Which Japanese floor mattress is best?
Having a comfortable and supportive place to sleep is extremely important. Japanese floor mattresses, or shikibuton, are traditional Japanese bedding. Though many Americans might balk at sleeping on a mattress on the floor, there are a number of health and wellness benefits. Additionally, Japanese floor mattresses are ideal for small spaces, as they can easily be folded up and stored during the day. A great option is the FULI Shiki Futon.
What to know before you buy a Japanese floor mattress
Japanese floor mattresses come in many styles, from more traditional to modern memory foam options. Choose the one that has the best feel for your body and your sleep style. They can be found in both foldable and rollable options, which differ mainly in thickness and how they’re stored. For those with hard floors or who can’t get used to floor sleeping, a number of floor pads — tatami and otherwise — are available to add to the Japanese floor mattress. For an in-depth guide to mattress shopping in general, check out the BestReviews guide to mattresses.
Japanese floor mattresses have been used in Japan for hundreds of years. Though many Japanese people now sleep on Western-style raised beds and mattresses, Japanese floor mattresses are still a common sight in Japan. They’re a boon for cramped apartments or bedsits, as they can be folded up and put away for more floor space during the day.
Experts agree that sleeping on a firmer mattress is better for your back and spine. The combination found in Japanese floor mattresses of a soft mattress and sturdy floor is perfect for properly supporting the back and neck while you sleep. It may take some time for those used to a Western-style mattress or futon to get used to, but the health benefits are well worth it.
What to look for in a quality Japanese floor mattress
Most Japanese floor mattresses are made of synthetic materials, like polyester or polyurethane. Some are made of memory foam for a more moldable surface. Many will also have a breathable cotton cover. It’s important to look for a material that works best for you, particularly when it comes to washability.
All Japanese floor mattresses can be moved and stored away easily. However, some are made to roll up while others are meant to be folded. Stiffer memory foam options take up the most space, while thinner, more traditional mattresses are easier to move and store. Thicker options may feel more comfortable for those with hardwood or other harder floors or who aren’t used to floor sleeping, but they’ll also be more difficult to clean.
Color and pattern
Japanese mattresses aren’t usually covered with a sheet, so appearances are important. Make sure to pick a color and pattern you like. If the mattress you want isn’t available in your preferred color or pattern choice, there are a number of Japanese mattress covers available to give you the look you want.
How much you can expect to spend on a Japanese floor mattress
Like all mattresses, Japanese floor mattresses can vary in price, though most will be between $100-$300. Imported or high-end options may cost more.
Japanese floor mattress FAQ
How do I clean a Japanese floor mattress?
A. Unlike Western mattresses, Japanese floor mattresses are best cleaned frequently in order to maintain the longest possible life span. They should also be aired out often. This is what makes them so sanitary and keeps them soft and comfortable. Some are machine washable, though the size might be prohibitive. In general, wash as you would a thick comforter or mattress pad. Regardless of the material used, air drying will help preserve their life span. In Japan, it’s common to see them hung out on balconies to dry in the sun.
What’s the difference between a Japanese floor mattress and a Western-style futon?
A. Americans began to adopt futons after World War II, though Western-style futons differ in that they usually sit on a frame of some kind. Japanese floor mattresses, designed for tatami floors, lay directly on the ground. Western futons are generally the same thickness as a traditional mattress, as opposed to the thinner Japanese floor mattresses that are more the thickness of a mattress pad. Those used to American futons may need time to adjust to sleeping on a Japanese-style floor mattress.
What’s the best Japanese floor mattress to buy?
Top Japanese floor mattress
What you need to know: The FULI is a traditional style futon that’s light, comfortable and easy to move and store.
What you’ll love: Made in Japan with a three-layer polyester and polyurethane filling for extra support and comfort and a 100% cotton fabric exterior, the FULI blends modern and traditional design for a comfortable and easy-to-clean option.
What you should consider: It’s not the cheapest option, and it doesn’t come with a mattress topper.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Japanese floor mattress for the money
What you need to know: This thick, comfortable floor mattress combines the best Japanese and Western-style futons.
What you’ll love: It’s filled with cotton batting and a layer of foam, so it’s extremely supportive. This Japanese floor mattress is made in the U.S, and it has a polyester cover.
What you should consider: It’s more difficult to wash than other options due to its weight and thickness, and the cover cannot be removed.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This Japanese floor mattress is an affordable option filled with cotton and a memory foam core.
What you’ll love: It comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns for maximum customizability as well as a dustproof cover, straps and a storage bag.
What you should consider: Some users found that it didn’t hold up well to heavy use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.