People who know me know I am very suspicious of couches and beds. One might go so far as to say I am philosophically opposed to them. Have you ever thought about your couch or bed? They're chimeras. Nobody needs them. They make your friends hate you when you move. We've been brainwashed and bamboozled into accepting them, thinking they're necessary. Couches and beds tie us down. Neither is easily grappled with by a single person. To me, they're symbolic of being ruled by one's possessions--to say nothing of being impoverished of imagination.
I was impressed by the importance of futons in Kyoko Mori's Stone Field, True Arrow, which takes place in Milwaukee. (Mori is a graduate of UWM's creative writing program.) Ok, maybe they're not exactly literary motifs--but, then again, maybe they are. I just liked the way Maya and Yuko were able to travel light and sleep on futons.
There's something very elegant about chairs and futons as solutions--how they're comparatively so much easier to maneuver. And affordable.