Airing or “sunning” a futon is an important part of using it. As futons are made only from cotton, they need to breathe, air out, and fluff up. The UV rays kill microscopic bugs and allow moisture to dissipate, thereby preventing mildew and mould from growing.
On sunny days in Japan it is common to see futons hanging out of windows and on balcony banisters, secured with plastic clips.
What if I don’t have a balcony or garden?
If you can’t do that the most important thing is to “hang” your futon – this means getting it on some chairs, a clothes drying rack, an internal staircase banister. If you can do this near a sunny window that opens, even better again. Perhaps you have a large sliding door, a bay window, or even a sun room or conservatory. If weather permits, open the nearby window. If not, perhaps a free-standing fan aimed at the futon will help circulate air around it. Get creative if you have to!
Just be sure to flip and rotate the futon so each side gets adequate sun and air.
It is also recommended to use a carpet beater or tennis racket to lightly beat the futon while it is airing to release any dust. We do not recommend using a vacuum for 2 reasons –
1 – it can be too strong and tear your futon
2 – it could be not very hygienic. Vacuums tend to be a bit dirty especially if they have a brush roll (these can be very coarse and trap dust and dirt)
How often should I air my futon?
So many variables … but generally it is recommended to sun your futon at least once per month.
If the point to air and sun is to ventilate and fluff the cotton and dissipate dust, the more often it is aired the better.
Some people are very warm when sleeping and sweat a lot, maybe you live in a more humid environment, perhaps you use your futon nightly on a carpeted surface. All of these factors play a role in how often you should air it.
If you are using the futon on a tatami or other ventilated raised surface, you don’t use it nightly and you don’t sweat much, you could probably air your futon less often.
A minimum of 2 hours per side is recommended per sunning session. If it’s inside, perhaps more.
We hope these tips help! Be sure to check the FAQs for other helpful information and videos before making your purchase.
Do you have some other useful methods that you use in your home? You are welcome to comment and share with other readers who might also find them helpful.