The futon mattress is native to Japan, where it originated. This mattress is usually made up of layers of padded mattress and covered with flexible quilts. The mattress is stuffed with synthetic batting, wool, or cotton. Western futon is similar to this one, only bigger and heavier. That is why compared to the traditional Japanese futon, the Western futon is heavier.
The traditional Japanese futon is engineered to allow easy folding and carrying. But since the Western futon is bigger, it is also heavier and more difficult to carry. You can try to carry it the traditional Japanese way-folding and storing it away. If the futon is heavy for you, then try to carry it after tying a rope around it. Below are the steps to guide you through this way of carrying the futon mattress:
- Fold the futon mattress. The smaller fold, the better. Most of the time, futons can only be folded in half. In case the mattress has a protective sheet, fold the mattress so that the sheet is exposed.
- Tie the rope. Lift the mattress a little so that the rope can reach 1/3 of the length from the end of the mattress. Tie the rope around this as tightly as possible. Run the rope until it reaches the other end of the mattress. Wrap the rope 1/3 from the other end of the mattress. Tie the rope around as tightly as possible also. The rope should have been tied, forming the capital "I." Try to pull the rope to check if you have tightened it enough for carrying the futon mattress. Tighten the rope even more if you feel some loose tightening.
- Carry the futon mattress. Handle the vertical rope, which connects the two ropes that were tightened around the mattress's ends. Experiment on different ways of carrying the futon mattress. Try it with one hand and try it with the two hands. Carry it using the most convenient way for you. If possible, ask somebody to help you carry the futon mattress. This mattress is so heavy that it might be impossible for you to carry it by yourself.
More Tips for Easy Carrying
Save yourself from constantly carrying the heavy futon mattress by buying a folding frame for it. Most Western futons are placed on a metal or wooden frame that can be configured as a couch, chair, or bed.
With this, you simply have to fold the frame to transform it into a couch or a chair. In case you need the mattress for sleeping, simply fold the chair down. This is a better alternative in case you don't want mice or other crawling insects to bite you while asleep.
Futon Maintenance Tips
Traditional Japanese futon is regularly aired in sunlight as a way of disinfecting it. The mattress is cleaned by beating it with a futon tataki, which is similar to the carpet beater.
Lesser maintenance will be needed if you cover the futon with a sheet of fabric or a plastic casing. This usually comes with the mattress's purchase. You might need to custom-made a special covering for the futon if you don't have this. Acquiring a covering sheet will be worth the effort, anyway, especially that the sheet is easier to clean and maintain than the futon mattress.