How to fix a futon mattress

Written by katherine harder
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How to fix a futon mattress
Patch holes in you futon mattress's cover. (needle and thread image by gajatz from

Futons save floor space, serve as instant guest beds, and are generally more inexpensive than couches or sofas. However, if you purchased a futon in an effort to save on furniture costs and your futon mattress now needs repairs, you are probably not pleased with the idea of spending still more money on a new futon mattress. Fix your futon mattress yourself to save money and to extend your futon's life by several months or even years.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cotton batting
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Small scissors
  • Iron
  • Fabric scrap
  • Sewing pins
  • Needle
  • Matching thread
  • Candle or bar soap
  • Seam ripper
  • Fusible hem tape
  • Zipper

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  1. 1

    Open your futon mattress's zipper to access the stuffing inside if your futon's mattress has become flat or lumpy. Add new cotton batting to problem areas by slipping it through the zipper and pushing it to the needed areas. Put extra stuffing in your futon mattress's corners to make them look crisp.

  2. 2

    Pull out all the stuffing if its dirty, smelly or too lumpy to fix with a layer or two of new stuffing. Roll the stuffing into a cylindrical shape and pull it out of the mattress cover. Lay it out flat again and take the stuffing's height, length and width dimensions. Use those dimensions to cut out new sections of batting. Roll the new mattress stuffing you just cut into a cylindrical shape and fit it back through the zipper. Work the batting flat and add extra layers as needed.

  3. 3

    Cut around any holes in your mattress cover, making them into even and easy to work with squares or rectangles. Cut a diagonal slit, about one-quarter-inch long, into each shape's corner. Fold in the flaps you just created and then press them flat with your heated iron.

  4. 4

    Cut a scrap of matching fabric with just slightly larger dimensions than your futon's opening and slip it inside your hole. Match your scrap's edges to the turned-in flap edges and pin them together. Hand-sew the patch to the futon mattress cover using matching thread.

  5. 5

    Pull free any cloth or threads stuck inside the zipper or zipper slider, which is the sliding piece you pull along the zipper's length. Lightly grind the end of a candle or a bar of soap over your zipper's teeth, and then pull the slider back and forth over the teeth until the slider slides smoothly.

  6. 6

    Remove the zipper if it's not repairable. Slip the sharp, pointed end of your seam ripper into the zipper's seams and tear the threads holding the zipper to the mattress.

  7. 7

    Attach a new zipper with a fusible hem tape. Place the tape around the old seams, and then place the new zipper on top of the tape, making sure the zipper's fabric edges completely cover the tape and that the tape doesn't drift towards the middle, metal part of the zipper. Activate the hem tape's adhesive by applying heat over the zipper's fabric edges with a heated iron.

Tips and warnings

  • To keep your futon mattress in optimum condition, flip it once every couple of weeks, hang it in full sunlight at least twice a year, and spot clean it with a mild washing powder.

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