Top 2 “breathtaking” reasons why your futon smell

Have you ever stopped mid-way lying down on your futon after getting a whiff of a foul stench, making you think a rat just died between the folds?

Or were there times when you were about to sit down and thought your dog farted when it’s the stinky smell of your futon permeating the air? 

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You are not alone! A lot of us wondered the same thing and then, unfortunately, realized it was our futons that smelled.

In this article, we will uncover the top 2 reasons why your futon reeks, and what you can do to get rid of the foul odor.Top 2 “breathtaking” reasons why your futon smell 1

Top 2 reasons why old futon smell

  • YOU – It might be hard to admit that you are the main reason your foam stinks, but facts are hard to deny.

    Your sweat, saliva, dead skin, and body stench all get trapped in the cotton mattress and build up over time.

    Without proper care, dirt and moisture can build up, resulting in an unpleasant stench.

  • Mold – Poor ventilation and humid air cause this phenomenon. If your futon is in a sweltering room, you will likely sweat a lot during sleep.

    Your sweat, dead skin, spilled drinks or food, and the room temperature combine to make the perfect breeding ground for molds.

    When mold forms, expect your bed to emit a musty smell or smell like a rotting vegetable you forgot to dispose of.

When New Futon Smells

But what if it is a new futon? Why does it smell horrible?

That foul smell you’re experiencing is likely due to a process called off-gassing. 

Offgassing releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from various materials used in furniture construction, such as foam, adhesives, or fabrics. 

These compounds can include chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, which are responsible for the odor and have potential health implications.

You might notice a distinct chemical smell lingering in the air when you unwrap your brand-new futon. This odor is a byproduct of the off-gassing process, where VOCs escape from the futon’s materials. 

It’s more prevalent in newly manufactured furniture, especially those with synthetic foam or chemically treated fabrics.

So, why does your futon smell particularly bad? The answer lies in the materials used in its construction. Many futons contain synthetic foams, adhesives, or fabrics treated with chemicals to enhance their durability, be more flame retardant, or meet safety standards. 

While these materials serve their purpose, exposure to unpleasant odors when releasing VOCs can cause health issues.

How to get rid of the smell

Now that you know the answer to the WHY, it’s time to learn about the HOW—how to eliminate the stinky smell. 

New Futon

There are ways to mitigate the smell of a new futon and minimize its impact on your living space.

One effective strategy is to allow your new futon to air out in a well-ventilated area for a few days before using it. This allows the VOCs to dissipate more quickly, reducing the intensity of the odor.

You can also check the futon instruction attachment for proper unboxing. 

Another option is to buy futons made from natural materials or those certified as low-VOC. These alternatives are typically less prone to emitting off-putting smells and offer a cleaner, more eco-friendly, and healthier choice for your home.

Old Futon

In a perfect world, you might be able to prevent your futon from getting smelly. However, if you’re busy with work and have little time for anything other than sleep when you get home, it’s understandable if your futon starts smelling.

You can do a few things to eliminate the foul smell and keep your futon clean.

  • Although washing is impossible, hang the futon mattress on a rack and let it completely dry in the sun to remove excess moisture.

    If this is not an option, you can always prop it inside your house while aiming a fan.

  • After air drying the mattress, sprinkle baking soda on the futon and let it sit for about an hour. Afterward, run the vacuum over the mattress to remove the baking soda.

  • Clean your futon by vacuuming both sides to remove as much loose dirt attached to it. Before vacuuming, unfold it to eliminate any unwanted debris that may be stuck to it.

    If you have one handy, use an upholstery brush to eliminate the dirt between cracks and crevices.

  • Spot clean stains using a damp cloth or sponge, mild laundry detergent, and a small amount of warm water.

    Do not soak the cloth with soapy water to prevent more moisture from seeping into the mattress.
Top 2 “breathtaking” reasons why your futon smell 2

Preventive Measures

Our busy lives often make us forget that our bed is a vital part of our life. We spend hours resting and sleeping on it, so keeping our futon clean and well-maintained is only fitting

Here are some quick and easy cleaning tips you can follow to care for your mattress.

  • Flip the futon memory foam or mattress at least once every month to air out both sides and prevent moisture build-up.
  • Blot spilled drinks or food with paper towels to stop liquid from soaking into the mattress.
  • Use futon toppers or a waterproof mattress protector.

Seasonal Maintenance: How Weather Impacts Futon Odor

Seasonal changes and weather conditions can significantly impact how your futon smells.

Adjust your cleaning routine with the seasons to keep your futon smelling fresh all year and free from bed bugs.

Here’s a closer look at how weather can affect the scent of the mattress and some practical tips for maintaining freshness in different seasons:

1. Spring:

In spring, higher humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Ensure your futon is thoroughly dried after cleaning, as moisture can accumulate.
  • Use a dehumidifier in your bedroom to control excess humidity.

2. Summer:

Weather Impact: Hot and humid summer weather can lead to sweat and moisture buildup on your futon.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Air your futon regularly to prevent sweat from causing odors.
  • Use moisture-absorbing materials, like silica gel packs, to keep the futon dry.

3. Fall:

In the fall, open windows and falling leaves can bring dust and allergens into your home, affecting your futon’s cleanliness and smell.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Use a futon cover to protect against dust and allergens.
  • Vacuum the futon and the surrounding area regularly.

4. Winter:

Weather Impact: Cold and damp conditions can make futons prone to musty odors.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Ensure your home is well-ventilated, even during the winter, to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Consider using a space heater or dehumidifier if your home is particularly cold and damp.

Personal Recommendation on Natural Fresheners

From my experience, I suggest adding organic natural fresheners to your futon care routine to keep it smelling good.

Keep in mind that their effectiveness can vary with the seasons.

I use lavender sachets and cedar chips during summer and fall. They provided a pleasant scent and worked as natural pest control.

I use citrus peels or essential oils in spring and winter to combat musty odors and make the room more inviting.

I enjoy a fresh and comfy sleep year-round by adjusting my futon care seasonally and using natural fresheners.