Discover the true nature of sleeping.
The traditional Japanese way.

This shikibuton guide will show you what are the best Japanese futons currently available online and where to find them near you.

Below, is a curated list of:

  • Top rated Japanese futons
  • Most convenient Japanese Futons
  • Modern style Japanese futons
Also, learn how to maintain and wash your futon with a detailed guide and infographic below.

Be sure to check out my recommendation on where to travel to in order to get an authentic traditional style of bedding experience in Japan.

Why should you sleep on a Japanese futon?

Transitioning from your old mattress to a Japanese futon may be the best choice you’ve made for your sleep and well being.

The benefits of sleeping on a Japanese floor mattress is unparallel to any other comparisons.

There’s a number reason why the Japanese sleep on the floor–with such benefits as a reduction in back pain and having better back posture, and to living an overall healthier life.

The Japanese futon is a minimal, and totally economical choice and even the best Japanese futons can come at a very reasonable price.

What is a Japanese Futon

aka–The Japanese shikibuton
A Japanese futon mattress is a slim, foldable, and rectangular shaped mattress that is best known as being the true authentic Japanese floor sleeping mat.

Typically, a shikibuton is laid on top of a tatami mat to create a futon bed. Futon beds are a type of bedding commonly seen in traditional Japanese-style rooms or tatami rooms.

For practical purposes other than sleeping, futons are often folded and stored away in the bedroom to make room for other activities.

Japanese futon mattress on the floor

Here are some great characteristics and benefits of a Japanese futon:

High-quality 
Lightweight, Compact and Easy to Store
Firm, Padded Cushion for Back Support
Long Lasting Comfort
A Much Healthier Choice

Simple Way of Living

Also known as a shikibuton and shiki futon, the Japanese floor mattress has a distinct level of firmness and flexibility that makes them the ideal Japanese mattress for people looking for a futon for everyday sleeping.

Sleeping on a Japanese futon

The Japanese futon is known as the folding floor mattress because the shiki futon should be flexible and easily foldable in half–a quality that makes them highly convenient for compact spaces and simple living arrangements.

Keeping it Traditional

The traditional Japanese way of sleeping embraces the idea of a minimalist way of living and zen simple living to create the essence of openness, tranquility, and calmness.

A traditional bedding style in Japan consists of a complete set that includes a shikibuton and kakebuton. This bedding has a rich history into Japanese culture and history, being the standard sleeping setup in Japan for centuries.

Below, you will discover some of the best Japanese floor futon mattresses that are easily available for sale and tried and tested by different consumers for quality.

Top Rated Japanese Futons

Highly reviewed and top shikibutons in the realm of online markets. Traditionally designed with strict attention to detail and quality, and a sharp guideline for harmonizing firmness with a touch of comfort.

jlife shiki futon

J-life Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon

A thick (4-inch), full-size traditional Japanese shikibuton that is one of the best Japanese futons for sleeping on the floor. Comfortable, durable and constructed with 100% cotton outer material. Easily one of the best shikibutons you can buy for its price and you can get it on amazon. The premium construction and 5-years manufacturers warranty makes the Jlife shikibuton an excellent choice for a lighweight, affordable futon.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Key Features:

Traditional Japanese futon design
5-Year manufacturers warranty
4 Inch Cotton Mattres
Portability and firm comfort
Made with durable 100% cotton

 

Japanese futon emoor mattress
EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon


A comfortable, thick and traditional twin size futon mattress that makes a world of a difference to sleep on. Perfect firm and sturdy Asian futon mattress to sleep on the floor or use in a futon floor bed. Organic shikibuton designed with Japanese craftsmanship with 100% hygroscopic cotton fabric.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Key Features:

Made in Japan futon at reasonable price
Lightweight and compact
Anti-bacterial, deodorizing and anti-mite
Best quality shikbution for its price

 

Japanese futon fuli shikibuton

FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon

A full size, 100% cotton authentic Japanese futon mattress designed in Japan with “High Grade” construction. Easily foldable shikibuton to be stored in a closet. Convenient to save space in bedrooms. Excellent to have for house guests. Perfect for layering with blankets for extra cushioning when sleeping on the floor.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Key Features:

Fluffy and rich in elasticity
Comes in compact compression packing
Soft and comfortable
Anti-bacterial, deodorizing and anti-mite

Most Convenient Japanese Futons

Japanese shikibutons designed with convenience in mind and with ease of use and simply practical. Made behind the idea that–comfort should never sacrifice space and freedom. There should be a balance of both.

D&D Futon Shikibuton Trifold Foam Bed

Highest Rated

A great minimalist mattress that saves space and easily stored in a compact space in your bedroom. Extremely portable and pairs great with a tatami mat and kakebuton. This is one of the best and cheap Japanese futon if you’re looking for a minimal mattress or a portable futon for your home.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Best for: This shikibuton makes an excellent floor sleeping mat for compact, narrow spaces and easily portable with it’s “trifold” foam feature. Perfectly used as a floor futon for bedrooms, apartments, mobile homes, dorms, and small living spaces.

 

japanese mattress roll up futon

Magshion Japanese Mattress Roll Up Futon


Here we have a twin size Japanese futon that serves as an all-purpose mattress. Extremely soft and portable, you’ll be bringing this portable futon anywhere you go. Simply fold the futon and tie it, and you’re set.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Best for: Carry it for your next camping trip or bring it out for a house guest, it’s comfortable and soft—much better than a standard sleeping bag! Its the perfect portable futon that is made for maximum convenience. Get this cheap roll-up futon mattress for your next trip!

 

Japanese Futon for sleeping on the floor

EMOOR Japanese Futon Set Classe

A traditional Japanese futon set by EMOOR that comes with a comforter (kakebuton), shikibuton, and futon pillow. Best all-in-one Japanese futon set for convenience and an excellent ready-to-sleep set up.

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Best for: Ideal for spreading out as a Japanese floor bed and getting a comfortable rest at any time. Easy to roll up and stored away for convenience.

 

Best roll up japanese futon floor mattress

D&D Japanese Floor Futon Mattress

Best Seller

Here is a Japanese roll up mattress that is designed for convenience, traveling, and perfect for guests. It’s a portable futon roll up mattress that includes two elastic bands for easy roll up and carrying. Designed to be light and portable, its an essential piece for camping or traveling.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Best for: Staying over at a friend’s house or having a guest stay over. Works excellent as a convenient sleeping mat that fits desirably in any compact room or space like a small apartment or dorm. This roll out futon is one of the best Japanese futons for traveling and convenience.

Modern Japanese Futons

Japanese shikibutons designed with a clean, modern style for your bedroom and home–without sacrificing the natural comfort of a traditional shikibuton.

japanese futon

hxxxy Dorm Futon Topper

Designed for simplicity and style, use it in a bedroom, living room, friend’s house, and traveling. It’s the ultimate cheap futon with style! One of the best floor mattress for guests and friends. Truly an essential sleeping mat to keep in your home for convenience.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Colorful Mart Magnolia Flower Blue Futon Japanese Futon Mattress 

Flower Blue Japanese Futon

An elegant and beautifully patterned Japanese sleeping pad that is excellent for traveling, relaxing, portable bed for camping, compact dorm rooms, and as a floor sleeping pad for guests. Comes in a variety of unique designs!

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

minimal japanese futon

hxxxy Japanese Futon Bed

A sleek, minimal design defines the character and appeal of this futon bed. Embracing the idea of the traditional Japanese shikibuton, this thin mattress topper is comfortable and looks alluring with its clean design and seasonal colors.

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minimal japanese futon

Lovehouse Japanese Foldable Roll Up Mattress

Here’s a Japanese futon with a splash of style and heep of comfort. Designed with exquisite quilting technology and constructed with a mattress pad protector to help give you a comfortable and natural sleep.

Comes in 3 elegant colors and looks beautiful and practical in any home. Brighten up your bedroom and get rid of back stiffness with this foldable roll up mattress.
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Benefits from Japanese Futons

Better Sleeping Experience

The Japanese futon comfortably contours to your body’s natural alignment and provide optimal support for your body during the night. One of the most common reasons for unrestful and troubling sleep is unnatural sleeping positions.  Many people find it easier to sleep on a firm mattress and more comfortable than a soft mattress.

Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle

Japanese futons can promote a healthier lifestyle by prolonging your sleep cycle and boose quality of sleep. The shikibuton mattress has been used in Japan for thousands of years and their good health conditions and often illustrated by experts. Associated with their good health is the quality of sleep that they get each night.

Prevents Night Sweats

Another great advantage that separates Japanese futons from Western mattresses is that they are made from 100% cotton and not synthetic fiber. This allows the cotton to have better breathability and an natural cooling effect on the mattress. If you get night sweats often, an organic shikibuton will leave you feeling fresh and dry in the morning.

Environment-friendly

Japanese futons are made with 100% cotton and free of any toxic materials. The futons contain a natural cotton filling that is sourced using sustainable production methods and free synthetic fibers and fabrics. The shikibuton is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly bedding.

Great Support for your Back

Several studies have suggested the best mattress for your back is correlated with the way your mattress contours to your back’s natural upward curve when lying flat. A Japanese futon mattress is designed with a firm pad that provides a sufficient amount of soft cushioning on top to provide support for your back. Noticeable differences such as an improvement from your back pain and overall posture.

Good Value for Your Money

A new mattress and frame can cost up to a few thousand dollars and would be significantly expensive if you have more than a few rooms in your household. Most Japanese futons are cost-effective and will cost you a few hundred dollars. In addition, they will last you many years of comfort due to not having polyurethane foam pads or soft-coil springs, which can compress the mattress and lead to the mattress getting unstable and uncomfortable.

Multi-Purpose

One of the many great features of a Japanese futon is its many uses in a household. Thanks to its compactness and mobility, you can practically carry it anywhere in your home and place it where you please. You can finally sleep in the perfect spot in your home and without having to carry a bulky mattress in order to do so. If you have many house guests over at one time, the Japanese futon mattress acts perfectly as a small couch or chair.

Great for Small Spaces

Completely practical for a small home or apartment. Ideal for compact living spaces and small apartments because of the flexible and light nature of the shiki futon. Sometimes, moving into a new apartment or small dorm room leaves you with few options for your bedding situation. The shiki futon is designed in a variety of types such as a Japanese roll up bed or bedroll to solve any conflicting space situations. Another benefit is that you can fold the futon into a compact size and free up space.

Simple Living

In Japan, rooms are designed in a minimalist fashion with a bare floor and minimal decor. Simple living is of the essence and floor sleeping is common in Japan. A Japanese futon mattress with tatami mat on the floor is the ideal sleeping situation in many Japanese homes. Minimalism and its principles have shaped the Japanese’s way of living in the way they sleep, eat, and go about their daily lives. This idea of simplistic living can be known as a zen way of living. A shikibuton is typically paired with a tatami mat and futon blanket but they can also be standalone mats for floor sleeping.

Saves Time

The mattress is light and slim enough to be folded and stored away in a closet, underneath a bedframe, or a car. With a futon mattress, you can efficiently move into a new home or living space. Simply fold the futon and store it into the back of a car. Don’t have a sleeping bag for your camping trip? The shikibuton makes a convenient mattress for any situation.

Where to buy a Shikibuton Around You

Best Places to Buy Japanese Futon Locally

If you live in one of the major US cities like Chicago, Seattle, or NYC, then you’re in luck of finding a Japanese futon for sale in local stores. From my experience, many local stores are commonly operated with mom-and-pop business standards so you can expect great customer service and high-quality, handcrafted authentic shikibutons.

From my research, California cities such as San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have many local shops that carry traditional Japanese shikibutons that are readily available for sale. SleepExquisite is a local shop in the Los Angeles area where you can buy from a range of Japanese style bedding such as a traditional shikibuton, folding foam mats, tatami platforms, and more.

For people living on the big island of Hawaii,  you can find authentic shikibutons for sale at local stores like Dragon Mama Futon Shop. They specialize in Japanese style bedding with the high-quality fiber futons and pillows. They craft their shiki futons from New Zealand wool and premium American organic cotton.

Best Places to Buy Japanese Futon Online

Customers living in the states include a number of independent online stores and major online retailers like eBay and Amazon. Both are reputable companies that have excellent customer service and both carry a broad range of Japanese futons such as shikibuton trifold foam beds to a Japanese bedroll.

Residents in the UK, Australia, or Canada may have trouble finding shikibutons for sale but have available online options such as Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca. Shops such as the Japanese Futon Shop and Futons from Japan are independent online shops that are available for UK residents that want to buy shikibutons and tatami mats.

International and foreign residents looking to buy a shiki futon have the option of importing the futon from Japan or buying from available online stores. Ikea is another great option for international and all customers to find Japanese furniture and have stores available worldwide.

How to Choose a Japanese Futon

The Japanese futon comes in a variety of different sizes, comfort levels, and forms to suit the right occasion. You can find the futon in the form of a floor sleeping mat, a trifold foam futon, a portable futon, and a traditional Japanese futon. Organic and authentic Japanese futons are more premium choices and come at a higher price point.

Traditional Japanese futons are suitable for those that prefer a mattress that is less thick than the average Western mattress and a firm surface padding that makes it easy to sleep comfortably with or without a bed frame.

For a more convenient option, a Japanese roll up bed or bedroll is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a lighter and compact sized mattress that’s suitable for smaller spaces like apartments and dorms and outdoor activities such as camping.

Japanese futon mattress

Most Japanese futons on the market are typically made with high-grade sourced materials and constructed for durability. Above is a list of the best Japanese futons with regards to its price, size, and quality.

How Much Do Shikibutons Cost

Buying a shikibuton will generally fit the bill for the average consumer in the US. Certainly, price and quality both sit on opposite sides of a balance scale and quality seem to diminish when price increases and vice versa.

The standard price of a high-quality, Japanese handcrafted futon is considered a great value because of their high-quality construction and durability to last many years. Prices will vary depending on size and an authentic or organic futon will cost more because of factors such as craftsmanship and quality.

Shikibuton vs Futon

The main difference between a shikibuton and a Western futon is the mattresses thickness and what they’re used for. A shikibuton is half the thickness of a Western futon and typically used in the household as a floor mattress for means of sleeping on the floor. Generally, shikibutons are folded and stored away in the daytime to clear space in the room.  A Western futon is often used as a couch cushion, which you may have sat on one before when you had visited a friend’s house or owned one in the past.

Natural & organic: An organic shikibuton is typically constructed of 100% organic cotton and other natural materials. An authentic Japanese mattress captures the essence of green living.

Floor sleeping mattress: In traditional Japanese floor bed setup, the floor is the foundation for the tatami mat, and then layered with a shikibuton and kakebuton.  In the West, futons are often laid on top of a standard bed frame or used as a couch.

Thickness: Western futons are thicker and larger than shiki futons and are usually half the size in thickness.

Japanese futon mattress thickness

Shikibuton Sizes

The dimensions of a standard shikibuton mattress are twin, full, queen, and king. Thickness can range from 3 to 4 inches. Most sizes of a shikibuton mattress fit standard bed frames. Japanese platform bed frames are another popular choice and can fit any standard mattress including the Japanese futon.

The size chart below is courtesy of J-Life, EMOOR, and futonbedsfromjapan.

SizeDimensionWeight
Twin35 x 78.75 x 4.5 inches11.25 lbs
Full47.25 x 78.75 x 4.5 inches15 lbs
Queen59 x 78.75 x 4.5 inches 18.7 lbs
King70.75 x 78.75 x 4.5 inches 22.25 lbs

How to Make a Traditional Japanese Futon Bed

How to set up a japanese futon bed

A traditional Japanese futon bed consists of 6 essential elements to make the complete bed.

What you will need:

Shikibuton: The shikibuton typically lays on top of a tatami mat or directly on the floor.

Futon cover or fitted sheet: A thin, fabric sheet to cover the futon and is the first layer on the ground.

Kakebuton: A futon comforter or Japanese quilt that provides warmth and a comfortable weight.

Makura: A pillow half the size of American pillows and filled with buckwheat husks or beans.

Kakebuton cover: Fitted sheet to cover the kakebuton and for hygienic purposes.

Tatami mat: Thin floor mat made of woven rush grass and where futons are typically spread.

Japanese Platform bed frame: A solid wood bed frame to support a tatami mat and futon bed.

How to Set Up a Japanese Futon Bed

1. Lay out a thin fabric sheet on the floor as the first layer.

2. Lay out the shikibuton mattress on top of the fabric sheet or a tatami if you have one.

3. Use a futon cover (fitted sheet) to spread over the shikibuton.

4. Fold any excess or loose fabric underneath the shikibuton for a snug fit.

5. Place the kakebuton on top of the shikibuton.

6. If there is a fitted sheet for the kakebuton, fit the kakebuton inside the fitted sheet.

7. Tighten the sides of the fitted sheet for a secure fit.

8. Once the kakebuton is tightly fitted, turn the kakebuton over with the open oval side to face upward.

9. Place a Japanese pillow (makura) at the head of the futon.

10. Slightly fold the kakebuton from one corner.

11. Your Japanese futon bed is ready!

how to make a japanese bed thebedlyft.com

How to Take Care of a Japanese Futon

The process of washing a shiki futon should be done regularly due to mold building up under the futon. With proper care and diligence on maintaining the shiki futon, you can extend the lifetime of your Japanese futon mattress for up to 2-3 years or more.

How to Maintain a Shikibuton

To prevent molding and to provide proper care to your shiki futon, wash and dry regularly and make it a routine. Here’s a quick guide on cleaning and maintaining a shiki futon:

A Japanese futon in the living room

  1. Fold and store the futon when you’re not using it.
  2. Keep the area where you place the futon clean.
  3. Wash kakebuton, futon cover, and pillows often.
  4. Wash the futon by hand or a machine.
  5. Air the futon as often as possible.

How to Wash a Shikibuton

Washing a Japanese futon mattress

  1. A shikibuton can be washed in a suitable size washing machine and a dryer
  2. Remove any covers and extra blankets before placing the shikibuton in the washing machine and dryer
  3. Another suitable method is hand washing and hang drying the shikibuton
  4. For more ideas on how to clean your Japanese futon mattress, check out this detailed guide on how to clean a futon mattress.

Experience the Authentic Traditional Style of Bedding

The shikibuton is part of the traditional bed set up in Japan that have been used in tatami rooms, which dates back to the Muromachi Period.

A traditional bedding style in Japan consists of a complete set that includes a shikibuton and kakebuton. This bedding has a rich history into Japanese culture and history, being the standard sleeping setup in Japan for centuries.

Today, if you visit Japan and stay at a modern hotel or hostel, it would be a rare occasion for the hotel to accommodate guests with this style of bedding due to Japan being a popular tourist attraction. In result, the Asian floor mattress has been replaced with its Western counterpart in many tourist areas of Japan.

If you’re ever in Japan, seize the opportunity to visit a ryokan or temple lodging to stay overnight in a tatami mat room and experience the traditional Japanese style of bedding yourself.

Futon beds are usually prepared for you by an innkeeper on the first night of your stay. For the following days of your stay, you prepare your own bedding. If you’re not comfortable with preparing your own bedding then ask the innkeeper to show you step by step on how to prepare a futon bed.

You’ll get the chance to sleep on a piece of history and see how a traditional Japanese futon bed is made. Don’t forget to buy an authentic shikibuton in Japan while you’re there!

 

What’s Next

Check out these reviews on my thoughts on which mattress came out on top of the best Japanese futon for its quality and price:

J-Life Shiki Futon Review

EMOOR Futon Review

Go here for more information on the traditional Japanese bed:

Tatami Mat: What You Should Know Before Buying One

Best Japanese Platform Beds

5 Best Japanese Futon Pillows

Looking for alternative floor sleeping mats?

Check out this guide on how to sleep on the floor properly and see the best floor mattress ideas for sleeping on the ground:

Alternative Floor Mattress Ideas


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