Futon Covers 101

Choosing The Right Futon Cover- Durability Vs. Looks

There are so many fabric choices to consider when you buy a futon cover from a futon store or futon cover web site, that at first it seems confusing and frustrating. Our Futon Covers 101 Buyer’s Guide is designed to make the hunt for your ultimate futon cover much easier. On our website, www.fcohomegoods.com, the home page is the best place to start. It’s laid out in newspaper style, offering about 10 basic categories of futon cover fabric categories, and depending upon your needs and wants, you can save some money, and starting at around fifty bucks, you can buy one of our premium solid futon covers, considered one of the best basic futon covers available anywhere. We’ve been doing this for 10 years, so we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with thousands of fabrics, and our field requirements for a good futon cover are what we would describe as meeting the highest standards for quality, sewing, durability, and resistance to color fade. 

For example, the premium solid futon cover we sell is designed for even the harshest high traffic environments, it can be machine washed, has a nylon zipper guide (you can watch our tutorial video about our solid covers on premium solid futon cover page). You can buy 19 different colors in our solid program, with matching round bolster pillows or square pillows, and the fabric is a heavier weighted muslin broadcloth, which can take any beating that kids, cats, dogs, or wild partying in a dorm room can dish out. If you want a basic futon cover, and don’t want to make a substantial investment in a pattern or print that might not match your decorating a year from now, a solid cover will work well and can be used with a variety of designs and color schemes, just by switching out the pillows on occasion. It will last longer than any futon mattress you will ever own.

One popular myth about futon covers is that if you are searching for a solid futon cover, or even a print, that 100% cotton is the best way to go. Based on our experience, this is not at all true. Our solid futon covers are a blend of cotton and polyester, and since a blend will hold up much longer, and will not shrink, fade, or unravel, we highly recommend our solid futon cover over the many imported 100% cotton covers available on other sites which are bed sheet thin, shrink easily, do not wear well, and can even be faded the minute you open your futon cover package. Often, the exposed edges of the futon cover may have been exposed to sunlight sitting in a warehouse or outdoor factory in Pakistan or India (which is where most imported futon covers are made). Also, the grade of cotton that is used in these futon covers is often inferior, and has a lot of husk and debris in the weave that can cause unraveling. Be careful, and ask specifically regardless of where you buy your futon cover, if it is imported, or made in the U.S.

Since there is more cotton than polyester in our American made blend, you still get that nice organic, raw feel of cotton, reinforced with the durability and strength of polyester fiber. Our web site does feature many 100 percent solid futon covers, but you must search the fabric selections and read the description to find out the exact fabric content, or you can call us at 1-800-231-1651 and we would be happy to assist you.

We sell a variety of futon covers made from wonderfully popular and inviting materials, including popular microfibers, genuine denim fabrics, great print covers such as Asian (check out our hugely popular Sushi Bar futon cover category). We also sell a variety of reasonably priced faux leather futon covers that look exactly like leathers and suedes, and even distressed bomber jacket type leathers, that can machine washed, and since they are made using high tech synthetic material, they simply cannot be destroyed, and stand up to years of use.

Which fabric is best for my futon cover choice?

If you ready to buy a premium futon cover, maybe a great Southwestern style print, or a contemporary or floral print, or one of our Weathered Leather futon covers, don’t get too caught up in the fabric content..pay more attention to what you think is attractive and visually appealing..the reason is simple. We’ve already done the work for you to make sure that all of our futon covers are made with strong, well constructed materials, even down to our requirement that all of our covers be made using a nylon zipper guide to minimize damage to the teeth of the zipper over a long period of time. There are some basic guidelines, though, for choosing just the right futon cover, especially if you have animals or active kids, or if your futon cover is being used in a high traffic environment and you would expect some liquid spills now and then.

Best Futon Covers For Pet Owners And For Families With Active Children

We get calls and inquires every day from discouraged pet owners whose cats or dogs have either scratched through, unraveled, eaten, or soiled their futon cover. First of all, we’re going to assume that you manicure your pets well, otherwise, you may have a difficult time finding any material that will suit your needs. Also, it just so happens that the futon covers we recommend for pet owners have been purchased by families with kids, like ours, and it all comes down to two things: how easy it is to clean, and how it feels to the touch.

Leather Look Vinyl Futon Covers Offers many colors in our marine grade vinyl futon cover category. This material is perfect for pets and kids, because you can wipe them clean with Windex and paper towels. It looks and feels exactly like leather, but is easy to maintain. Matching bolsters and pillows are available.

Microfibers And Faux Suedes Wonderfully soft and inviting, by far our most popular category of futon covers, because these velvety soft fabrics are far more durable than most people think, and they feel extraordinary to the touch. Because of the extreme high density of the weave, these fabrics wear well, and appeal to humans as much as they do pets! We sell about 40 different colors and some of them are even piped, an embellishment where a cord of matching fabric is sewn to the perimeter of the futon cover to add an extra, luxurious touch. Washable and dryable, but there is a down side: If you have an animal that sheds, a microfiber futon cover can be like a giant lint brush, but you can use an actual lint brush to solve this problem (or some 3″ packing tape which is what Marc, our owner, uses to keep his microfiber futon cover neat and tidy, even though his 2 Siamese cats have claimed his futon as their own). Marc’s two young boys love microfiber materials, and all of the futons in his house have either microfiber pillows, futon covers, and even throws and comforters made from these materials.

Denim Our Denim offers a wide variety of genuine 100% Denim (not printed materials that look like denim) in both 100% cotton and durable blends. These futon covers are casual in look and feel, and are ideal for media rooms, play areas, and for pet beds and pet futons! You can dress them up or down, and almost everyone feels at home on anything that is made from Denim. Visit our Denim page to explore this American classic..what a great material for a futon cover!

One really good idea: When you visit any of our futon cover pages, on the order page below the price grid, you will see an option to purchase our medical grade mattress protector, which goes on your futon mattress before you put on the futon cover, just like a fitted sheet. It is one of the most amazing products we have ever seen, because it is totally waterproof, hypoallergenic, dust mite proof, yet it still ventilates, allowing air to pass through to keep your futon mattress cool and dry, and to prevent mold and mildew from growing inside the cotton batting of your futon mattress. Click here to go to our Protect-A-Bed Mattress Protector page. If you’ve got kids who are drinking juice boxes, or tend to spill drinks on your furniture, or even your bed mattress, we highly recommend this product. When an accident does happen, you can quickly remove the futon cover or sheet, take off the Protector and carry it to your wash room and throw it into your washing machine.

We’ve got lots of fun fabrics for children in our Premium Cover categories, so poke around in these areas on our site as well to find some unusual and themed futon covers. Chenille fabrics, while having a lot more texture, much thicker than a microfiber or velour material, makes a wonderful futon cover if you are looking for style, elegance, and something with a little more weight, but hold off if you’ve got cats or dogs with claws, because they have small loops that are easily caught and the material is a bit more delicate, even though it is durable.

Measuring Your Futon Mattress For The Correct Loft Size:

How To Order A Futon Cover That Fits Right And Looks Tailor Made!

It is very important that you measure your mattress correctly so that all three dimensions can be checked: length, width, and height (we use the term “loft”, which refers to the measurement of the side panel sewn into a futon cover).

About 88% of all futon mattresses are full size (54″x75″).

Our illustrated measurement flow chart helps you accurately measure your futon mattress.


  1. Begin by clearing out an area on your floor, so that you can lay the mattress flat and measure all three dimensions, length, width, and height (thickness). Remember that the term “loft size” which you will determine to order the right fit for your futon cover, will be explained easily below. If you have questions, feel free to call us at anytime 9-5 EST during the week at 800-231-1651, and we will be glad to assist you.
  2. Using a tape measure, measure the longest dimension (length). Then measure the width as accurately as possible. This process is easier if two people are doing the measuring.
  3. Using the following chart, you can accurately determine the size of your mattress:(all measurements shown are in inches) Simply plug in your measurement to the charts below.
    Mattress Size Width
    (short side)
    (long side)
    Twin 36-41 72-76
    Full 52-55 72-76
    Queen 58-62 78-82

    If your dimensions fall inside the ranges shown, you would be able to accurately determine your size… the industry standard sizes in the U.S., just for reference, are as follows for futon and conventional bedding mattresses:

    Twin 39×75 inches
    Full 54×75 inches
    Queen 60×80 inches

Measuring the Height Or Thickness Of Your Mattress

  1. futon3Using a yardstick or lightweight board, measure the thickness (height) of the mattress by placing the board across the mattress, allowing it to dangle beyond the mattress, so that you can measure the distance from top of mattress to the floor, as shown at right. Don’t press down on the yardstick or board. You want a measurement that is as accurate as possible, while applying little or no pressure to push down the mattress.
  2. When you order your cover, you will be asked to indicate the loft of the futon mattress. The “loft size” refers to how the manufacturer needs to cut the sides of a futon cover. The side panel is usually 4″ tall or 6″ tall. Then you must factor in the 1″ roll of material over the top edge, and the 1″ roll over the bottom edge. This gets you your total height..so, if your mattress is really 6″ tall in your field measurement, you need to order a 4″ loft (4″ side panel + 1″ top edge and 1″ bottom edge = 6″ total height). If your mattress is 8″ tall, then you need to order a 6″ loft (6″ higher cut side panel + 1″ top edge and 1″ bottom edge = 8″ total height ).
  3. All fabrics are not available in different thicknesses, and some covers are offered in only a 6″ loft, which will comfortably fit mattresses roughly 7-9″ thick, and more loosely on a mattress that is 6″ thick.
  4. Read the chart below and it easily tells you which loft to select when prompted on our site.

If you have a mattress taller than 9″, you need to call us at 800-231-1651 to order a custom size. So, if your cover is:

this thick: Then, order a cover with a loft of: Attention:
Please note that covers ordered with 4 inch lofts are considered custom sizes and cannot be returned or exchanged. There is a $12.00 charge to customize any cover with a 4 inch loft.

Futon mattresses measuring at least 6.5 inches thick, and up to 9 inches thick, should be ordered with a 6 inch loft.

call or
email for quote
7″ or thicker

The loft size refers to how the futon cover is constructed and to the height of the side panel that is sewn in the cover that forms the sides of the cover. Varying the height of this panel or side allows us to adjust the fit of the cover to be correctly tailored to your mattress. So, the loft size refers to the panel height, whereas the thickness of your mattress is different.

Once you have measured your futon mattress, and you know precisely what size you have, you can proceed to shop our fabric inventory. If you followed our measurement instructions carefully, you’ll get a cover that fits!

Almost all our solid futon covers and our premium futon covers are all around covers (see illustration below). This means that the entire futon cover, including the front, back, top, bottom, and sides, will all be made using the fabric, and that it will be a continuous pattern on all sides of the cover. There are a few covers on our site that have endcap borders, and you can view the futon cover couch picture to see what this effect looks like.

futon5Please note that all of our patterned futon covers are done for bi-fold or couch configuration futons, as shown in the diagram below. If you have a tri-fold couch, (the mattress usually drapes over the back of the frame, and you would pull the frame out from the front, the user would sleep on the futon from head to foot rather than side to side as in a standard couch style or “bi-fold” futon frame. We advise calling us if you have further questions about this at 800-231-1651, unless it’s a solid color or a pattern with no “read”, since fabric with copy or upright images will be turned sideways 90 degrees when you put it on your mattress. We can adjust most fabrics that read to accommodate your tri-fold application. We are not responsible for print futon covers ordered for tri-fold couches without proper notification in advance of your order placement. A tri-fold couch is configured so that the long end of the mattress is parallel with the arms; a standard bi-fold couch is configured so that the long edge of the mattress is perpendicular to the arms, running side to side, like a typical couch.

How To Put On A Futon Cover

Most of our futon covers are constructed with a 3 sided zipper which runs the full lengths of 3 edges of our covers, always at least one long side. This makes it easy to put on or remove any of our covers. The best way to learn how to put on your new futon cover is to tune in to our Futon TV page and watch our owner, Marc Anderson, demonstrate how to install a futon cover by yourself!

You are now certified to order a futon cover that will fit your futon mattress professionally and neatly!

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