Caring For Your Shikifuton

The traditional Japanese mattress, the shikifuton, is made with all natural cotton and no synthetic materials.  Because of this, they require a bit more love and care than the traditional western mattress, but if well cared for these futons can last up to ten years or more.  There are several things you can do to mind your futon and get the most out of it.

Sunning Your Shikifuton

On sunny days in Japan it is quite common to see shikifutons hanging outside on balconies.  This is called sunning.  Due to the fact that these futons are made of cotton, an all natural fiber, they need time in the sun to breathe, air out and fluff the internal fibers.  Similarly, sunning your futon helps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.  While sunning it is recommended that you hit your futon with a racket in order to bang out any dust that has accumulated.  While you can use a vacuum cleaner to do this you must be extremely gentle with your futon, and we do recommend using a racket instead. Always remove any covers from the shikifuton mattress while sunning.


Cleaning Your Shikifuton

Caring for your Shikifuton I JLife International

If you are considering buying a shikifuton it is highly recommended that you buy a cover as well.  All of our covers are made from 100% cotton fabrics imported from Japan and sewn together by our group of skilled tradesmen.  Our covers can be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried.

If you have spilled something on your futon and need to clean it we recommend spot cleaning.  Make a mixture of water and detergent and spot clean as necessary.  When done pat the area with rubbing alcohol to sanitize the area and then use a hair dryer to make sure the area is completely dry.


Rotating Your Futon

Caring for your Shikifuton I JLife International

In order to avoid dips in your shikifuton it is important to rotate and flip it every week or so.  This will make sure the cotton stays evenly dispersed throughout and help guarantee a long life for your futon.  When you are not using the futon it is best practice to fold it in three parts for storage.  This helps keep the cotton evenly distributed throughout and makes it convenient for storage.

Caring for your Shikifuton I JLife International

Find our other product care guides here.


  • I love my Shikifuton, but it is so heavy and difficult to turn because it slides out of my hands… Even it is only full size …. I am thinking about sewing some handles to it… is there any recommendations?

  • What if the shikifuton is encased completely by a mattress cover that is waterproof, insect and mold resistant? I live in an apartment so I do not have an outdoor space to hang it in the sun and beat it with a racket. Also, where I live, it rains a lot, is humid and there are lots of insects outside—mosquitos, gnats, etc. Isn’t it safer inside, turning and flipping it regularly?

    Deirdre Carrigan
  • you should also sell rackets if it is highly recommended


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