Do you want to minimize back pain? Do you want to make your bedding more compact? A Japanese futon, or shikibuton, may be exactly what you need to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. Japanese futons are laid out directly on the floor and can be put away during the day.
However, finding a futon that will meet your needs can be difficult. So, we carefully curated this list of the 10 best Japanese futons to help you get a good night's rest. Read on to find out about our favorite Japanese futons, and check out our buying guide to help you decide which product is best for you!
When deciding which futon is best for you, think about the size, thickness, material, and level of maintenance,
If you're buying a futon imported from Japan, be aware that Japanese mattress sizes are smaller than American ones. Japanese sizes are measured in centimeters as well. However, most futons sold in the United States reflect American mattress sizes.
Size conversion chart:
Size largely depends on the number of people. If it’s for a single person, then choose a single/twin or double/full futon. Couples may do best with a queen or king-sized option. A full-sized futon can also work for a couple, depending on body size.
The weight of the futon needs to be taken into consideration. Lightweight options will be much easier to store than heavier ones, although this may come at the cost of comfort. It's important to decide whether space or comfort is a more important deciding factor.
Most futons are about three inches thick. This type of mattress can easily be rolled up and put away when not being used.
There are also four-inch futons if you desire a thicker futon. These are too thick to roll up; instead, you fold the futon into thirds for storing. If you find that a four-inch futon isn't comfortable enough, consider layering multiple mattresses.
Japanese futons are typically filled with cotton or foam. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, particularly when it comes to comfort and maintenance.
Cotton futons do not retain much heat, so they stay cooler in summer. They are also eco-friendly since they usually last about fifteen years and are not made from synthetic materials, making them a better option for people with severe allergies.
On the other hand, cotton futons will be colder during winter due to the lack of heat retention. This can be countered by purchasing a wool or fleece cover for winter. Consider futons filled with polyester if you're looking for something durable and resistant to mites and bacteria.
Polyester is an artificial fiber known for its durability and moisture resistance, meaning that you can often machine-wash futons made from 100% polyester, and they'll dry quickly, making them less prone to mildew growth. Additionally, polyester is incredibly light compared to cotton and will retain its shape better. These qualities make polyester a popular material for futons.
However, because polyester is a moisture-resistant material, it won't absorb moisture as well as cotton. It can get pretty hot and humid in the summer sleeping on a polyester futon, especially if you tend to sweat a lot at night or generally run hot. However, this in turn means that they can be pretty cozy in the winter!
Foam futons consist of a foam core inside a removable fabric case. They can provide a lot of cushioning and support given the foamy material, making them great for those who have back pain. Foam futons also hold their shape for longer and are more durable than cotton. They also retain more heat than cotton, keeping you warmer in winter. Unfortunately, this also means that they will make you hotter during summer, as the material is also not breathable by nature.
The foam insert cannot be machine-washed, although the fabric case often can be. However, one merit of foam is that it hardly retains any moisture, so you can leave your foam futon out. To take care of it, you just need to prop it up against a wall to air it out once or twice a week.
The most common outer materials for a futon are cotton and polyester. These both offer comfort, durability, and ease of cleaning. If you want a good all-season outer material that's easy to care for, choose cotton or polyester.
Wool is a popular option during winter for keeping warm. Peachskin is a smooth and light polyester material that is good for keeping cool during the summer months. A nonslip futon is also a good choice to avoid the futon shifting while you sleep.
Futons are not meant to always be left out, so they must be put away during the day. If you don’t have room to store the futon during the day, then look for a futon that can be used with a frame to keep it off the ground.
The ease of storage also depends on how easy the futon is to fold. Thinner mattresses can be rolled up or folded into thirds, but thicker ones can only be folded. Some futons also come with a storage bag to make putting them away easier.
You should also choose a futon you will be able to clean properly, keeping in mind that foam inserts cannot be machine-washed. While some polyester and cotton futons are machine washable, some may require dry cleaning, so it's best to always check the label first.
Here are some extra tips on how to best use your futon so that you always get a good night's rest, and how to care for it so that you can keep your futon hygienic and comfortable.
Futons are much thinner than American mattresses. In Japan, they're usually laid on top of tatami mattresses, which is much softer than your average wood floor. Place your futon on a soft surface, such as carpeting to maximize comfort. Additionally, you may need to purchase an extra futon to layer if you find just one too uncomfortable.
In addition to the futon, there are other items you need to purchase. A complete futon set consists of pillows, a comforter, and a protective cover to prevent stains and damage. Similar to regular beds, replacing your covers can help keep your futon clean and comfortable.
Keeping your futon dry and moisture-free is essential, especially if you live in a humid climate. Moisture can lead to mildew and even dust mites from growing, so it's essential to keep your futon dry. Also, just because you live in a dry climate doesn't mean you can ignore your futon since you can still sweat while you sleep.
In Japan, futons are put away every morning. If you choose to put your futon away, wait at least twenty minutes after waking up so that moisture doesn’t become trapped within it. Moreover, if you're putting your futon away in a closet, make sure you have space underneath the futon so that any moisture that's trapped can escape.
If you choose not to put away your futon, placing it on a slatted bedframe or even a wood pallet can help air it out after you get up.
The easiest way to take care of your futon is to flip your mattress weekly for the first few months and once a month after. Additionally, it's a great idea to leave it in the sun to dry for one or two hours to prevent dust mites and mildew, or even machine-wash your futon. If your washing machine is too small for your futon, you might need to make a trip to the laundromat.
Futons are shipped as-is or vacuumed-sealed. A vacuum-sealed mattress will be packaged more efficiently, but it will need several hours or even days to expand before using to regain its volume. A vacuum-sealed futon is also more at risk of losing its volume over time than one that isn't vacuum-sealed.
Additionally, some vacuum-sealed products may have a chemical, plasticky scent from the packaging. While most of this will disappear after being aired out for a few hours, you can always use some fabric spray to help speed up the process.
Here are our picks for the best Japanese futons that we could find online. We chose these products based on our buying guide as well as customer reviews.
Niceday x Teijin
Traditional High-Grade Futon
Traditional Japanese Futon
Ergonomic Comfort Japanese Futon
CLASSE Foldable Futon
Aphrodite Sora Extra Thick 5-Layer Futon Mattress
Japanese Floor Mattress
Memory Foam Futon Mattress
Comfortable and Clean Futon Mattress
Best Futon for Beginners
Best Futon for Couples
Best Compact Futon
Best Thick Futon for Immediate Use
Best Futon for Relieving Back Pain
Best Multiple Season Futon
Best Futon for a Deep Sleep
Best Futon for Larger Body Types
Best Futon for Easy Storage
Best Futon for Easy Washing
|Sizes available||Single||Queen||Full, twin, queen||Queen, twin, full||Twin, full, full XL, queen, king, semi-double XL||Single, double||Twin, Full||Semi-double, single, double||Semi-single, single, semi-double, double||Semi-double, single, double|
|Thickness||4 in.||2.5 in.||2 in.||4 in.||2.5 in.||5 in.||10 in. (Twin)||3 in.||2 in.||4 in.|
|Outer material||Cotton||Cotton||Cotton||Cotton||Cotton||Wool, polyester||Cotton||Unspecified||Unspecified||Polyester|
|Filling||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester||Unspecified||Polyester||Foam||Memory foam||Polyester, cotton|
|Weight||6.6 lbs.||12 lbs.||12.3 lbs.||20.7 lbs.||10.2 lbs.||18.5 lbs.||13.17 lbs.||17.2 lbs.||8.8 lbs.||6.6 lb.|
|Sizes available||Full, twin, queen|
|Sizes available||Queen, twin, full|
|Sizes available||Twin, full, full XL, queen, king, semi-double XL|
|Sizes available||Single, double|
|Outer material||Wool, polyester|
|Sizes available||Twin, Full|
|Thickness||10 in. (Twin)|
|Sizes available||Semi-double, single, double|
|Sizes available||Semi-single, single, semi-double, double|
|Sizes available||Semi-double, single, double|
When it comes to sleeping comfortably at night, sheets are an important factor. Take a look at our buying guides for excellent sheets available online!
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