Are you one of those family members whom everyone loves to visit? But you live in a small apartment and wonder how would you arrange where the guest would sleep? A Japanese futon bed is a way to go.
Choosing the best Japanese futon mattress for your home isn’t easy. With overwhelming options available in the market, finding the right futon that suits your needs is a daunting task. That’s why we have reviewed the top 8 highest-rated Japanese futons and put together this top picks list.
Now we understand the fact that “the best” is going to depend on your personal choice and preferences. Therefore, we have emphasized on most common traits that people look for when searching for these mattresses.
Here are the Best Japanese Futon in 2021:
- Luxton Japanese Futon – Editor’s Pick
- D&D Futon Mattress – Runner-Up
- Emoor Japanese Futon Mattress – Best Futon Set
- Fuli Shikibuton Mattress – Best for Comfort
- Colorful Mart Japanese Mattress – Best for Breathability
- Maxyoyo Japanese Mattress – Best for Kids
- IKEHIKO Tatami Mattress – Best Lightweight Option
- Oriental Furniture Tatami Mattress – Best for Back Pain
The Best Japanese Futon - Reviewed
1. Luxton Japanese Futon – Editor’s Pick
The lightweight mattress is allergen-free and antibacterial and you can also use it with your kids and babies due to the 100% organic material used in the construction. You can also use it for meditation purposes if you want. Its lightweight construction makes it your ideal travel partner.
The Luxton Shikibuton is the best Japanese futon on our list because of the tremendous value it has to offer.
The comfortably foldable futon is convenient to store and hence is a good option for travel too.
With this mattress, you’re not sleeping on a floor directly, there is thin padding between your body and the floor.
The best part is that it is available in different sizes ranging from twin-long to queen-long. You can choose anyone according to your preferences and needs.
This futon is going to be very caring towards your back as it will ensure an excellent sleeping posture. We recommend you to allow this futon to fully extend for at least 3 days when it is new because the manufacturer has packed it airtight.
2. D&D Futon Mattress – Runner-Up
The runner-up on our list of best Japanese futons is the D&D futon. It is a close runner-up because Luxton is available in a different size but D&D only comes in queen size. And if space is your concern, then this is not the right futon for you. This Japanese futon is a bit closer to those western-style beddings with blended materials in their construction.
It features 5% foam, 5% polyester, and 90% cotton in it. Due to the involvement of foam and polyester, you might have to give up on breathability by a slight margin. But it will be a lot more comfortable for you to use if you are more used to sleeping on a plush surface and are looking for a transition.
This mattress meets all the requirements set by law for flame retardants. The D&D keeps the packing airtight to reduce the shipping weight. Therefore, you need to allow a few days for the mattress to fully stretch out. But you can also pull it at both ends for faster results.
3. Emoor Japanese Futon Mattress – Best Futon Set
If you are looking for a premium quality option then this is one of the best Japanese futons you will find. Made entirely in Japan, this is a full 6-piece futon set. This means that your purchase will include a comforter, the mattress itself, a pillow, a cover for the comforter, fitting sheet as well as a pillowcase.
This is all you need to fulfill your Shikibuton desires. It is available in three different sizes too. The mattress in this set features three-layered construction. This mattress is excellent for providing your back with comfortable support.
The comforter also comes with loops so that it can tie comfortably with the cover. This means that the cover is not going to go anywhere even if you move a lot on it.
Another feature to talk about here is that this Shikibuton is made of 100% cotton so it is very breathable as well. If you sweat a lot at night then this is the futon right for you.
4. Fuli Shikibuton Mattress – Best for Comfort
If you are new to Shikibutons, then this is among the best Japanese futons for you to consider. It has a lot of plusher construction and hence it is best in class for comfort. If you are trying to include futons in your life then this is a good way to start.
This Shikibuton has a quilted construction to provide you with a softer feel. It is available in four different sizes and you can choose from twin, twin XL, full and full XL. You also have a choice to go for a Tatami mattress if you want to use it. Fuli has used 100% cotton for the fabric to keep it breathable and has used 100% polyester for stuffing.
Due to its moisture-wicking properties, this mattress will quickly dry up. It has a triple-layer construction that is fully completed in Japan. Your mattress will arrive in fully airtight packing and you need to stretch your mattress out for a couple of days when it is new.
5. Colorful Mart Japanese Mattress – Best for Breathability
This futon Tatami features 100% microfiber stuffing and the cover material features polyester fiber. Therefore, this is among the best Japanese futons when it comes to breathability. This is a better choice for anyone who sleeps hot.
It is only available in king size therefore, you will need to have appropriate space to lie and store it. The quilted binding allows you to fold the mattress comfortably and it also keeps the pressure points in check. The great thing about this mattress is that you can use it in all seasons.
The only thing that doesn’t impress us here is that it doesn’t come with a cover. However, its grey is also great and you won’t see it get dirty often. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take care of it at all. It is better that you use a sheet to cover it. Get it to air dry in the sun and it will continue to perform for many years.
6. Maxyoyo Japanese Mattress – Best for Kids
If you are in search of a Shikibuton for your kids or your kids’ room, then consider Maxyoyo. You can also buy it in larger sizes as well if you want. The reason we chose it for kids is that your purchase will include a dustproof cover.
The colors in which this mattress is available are also great to make dust non-visible. You will also get a dustproof bag to fold and store the futon away. With this Shikibuton you don’t have to worry that the mattress is going to get filthy.
Just sun-dry it and it will be as good as new. It has a very versatile construction and you can use it anywhere in your house bedsides the kids’ room and can use it for different porpoises.
The cover of this mattress is fully made of cotton whereas; the filling has a blend of cotton and foam. Therefore, you will get a lot of support from this sleeping surface.
7. IKEHIKO Tatami Mattress – Best Lightweight Option
If you have been a frequent user of Shikibuton then this is the best Japanese futon for you. It is extremely lightweight and hence it is ultra-thin as well. This is not the futon of choice if you have a knack of sleeping on a soft surface.
Due to its thin and lightweight construction, it is an excellent option for those who are looking for a flat surface to sleep on. Due to its construction, it is an ideal option for yoga and meditation as well.
It is available in two sizes including twin XL and full XL. Ikehiko has used rush grass in the construction of this Tatami mat hence it is fully organic and highly breathable.
If it is too flat for you then you can use it under a conventional futon too. The fabric core and its back are not woven so it is essentially one piece and it will stay that way for a long time to come. It does have a smell and if you are irritated by it then you need to use it in a properly ventilated room.
8. Oriental Furniture Tatami Mattress – Best for Back Pain
The Tatami mattress from Oriental Furniture is one of the best Japanese futons for back pain. If you have been long dealing with backaches then this is the surface you need to sleep on.
It is only two inches in thickness so you will get plenty of support that your back needs. With thin construction, you can also use this mat for other objectives as well.
The rush grass construction of this mattress provides it with moisture wicking traits and it also remains dry even if you sweat a lot on it.
This mat is the top choice for hardcore Japanese futon fans. There is not much cushioning available here so if you are new to futons then there are plusher options for you to consider.
Best Japanese Futon Buying Guide
What Is A Shikibuton Floor Mattress?
Shikibuton is a traditional Japanese mattress that comes with a cushion of cotton. Japanese have been using futons for a long time. They prefer them over those conventional western style mattresses.
Japanese futon is way thinner if you compare it with your average American futon. Shikibutons are approximately three inches thick. You can easily roll them up and store them wherever you want. Even those 4-inch Japanese futons are pretty good when you want to roll them up.
In comparison, the western futons are thicker (usually 6-inch to 8-inch) and for that reason, you cannot roll them up or store them in a confined space. As they are very heavy and thick, they will become a regular part of your décor just like normal bedding does.
Most of the time, these western futons feature synthetic foam or spring and they become much closer to the regular mattresses. If you don’t have much space then these American futons will not be a very suitable option for you because they are not easy to move and store.
What Are Japanese Futons Made Of?
The stuff inside a Japanese futon is very different from a conventional western style futon. The bottom material is not necessary and is more essentially quilt-like bedding between the mattress and the floor. Then there is a layer of the futon mattress or Shikibuton, which is thin and narrow.
There is no spring inside but you will find cotton filling in it. The luxurious models will have silk in them. Traditional futon has a sheet cover and then there is quilt within quilt wrapping. Due to the thinness, you can easily fold and tuck them away when not in use.
Japanese futon has two separate parts. One is Shikibuton, which is actually the mattress and the other is Kakebuton, which is a type of blanketing that will keep you warm.
You can lay down both these components on the floor when you want to use them, and when not you can store them wherever you want. There is a third component, which is a pillow and it is called Makura. The pillow for this Japanese bedding is small and it is usually stuffed with beans or buckwheat.
Makura is going to be a little hard for you to sleep if you are used to a softer western-style pillow. In addition to that, Makuras also tend to keep your head a bit too high that is not a very ergonomic position for your neck.
Japanese Futon Therapeutic Effects
According to an online survey, the majority of the participant agree that Japanese futons were very comfortable because of their ability to maintain your proper sleeping posture.
The respondents also stated that futons are great in holding your body well and they won’t sag either. Japanese futons will bolster your entire spine. Moreover, as your mattress is on the floor it will have better breathability and you can also go for additional cushioning if you like.
This is entirely true! There is a misconception that if you need to be more comfortable then you should choose a more cushiony and plush surface. In fact, the softer and cushiony surface might cause your back to be in an unnatural position and it can further worsen your back pain.
Shikibuton is flat and firm but supportive at the same time as well. Your back will stay in its natural alignment with an ideal amount of comfort to allow you to sleep comfortably.
But There Is A Catch!
You have to keep airing these futons frequently especially in those muggy summer days or your own sweat will make them thin and flat. This will make you very uncomfortable because you will be feeling the floor underneath you. Hence, if you allow these futons a few hours in the air and sun, you will solve this problem eventually.
Furthermore, you will have to stuff your Japanese futons with new materials every few years. But this experience varies because some people use cotton as filling while others choose synthetic material for the same purpose.
Another point that many people highlighted in the survey was that Japanese futons are good for younger people. With age getting out of the bed from the ground might feel a bit displeasing especially in the middle of the night.
Shikibuton Pros & Cons
From the above text, you can see that there are some advantages and disadvantages that you have to deal with when it comes to using a Shikibuton. We are listing down some of the pros and cons of this Japanese cultural staple right below:
- As Japanese futon features natural fabric
- Pure cotton in the Japanese futon help wicks the moisture away
- Portable and space-saving. You can easily roll them up and store them
- As there is no use of harmful and hazardous chemicals, these futons are allergen-free. You can hang your Shikibuton in the sun and open air to kill all the bacteria that tend to develop over time.
- Japanese futons are great for your back because they keep your spine in proper posture when you are sleeping.
- They are also less expensive as compared to their western counterparts.
- You can use a Japanese futon not just for sleep but you can take a nap, do yoga, or meditate.
- You’ll wake up with sharpness and energy that you’ll not feel when sleeping on a traditional mattress.
- With a Japanese futon, you can say goodbye to those expensive western-style mattresses and save a good amount of money.
- A good option for those who are moving into a carpeted apartment and don’t want to fill the room space with a traditional western bed.
- If you are more used to sleeping on a plush surface then Shikibuton will cause rude awakening because they have firm cushioning.
- Japanese futons are not very easy to find in stores. Even most of the futon stores won’t have them. However, the good thing is that you can use the internet to find a Shikibuton for yourself with relative ease.
- These futons are prone to absorb moisture despite their moisture-wicking properties. This is exactly why they hang Shikibutons out in the sun.
- Generally, a Japanese futon is not recommended to someone who is suffering from scoliosis.
- Finding a sheet for Shikibuton is hard due to its dimensions. Full size or queen size sheets won’t fit.
Japanese Futon Care Tips
There are some useful tips that you can follow to take care of your Japanese futon and keep it in optimal shape. These include:
- Make sure that you keep your Shikibuton dry and don’t leave it out in the same place daily. Allow it to sun-dry in open-air frequently.
- You also need to flip it frequently to keep it in the best shape. If your futon is new, make sure that you flip it on a weekly basis. You can continue with this routine for a couple of months. After that, you can flip it on a monthly basis.
- You must also regularly fluff your futon to increase its breathability and keep it dry. This will also help the futon to maintain its shape.
- You have to use a protective pad or a cover for your futon that is washable. Your sleeping surface will remain clean for a longer period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, these futons are very comfortable to use daily. The Japanese have been doing this for thousands of years and they live a very healthy life even in their old age. However, make sure that you get yourself accustomed to sleeping in this way. And once you get used to it, you will forget using your conventional bed.
Yes, in fact, a Japanese futon is an ideal choice for a minimalist bedroom. It has a low and compact profile and hence it will not take up much space. Furthermore, you can always roll it up and pack it away when it is not in use.
Shikibutons are not recognized very well, so your guests might know much about them. We recommend that you proceed with care. If your guests are open-minded and they are health conscious too then they will love this idea and they will, in fact, thank you for introducing them with this idea.
However, if they have some health conditions or never slept on the floor, then they might get offended by the idea of sleeping too much closer to the floor.
Chris was a psychiatrist and neurologist with board certification in sleep medicine Clinical Associate Professor at the University of California. For over 10 years, he served and helped patients at Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital with their sleeping disorders.
After suffered from sleep disorders for years, Chris has been passionate about sleep health ever since. He wants to help others sleep better and wanted to make the world of sleep easy to understand for everyday people.