How To Clean a Futon Mattress?

A futon mattress is a perfect addition to any home as they are suitable for both sleeping and sitting. They are made from versatile material so they are comfortable for sleeping and relaxing. One of the main problems with futons is they can become dirty quickly and require regular cleaning. Ideally, they need to be cleaned daily, as well as a deep clean now and again to remove any stains, bacteria, and marks.

A question many people as is, ‘How do I deep clean my futon mattress?’ Here, we will discuss the steps to clean your futon, as well as advice and tips to make it as easy as possible. Buying a futon mattress is an investment, and with regular care and maintenance, yours can give you a great nights’ sleep for years. But before we talk about how to take care of them, let’s talk about their history. 

The futon mattress originally comes from Japan, and most Western adaptations are based on the original Japanese design concept. In the West, most futon mattresses are usually sat on a wooden or metal frame that allows it to be used as a couch as well as a bed. The frame is usually folded in the center so it can be laid flat to form a comfortable bed. 

The futon was first created in 1982 by Bedworks. Since its release, it has grown in popularity. Futons found in the west are often filled with foam and are thicker than the Japanese original design. Regardless of whether you are using it as a bed or couch, it is best to cover it with a mattress protector or vinyl sheet. This will help protect it from dust and stains.

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Deep Cleaning Steps

With everyday use, futons can quickly attract dirt, dust, dead skin, hair, and mold. Homes with pets or children can also expect to find urine and food debris on their futons. To keep it clean, it is necessary to clean your futon mattress on a daily basis with a vacuum. To ensure your mattress lasts a long time, you also need to deep clean it on a regular basis.

Step 1- Vacuum the futon

Begin by using a good-quality vacuum to remove any large debris, such as dirt and hair. Make sure you use the vacuum to remove all the dirt, paying particular attention to the corners and folds which tend to attract dust and crumbs. If your vacuum can’t reach these areas, you may need to use an upholstery brush to keep these clean. Make sure you flip your futon mattress to clean both sides. 

Step 2- Remove odors

Daily use can cause your futon mattress to give off an unpleasant odor, so it is important to remove this when you deep clean. If you don’t do this, it will be unpleasant to sit or sleep on. To do this, use some baking soda by sprinkling it over the whole surface. Leave this for an hour to soak in, then use a vacuum to remove all the baking soda.

Step 3- Clean any marks or stains

After cleaning the futon mattress with a vacuum cleaner, you may see some stains or marks are still there. Use a small amount of laundry detergent mixed with warm water on a washcloth to remove them. Try to not use too much water and blot afterward, as excess moisture will lead to mildew. Most household stains can be easily cleaned in this way. It is best to test the detergent on a small piece of the futon to check it won’t leave a stain or leave discoloration. 

Step 4- Allow the futon mattress to completely dry

Once you have deep cleaned your mattress, it is important to let it dry out completely. This can take a day or more, depending on the weather. Try to leave any doors and windows open, as fresh air will speed up the drying process and keep it fresh. If it is cold outside, try using a hairdryer or a ceiling fan to speed up the process. 

Step 5- Clean the frame

While it is important to clean the mattress, don’t forget to clean the frame as this can also get dirty. Begin by removing the mattress from the frame. Then use a good quality cleaning solution to clean the frame of any stains or dirt. If your futon is made from metal, avoid using any chemicals. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean any dirt. As with the mattress, make sure you test a small amount of your cleaning solution to make sure it doesn’t stain or mark. 

Although we have talked about how to deep clean your futon mattress, some stains will need further steps to remove. Below we advise how to remove even stubborn stains and marks. 

How to Remove Stubborn Stains  

If there are children and pets in your home, you will find a wide array of unexpected stains on your futon mattress. You may find food stains, crayon marks, all as reminders of the fun you have had on your futon. However stubborn the stain, we can tell you how to remove it with our guide. And what is better, they are all easy to find.

1. White Vinegar

White vinegar is a popular way to clean things at is a natural product. It has a strong acidic effect, which works to remove stains and remove mold. It can smell quite strong when applied, but this will fade away. Follow these steps to used white vinegar to clean your futon mattress.

Mix four cups of water with one cup of vinegar.

Use a clean sponge and dip it into the solution. Soak a good amount of the solution up.

Squeeze out any excess and gently dab the mold or mildew. 

Rinse out the sponge with clean water. Squeeze out the excess water and dab the area again to help remove the smell of vinegar.

Dry the mattress completely by placing it outside. This will stop any mold or mildew growing, as well as removing the smell of vinegar.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Sometimes dried food can leave a stubborn stain. These can be difficult to remove, so a great solution is using hydrogen peroxide. This is a strong solution that can help debris to come loose from the surface. It is then easier to clean off using a vacuum cleaner. Our steps below will help you remove stains using hydrogen peroxide.

Mix together a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and water to make a solution.

Use a clean sponge to soak up the solution. Then squeeze out any excess liquid. Gently dab the stain with the sponge.

Leave the mattress to dry completely. Try to have an airflow to remove the smell of hydrogen peroxide. If you find the smell too overpowering, use baking soda instead as discussed above.

1. Rubbing alcohol

Another way to remove stains from your futon mattress is using rubbing alcohol mixed with water. Make the solution by mixing equal parts together. Pour the mixed solution over the stains, making sure you cover them entirely. Urine stains will need an enzyme cleaner instead of the acid of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.

Leave this mixture to soak into the stains for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a paper towel to gently blot the stain. Continue doing this until you have removed all the liquid and the stain has been lightened. 

1. Bleach

If you have rodents in your home, you will need a stronger solution to clean and disinfect the mattress. If you decide to clean your futon with bleach, make sure you wear gloves and a face mask to stop you from inhaling the fumes. 

To begin, mix 1.5 cups of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Decant the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the bed frame. Use a paper towel to wipe it clean and discard the towel. You can steam clean the mattress to thoroughly clean the mattress, killing up to 99.9% of germs. Let the mattress dry completely. 

Useful Advice to Maintain Your Futon Mattress

It is important to deep clean your futon mattress. This will keep it free from germs, odor, and dirt. Cleaning your futon regularly will reduce the need for you to deep clean the futon so often. Here are some great tips to keep your mattress in good condition and extend its lifespan. 

Like a car or pair of sneakers, a futon mattress will need to be broken in. When you first buy a futon mattress, it will be about 6 to 10 inches thick. During the first few weeks, it will begin to adapt to the contours of your body. This can be worrying if you aren’t expecting it. Don’t worry, most mattresses are made using cotton which will change with use. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your mattress!

Mattresses can also be made from wool or wellspring fiber. These are more resilient than cotton and compress less. It is good to remember that cotton mattresses will compress up to 25% with use and become firmer as they get older. The shape it becomes will be affected by your natural sleeping position, and dips can occur where there is more weight on a constant basis. This is why it is recommended you flip the mattress on a monthly rotation. 

Airing the Mattress

One of the best ways to maintain your futon mattress is to allow it to dry outside. This will remove all the moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth. If you visit Japan, it is likely they will tell you that you sweat one cup of eater a night. That’s a lot of moisture soaking into the mattress, and it’s no wonder it can’t cope! The best way to remove this moisture is to air it out. If the sun is shining, this will also kill germs and mildew.

These damp patches become perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. However, another problem is dead skin cells. These are shed during the night and provide food for dust mites and ticks. Regular airing will help remove these dead cells and kill dust mites. 

Don’t Beat the Mattress

It is common in Japan to beat the mattress with a stick after it has dried. This is to help get all the dust out before it goes back on the frame. While this is a tradition in Japan, this isn’t popular in the west as it is seen as a way to spread allergens and can damage the mattress. The best way to kill germs and dust mites is by placing it outside in the sunshine. 

It is important to use a mattress cover to protect the mattress from germs and allergens. Another good way to remove these dirt particles and dust mites is by using a vacuum cleaner. Some even come with nozzles that are specially designed to clean futon mattresses.

Regularly Rotate the Futon Mattress

Another great way to keep your futon mattress in good condition and extend its lifespan is to rotate it regularly. This will stop sink spots and lumps from forming. It will also stop the mattress from becoming unevenly compressed from weight distribution. Depending on the type of mattress you own, you may need to rotate it more or less often.

If you are using your mattress on a daily basis, you will need to rotate it at least once every month. If you are only using your futon occasionally, you can rotate it every 3 to 4 months. If your mattress is particularly lumpy, it is inadvisable to rotate the mattress as this will cause it to become worse.

As well as rotating the mattress, you should also try to flip it. This will help keep the mattress even on both sides and make a comfortable surface for you to sleep on. 

Look After the Frame

While it is important to take good care of the mattress, the frame also needs regular care and attention. When you remove the mattress for cleaning, make sure you check the frame for any signs of dents or rust. Check the screws are secure and tighten any that are loose. If you have a futon made from hard wood, dust it with a soft cloth. Use furniture polish to remove dust.

If your futon mattress is in your home, it is important to cover it when it isn’t in use. This will prevent it from getting wet or dirty. This will stop food stains, spills, pet hair and pawprints from getting on the mattress. Buy a cover that is easy to clean, ideally machine washable. Covers with zips are particularly good as they can be taken off quickly. 

How to Tell You Need a Replace Your Futon Mattress

You now know how to maintain your futon mattress and get the best possible use of it. Sadly, even with perfect care, your futon will need to be replaced one day. Even if you follow all these steps, you can only expect your futon to last 4 to 5 years. After this, it will be time to buy a new one. There are a few signs to look out for to tell when it is time to replace it.

If you find yourself waking up every morning with aches and pains, it can be a sign that the mattress has becoming deformed and saggy. 

The mattress has a number of lumps and bumps which can’t be removed by flipping and rotating.  

If you find yourself sleeping better when you are in a different bed, the time has come to replace it.

Children may wet the bed, leaving a smell that can’t be removed with any amount of deep cleaning. Sadly, it is best to buy a new one. 

Other Questions

What is the minimum thickness I should look for?

To have a comfortable nights’ sleep, you should look for a mattress that is at least six inches thick. A mattress made from cotton or foam will give you a good amount of comfort. Mattresses with inner springs will give the best comfort.

How long will a futon mattress last?

Different people have different opinions on this. Some people replace their mattress every 4 to 5 years, while others will be happy to use theirs for over ten years. The lifespan of your mattress will depend on what it is made from and how often you use it. You can expect a spring mattress to last up to 15 years even with regular use. A cotton mattress will last up to 5 years.

What materials are futons made from?

Most futon mattresses on the market are made from cotton and wool, which are both natural materials and breathable. A spring mattress is made from coil pockets made of steel. Another popular material is natural coconut coir. This I mixed with liquid latex to help the futon last longer and give more support.

Can you sleep on a futon every night?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to sleep on a futon every night to have a comfortable sleep. Begin by buying a solid bed frame, then buy a comfortable mattress to go on top. Cover the mattress with a protector and put on sheets.

Futon Mattress
Futon Mattress
Futon Mattress
Futon Mattress

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