spine whilst you are sleeping. When it comes to neck or back pain, sleeping on your back is the best position; it tends to align your spine more effectively. If you've tried this and it doesn't work then you might need to have something underneath your knees so as to stop you from unconsciously over-arching your back.

Futons can be pivotal in helping you relieve the more pronounced symptoms of back pain. Futons tend to be slightly firmer and so help the spine to re-align to a more natural posture more readily. Making the switch from a regular bed to a futon mattress might take a few days, but the effects are definitely worth it. You will tend to find that you will be sitting up straighter at the office, and may experience a more upright, healthier posture.

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