The Japanese futon bed is an ancient type of bedding configuration, consisting of a firm cotton-filled mattress that usually lies on a mat on the bedroom floor.
They’re low to the ground, have no inner springs, and can give you the firm support that our bodies so sorely need at night.
Sleeping on a rock-solid futon is a rite of passage that most people go through in college, and after that experience, they probably never want to lie on one again.
An authentic Japanese futon is nothing like this though, and it’s a special type of mattress that comes with countless health benefits and has been used by the Japanese culture for centuries.
A traditional Japanese futon, or ‘shikibuton’, is a cotton-filled mattress that’s made with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. They’re firm but comfortable to lay on and can assist with aching joints, spinal correction, and overall wellbeing.
If you’ve been looking into these unique sleeping options, you’re probably already aware of just how many benefits they offer.
This buying guide was designed to help you find the most authentic and best Japanese futon mattress that offers comfort but also all of the intended advantages if offers for your health.
We’ve found Japanese floor futons in all styles, sizes, and prices so you can choose the right one for you and start enjoying its benefits.
Buying a Japanese futon mattress is more challenging than your regular mattress because it needs to meet the standards of the original style to be beneficial.
We’ve gone through countless reviews to present to you the best Japanese futon mattress options on the market and exactly what makes them a great choice for your nightly rest.
Best Japanese Futon Mattress – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Winner: Fuli Japanese Futon
For the most authentic Japanese futon in terms of feel and weight, we’ve chosen the Fuli Japanese Mattress.
This traditional style mattress was styled on the authentic shikibuton and it comes in a range of sizes with the queen being the most popular, measuring 59 x 79 x 2.5 inches.
The Fuli weighs 10lbs so it’s light enough to move around but still firm and supportive to sleep on. The filling consists of 100% polyester and its covered with 100% soft cotton to it that traditional futon feel.
The best thing about this Japanese futon is its three-layer construction. Not only does it give the mattress a firm but comfortable feeling, but it allows for sweat and other liquids to dry fast.
If you usually sweat in your sleep or are easily disrupted by hot and moist nights, this will be a huge selling point for you.
On the negative side, some people found it thinner than they were hoping too.
The mattress is advertised at 2.5 inches thick which is usually achieves after being left out of its compression wrapping, but some customers claim it never actually reached this thickness.
If you’re after a very thick mattress then you might want to reconsider but for those who want something only a few inches, it’ll be the right choice.
The Fuli Japanese Futon was made by Japanese craftsmen for an authentic feel and it has a quilted top for additional comfort.
There’s no cover included but you can easily use a fitted queen sheet on top, and add a mattress topper if you want more softness.
The mattress is firm to lay on and can be used directly on the floor or in a queen size bed base, depending on your bedroom’s setup.
If you want a realistic Japanese futon then this option from Fuli is our number one choice. You can purchase the Fuli Japanese Futon from Amazon for around $200 which includes free shipping, or change to another size from twin to king.
There’s no warranty but they do offer an exchange for customers who aren’t happy with their purchase, which is always good to know.
The Fuli is a firm and supportive place to lay your head with all of the benefits that come from a Japanese floor mattress, and all at a very reasonable price.
Runner Up: Emoor Compact Japanese Futon Set
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get a Japanese floor futon and see what all the fuss is about, the Emoor Compact Japanese Futon Set is our top pick.
This is a Japanese style mattress designed for travel and it’s smaller in size than others, with the twin measuring 37.41 x 76.80 inches and just 1.5 inches in thickness.
This is a complete set that includes a comforter and pillow so it can replace other backup and rollaway beds you have at home, giving guests somewhere unique and comfortable to sleep on when they stay over.
What customers loved most about this set from Emoor is that it has the complete package for a good night’s sleep included for an affordable price.
The set comes with everything you need to go to sleep whether you want to set it up in your bedroom or take it for a sleepover. The comforter is thick and comfortable and the pillow is firm, so you won’t need anything else to set up for the night.
This futon was designed more as a backup bedding system and probably isn’t thick enough to be a full-time option.
It comes with a comforter and pillow so you can easily move it wherever it needs to be, but it’s not supportive enough to sleep on every single night unless you’re prepared to invest more money in purchasing a Tatami mattress or foam mattress underneath it for more support.
The Emoor Compact Japanese Futon Set can be easily stored away and it rolls up into a compact size. It’s incredibly lightweight at around 5lbs for the mattress and an additional 3lbs for the comforter and pillow.
The mattress is covered with 200 thread count cotton and it’s filled with a thick polyester which gives it a firm but luxurious feel to lay on.
To get the complete Emoor Compact Japanese Futon Set you can head to Amazon and find the twin size option priced at around $190. Emoor makes other mattress sizes and also sells the mattress on its own if you prefer it without the complete set.
There’s no warranty offered on this bed but they’ll allow you to return the item for free if you’re not happy with it.
The Emoor Compact Japanese Futon Set is the best Japanese futon for convenience and portability, giving you a taste of an authentic futon without the high costs.
Alternative: Maxtoto Japanese Floor Futon
If you want to try out the Japanese sleeping style but don’t have a lot of money to spend, the Maxyoyo Japanese Floor Futon is our recommendation.
This is a twin size mattress measuring 39 x 80 inches and weighing around 10lbs, so it feels like the real deal upon first inspection.
There are five separate layers of high-quality memory foam and thick cotton that give it an authentic feel just like a Japanese mattress, and the mattress itself measures almost four inches when left to expand on its own.
The best feature of this mattress, aside from its affordability, is the included goodies that you get. Along with your Japanese floor futon mattress, you’ll get a dustproof mattress cover, straps to keep it rolled up and travel-ready, and a canvas storage bag.
If you don’t plan on sleeping on your new futon every night for yourself, you can keep your futon wrapped up and ready to go or stored away to take out for guests who want to stay over.
This mattress is meant to be four inches thick but unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet that measurement.
As recommended by the manufacturer, you need to unroll the futon and then leave it out into the sun to assist with the expansion, but it still fell short by about an inch even after leaving it for three days.
The result was a mattress that felt a little thin and needed some extra support underneath like a foam topper or mattress.
The Maxyoyo Japanese Floor Mattress can be used in any room of the house, and even as a bed for your pets. It comes in a range of sizes including twin, full, queen, and king, and all of them come with the cover, carry bag, and straps.
Made with memory foam, brushed cotton, and microfiber cotton, it’s one of the most comfortable futons for this price and would be great for everyday use or just as somewhere to sleep on when you’re away from home.
To get your Maxyoyo Japanese Floor Mattress, go to Amazon for the best price. The twin size costs around $120 and the king around $180, both with the included extras.
Although there’s no warranty, Maxyoyo will happily exchange or swap your mattress if you’re not happy with it, so there’s no risk in getting this Japanese style mattress for your home.
Alternative: Maxyoyo Black Moon and Star Futon
Japanese futons aren’t just made for adults and they can be a great solution for kids as well. The Maxyoyo Black Moon and Star Futon comes in sizes from twin to king, with the 39 x 80 inches twin mattress being the perfect size for little ones.
This Japanese futon comes adorned with a beautiful star and moon design that kids will love, and also features a cover, carrying bag, and compression straps to keep it all together.
Weighing around 9lbs, you can also take it along to sleepovers, camping, or setting up a fun movie night in front of the TV on the weekends, and it’s firm and comfortable at the same time.
According to customers, this is one of the thickest Japanese futons they’ve slept on in this price range, which is a welcome change.
Measuring around 4 inches, you did have to give it a few days to expand to its true size, but once it did you could feel the difference.
It won’t deflate like others and there’s no need to use any other padding or mattress underneath so it’s a one-stop-shop as far as authentic futons are concerned.
There were quite a few negative reviews about the extras that come with this mat from Maxyoyo, so avoid purchasing it if that’s what you were most interested in.
Although people loved the mattress itself, the carry bag was of poor quality and the straps were barely able to contain it.
If you plan on carrying this mattress around from place to place, you’ll want to invest in a more reliable system than the one included. Given it weighs close to 10lbs, it’ll have to be something sturdy.
The Maxyoyo Black Moon and Star Futon is made with five different layers that gives it a soft but responsive feel, thanks mainly to the firm microfiber cotton and memory foam inside.
There’s the option to change the design to something else your kids will love, including foxes, pineapples, and leaves, or you can stick with the popular black starry night.
The Maxyoyo Black Moon and Star Futon costs around $130 for the twin size mattress and $180 for the king size.
Amazon will ship these for free and also offer a free returns guarantee if you don’t love your new Japanese mattress. To get your kids involved with the benefits of sleeping on a futon, this smaller sized, fun option is a great choice.
Alternative: D&D Futon Furniture Japanese Floor Futon
If you want to try out the futon craze but don’t want to spend more than $100, this single size futon from D&D Futon Furniture is the best budget choice.
Measuring 27 x 80 inches in size and with a thickness of around 3 inches, it’s perfect for just one person to use and could be either a makeshift bed or a portable sleeping system to carry around.
The mattress is filled with foam and cotton and it features a 100% polyester cover, and the design is simple and straightforward.
The best feature of this floor futon from D&D is how authentic it feels, with many customers likening to ones that they slept on while visiting Japan.
It’s an American made product but it feels like the real deal, so if you’re after a firm feeling futon and not something soft and fluffy you’ll be very pleased with this one.
On the downside, you can’t remove the cover which does lead to some issues.
There’s a zip on the polyester cover which you may need to take off for cleaning, but not without pulling out all of the stuffing and attempting to put it back in when you’re done.
This would better suit occasional use for this very reason or would require a waterproof mattress protector to avoid any stains.
With a weight of around 13lbs, this is one of the heaviest we’ve reviewed, but that only lends further to its authentic feel.
There’s no included cover so you’ll need to use a fitted single sheet and mattress protector, and the futon should be laid out for a few days to fully expand.
It only comes in a gray color with no other options but with the right sheet on it, you can personalize the look as you need.
The inner filling is made with cotton batting and foam layers which give it a firm feel but it’s more than comfortable to spend the night on as well. You can add a foam mattress underneath for a softer rest but most people have found it perfect as it is.
The D&D Futon Furniture Mattress costs around $70 on Amazon and also ships for free to your home. There’s no warranty but the brand does offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, however, the buyer is responsible for postage.
If you want the cheapest option that still feels like the real deal, we recommend this Japanese Futon Mattress from D&D Futon Furniture.
The Japanese Futon FAQ
Japanese futons have been used for centuries in Japan but it’s only been in recent times that the rest of the world has caught up.
This unique style of mattress has so many benefits and offers a firm place to sleep or rest, making them suitable for all types of users.
If you’ve never owned one before, we’ve got the answers you need to some frequently asked questions about what makes the futon so special.
Are Firm Mattresses Good for Your Back?
Sleepers who experience back pain will probably find some relief when sleeping on a firm mattress, provided it’s not too firm.
A futon offers a firm base to lay without being uncomfortable and they prevent the usual sagging and sinking that occurs with other spring or foam mattresses.
In this way, they can be beneficial for anyone who’s had problems with their back or joints but should be tested to see how they feel for the individual.
Who Should Buy A Firm Mattress?
There’s no limit to who would benefit from a firm mattress and it’s a matter of personal preference when trying to decide.
The best thing to do is test out a range of mattresses in store, if possible, and see which one offers the most comfortable solution.
Generally speaking, a firmer mattress is going to offer more support because it prevents sagging, and this is the biggest benefit of owning a Japanese futon.
Which Is the Hardest Mattress?
Extra firm mattresses come in many styles, whether it’s an inner coil or a futon mattress.
These mattresses offer a sleeping surface that is similar to the floor in that it relieves back stress and keeps you completely flat, but they should also cradle your shoulders and hips with comfort.
Hard mattresses will still be supportive but without the plushness that most
Do Mattresses Lose Their Firmness?
Mattresses are not designed to be lifelong products and at some point, they will need to be replaced. A common reason why mattresses need replacing is that they lose their firmness.
This occurs when the springs lose their strength or the foam and cotton filling begin to lose shape and volume. To continue to reap the benefits of a firm mattress, they should be replaced every five to 10 years.
A Simple Sleep Solution
There’s a good reason why the futon has been a popular choice in Japanese culture for centuries, and as soon as you lay your head on one, you’ll feel why.
Whether you’re shopping for one of the budget-friendly options or want to spend big to get the authentic Japanese floor futon experience, something is amazing about sleeping so close to the ground and with such a firm and supportive base.
The Japanese futon is an affordable way to sleep at home or use it as a portable bedding system, so regardless of how you plan on sleeping on yours, you’ll love it.
With our top finds all being very friendly on your budget there’s no excuse not to invest in one and see what benefits it can bring to your sleep and overall wellbeing.