Does anyone know how Japanese Kakebuton quilts/futon covers work?

I was watching a tv program on Joanne Lumley in Japan and she was staying in a ryokin and they showed this sort of quilt cover I hadn’t seen before. It looked liked a heavy patterned quilt that you wouldn’t wash frequently but in an plain cover only around the edges so that the parts of a person touching it would be protected but you could still see the pattern in the middle. Presumably they just wash the border and not the whole quilt between guests. Generally duvets/doonas just have a cotton cover you take off and wash. Are these normal for fancy patterned quilts as well? I imagine for a ryokin with expensive silk sleeping covers they don’t wish to wash after every guest it would be ideal and as the Japanese are fastidious about cleanliness it should work. Has anyone come across these before? I looked them up on the internet and they are called Kakebuton or Kake futon quilts or covers.

Interesting. It looks like the underneath of a mattress would look with a fitted sheet on. It’s an inside out concept isn’t it, in the West it’s the cover which is decorative.
I put a decorative bedspread on top of a duvet (in a cover) in the winter for an extra layer of warmth. I pull the bedspread down so it’s not at dribble etc. level. It’s annoying how many people move it and have it next to their skin or such and I end up washing it anyway. Apparently many hotels don’t wash them.

Was a genuine question and almost no one replied. No probs. Probably share too much. I’ll be off for a while. Take care. And don’t stress. Listen to this:

Well, I saw it and thought that it looked to be a really silly idea so decided not to reply :wink:

That thing looks really strange, and I would say that it probably won’t satisfy the germaphobes :sweat_smile:.

I had this on my quilt in my Japanese guest inn in Kyoto. I thought it was pretty nifty. It’s soft too. I am assuming they don’t wash the quilt every time, but they would wash this. Here is how mine looked.

It wouldn’t be a problem in Japan. Guests will bathe in the Hoisin (hot tub) but before that they will thoroughly clean themselves. I mean really clean themselves, down there. And then given some clean robes before being served supper. The problem isn’t Japanese people but everyone else.


Hello there! the actual quilt is called kakebuton/kakefuton depending on the dialect of the region. what you’re looking for is a coverlet. they call it houfu (hofu)altho i think it also depends on the region but in Oita prefecture that’s what they call it. they use that to keep the quilt clean being how the quilt’s material is such where you cant wash it frequently. And ofc, since most ryokan (traditional inn) dont usually have new quilt for every guest (and that they cant really wash it) they use that hofu and change it every single time a guest checks out. they change all the covers.


they’re using that coverlet/hofu so the quilt wouldnt touch the person using it. It’s just like any hotel where they just change the bedsheet and not the mattress. some people shouldnt just judge it. they dont even question the hotel. And its true that the people is the issue not the practice