The Futon Cover Shopping Guide

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Choosing the right futon cover for your futon can always be a challenge. Working in retail, I’ve seen many customers come through the store. They would choose the futon frame and futon mattress quickly. When it came time to pick out the cover there always seemed to be some hidden force that prevented customers from making that all important choice in a futon cover. I’m not quite sure if it was because there were hundreds of fabrics to choose from or if perhaps folks just weren’t quite sure what direction they wanted their futon to go in.

I think having some ideas of what you’re looking for in your futon cover will help go a long way in getting to the decision of what cover you want. The first thing in making that decision easier is getting the size out of the way in terms of what you need. Many folks would come into the store not quite sure what size they had which usually required a a visit home and then a return trip back to the store.

I would recommend grabbing measurements of your mattress before shopping for a cover. Figure out if you have a full, queen, twin or other size. A full size mattress measures 54″x75″. A queen size mattress measures 60″x80″. A twin size mattress measures 39″x75″. You’ll find these to be the most common sizes in the futon industry. If your mattress is different than these by an inch or two understand that mattress manufacturers work within tolerances of several inches and if your mattress measures close to these dimensions then it’s on the right track.

Next, I would encourage you to measure the thickness of the mattress. This is important because there are many futon mattresses out there with different thicknesses and covers are generally made for an 8″ mattress only. If your mattress is 6″, 9″ or another thickness then you may need to order a cover with a custom tailored corner. These covers are made to fit specific size mattresses. Expect a small upgrade to customize the cover but not usually for than $5 – $10 per cover. Futon covers that can be made and tailored to an individual mattress will give you a more customized look.


Once you have a firm handle on the size and thickness of your mattress it’s time to decide what type of colors your futon cover needs to have. There are many futon covers made in solid colors. You’ll have a wide variety of color choices like black, khaki, navy, burgundy, hunter and natural just to name a few.

Maybe you’re considering several colors and you’ll discover a wide selection of prints in several colors that may work well with your home d├ęcor. The best thing to do is to consider what colors are in the room now. Then think about which colors in the room seem to be your favorites or are the easiest to coordinate with and then pick your color that way. Your room may actually be a new construction or perhaps you’re starting from scratch. If this is the case I would then recommend just choosing the color you like best and build around that for your futon.

Dry clean only or machine washable covers? Always a tough choice to make in a futon cover. I guess the real question would be how often do you think you’ll need to clean your new futon cover? Do you have pets that might leave hairs on your cover? Do you have little ones that like to eat away from the kitchen and might spill on your futon cover? Is this going to be a high traffic area with eating and drinking on it every day?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider making sure your futon cover is machine washable. However if it’s going to be in a seldom used spare room or maybe as an occasional overflow sleeping or sitting area, then a dry clean only cove r should be an OK choice. Again, it all depends on where your new futon cover is going to be and who is using your futon.

These points for buying a futon cover will help you with the basics when you’re out shopping. Remember that futon covers are made to fit specific size mattresses so be sure to get measurements of yours before heading out. Try to have an idea of what colors and patterns you might be interested in to help give you some fashion direction when you hit the store.

Finally consider the cleaning of the cover and whether or not you’d be better off with a machine washable futon cover or a dry clean only one. Following these tips will hopefully get you in and out of the store quickly and get you on your way to enjoying the new look of your futon.


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