How to Measure Fabric for a Futon Cushion

So you’re planning to repurpose your old futon cushions, but you don’t know how to get started. The first step is to take its measurements, and I’ll show you how!

Continue reading to learn how to measure fabric for futon cushions. Making your cushion is enjoyable, cheaper, and only requires a few materials.

What Is a Futon?

Is a futon a kind of couch? Do you have to fold it? Or is it just a bed without any springs? Many feel confused about what a futon really is. 

The Futon is the Japanese word for a traditional bed three inches thick. Americans adopted it to serve as a guest bed made of cotton, wool, or latex. But it’s now famous for being a platform-style bed mattress or a convertible couch for your living room. 

The Japanese futon is made of the “shikibuton,” “futon,” and “kakibuton.” But the Western futon is made of a futon frame, mattress, and slipcover. But it can also be a single mattress resting on any slatted surface. 

The mattress, couch, or cushion is firm. Manufacturers tuft them securely to keep the batting in place. The natural-made futon also has little to no latex, making it more solid than the typical bed. 

What You Need to Measure Fabric for a Futon Cushion

Prepare the following materials for your futon cushion. You probably already have most of these in your home.

  • Measuring tape.
  • Pen.
  • Paper. 
  • Calculator (optional).
  • Pins (optional). 

How to Measure Fabric for a Futon Cushion

Once you have all the materials, you’re ready to measure your futon cushion. Here’s how.

  1. Take Your Mattress off the Futon

Take your mattress off your futon and place it on a flat surface. You may do it on the floor as long as it’s clean. This step is also a great time to wipe the frame of your futon. 

If your futon mattress or cushion is foldable, make sure it’s laid flat on the floor. The filling must be even so you can get accurate measurements.

  1. Measure the Length of the Mattress

Use your measuring tape to measure the length of the mattress. The length refers to the long part of the cushion. 

Always measure from left to right to keep your measurements consistent and precise. Record your figures on the paper in inches.

  1. Measure the Width of Your Cushion

Now, measure the width of your cushion. No matter the orientation of your cushion, always measure from top to bottom or left to right. Then, record the measurement on your paper. 

  1. Measure the Height of Your Cushion

Do the same for the height or the thickness of your mattress. Make sure to measure from top to bottom of your cushion.

As your futon ages, the width on every corner may change because it loses firmness. Try to measure all corners and record the highest width in inches.

  1. Make Adjustments

If you’re planning to use elastic banding on the edges of your fabric, add around 4 inches to your recorded measurements. For example, if the futon’s length measures 76.5 inches, write down 80.5 inches on your paper. 

Adjusting the measurements for your cushion will accommodate the banding, so it does not slip off. If you use a peel-and-stick backing, you don’t have to add an allowance.   

  1. Add the Measurements and Multiply by Two

Once you have all three measurements and added four inches to each, get the total for all of them. Add the length, width, and height. 

For example, if your cushion measures 79” x 58” x 10”, the total measurement is 147 inches. Double it to cover the other size, and you’ll get 294 inches. The number you get is the size of the fabric you will need for your futon cushion. 

  1. Convert to Yard

Fabrics are often measured in yards instead of inches. To convert inches to yards, divide the measurement into 36. So if the total size is 294 inches, you will need around 8 to 8.5 yards of fabric.

  1. Prepare the Fabric

Fabric can be expensive, but I recommend getting an extra yard or two if you commit any error. Once you have the textile, put your cushion or mattress on top of it to make sure it fits. 

You may use a pin to secure the fabric on your mattress temporarily. Once you have fastened the fabric to the cushion, you’re ready to sew. 

Best Fabrics for Futon Cushions

You can use futon cushions for seating, sleeping, and even meditating. The kind of fabric you choose depends on where you’ll use the cushion.


Cotton is soft, smooth, and sturdy. This natural fiber is standard among futon cushions, making it a favorite lounging area in homes. The fabric also has a long life span, so that it won’t break easily after a few uses.


Another natural fabric you can use for your futon cushions is linen. You can choose it over cotton if you want a durable and natural material.

When woven together, linen is very breathable and cooling. It’s naturally moisture-resistant so that any spillage won’t do any damage to your cushion. 


Polyester is a synthetic fabric you can also use for your futon cover. It’s the perfect material if you’re planning to make your cushion look vibrant. The durable fibers can hold color for a long time, although it’s not as soft.


Rayon is a synthetic alternative to cotton that is more long-lasting. It also has the silky smooth feeling of silk. That’s why it’s known as “faux silk.” 


Olefin is another durable material you can try. The synthetic material can resist weather and blend with other fibers to be softer. 

The Bottom Line 

Measuring your futon cushions and making a new one will make your visitors think you bought a new furniture piece! It’s a great way to redecorate your home instead of throwing the item away.

Have you measured your old futon cushion already? We’d love to know what kind of fabric you’re using! Comment it down below and share this post if you enjoyed it. And for some amazing fabric suggestions, check out our guide to blending different styles in your home!

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