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futon care

  • Kids Beds! Using Futon for Children's Beds?

    Kid's Beds: Do Futon Work Well for Children

    kids beds futon hanging out to dry and breath Kendra's kids beds hanging out to "breathe" and dry.

    From time to time I get inquiries about whether our futon would work well for kid's beds. Obviously, the big question is: What about night time accidents?

    Although we have two cats that my wife Yumi treats as her kids, I don't think this qualifies us as experts on this topic. Today I am pleased to say that I have some excellent information regarding using futon for kids beds coming from a much more reputable source than me; someone I would consider an "expert" on the topic . . . at least based on her experience of raising (along side of her husband Drew), count 'em, five (5) boys, and her recent experience of ordering futon from us for them to use as beds.

    Kendra (and her husband Drew) came onto our "radar" when in two separate orders (they wanted to test out a couple of shikibuton first before going "all in," I guess) they purchased 5 single sized futon. I remember saying to Yumi at the time, maybe they have a BnB or guest house or something." :)

    Later Kendra and I traded a few emails, and I began to get a clearer picture of what they were doing and my interest was piqued so I asked her for more information. She was extremely helpful and generous with her time. She also sent me a bunch of awesome pics. So below are comments from emails we exchanged which I feel will be very helpful for parents considering futon for their children. Don't miss the great pics of her handsome crew as well.

    Futon as Kids Beds: In Kendra's Words

    Naturally, before she purchased she had some concerns; Kendra contacted me with these questions:

    "I have a couple questions about the futon and kakebuton. We're thinking about buying futons for two of our kids, who are currently 4-5 years old. On their current mattress, we have a waterproof mattress cover for when they wet at night. Would that inhibit airflow too much? Do you know what people typically do for kids who still have occasional night accidents?

    For the kakebuton, what temperature is that for? We live in Florida, so the weather is usually warm and I'm not sure how much we would actually use it - but we're in the military, so we'll likely be moving in 2-4 years.

    Also, is the kakebuton able to be washed in a normal household washing machine, or does it require an industrial capacity washing machine?"

    This is my response to her initial inquiry:

    "Great Questions :)

    Waterproof Bed Covers
    As our sizes don't really align with US bed sizes, I'm not sure if your waterproof mattress cover will fit. However if you think you still can use it, it will be okay to use if you follow our care instructions (see our video series on our website) and remove the futon from the cover weekly and hang it outside to breathe and dry. This is very important, especially in places like Florida where it is so humid. Japan is very humid as well, especially where we live in Kochi. Hanging futon out every week or two for 3-4 hours keeps them lasting for many years and re-fluffs them up.

    Kakebuton
    Our kakebuton are quite warm. Many people buy them to complete the set and together the shikibuton/kakebuton look amazing. However you would only be able to use it in cooler months for sure. (You may be able to turn your heater off at night even.)

    Cleaning
    I highly recommend getting our cotton covers to protect your futon investment. The covers come off easy and you can throw them in the washer while you hang your shiki & kake outside.

    Washing your futon set isn't really necessary or recommend. If a situation arises where you feel you absolutely need to wash it (if it gets urinated on, for example), please use a commercial service with a very gentle agitation cycle. Twisting or wringing the futon may displace the cotton inside.

    Finally, after washing, it is extremely important that your futon is 100% dry through-and-through before using or storing it. I would recommend only hanging your shikibuton to dry, which may take several weeks.

    I hope this is helpful."

    Below is what Kendra shared after purchasing and her kids actually using them.

    "There is a picture [below] of the futon with just the waterproof cover on it (plain white). We discovered the hard way not to have just that on the mattress (without being covered by a regular sheet), because one of the kids was messing with it while falling asleep for a nap and stretched a thin spot in it that was no longer waterproof. Of course he had a pee accident right there, and it went trough to the futon (which is the one hanging out without the zippered cover). We sprayed the spot with a carpet cleaner we’ve used for pet accidents, and even though it left a small “bleached” looking spot on the futon, it does not smell like pee, so that’s a good enough solution for us if that sort of thing happens again. The product we used is called Spot Shot; we sprayed the area, then put a towel on the spot and stepped on it to blot the area dry."

    "Here is the link for the waterproof covers we got (full size works better than twin size for the single-size futon, since it can wrap around the sides a bit): Link to Plastic Sheet Kendra Uses

    ". . . is a picture with a twin size sheet over the waterproof cover; one with one of my kids’ bedding (blanket, pillow, teddy bear); one with the futon folded to make a little seat for the kids to sit on (although some of our kids are a bit too rambunctious for us to use them like this; the quieter kids would be content to sit, but the crazy ones just use it as a trampoline, so really we just keep them folded and off-limits for the day); one with the futon folded in the corner; and one with all five piled up the way we normally are storing them (the order they get put in the corner is pretty random, so it’s not always the same ones getting squashed on the bottom of the stack)."

    "When we were looking into buying these for the kids, we spent a lot of time on the internet trying to find pictures and information that would help us make a decision and had a hard time finding much, so I hope the pictures I’m sending you will be helpful for other families looking at buying from you. And if you have any questions for us about how we’re using them, feel free to ask."

    Below are images Kendra generously took the time and effort to share with us.

    kids beds Left to right are Matthew (3), Joseph (4), Isaiah (5), Elijah (2), and Samuel (4) lounging on their futon.
    kids futon with plastic sheet cover Kids beds: Futon with plastic sheet cover. Plastic sheet "squeezes" the futon and rounds the corners. We don't think the kid's mind.
    Kids beds futon are easily folded and stored away to the side Kids beds: Kid's futon are easily folded and stored away to the side, leaving the room available for play and other activities.
    kids beds Folded kids futon used as a seat Folded kids futon used as a seat
    kid futon ready for use Kids beds: Futon ready for use (Teddy, the perfect futon accessory, in place)
    kids beds: Futons set aside during the day Kids Beds: Futons set aside during the day

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