Shikifuton care and mold growth

Hello all,
I have a question about care for a shikfuton and the potential of mold growth. I have a 5 in. cotton shikfuton, with a layer of wool. I have it placed on a coir mat on top of a slatted bedframe to help with air flow.
A lot of what I’ve read about shikifutons talks about how important it is to flip it over and air it out a lot, even saying you should place it outside in the sun regularly to air out and prevent mold growth.
I’m currently not doing that level of care, but I am letting each side air out with a fan every few weeks, plus flipping the mattress at that time. I am also pulling back my blankets and putting the fan on in my room every few days to help it air out.
Even though this isn’t a ton of work, with where I am in life right now, it’s feeling like too much. In your opinion/experience, would a shikfuton do ok without the extra care, especially since it’s on the slatted bedframe? I’ve seen some natural cotton mattresses sold at different online vendors, and they don’t say you need to air it out. So I’m wondering why the futon would have to be treated differently.
Also, in case it helps to know in regards to mold growth, I live in the midwest US, where it is decently humid in the summer and a bit dry in the winter.

Thanks for your help!

Hi Joannabanana.

I think considering the humidity levels of the midwest in general, you’re probably best doing what you’re doing - allowing it to air out indoors where possible, with some good air flow.

The slatted bedframe also helps here, as opposed to the flat floor. Ultimately, it’s to protect it from the sweat our bodies make! Assuming you also use some sort of waterproof mattress protector, you may also be able to go longer between fanning out your shikifuton.

Some materials are more resistant to mildew from sweat (generally more synthetic fibers). I’m surprised that the all-cotton shikifuton manufacturers aren’t noting the recommendation to air them out!

I hope this helps.



That was very helpful. Thank you so much!

Hi, Joannabanana,

I have never tried these solutions as it is not an issue for us. But I have seen others recommend this for under the mattress, futon, etc. for mold, moisture and other air flow issues.

Perhaps someone here at TMU have utilized this solution.

Air Flow Issue Solution # 1

Air Flow Issue Possible Solution