The Best Japanese Futons of 2020 (Buyer’s Guide): Find Out Why A Futon May or Not Be For You

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After the Second World War, Americans have adopted the minimalist and economic bedding style of Japan, which is traditionally called ‘shikibuton’. The Japanese have used shikibuton for many centuries. 

The Western adoption of shikibuton includes a combination of these two:

  • thin mattress 
  • an adjustable frame 

However, the real shikibuton only consists of three to four inches of cushion without any support. 

Shikibutons are laid directly on the floor in Japan. The traditional Japanese beds on the floor, made from soft panels with rice straw cores, complement with shikibutons, giving a comfortable and supportive feel. Japanese futon mattresses are made foldable or rollable for easy storage when not in use. Lying on the floor seems uncomfortable, but Japanese sleepers say otherwise. They argue that sleeping on shikibutons on the floor helps keep the joints in the right position.

If you want to learn more about Japanese Futon mattress, continue reading below. This article contains a comprehensive review of some of the best Japanese futon mattresses available in the market. We aim to give a thorough guide about Japanese futon mattresses for potential buyers.

Advantages of Japanese Futon Mattress

Eco-Friendly

Futon mattresses use mostly natural materials, unlike Western mattresses that use chemical and petroleum products. This is definitely an advantage, especially for those who are environmentally conscious. Compared with organic Western mattresses, the Japanese ones are cheaper.

Cooling

Cotton is good at absorbing heat. Japanese futon mattresses, a 100% cotton mattress, will help the person sleep fresh. The Japanese futon mattresses are more effective in regulating temperature than with memory foams.

Highly Portable

The easy to roll and fold feature of Japanese futon mattresses makes it highly portable. It is also lightweight. It is effortless to carry around, making it best for trips or travel. If unused, it can be conveniently stowed away.

Allergen-free

Chemicals used in Western mattresses can trigger allergies. As Japanese futon mattresses are made with natural materials, it helps prevent allergies. It does not also use thick foams and coils that entrap environmental pollutants. The portability of Japanese futon mattresses makes it easy to hang outside and expose it to sunlight. Sunlight is very effective in killing bacteria.

Good for the Back

People have a common misunderstanding that softer mattresses are better for the back. This is entirely untrue. Soft mattresses can actually put people’s backs in an uncomfortable position, causing back pain. Japanese futon mattresses are very firm. They provide enough support for the back for natural alignment while also providing comfort.

Costs Relatively Cheap

Western beds will cost you a lot of money. With the Japanese futon mattresses’ modest construction, price is at the low. You can also get the comfort and support that Western mattresses provide from Japanese futon mattresses at a fraction of the former’s price.

The Top 9 Best Japanese Futon Mattresses in the Market

1. J-Life Shikibuton

If you are looking for a firm bed but with a memory foam feel, the J-Life Shikibuton might just be the one for you. Many sleep testers love the comfort level of this mattress to that of high-quality memory foam.

The J-Life Shikibuton’s queen size can accommodate two people. Unlike most futon mattresses, this brand can’t be rolled. At four inches, the J-Life Shikibuton can only be folded in thirds if stored during the day. This is because of its thicker-than-average size.

In line with the company’s initiative of going green, the people at J-life have just added an organic cotton option that does not make use of chemical flame retardants. This move of the company has attracted a lot of health-conscious customers.

The J-Life Shikibuton is rated very well on mattress review sites. The only downside to the mattress is that its cover comes separately. Fitted sheets can be used as alternatives, though. However, fitted sheets don’t have the advantageous properties that J-Life’s custom covers possess.

If you want a firm futon Japanese mattress with a memory foam comfort level and at a relatively low price, the J-Life could be a great bargain.

Pros

  • Thicker than regular futon mattress
  • Has an organic cotton option
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons

  • The cover is sold separately

2. FULI Shiki

If authentic Japanese futon is what you want, the FULI Shiki probably is what you’re looking for. Users of this product find that it is very soft and comfortable for its relatively low price. 

FULI Shiki is available in two sizes:

  • Twin
  • XL

Its cover, which is sold separately, comes in 4 colors: 

  • Black 
  • White
  • Gray
  • Blue 

It has an anti-bacterial and dust mite resistant surface, which is very useful especially if you live in a cold environment where you can’t dry your futon regularly.

The futon is expected to last for only two to three years. It can last a bit longer if well maintained and hung outside regularly.

Pros

  • Has an anti-bacterial and dust mite resistant surface
  • Has longer length than regular mattresses which makes it ideal for taller people
  • Is an authentic Japanese bedding
  • Comes in two sizes

Cons

  • The cover is sold separately
  • Could only last for a couple of years

Emoor futon mattress is a three-piece bedding system that costs less than how much Western mattresses do. It comes with a pillow and a comforter.

 Emoor offers three sizes for their futons:

  • Twin
  • Queen
  • King

The Emoor futon is two inches thick. It is filled with a firm polyester pad, making it firmer than regular futons. To get used to its firmness, some users recommend layering two of these.  

Most Japanese futons are designed to not last for more than three to four years, Emoor is no exception; you can’t expect more years from it. 

This product is very environmentally friendly because it is made of mostly biodegradable materials.

Pros

  • Come with a comforter and pillow
  • Has multiple size options
  • Made of mostly biodegradable materials
  • Is an authentic Japanese futon

Cons

  • Not washable
  • The cover is sold separately

4. Oriental Furniture

Oriental Furniture’s mattress is a traditional Japanese futon that combines a regular tatami mat with soft foam to provide support and comfort. It also comes with a custom matching pillow. 

Unlike regular tatami mats, this version is not heavy, making it highly portable and ideal for trips or travel. It is also easy to clean. Oriental Furniture’s futon mattresses are foldable and can also be used as a sitting mat.

Direct contact with the floor makes this foam likely to lose its support and go out of shape, especially if used by someone on the plus size. Overall, this futon mattress can work for almost everyone.

Pros

  • Comes with a matching pillow
  • Easily folded
  • Looks and feels just like a traditional tatami mat

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy people
  • Quickly loses its support and shape
  • Not durable

5. DHP 8-Inch Premium

The DHP is thicker than most Japanese futons. It is 8 inches thick and only comes in color black. The DHP can be folded and used as a sofa if you’re not laying on it. 

The DHP futon has the tufted button feature that makes it look modern. This futon is made of coil and foil, so you can expect the feel of a hybrid mattress that provides bounce and cushion at the same time. 

For a thick mattress, DHP costs relatively low. However, it is not as durable as other thick mattresses. Many users complain about the springs not being able to provide enough support and wear and tear on the cover.

Pros

  • Relatively cheap
  • Can be used as a sofa
  • Has a modern design

Cons

  • Has durability issues

6. Colorful Mart

As the name suggests, the Colorful Mart Japanese futon allows you to get your mattress colored. It is available in five colors. You can choose from blue, green, gray, red, or purple.

The Colorful Mart Japanese futon is three-inches thick and filled with microfiber. Its thickness is ideal for most types of sleepers. It comes in four sizes, Twin, Full, Queen, and King, which makes it usable by both adults and kids. 

The Colorful Mart Japanese futon is not washable. Spot cleaning is what’s recommended.

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Has comfortable microfiber filling

Cons

  • Thicker than it looks

7. Zinus Sleeping Mat

The Zinus sleeping mat is just like traditional shikibutons. It has three layers of foam that provide support and comfort. The foams that these futon uses are CertiPUR-US certified, which means that they have been tested for harmful substances. The cover is removable and washable, which makes it convenient to clean.

The Zinus sleeping mat also uses a charcoal additive that helps minimize odor and moisture. Furthermore, as a replacement for some of the petroleum content, this futon makes use of natural plant oil. The Zinus sleeping mat comes in Twin size only.

Pros

  • Has removable and washable covers
  • Has three layers of foam
  • Uses natural plant oil instead of petroleum
  • Has charcoal additive
  • CertiPUR-US certified

Cons

  • Comes in only one size

8. D & D Futon Furniture

This simple Japanese futon has a basic roll-up design. Ties are added to it to hold everything together. This futon is only three inches thick. It is lightweight and highly portable, so that it can be easily brought anywhere. It can also be used as a yoga mat or as a seat cushion. Upon purchase, this futon is highly compressed, so expect a couple of days before it widens and shows its real dimensions.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose

Cons

  • Arrives highly compressed

Ikehiko offers just a tatami mat and does not come with a futon. It is completely made of rush grass. If you want a more natural odor for your tatami mat, then you should try this product. Many users complain about the smell, though. 

Again, this is just the tatami mat. You’ll still need a futon to be able to sleep on it.

Pros

  • Easy to fold
  • Has a natural smell
  • 100% made of grass
  • Authentic Japanese made

Cons

  • Some complaints about the smell

Editor’s Choice

Among the futon mattresses mentioned above, our team particularly likes the Emoor futon mattress. Most of us prefer a firmer mattress, and we agree that Emoor’s firmness level is just right. It is also made of biodegradable material, a plus for the majority of us who are environmental-conscious. The comforter and the pillow that comes with it put the icing on the cake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Different models of Japanese futon mattresses offer different levels of support and comfort. The best Japanese futon mattress for you depends on what you need and prefer.

Both the Japanese futon and Western mattresses have their own respective advantages. Western mattresses are thicker and more durable. It also comes at a relatively high price. On the other hand, Japanese futons are cheap and easy to maintain but don’t last long. 

 

If you are looking for a mattress that can be used in multiple ways, you should find the Japanese futon mattress better. If you want a mattress that has a long lifespan, you should find Western mattresses better. As far as comfort and support is concerned, it is up to your needs and preferences. Both mattresses are capable of providing support and comfort. So which is the better mattress? It is up to what qualities of a mattress you give more weight.

Japanese mattresses are designed only to last a couple of years. Their thin construction does not help in extending the mattress’s lifespan. The price of Japanese mattresses is very low, so it is expected to be not so durable. Proper maintenance of the mattress can increase its lifespan a little bit, though.

Conclusion

If you want a firm and comfortable mattress that can be used in multiple ways, you should consider buying a Japanese futon mattress. 

Japanese futon mattresses are actually more comfortable than they look. They are thin but quite supportive. While they have a lot of advantages, they also have disadvantages. 

Overall, Japanese futon mattresses are multi-purpose, supportive, and comfortable mattresses that come at a relatively low price. Give us a call now to get one!

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