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Posted by Bridget Reed
USEFUL TIPS

What Size Sheet Fits a Futon?

5 min read

Futons are convenient, reliable, and cool-looking pieces of decor. They’re also dual-functioning, making them ideal for small spaces. These couches are popular among college students, studio apartment dwellers, and office nappers. 

A couch by day and a bed by night, futons are even more convenient than a pull-out couch. There’s no need to store the cushions anywhere, and the innovative technology makes the setup so easy! 

Whether in a bed or on a futon, sleep is important to your overall health. It should never be put on the back burner. Even if your futon is just for occasional crashing, you want to be comfortable, and comfortable sleep starts with your bedding. 

If you’re new to the futon world, you may be curious about the linen department. Do you keep your futon made up? Do you set it up after it’s pulled out? Is an entire bedding set required, or will a fitted sheet suffice? And lastly, what size sheet do you buy? 

So many questions, we know — but rest assured, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. We’re here to answer all your frequently asked futon questions. 

What Is a Futon?

Perhaps a college student in your life talked you into this purchase, or a snazzy futon caught your eye at an estate sale. Regardless of how you obtained your new futon, if you aren’t entirely sure what it is or how it works, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know.

A futon is a flexible mattress stuffed with foam filling, innerspring, or a combination of both. The futons that originally gained popularity in the 1970s were nearly always cotton-filled. 

Futons are derived from Japanese beds, namely the shikibuton (or Japanese futon). This is a thin, pliable cotton mattress placed on a tatami mat. They’re similar to the futons we use in the US, but there are slight differences. 

Tatami mats are traditionally used in Japan instead of bed frames. The first shikibutons were stuffed with reeds, hay, or animal hair. However, modern shikibutons are stuffed with cotton. 

Modern futons don’t sit on a tatami mat and live on a wooden frame that is folded flat or upright. 

What Size Is Your Futon? 

The first step to finding the perfect-sized sheet for your futon is finding out the size of your futon. Futons traditionally come in three sizes: single, twin, full, and queen, with a few exceptions, like the two-piece loveseat models. 

What Type of Futon Do You Have? 

There are three types of futons: 

  • Bi-fold, which folds twice.

  • Loveseat, which has an extension.

  • Tri-fold, which folds twice but has a third bottom piece. You’ll know it's a tri-fold if your calves lay flat against the mattress when folded upright. 

Bi-fold futons are the most common, and for a good reason. They come in three sizes (twin, full, and queen) and offer ample derrière space when sitting. 

Loveseats are best if you’re looking for something that resembles a couch—these are common in offices and ideal for someone looking for a more sophisticated vibe. 

As for the tri-fold, the width of the futon is used for sitting; the third piece (the foot area) will tuck under the seating area of the futon. Your normal bi-fold futon pulls out like a pull-out couch, whereas a tri-fold folds out in a forward motion.

Choosing The Right Size Futon

Most futons will be the size of an average bed size; twin, full, or queen, but there are split sizes on occasion. Of course, the size futon you choose depends on your specific needs. A full or twin size is likely your best option if you want ample seating space. In contrast, a tri-fold may prove more fitting if you’re more interested in a compact sleeping area. 

What Sheet Size Covers a Futon?

Like a normal mattress, the sheet size that fits on your futon depends on what size futon you have. If you have a twin-size futon, twin-sized bedding will fit it, and so on. 

For reference, twin futons measure 39” x 75”, full futon mattresses are 54” x 75”, and queen-size futons are 60” x 80”. The proper sheets will measure roughly three inches bigger in length and width. 

How To Find the Best Sheets for Your Futon

Not all sheets are created equal, and that’s especially true for futons. 

Fitted Sheets Work for Futons

While most standard sheets will cover a futon, that’s not to say they’ll fit as snugly as they do on your actual mattress. Futon mattresses often aren’t as thick, so a regular sheet may leave some slack. 

Even if your fitted sheet doesn’t fit perfectly, this slack can be corrected with a quick pull-and-tug. Pull the sheet extra tight and tuck the slack under one of the wooden slots on the futon frame. 

This should securely hold the extra fabric under the mattress. Your futon will be snuggly covered — minus the hassle of hunting down a futon sheet or couch cover. 

If cleanliness is a concern, antibacterial sheets may be something to consider, especially if you plan to use the sheet as a futon cover during the day. While you can use normal sheets and disinfect them yourself, antibacterial sheets are self-cleaning, resulting in three times less laundry and more peace of mind knowing you aren’t sleeping surrounded by bacteria!

What About Futon Sheets? 

There are sheets made specifically for futons and their various sizes. If you’re looking for that Cinderella fit, futon sheets probably are right up your alley.

Not all futons have the same shape and measurements. While measuring your futon before purchasing any sheet is a good start, we also suggest looking into multiple shapes and sizes of bed sheets. That way, you’ll have several options and can find the right fit for your specific futon.

Futon FAQs Answered

You’ve gained some serious futon knowledge thus far, but we’re here to answer any other frequently asked questions you may have. 

Do Futons Require Entire Bed Sets? 

An entire set is probably unnecessary unless you plan to use your futon as a bed. Remember, the point of a futon is to double as a couch during the day and bed at night. Your guest will likely feel uncomfortable messing up your freshly set “couch,” if you catch our drift. 

We suggest a high-quality fitted sheet for a futon. Feel free to leave it on all day or quickly snap it in place after sunset. If your sheets are extra luxe, they may elevate your lounging area into a more sophisticated hang-out spot. Not to mention, a sheet will protect the mattress from unwanted germs, bacteria, or allergens. 

Can You Use Your Couch Covers?

Couch covers certainly work, and thanks to their varying fun, playful patterns and textures, they can be just as stylish as standard sheets. However, couch covers won’t be nearly as comfortable as sateen weave sheets or 500-thread count Supima cotton. 

Couch covers will work on your futon in a pinch, but for the optimal experience, we suggest a fitted sheet. 

Hello, New Decor

If you’ve recently added a futon to your home decor, finding new sheets should be your top priority. Hopefully, this newfound knowledge will help you find the best sheet for your futon.

Sources:

9 truths about bedding: How to use your sheets to get a good night's sleep | Forbes

The Benefits of Slumber | NIH News in Health

I've Never Slept Better Than on a Japanese Futon | New York Times

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