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.
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:
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.
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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.