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Futon mattresses are an easy and convenient way to arrange a sleeping spot if you have occasional guests or live in a small apartment that can’t fit a traditional bed.

If you’re wondering how to store a futon mattress after use, it’s easier than you could imagine, as almost all futon mattresses are rollable or foldable. Still, there are some steps you need to take to prepare your futon for proper storage.

How to Store a Futon Mattress Properly

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What Happens If You Don’t Store the Futon Properly?

Let’s imagine a situation. 

Instead of bothering to properly store it, you just throw your futon mattress in the basement.

What will happen to it?

If that’s only for a short time — nothing.

However, prolonged storage in a cool and humid environment without any protective barrier can damage your futon and make it unsuitable for use.

And here’s the deal:

The worst enemy of your futon mattress is humidity. 

Humid environments are perfect for fungus to grow. And the truth is, even if you keep your basement and the entire house clean, mold and mildew spores are still there.

They can get inside your futon and cause it to smell like a crypt. Especially if your futon has a natural fill, as it’s a nutritious base for mold.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mold is strongly linked to respiratory infections and asthma, especially in individuals with hypersensitivity. 

So, if you don’t want to turn your favorite mattress into an allergic bomb, you’d better store it properly.

How to Store a Futon So That It Will Last Longer?

When buying a futon mattress, you are very likely to get a storage bag with it, so the storage problem is partially solved. 

All is left to do is make your futon clean and absolutely dry, fold it properly, and take care of the frame (if you have one). Here’s how. 

Clean Your Futon

No matter which way to store a futon you choose, you should begin with cleaning. 

Ideally, you should vacuum your mattress after every use if you use it occasionally, or every week if you sleep on it daily. This not only will prevent debris and dust from building up but also may fluff the fill a bit and promote air circulation between fibers.

“You may put your futon mattress outside if the weather is sunny. Sunlight can kill the dust mites and aid in drying out moisture as well.”

If your futon doesn’t contain foam layers, you can wash it in a washing machine or a laundromat, and dry it on the lowest setting in a tumble dryer. However, it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before doing this.

Fold Your Futon Properly

The main part of storing a futon mattress is folding it properly. The specific instructions will depend on the type of your futon mattress — be it a traditional shikibuton or a more modern model meant for use on a sofa.

So, for a modern futon, you will likely be able to tri-fold it and tie with straps. The straps often come with the futon, but if it’s not the case with your model, you can make straps on your own, from a piece of cord or a similar material.

Now, shikibutons typically are rollable, so things are pretty simple here. Just roll it — but make sure it’s not too tight so that the air could properly circulate inside the roll — and put it into the storage bag. In case you don’t have on, you can use a cotton duvet cover. 

Deal with the Frame

If you own a futon mattress with a frame, be sure to also store the frame properly. Here are the main things to remember:

  • Avoid moisture. Again, humidity is bad for both wooden and metal frames, so it’s better not to place them in the basement.
  • Inspect before storage. If your frame has any weak points, find and repair them before putting it into the storage place.
  • Keep an eye on the hardware. Gather all the bolts and nuts into a zip-lock bag and label it so that they won’t get lost.

That’s basically it. If you have your own secrets on how to store a futon, feel free to share them with us in the comments section!

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