What is a Japanese Futon Bed?

A Japanese futon bed is a type of furniture that includes a mattress, pillow, and cover. It can be used as the primary sleeping surface or occasionally when an additional guest needs a sleepover. A futon has the advantage of being portable and easy to store. But it may not be appropriate for heavy people who need more support than a thin mattress can offer. 

A Japanese futon bed is typically made from cotton or polyester fabric with foam padding inside (although some are filled with wool).

This makes it much less expensive than conventional beds.

Futons also have health benefits because they’re breathable, so you won’t accumulate moisture like other types of bedding.

They’re also easy to clean, don’t need to be rotated, and are best suited for people who live in small spaces.

Japanese futon beds can be folded or rolled up against the wall when not in use.

Japanese homes have tatami mats on the floor, which makes them popular as a place to sleep.

For guests, a traditional Japanese room has an eating area on tatami mats with a mat for the guest to sleep on while in the same space.

There is much less privacy and separation between areas of life than what you would find in western homes, which can come as a shock if you’re accustomed to living this way.

Types of Japanese futon beds.

The traditional Japanese futon is a single piece of material approximately 4×4 feet and can be placed on the floor at night for sleeping or put away during the day.

The modern types are made from cotton and have inseams or zippers to help keep them shut and clean.

Various types of Japanese futons are made for a variety of purposes.

Japanese futon mattresses.

These are usually used as the primary bedding material in older people’s houses and are extremely popular because they keep their shape and can be cleaned easily.

They also have an inseam or zipper to help keep them clean, usually closed during the day to protect them from being stained and keep foreign objects out of them.

There is also a thick futon mattress with some padding or springs for more comfort.

The materials can sometimes be synthetic and are generally made to look like cotton for easy cleaning.

The traditional Japanese futon mattress design is usually straightforward for the elderly or small children.

The futon mattresses are also top-rated because they can be quickly taken apart and moved around as needed making them perfect for many different families.

Japanese futon sets.

These are similar to a set in the United States and are usually in a pattern or style meant to coordinate with the other materials used in the room.

The set will consist of a futon mattress, pillow, blanket, sheets, pillows, etc.

These sets are trendy because they can be combined with regular bedding making them perfect for young people who may not have a lot of space in their bedrooms.

The Japanese futon sets are also trendy because they can be put away during the day and stored until needed.

They are also easy to wash and maintain, so they have looked lovely for many years, even though they do not cost very much.

Japanese cotton futons/Yukatas:

These are similar to traditional futon mattresses but are made from cotton.

The fabric is usually thick and durable, lasting many years. It also has an inseam or zipper to keep it clean and protected during the day.

The Japanese cotton futons/yukatas are also extremely popular because they can be easily washed and put away when not used.

A Japanese cotton futon is usually much heavier than a traditional one made with cotton, making them perfect for people who want to use them during summer or simply do not like lightweight material.

“A yukata is a traditional garment in Japan, usually made of cotton or synthetic materials, like polyester. The Yukata is a casual summer kimono worn for festivals and other events.”

Do you need a mattress for your futon bed?

A mattress for futon beds can be helpful to give you a little more comfort. The futons are pretty firm, so a memory foam or spring mattress helps. It also helps keep the futon cleaner, as the bed protects it from dirt and dust.


Benefits of a futon bed.


Futons can be folded up when not in use.

Futons are particularly space-efficient as they can easily be folded away when not being used as beds. Many people keep their futons folded up during the day and unfold them only when they want to use them as beds. This means that you can easily store your futon in any house room.

Futons are eco-friendly

They are made of natural materials, which is essential for anyone who cares about the environment. Another advantage is that they don’t require electricity because they don’t have springs.

Futons are cheap

Futons are much cheaper than spring beds because their main aspects of construction are simple – just a frame made out of wood and a futon mattress which tends to be quite firm to support your body weight. This is also why you can find them in homes and apartments of many different sizes.

Futons are also much cheaper than spring beds.

Whether you live in a small apartment or a big home, I recommend getting a futon. You can easily fold them up and store them during the day because they take up very little space when they’re not used as beds. Depending on the style and construction, they can be comfortable since the comfort is customizable by adding a padded cover.


Why do Japanese Sleep on Futons?

One possible idea is that it is a cultural tradition with roots in Shintoism. It is believed that the straw mats, known as “futons,” are comfortable and bring good luck and happiness to those who sleep on them.

The Japanese believe that sleeping on a futon will also help keep the occupant’s body limber and agile. Another idea for why people in Japan have slept on futons for centuries now is its simplicity.

The traditional Japanese home consisted mainly of tatami rooms for living or sleeping on futons. There were no chairs to sit on; you could only sit on the tatami when there was no one in the room. The primary way of sitting was to kneel or squat on one’s “hashi.”

The futon was made from loose straw laid on a thin cotton sheet which was then sewn together with open sides, so it could easily be rolled up and stored when not in use. It should be noted how Japanese traditions and customs continue to this day.

Today, the traditional tatami rooms can be found in old Japanese-style hotels or ryokans, and many temples, shrines, and museums are open for visitors.

The futon is still preferred over modern beds by Japanese couples today. It is claimed that sleeping on a futon better maintains the natural shape of one’s body. It is also believed that futons are more comfortable to sleep on than beds because it reduces stress on certain joints and muscles.

Are Japanese Futons Good for Side Sleepers?

Japanese futon mattresses are not designed for side sleeping. The bed’s firmness is also different for an individual, depending on where you sleep.

For example, a futon laid out sideways will feel more like a hard surface than a futon and design constructed in the traditional manner of a rectangle shape.

The traditional rectangular futon mattress design is usually more firm than a bed. This can get uncomfortable for side sleepers and those who prefer a soft surface.

Even the thickness of the futon mattress also varies depending on where you are sleeping.

So, if you like to sleep on your side, choose a more plush variety that is appropriate for your sleeping habits.


History of futons in Japan.

The traditional Japanese room, called a “wajiatataki,” has no walls. The only thing separating people from the outside air is an indoor screen.

This presents a challenge during the winter as it becomes impossible to keep the house warm – there are two ways of dealing with this problem.

In one technique, people sleep on a mat on the floor called a “musogi.”

A futon is then laid over them for warmth and comfort. In another technique, people sleep directly on a futon laid out on the floor without any mats or pillows for warmth. When the house was first introduced to Japan, it was known as the “tatami” room.

The tatami room consisted of straw mats laid over a wooden floor, and people slept on them as they always had.

Although this type of sleeping arrangement is still seen in some areas of rural Japan, most Japanese now sleep on futons placed on top of the tatami mats instead of directly resting on the straw mats.

The futon is a cotton mattress with two layers, an inner and an outer layer.

The inner layer is made from soft materials like feathers or wool, while the outer layer can be made from numerous traditional fabrics such as silk, satin, cotton, or polyester. The two layers are then sewn together and stuffed with batting wrapped in a thin cloth backing (during the winter months).

There are two types of futons – “nadouuchi” (hand-woven), which are like blankets and usually made from cotton, silk, or polyester, and “kakebuton” (machine-woven), which are the futon as we know them today.

In a nadouuchi type of futon, the quilted layers are hand sewn together with long stitches using thick cotton thread. These futons take at least twelve hours to make, explaining why they are more expensive than the machine-woven type.

The “nihonma” are the two large quilted sections of a futon.

They are usually made from cotton, silk, or polyester and are stuffed with batting and wrapped in cloth backing to make them warmer (hence they look like pillows).

The nihonma are the softest parts of a futon and are usually reserved for sleeping. They can be moved around to adjust to fit the body’s various needs during slumber.

The “nigodake” is a thin quilted section on top of the nihonma. It, too, has long stitches and is made from cotton, silk, or polyester.

The nigodake is the firmest part of a futon and supports the back during sleep. It is also thin enough to prevent discomfort when sitting on it (the pointed edges can be tucked away).

The “tenjikake” is the cloth backing that goes around the futon. It is usually made from cotton, silk, or polyester and provides an extra layer of protection against cold and humidity.

The “shikibuton” is a thin quilted mattress placed on top of tatami mats (in most cases).

It serves as another source of comfort and warmth when sleeping. The shikibuton is usually made from cotton, silk, or polyester and stuffed with batting.

The word “futon” means “to fold” in Japanese.

The futon folds up for storage when not in use, making them convenient to own without taking up much space in the house (which was very important when Japan introduced its style of a room with tatami mats).

Where can you purchase a futon bed?

This is a question that many people often ask. The vast majority of futon stores can be found online.

However, depending on where you live, a few offline retailers specialize in the product. Naturally, it would be wise to shop around for the best deal, but thankfully most retailers charge almost the same price.

If you live in a central metropolitan area, you may also find one at flea markets or second-hand stores; however, it is usually cheaper to buy new ones.

This other question of where I should buy my futon can sometimes be more challenging to answer.

Yes, there are many online retailers, but not all are reputable. I would say that the majority are not.

The main thing you should look for is whether or not they are an authorized dealer for the product you like.

If they don’t mention this in their description or go out of their way to make it seem like that is the case, I would avoid them.

Ultimately, the only thing you can do is read online reviews and see what other people say about a particular store before purchasing from them.

If you don’t know how to find reviews, search for the store name and check in Google (example: “Online Futon Store Reviews”).

All that said, some companies are pretty reputable.

Most of them sell the same products, and even if they have a different brand than what you want, it will likely not make any difference.

It only becomes an issue if you are looking for a futon that uses natural materials.

The difference between using a mattress and not using one on the floor.

Wet Japanese futons quickly become unusable. If you spill water on them, they will be completely soaked and so dirty that you can’t use them in your home.

The futon’s cotton cover does not absorb water well, and even the rubberized bottom sheet has difficulty drinking water spilled onto it.

Futon covers are expensive to replace, so it’s best to invest in a mattress if you want to avoid this hassle.

Originally posted on July 16, 2021 @ 10:35 pm

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As a lifelong traveler and founder of lovefortraveling.com, I, Alex Deidda, have always been driven by my passion for exploring new places and cultures.

Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to live in various countries, each offering unique perspectives and experiences.

My love for traveling led me to create lovefortraveling.com, a website and blog dedicated to helping people plan their trips.

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