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The 5 Best Futon Mattresses for Floor Sleepers in 2019

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The 5 Best Futon Mattresses for Floor Sleepers in 2019
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For centuries the Japanese have been sleeping on a floor mattress, called a Shikibuton (敷き布団, しきぶとん) or Futon for short.

It may sound uncomfortable, but maybe that’s their secret to having the highest life expectancy in the world!

Futon Mattress Comparison

EMOOR Japanese Futon Mattress Classe

2.5″

Cotton & Polyester

15lb+

7 Sizes

Best Traditional

D&D Futon Japanese Rolling Bed Mattress

3″

Cotton & Polyester

17lb+

Two Sizes:
Twin & Queen

DHP Coil Premium Futon Mattress

6″ or 8″

Spring Coils & Memory Foam

57lb~

One Size: Full

Best Padded

Leewadee Roll Up Thai Mattress with Kapok

leewadee-futon-mattress

2″

 Natural Kapok Tree Fiber

8.5lb~

One Size:
Twin

Best Handcraft

Magshion Japanese Futon Rolling Mattress

3″

Cotton & Foam

11lb+

Twin, Full, Double & Queen

Want to find out more about choosing the right futon mattress for your needs?

Take a look below at the buying guide first!

Top 5 Futon Mattresses

After looking at many, many different futons, I’ve decided to include a few that are not Japanese but serve the same purpose.

Here are the top five best futon mattresses! 

EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress Classe

Sleep Savvy Pick - Best Traditional

EMOOR is known for their high quality, traditional style bedding products that are 100% made-in-Japan. Classe is EMOOR’s longest best-selling futon series.

At 2.5” thick, there are 7 sizes, including non-standard sizes to choose from. It’s made with 100% cotton on the outside and 3 layers of polyester inside: a soft quilt, a hard pad and another soft quilt on top.

Quaternary ammonium salt and pyrethroid are used on 50% of the polyester wadding for 2-3 years of anti-bacterial anti-tick and deodorization effects. The Full-Long (55” x 83”) futon is 4” longer than a normal Full, weighs 15.43 pounds and has a 30-day return policy

Pros

  • Available in multiple sizes - from Twin to King and non-standard sizes
  • 100% made in Japan
  • Ships vacuum-sealed
  • 100% polyester with 50% TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP (R) II ECO - deodorizing, anti-mite and anti-bacterial
  • External fabric cover is 100% and 200 thread count
  • Lightweight to fold/unfold in 3 and move around
  • Fitted futon cover available for purchase

Cons

  • Non-washable; use a cover and wash that instead
  • No flame retardant used - so it’s flammable
  • Might be slightly thinner than 2.5”

D&D Futon Japanese Rolling Bed Mattress

D&D Futon Furniture is a Japanese-style bedding manufacturer that offer affordable furniture pieces with no compromise on comfort or quality. The Rolling Bed is made in the USA, and comes in two sizes: Queen (80” x 60”) and Twin (80” x 30”). At 3” thick, the Queen size futon weighs 28 lbs, is fire resistant and the inside is filled with 90% white cotton, 5% polyester fiber and 5% resilient foam. Shipped compressed, you may need to stretch out the ends to get it back to its full size.

Pros

  • Comes with sewn-in straps, handy to use when moving it and to tie up when not in use
  • Some people even used it as their camping mattress
  • Conveniently able to fold or roll
  • Made in USA
  • 3” thick
  • Basic, simple, meets all your simple floor sleeping needs

Cons

  • Only one color (black) and one size (queen)
  • Potential odor some users reported

DHP 8" Coil Premium Futon Mattress

Sleep Savvy Pick - Best Padded

DHP, short for Dorel Home Products, is the small living space expert. They design all household furniture like futons, mattresses, beds and dining tables with 3 main components in mind: trendy design, fit for small spaces and multi-functional.

For those who want more padding than a traditional Japanese futon, this might be the one for you!

This versatile 57-pound full size futon (75″ x 54″ x 8”) comes in a variety of color, two thickness options (6” or 8”) and two fabric cover choices (microfiber or linen) to pick from. The internal material is made of polyester and CertiPUR-US foam with 15-gauge 522 individually wrapped spring coils.

Pros

  • 8” thick
  • 1-year warranty from date of purchase
  • CertiPUR-US foam for health and safety
  • Fire-resistant
  • 522 individually-wrapped spring coils for added support
  • Many options in thickness, color and fabric cover to choose from
  • Versatile - can be used as couch or bed, fits all standard futon frames
  • Shipped compressed and rolled for ease of transport

Cons

  • Only one size - full
  • Heavy - almost 60 lbs
  • Heavyweights may be able to feel the springs
  • Potential odor from the foam; should dissipate within a few days
  • Not a traditional Japanese style futon

Leewadee Roll Up Thai Mattress with Kapok

Sleep Savvy Pick - Best Handcraft

leewadee-futon-mattress

Leewadee Interior & More is a Thai company that specializes in making Thai-style interior items, ranging from vases to art decor to meditation mats. For those looking for something a bit different, check out this Thai-style floor mattress.

This multipurpose mattress is easy to roll up, measure at 79” x 30” x 2” and weighs 8.65 pounds. When rolled up, the dimensions are 13” x 13” x 30” and there are many different Thai-style designs and colors to choose from.

Made with all natural materials, the outside cover is 100% cotton and the insides are made with a cotton-like fiber from the Kapok tree. The mattress is tufted horizontally every few inches so the padding will forever stay in place.

Pros

  • Premium double stitched seams for durability
  • Many color schemes to choose from with Thai design
  • Made from untreated kapok, plant fiber from a tropical tree
  • Easy to roll up with sewn-in straps
  • Handcrafted in Thailand
  • Tufted needlework to prevent padding from shifting
  • Multi-purposeful: can be used for yoga, massage, sleeping..etc.
  • Shipped compressed and rolled for ease of transport

Cons

  • Not a traditional futon
  • 2” thick
  • Handcrafted so each one is different, seams may come undone

Magshion Japanese Futon Rolling Mattress

Magshion is an US-based online home and furniture store that has been established since 2005. They specialize in items from pet supplies to bedroom accessories to garden and patio items.  

At 3” thick, this model comes in 4 sizes: Single (27” x 80”), Twin (39” x 80”), Full (54” x 80”) and Queen (60” x 80”), and weighs anywhere from 11 to 28 pounds. The cover is 100% polyester while the internal filling is 100% cotton batting with a 0.5” thick foam layer in the middle for added support.

Designed to be only spot-cleaned, this roll-up mattress also has sewn-in straps to tie it up when not in use and is made-to-order in the USA.

Pros

  • Available in 4 standard sizes
  • Lightweight to carry and fold/roll
  • 3” thick
  • Easy, simple, basic - should meet your needs.
  • Made in USA
  • Made from longstanding company in USA

Cons

  • Cover is not removable, spot clean only or use a fitted sheet
  • Non-traditional Japanese style futon

What are the Benefits of a Japanese Futon?

Affordable

Great for those seeking a minimalist lifestyle or on a budget. Japanese futons are much less of a financial investment than a traditional mattress.
 
Depending on the labor and material used to make the futon, the price will vary. Some are mass manufactured while others are handmade or made-to-order.
 

Space Saving

Ideal to use in a small home, a futon can transform any space into a bedroom in minutes.
 
You won’t need to buy any bulky furniture items, like a bed frame, headboard or box spring, as you would for a traditional mattress.
 
In the morning, you can fold and store away in the closet to make it a multi-purpose room. Ideal for people who have limited space or moves around a lot.

Natural Material

Back in the old days, futons were 100% cotton.
 
Today you can find other material like wool, latex, foam and even pocket coils as the filling.
 
You won’t be exposed to any unnecessary chemicals, so it’s better for your health and body.
 
How to Freshen Up Your Futon:
 
As with most things in life, your futon needs to freshen up once in a while.
 
If you sleep on a futon every night, let it air out about once a week. Outdoors is best. The sun can vaporize any moisture which reduces mold and dust mites from building up.
 
If you need to vent out some frustration, you can beat the futon with a stick outside too. This actually fluffs up the internal stuffing for a more even surface.
 
Not related to the futon itself, but remember to wash the sheets and clean the floors often to prevent dust and mold.
 
Futon vs Tatami
 
Some people may think that a futon and tatami are one and the same; however, that is not true!
 
Tatami (畳 or たたみ):
A thin mat used for flooring which a futon is placed on top of. It’s so widely used that most rooms in Japan are measured by how many tatami mats can fit on the floor side-by-side. The most common room size fits 6 tatami.
 
Traditionally made of rice straw grass, it has a unique feel and natural, relaxing scent. Nowadays, it can also be made from foam or compressed wood chips.
 

Spinal Alignment

There are many studies and different opinions on if sleeping on the floor is better for you or not.
 
I can’t speak for anyone else, but a firmer surface works better for me, so I tend to prefer them.
 
According to Dr. Mandell, it’s important to keep the spine in a neutral position while sleeping.
 
Misalignment for even 8 hours can lead to muscle spasms, back pain, pinched nerves or sciatica over time due to over activated muscles, joints or nerves.
 
If you’re just starting to sleep on the floor or a harder surface, you’ll feel stiff or sore for the first few days. Like someone who started going to the gym, you are using parts of your body that you haven’t before. After a period of time, you’ll feel good and wake up more refreshed.
 
Sleeping close to the floor means it won’t hurt that much if you roll or fall off the bed!

Savvy Tip:

Try putting a pillow under the knees. This will reduce stress on the lower spine and promote better blood circulation. I sleep with one every night!

What to Look For in a Japanese Futon

Here are the main considerations to look at when purchasing a futon:

Size

Futons come in all the standard sizes, twin, full, queen and king – in width and length but not in height.
 
The height is the distinct factor that allows the futon to be rolled or folded up when you’re done using it.
 
As a rule of thumb, a Twin or Full is ideal for 1 person, and Queen or King is good for 2 people plus or minus a small pet.
 
If you’re tall than most, there are some futon companies that make longer sizes. Like a Twin Long or Full Long – which is typically 4 inches longer than the standard Twin or Full.
 
If those 4” are still not enough for you, at least your feet won’t dangle off the floor mattress. Try putting a light blanket or pillow under your lower legs if you can’t stand your body touching the ground.
 

Warranty

More likely than not, there is no warranty coverage on futons, especially the ones in Japan. At the affordable price point, it doesn’t make sense to offer that insurance. 
 
What they could possibly have is a 30-day return policy. 
 
Back in ancient times, formal insurance policies didn’t exist. Instead, there was mutual trust between vendor and customer.
 
Vendors stood by their products and were in business for a long time, generations even. Customers were able to come back months or years later to ask for help on their purchase. It’s part of relationship and reputation building in society. 
 
If only it was still like that today!   
 

Thickness

Thickness or height mean the same thing.
 
On the market, there are futons with a height of 2”-8” and higher. A traditional Japanese Shikibuton is only around 2.5-3” thick.
 
Anything over 3″ could be considered an American-style futon. Designed for westerners who are more used to a thicker and softer surface to sleep on.
 
Do you like it firmer or softer?
 
For those who like softer surfaces, layer on a mattress topper or other padding above or beneath.
 
For those who like harder surfaces, there are also thinner ones (as thin as 1”) on the market. Or consider the Korean equivalent of a futon – a traditional Korean Yo. They are usually 2″ thick or less.

Savvy Tip:

You may want to measure your closet or any space that you will be storing your futon during the day. Just to make sure that your new rolled-up futon can actually fit

Internal Filling

Traditionally made from 100% cotton, old-school Japanese Shikibuton still are. Others are made with other natural material, like latex or wool with a mix of polyester.
 
With modern-day innovations, some are processed with substances for enhancement.
 
For example, some are treated for antibacterial, anti-mite and deodorizing properties. This makes the futon longer-lasting and convenient.
 

Usage

You may want to think about who and how often the futon will be used.
 
Is it for yourself to sleep in everyday or for overnight guests?
Is your purpose to save space?
Do you have a condition where sleeping on a hard surface, like the floor, is something you need?
 
On another note, a futon is usually used on the floor and doesn’t require any frames.
 
If you prefer to sleep elevated from the ground, then you may consider getting a bed frame or box spring. Alternatively, you can build your own!
 
Once you know the answers, they can help narrow down on your futon options.
 

Cover

Much like a traditional mattress, most futons do not come with covers or bed sheets.
 
These much-needed accessories are something that you’ll need to buy separately.
 
Note that regular bed sheets probably will not fit a futon because the difference in thickness could be quite large. See if the same company also sells fitted sheets.
 
You can also buy a few different covers, then every time you change them, it will look and feel like a different futon!
 
Most will recommend you to buy a separate cover and to only spot-clean the actual futon.

Where It’s Made

A futon is a traditional Japanese floor mattress, so an authentic one would be made in Japan.
 
Of course, there are other countries that make equally as good floor mattresses, including Thailand, US and Korea.
 

Weight

Depending on if you’re planning to fold and unfold it everyday, you may want to look for a lighter futon.
 
Futons can be as light as 10 to 50+ pounds based on multiple factors. What is used for their internal filling, how many layers are inside and how thick it is among other things.
 
Since one major attribute of a shikibuton is the ability to put away when not in use, I’d suggest choosing one that’s 20 lbs or less.

Japanese Futon FAQs

Follow the instructions of the specific futon that you have.

If it says spot-clean only, then don’t put it in the washing machine. Some could be machine-washable.

How to take care of it:

  • Clean regularly – your floors, your room, futon covers..etc.
  • Hang it out in the sun periodically to air it out – at least once a month, but once a week is better!
  • Hit it with a stick while it’s airing out to fluff up the inside filling
  • If you’re using it on the daily, every year you can change out the filling with new fresh material
  • Careful with food, liquids and pets and children

via GIPHY

Yes, futons and hard surfaces, like on the floor, are all fine to sleep on, as long as you have enough support for proper spinal alignment.

It also comes down to your own individual preference. 

Depends on how firm or soft you want your futon.

Futons can come in a wide range – anything from 2” all the way up to 12” or more. Traditional Japanese-style futons are around 2-4”, whereas western futons are slightly thicker at 3-6”.

I like them thinner so I opted for a 2.5”.

Without getting into too much historical and cultural details, it’s simply a millennia-old practice.

Japan is an island. There’s limited land and so homes are built smaller.

To make the most of their space, it’s practical to be able to put away something they aren’t using during the day. No bed frame, headboards or box spring means more space for living!

Also, their kids can’t complain about monsters under the bed.

Longer than you think!

If you take good care of your futon, it can last for a lifetime. Some Japanese folks have only had one futon their whole entire life.

Most do have an average lifespan of 5-7 years. Perhaps, every few years you can re-upholster the inner filling. 

Dress it up like a traditional mattress!

  • Too firm? Layer on a topper or padding.
  • Too soft? Get rid of the futon and just sleep on the floor!
  • Need more support? Get a good neck pillow, but also a body pillow for when you sleep on your sides and another pillow for under your knee when you’re sleeping on your back.
  • Too cold? Layer on another blanket or use an electric heating pad
  • Too hot? Leave the comforter or duvet off

Not better or worse, but just different. It depends on what you want and what your philosophies are.

Have nations of people been sleeping on a thin mattress pad close to the ground for centuries? Yes.

Are they necessarily in better shape or health? Maybe – I mean, they are known for having the longest living humans on earth…

Do they enjoy it? Sure!

Are you looking for a surface that conforms better for your body? Then, perhaps a futon is not what you’re looking for.  

via GIPHY

In ancient times, futons were multiple layers of cotton.

100% cotton futons still exist today, but they can be made of other materials like: wool, latex, foam and polyester.

Some of the fancy ones could have memory foam or innerspring coils inside as well. These would not be considered traditional Japanese futons though.

Here, watch this to see how they handmade futons!

Sure, why not?!

Most people don’t because it’s a bit too hard and thin, but you can do whatever you want!  

via GIPHY

Sleep Savvy Favorite

All five futons would do the job and do it well, but my top pick is…

…the EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress Classe!

Here’s why:

It’s available in 7 different sizes, including non-standard, longer versions.

This is great for tall people or for your child going through a growth spurt. You don’t see too many non-traditional sizes out on the market, so this is a bonus.

Although EMOOR doesn’t offer a warranty (most futons won’t come with one, so this is normal), they do have a 30-day return policy.

It’s reassuring to know that if you don’t like it, you know you can return it within a month to get your money back. That definitely gives me peace of mind.

I like that this futon is 100% made in and shipped from Japan so it measures up to an authentic traditional futon.

In terms of thickness – it’s a standard 2.5 inch in height. Remember, more is not always better. 

This is also why it’s so lightweight and portable! At only 15 lbs, almost anyone is able to fold or roll up and store it regularly. 

The external layer is made of 100% cotton. It doesn’t come with a cover, but that’s normal too. Just like how a proper mattress doesn’t come with fitted bedsheets. You can easily fix that by buying or making your own cover for it.  

The internal filling is 3 layers of polyester. It’s a quilt-pad-quilt stack to give you more comfort and cushioning.

Instead of just using it for overnight houseguests, the quality is high enough for you to use every day. 

And that’s why EMOOR is my top choice, but you may prefer another from the list.

After all, it is you (or your guest) that would be sleeping on it, so pick one that best suits you!

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