November 8, 2013
Futon-style mattresses aren’t very common outside of Asia, and they’re not exactly the standard in many countries outside of Japan and China and their surrounding neighboring countries, even if they are still Asian countries. So I don’t blame you if you don’t know what they are.
A short description would be that they are mattresses that you may roll on the floor of your room so that you can sleep on it. Here’s a picture to quickly refresh your memory.
The Futon Mattress
It’s been the default in Japanese culture for a reason. It’s probably because they found it comfortable or convenient. It’s also probably the reason why they’ve stuck with it for centuries. But is it a good choice for you? Here’s a quick list of pros and cons for you.
1) Futon mattresses are commonly and traditionally very thin and very easy to roll up and keep. They’re space-saving since they take up very little area in your bedroom. One obvious advantage is that they’re very transportable.
2) They also save money since it doesn’t require a bed frame. It doesn’t need any excuse to answer the question “why doesn’t your bed have a frame” since you just say, “they’re futon mattresses.”
3) Falling out of your bed during the middle of the night is one of the things a lot of people dread, since sleep interruption is already bad. Adding pain in the formula only worsens it. With futon mattresses, however, that concern doesn’t even need to exist. You can go on sleeping even if you stray a bit too far away from the confines of the mattress itself.
1) A lot of traditional futon mattresses are made of two parts: the bottom part and the actual top part, which is the quilted bedcover. However, modern versions of futons are made of one whole part which is usually made of cotton or wool.
What makes this a disadvantage is that it’s easily flattened to the ground. Yeah, I mean it takes a lot of wear and tear, but eventually you’re going to be mere centimeters away from the hard ground of your bedroom.
2) Unless your futon is made of polyfoam, uneven distribution of weight is something to expect as the years go by. You see, the compacted parts of cotton or wool become clumped and hard, and thus, uncomfortable.
3) The comfort level of futon mattresses can only go far as to say it’s “relatively” comfortable. It can’t be absolutely comfortable, but it will get you through the night. It’s just average and merely enough. Since the priority of it is to be an object to sleep on, it gets the job done, although not with flying colors.
The futon mattress is worth a shot, nonetheless. I mean, especially if you’re a fan of Animé and Japanese culture, it makes you experience the Japanese-ness, even if a tatami mat (or the common flooring of Japanese-style rooms) is replaced by creaming tiles or by wood or vinyl parquet.
The Japanese are well-known for their intense work ethic and value of honor and excellence, so if you think there’s a connection between that and their manner of sleeping, there’s always room for the imagination. But no matter what, take your pick and be sure that it fits your needs 100%.