Take a futon outside? Don’t let the rain or sunshine stop you!

Do you enjoy gazing at the beautiful break of dawn, listening to the wild splatter of rain on the sidewalk, or feeling the gentle blow of the wind on your skin at night while looking at the stars above?

How fanciful and whimsical your days could be if only you maintain a comfortable futon to sit on or lie down on while enjoying the best free things in life.

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If we’ve made you curious if you can put a futon outside so you can start enjoying nature’s grandeur, read on to learn if your futon can withstand the seasons and ever-changing weather conditions.

Can you put futons outside?

Futons are generally used indoors as a practical solution to limited space because of the flexible design that allows you to convert them into a couch or a bed as needed.

Futon frames are mostly made of metal and wood, while the mattress is manufactured using foam or cotton, or a combination of both. Some break easily, and some can withstand the harsh nature and heavier weight.

However, there is a growing popularity of futons being used as a piece of outdoor furniture to grace patios, gardens, and rooftops.

Preparing your futon for outdoor use

As with most metal and wood furniture, elements can ruin your futon. There is also the problem of soiling, rotting, and metal fastener rusting, which could render your futon unusable and shorten its lifespan.

So, to ensure your futon survives different weather conditions and is of good use for years to come, here are some tips you can follow to prepare the futon for outdoor use.

Take a futon outside? Don't let the rain or sunshine stop you! 1

Wood/Metal Frame:

  • If you are permanently moving your futon outdoors, you can apply different finishes to it like paint, marine varnish, or a penetrating finish like teak oil, to ensure it lasts longer and keep it looking better until the end of its lifespan.

    With the right paint, used together with marine varnish and penetrating finish, the wood can be treated to the highest level of weather protection, allowing your futon frame to last for 5 to 10 years without rotting.

    The only downside with using various finishes is the color they will give to your futon. Teak oil may change the color of your wood frame because of its tint, while marine varnish has a very yellow-orange color and produces a slick glossy finish.
  • Seal the feet with epoxy or rubber to protect water from penetrating through, causing the wood to rot and become unusable.

  • Besides the frame, another thing to keep an eye out for are the joints and fasteners. They might not be water resistant and may rust faster than the rest of the frame.

    To protect these metal fasteners, add some protective finish.

Pillows and covers:

  • Get weatherproof pillows and covers. Either in-store or online, you can find pillows and covers made from polypropylene fabric or similar materials that are water-resistant. Just expect it to be less comfy than an indoor pillow and cotton covers.
  • Use a protective slipcover you can put over the futon when it is not in use. The slipcover will protect the futon frame and mattress from getting soaked when it rains or getting toast during summer.

    Look for fabrics made with Solution-dyed 100% acrylic; Acrylic-coated 100% polyester and poly-cotton blends for optimum protection.

  • Find a slipcover that is chemically treated to repel mildew and water to protect the futon from soiling and rotting.

Other tips:

  • If you cannot apply some finish to the frame or seal off the feet to prevent water from soaking thru, you may want to keep the futon in a safe, covered outdoor space like a screened-in porch or a spot with an overhead cover.
  • If you will be gone for a while or won’t be using the futon for a long time, it would be a good idea to move the futon to a protected storage area like a garage or shed.
  • Use bed risers or extend the legs to make the futon taller. This will protect it from dirt, water splash, and moss.
  • Learn how to clean a futon to maintain its integrity and extend its usage.

With the way things are moving, sooner rather than later, manufacturers will be mass-producing outdoor futons that can withstand bad weather without you taking additional precautionary steps to protect your futon.

But until then, it is best to take care of your futon by following the steps above to ensure you get the best out of it for years to come.