How to Dry Your Futon Inside

Futon, Drying your Futon Inside
Japanese Futon // Photo by Mr Wabu

In a recent post, I described the details of airing out your Japanese futon. Since futons retain moisture, particularly from sweat, it is very important to dry your futon regularly to prevent such un-pleasantries as mold and mites.

While airing out your futon outside is ideal, sometimes it is simply not possible to do so. In these situations, you should think about drying your futon inside. Here are a few situations in which it might not be possible to dry your futon outside:

  • Before rain, during rain, the day after rain
  • When there is no sun
  • Very high humidity outside
  • Nowhere to hang the futon outside

So, I’ve searched the web for some tips on how to dry your futon inside when drying it outside is not an option.

Drying Your Futon Inside

One option would be to buy a washable bed pad to place over the futon. Of course, it is still desirable to air out the futon, but you can go longer without going to the effort of airing the futon out outside, as long as you wash the bed pad regularly.

Connected to this, if you flip over your futon once in a while, or switch which end you place your head, you won’t have to dry your futon out as much. However, this is obviously less than ideal.

When there is no sun, one website suggests that you lay the futon out on the floor inside and open a window to let in the wind. Again, it is preferable to dry the futon outside, but sometimes the weather can be cloudy for days.

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Using Futon Dryer

There are also several ways you can doubly make sure your futon is dry.
You can buy a futon drying machine at almost any home-goods or department store, like Caines or Besia. These are called “futon kansouki” in Japanese. A quick search of Google reveals that most cost between 3,000 yen and 10,000 yen (as of November 2012, between about 30 USD and 100 USD). A futon kansouki (布団乾燥機) can be a good option for drying your futon inside in rainy areas.

Using A/C

You can also use your air-conditioner to help dry the futon out when drying your futon inside. Simply put your futon on a drying rack (inside drying racks specifically for futons can be bought at most home-goods stores). Then set your A/C to “joshitsu” (dehumidify). The kanji for “joshitsu” is this:

除湿

If you don’t have A/C, an electric fan will also work.

Going to a Cleaners

One more option for drying your futon inside would be to take your futon to a cleaners. This is a particularly attractive choice for people who are worried about particles and allergens getting on the futon by drying it outside. A quick Google search reveals that professional cleaners will typically charge between 3,000 yen and 6,000 yen (about 30 USD to 70 USD) to clean one futon, largely based on the material.

I hope this post has provided you with several ways to air out a futon when drying it outside isn’t possible.

Also check out:

How to Take Care of a Japanese Futon: Airing Out Your Futon

How to Take Care of a Japanese Futon: Storing Your Futon

How to Take Care of a Japanese Futon: Washing Your Futon

Disclosure

I am not a futon expert — I just use a futon! I have gathered, translated, and arranged these care instructions from the following sources which focus on how to go about drying your futon inside.

Sources:

17 thoughts on “How to Dry Your Futon Inside

  1. nina dillof says:

    you state you have a friend who bought one that only needs to be aired inside BUT you give no info on what that futon is and where to get it. I have looked and see nothing like that online. can you ask your friend?

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      Hi there! Thank you for reading! Unfortunately, this conversation was about 10 years ago, so it’s hard to follow up, but at the time, she mentioned she bought it at Loft. I have deleted this section in the post since I couldn’t find any information online in Japanese either about a type of futon that is more suited to drying inside. (I’m now wondering if this was a miscommunication of some sort with the shop staff.) Hope this helps a bit!

      Reply
  2. RW says:

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for your informative blog! I’m going to move to an apartment in the city (NYC) with no balcony, so my biggest concern with buying a futon is how to dry it to prevent mold. (But perhaps since NYC is not as humid as Japan, this is less of a concern…?) (My concern about buying a futon kansouki, aside from the cost as compared to its relative benefit, is if I would have to buy adaptors or some other equipment to use it — since Japan and USA use different levels of voltage (?))

    I read above that you have a friend who bought a type of futon that did not have to be aired outside. I was wondering what kind of futon that was and where could I purchase it?

    Thank you very much in advance for your reply!

    Reply
    1. RW says:

      Thank you very much for your reply! If I fold the futon every morning, how often should I air it out (by laying it on top of a clothes drying rack near the windows where the sun will hit)? Would once a week be sufficient, or should I be airing it out every day. since it won’t be directly outside/ receiving direct rays of sun without the glass barrier? (Additionally, I’m assuming I should remove the cover before airing it out?)

      Reply
    1. L. says:

      Thank you for the correction! That part has been changed to the correct kanji.

      Reply
  3. M Joyce Go says:

    Thank you for the helpful instructions! I’ve had to discard two futons and a foam mattress due to the mites. I have a new one and now I know how to make it last longer than the previous ones.

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      I’m happy to hear it helps! Those mites really snuck up on me so I know your pain. Good luck!

      Reply
  4. Daniela says:

    This has been so useful, today i woke up and when i tried to bend my futon i got scared of how wet it was, i didn’t know that futons get wet. The weather is not helpful, there is no sun.

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      I’m so happy that this article helped! Sometimes there are times when drying a futon outside is impossible – lack of sun, too much humidity, days of rain, etc. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Anthony says:

    Hi,

    I’d probably prefer to just email you. But what are your thoughts on putting a futon on slats and having it raised? Is it still as comfortable? I guess it airs it out constantly so there is that benefit.

    Also, do you recommend having a tatami mat underneath? Mine just rests on the floorboards. Feel free to email me if you prefer.

    Thanks,

    Anthony

    (Great site here btw)

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the question! I’m not sure myself, but I’ll look into it and get back to you ASAP. 🙂
      Have a lovely week.

      Reply
    2. L. says:

      Hi again,

      I looked to see if any Japanese futon sites mentioned a slatted futon frame and wasn’t really able to find anything. If I run across one, I’ll write another comment, but the only advice I can give now is from personal experience.

      A slatted frame for a Japanese futon sounds a little uncomfortable to me. If the spaces between the slats were relatively large, I could see your futon sinking a little into those spaces, which would be decidedly uncomfortable. Japanese futons aren’t as stiff or thick as bed mattresses, which seem to fare fine on slatted frames.
      If the spaces between the slats weren’t too large, then I imagine just one or two futon mattresses would be comfortable. However, that would defeat your stated purpose, namely, airing out your futon.

      One of my friends has a futon mattress that only needs to be propped up against the wall once in a while to dry. My own futon isn’t anything special like that, but I’ve been careful to fold it almost every day and no signs of mold yet in the year I’ve had it. I’ve only dried it outside about three times this year, so honestly, these futon instructions are for the most ideal results. Plus, a sun-dried futon smells super nice 🙂

      Good luck!

      Reply
        1. L. says:

          Hello. I live in Japan, so I bought my futon at a mall (Aeon Mall). I’ve heard you can buy Japanese futons online if you are buying from overseas.

          Reply
        2. Jaleesa says:

          I live in the USA. I ordered my all cotton futon online from J-Life International. Some cotton/polyester blend futons are available online on Amazon.

          Reply

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