Can Futons Get Bed Bugs?

Futons are famous for being a low-to-the-ground way to sleep.

These beds are loved by many. They are inexpensive when compared to a boxspring and mattress, and they are easy to transport and store away. 

In addition to their practical benefits, futons are loved for their spinal support and breathability. 

But many people who are interested in trying out this age-old way to sleep have a big concern. They think that being so low to the ground will attract creepy crawlers, especially bed bugs

But is that true?

Let’s take a look at if futons are more susceptible to bed bugs than other types of mattresses. 

What are bed bugs attracted to? 

Can Futons Get Bed Bugs? 1

Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on blood. They are flat and reddish-brown in color and like having easy access to humans, which is why they live in beds and on clothing. 

Bed bugs like to make their home in soft bedding and crevices in the mattress, boxspring, or bed frame. 

They are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide which make sleeping humans a prime target. These insects are drawn to the warmth and moisture that sleeping bodies produce, so they stay around their food source as much as they can. 

Are futons a prime target for bed bugs?

People may assume that futons are a big target for bed bugs due to their proximity to the ground, but futons are actually well-suited to protect against a bed bug infestation. 

Let’s look at the hallmarks of a futon:

  • Lightweight, easily movable mattress
  • No box spring or bed frame needed
  • Improves spine-alignment 
  • Easily cleaned 
  • More temperature control

All of these factors can offer an amount of protection from bed bugs. 

Lightweight, easily movable mattress

Futons are easily movable, so they are not sitting in the same place for years at a time. 

No box spring or bed frame needed

Bed bugs love hiding in crevices, and the more bed accessories that are needed, the more hiding spots bed bugs will have. Futons do not need a box spring or bed frame, which means bed bugs will not get to hide in them.

Improves spine-alignment 

Many people like futons because they are great for the spine. Futons are moved often, which means there isn’t the typical body indent in them like there is in western style mattresses. This lack of indent allows for the body to move naturally through the night. This increased movement, however minor, adds to the airflow around your body. 

Bed bugs tend to bite the head for a reason: it’s where the carbon dioxide pools. And when you sleep in the same position all night, the carbon dioxide stays where it is exhaled. 

The futon’s spine-aligning properties aren’t just good for your body, but for preventing bed bug bites as well. 

Easily cleaned 

Futons are very easily cleaned, especially when compared to a traditional mattress. (When was the last time your mattress was cleaned?)

Bed bugs like damp, dark areas, so they thrive in mattresses that aren’t cleaned often. 

It is recommended that futons are cleaned monthly, or at least hung out to dry in the sun every week. Because they are cleaned so frequently, bed bugs have less of a chance to survive and infest the bed. 

Temperature control

Futons are an excellent bedding option for the summer months. Their proximity to the ground is beneficial due to hot air rising. The ground stays cooler, which helps both the bed and body stay cool. 

Bed bugs like warmth and moisture, so if you aren’t sweating in your sleep as much, bed bugs are less likely to infest.

No bed is immune

Even though futons are well-suited to protect against bed bugs, that doesn’t mean they are immune from infestation. 

Anyone can get bed bugs, no matter how clean the bedroom and home is. Cleaning frequently can prevent large-scale infestation, but nothing can prevent them 100%.

How can you tell if a futon has bed bugs?

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It can be hard to tell if your futon has bed bugs. They are small and like to hide, which makes them hard to detect. 

If you want to check your futon for bed bugs, look for these signs:

  • Small reddish-brown fecal spots of digested blood
  • Rusty stains on sheets that could be caused by a bed bug being crushed
  • Tiny, pale, yellow eggshells 
  • Bed bugs themselves

How to protect a futon from bed bugs 

Futons are naturally well-suited to protect against futons. 

Many are placed on a tatami mat, so there is no direct exposure to the floor. Tatami mats should be vacuumed regularly to suck up any bug that might be lurking. If you are looking to be extra cautious, there are special tatami mat cleaners that can be used to prevent bugs from sticking around.

Cleaning the futon regularly will prevent bed bugs from accumulating. It is important that the futon be washed with warm water and soap frequently enough so that the futon lasts as long as it can. 

Airing the futon out regularly is also a great way to protect against bed bugs. These pesky insects love moisture, and setting them in the sun frequently will reduce the amount of moisture that accumulates within the cotton. 

How to rid a futon of bed bugs

There are a few steps to take if  your futon happens to have bed bugs. 

While self-cleaning is enough to keep clean without a bug infestation, it is best to take your futon to a laundromat if the critters do set in. 

Laundromats use heat that’s hot enough to kill the bugs. 

It’s important to clean the entire home, as bed bugs can lurk anywhere they find – not just in the bedroom. Use an insecticide throughout your home, but be careful during this step. You don’t want to mix insecticide with food or eating utensils. 

These steps might need to be repeated more than once to ensure that the infestation was fully dealt with. 

To prevent a recurring bed bug infestation, make sure to vacuum your tatami mat regularly and wash your futon frequently.