5 Best Japanese Futon Mattresses: Comprehensive Review and Buying Guide

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 24 minLast updated on March 26, 2023

The Japanese are a nation of long-living people.

And the secret to this — aside from a lot of seafood in their diet — is healthy sleep.

One of the essential parts of traditional Japanese culture is shikibuton, a rollable floor mattress that is used for daily sleeping. And given its thin design, it might be hard to imagine that it can offer any comfort.

But it can, indeed. And I invite you to check out the five best Japanese futon mattresses that I have tested and reviewed below to help you choose the one that will bring healthy sleep to your life!

A Quick Preview

Best Overall

FULI Japanese Futon
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Runner Up

EMOOR Japanese Futon
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MAXYOYO Japanese Floor Mattress Futon Mattress
Best Affordable Option

MAXYOYO Japanese Floor Mattress Futon Mattress
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Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress
Best for Allergy-Prone Sleepers

Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress
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Natural Wool & Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress
Best for Thermoregulation

Natural Wool & Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress
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Our Reviews of 5 Best Japanese Futons

Best Overall - FULI Japanese Futon

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  • Three-layer construction to disperse body pressure and guarantee comfortable sleep even with back pain;
  • Soft cotton fiber cover to provide extra comfort and a charming look;
  • Made with high-grade quality materials that make it last long and relatively easy to store.

The FULI has proudly claimed its place in this review of the top-rated Japanese futon mattresses because it features the combo of luxurious design, decent durability, and great supportive properties — basically, all the things you can ask for in a futon!

The mattress features three layers and measures around 2.5 inches thick when fully expanded. So, if you’re an average or petite sleeper, this mattress can totally cradle you and ensure the right spine support.

The mattress surface cover is made of durable materials and has a breathable weave, which makes it resistant to dust mites and mold. This is a great feature for those who don’t have a balcony or live in humid climates and cannot regularly air out their mattresses.

One more good thing about the FULI is the cotton cover. Natural cotton has good breathability and is able to absorb moisture, so you will stay cool and dry throughout the night.

All in all, The FULI is a real gem. This futon is great for both regular sleeping and occasional use (for your guests, for example). It is comfortable and offers enough support and cushioning to make you sleep well all through the night. Plus, it looks (and feels) luxurious. With the FULI, you might even forget that you are sleeping on the floor.

Runner Up — EMOOR Japanese Futon

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  • Designed by skilled Futon craftsmen with carefully selected materials to ensure its high-quality build;
  • Contains a firm pad sandwiched in the middle by soft fiberfill pads at the top and bottom to provide firm support and ease body pressure;
  • Has a natural cotton cover for extra comfort during sleep.

The next item I want to include in this review of the best Japanese futon mattresses is this classic model by EMOOR. This is one of the most authentic options on the market because it’s made in Japan. Plus, it has a well-made design and feels very comfortable, so you will be able to upgrade your sleeping experience easily!

For unbeatable support, this shikibuton features a sandwich-like design with a firm polyester pad being surrounded by soft padding. Thanks to this combo, the mattress can conform to your body shape and support the correct spine alignment.

Also, the fluffy fibers and a natural cotton cover prevent the EMOOR from sleeping hot. The cotton helps wick away body moisture and feels soft and pleasant to the touch, whereas fibers adjust to your body temperature and maintain the optimal microclimate while you sleep.

The firm polyester pad, along with ensuring proper support, also contributes to anti-sagging properties and durability. So, the EMOOR shikibuton will easily serve you for years to come, assuming that you’ll care for it properly.

The EMOOR futon doesn’t offer you any extras, except being manufactured in Japan, but has all the basic features — such as well-made construction, decent cradling, and cool sleep. And all this goodness comes with more than an appealing price tag!

Best Affordable Option — MAXYOYO Japanese Floor Mattress Futon Mattress

MAXYOYO Japanese Floor Mattress Futon Mattress

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  • Cost-effective pricing makes this an excellent option for new homes, guest rooms, or student dorms.
  • Layers of polyester and high-density foam ensure you’re supported while lying down.
  • Included microfiber cover helps keep your futon mattress clean and free of dust.

The MAXYOYO is my best affordable futon mattress as it has excellent, competitive pricing, a fair ability to support and cushion you, and a microfiber cover. From my list, the MAXYOYO has one of the best price points, being priced $329 cheaper than the FULI, $290 cheaper than the EMOOR, and $118 cheaper than the TFS Shiki mattress. However, it still offers the support and cushioning needed to feel comfortable on the floor. The MAXYOYO uses high-density foam and polyester comfort layers to provide necessary back support to keep the hips and spine aligned and pressure areas relieved. 

The MAXYOYO also comes with a microfiber cover, which can help keep your mattress free from dust and allergens that are known to collect when a mattress is on the floor.

What I Don’t Like About this Futon Mattress

One feature I don’t like about this mattress is that it may not feel cushioning or thick enough due to its material and thickness, especially if you are a heavier sleeper.

Best for Allergy-Prone Sleepers — Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress

Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress

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  • Contains layers of organic cotton, which makes it breathable and lightweight;
  • Medium feel offers firm support while soft enough for relaxing hips, knees, and shoulders, thus ideal for a wide range of sleepers;
  • Built to be rolled up and stored away when not in use.

Another excellent option that belongs to the best Japanese futon mattresses is this organic Shikibuton model. What makes it stand out from the crowd is its natural composition. Both the cover and the filling use organic cotton. It’s not only 100% safe for sensitive people, but it’s also super breathable and easy to clean. Therefore, the Shiki Futon mattress is less likely to allow for allergen build-up.

Now, let’s not forget about cotton’s thermoregulating properties. This material is super breathable, so it shouldn’t make you sleep hot (even if you get a thicker option). At the same time, you don’t have to worry about sleeping close to the floor. The Shikibuton mattress is quite resilient, so your body will be elevated enough to not get cold.

Best for Thermoregulation — Natural Wool & Organic Cotton Shiki Futon MattressNatural Wool & Organic Cotton Shiki Futon Mattress

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  • Designed with cotton fabric and wool materials which supports deeper and more improved sleep;
  • Has breathable and lightweight fibers which repel moisture and regulate body heat;
  • Soft feel offers the conforming ability for shoulders, hips, and knees, making it ideal for sitting and side sleepers. .

Looking for a good Japanese futon mattress that would feel comfortable any time of the year? Then you should certainly consider the Shiki wool mattress. This model uses natural wool that can help you achieve a temperature-neutral sleeping environment regardless of the weather outside. You see, wool is naturally breathable and does an excellent job at wicking the extra moisture away. That’s why this mattress should sleep neutral when it’s hot outside. At the same time, when the temperature in the room is lower, wool can lock in your body heat and keep you warm all through the night.

Another cool thing that makes this model stand out from the competitors is the number of options it offers. While most Japanese futon mattresses come in standard sizes and offer only one thickness (especially cheaper models, like the D&D futon, for example), the Shiki wool mattress goes beyond that. You can pick between two thickness options and different size variations, including Eastern King and Extra-Long Full Double.

Japanese Traditions in Sleep at a Glance

So, a futon is a traditional type of bedding that had been used in Japan for decades (1). Most Japanese families lived in small houses — it usually had just one room for all the family members — so in order to make the most of the tiny space, they used mattresses that could be easily folded away during the day.

The term ‘traditional floor futon’ typically refers to one item, but actually, a traditional Japanese bed included a set of elements:

  • shikibuton, or the ‘spreading futon’ — a mattress that you spread on the floor to sleep on.
  • kakebuton, or the ‘covering futon’ — a duvet cover that fits the size of the futon.
  • makura — a small pillow that is put on the futon.

The shikibuton is generally about 3 inches thick; however, some models may reach 4 inches. Hand-crafted models mostly use natural cotton as the filling, because of its density and great insulating properties. Mass-produced futons may feature a memory foam core layer for better support.

The cover can be made of cotton or bamboo fabric: both these materials wick away moisture and promote airflow inside the futon.

Now, you may want to pair your futon with a tatami mat made of bamboo straws. This elevates the futon from the bare ground and improves heat and moisture removal. Also, the tatami feels softer than the floor and could make your futon more comfortable.

Note that Japanese futons are used for sleeping only because they’re typically too soft and pliable to create a comfortable spot for leisure activities. 

Also, since futons lie on the floor and are more exposed to humidity, they need to be aired out daily to prevent mold development and funky odors (2).

How to Choose a Good Japanese Futon?

Every decision should be made with thorough attention to detail.

And when it comes to sleep, you need to be even more attentive. After all, we spend the third of our life sleeping, and our body needs proper rest.

So, let’s see what you should pay attention to when choosing a traditional Japanese floor mattress to upgrade your sleeping experience.

Check the Size 

Most modern shikibutons are made in standard mattress sizes, such as Twin, Full, Queen, or King. So, make your choice based on your needs. An average-weight couple may feel comfortable even on a Full-size mattress, while larger sleepers might need Queen or even King. At the same time, a single sleeper will benefit from a lightweight Twin-size model.

A Twin-size shikibuton can easily turn into a comfortable sleeping mat for camping! It won’t take much space when folded and can help you improve your sleep.

Consider the Materials of Japanese futon mattresses 

Fun fact: Japanese futons were originally stuffed with horsehair, reeds, or rice straw (3). Today, however, most of them use folded or rolled cotton layers or synthetic fibers as the filling.

Cotton is more breathable and initially hypoallergenic, while synthetic fibers have better durability and don’t form lumps over time. Along with that, some futons feature a thin layer of foam for better support and more pronounced cradling. 

The cover is important too. Some manufacturers might use various chemicals to enhance the antimicrobial properties of their futons, so it’s always a good idea to check this before purchase. Especially if you have allergies.

Some Japanese-style futons come with a protective cover that won’t allow dust and debris to build up inside. This cover is often removable, so you can take it away and wash it, which makes the maintenance easier.

Think About the Maintenance

The dust and moisture can make even the best Japanese futon wear out quickly.

The best way to prevent this is to air out your futon regularly and expose it to direct sunlight. But if you cannot do that for some reason, here are the alternative ways:

  • Opt for heavy-duty materials. Cotton or synthetic fabrics with a tight weave are able to let the air in while keeping the dust out.
  • Purchase a cover or a protector. An encasement will protect the futon from accidental spills and stains or bed bugs, which is especially helpful if you live in an apartment.

Also, you may be able to just wash your futon (it’s a good idea to use a laundromat for this purpose, as a standard household washer may be too small for that).

Note though, that not all shikibutons are washable or tumble dryer-friendly. Some of them might allow only dry cleaning. So, be sure to check the manufacturer care instructions before you do something with them.

Outline the Price

Even though futons are a relatively affordable type of mattress, you still need to understand how much you may have to spend on it. A model with basic features may cost you about $100, but some more luxurious and thicker options could cost as much as $300 or even more.

Who Should Not Buy a Japanese Futon?

Sleeping on a Japanese futon can be an excellent space-saving solution for many people.

That being said, this bed alternative might not work for everyone, and shoppers should be aware of that. For instance, people with painful knees or back pain might have some trouble getting up, as Japanese futons typically sit on the ground.

Sleeping on a futon might not work for people who tend to get cold easily (for instance, sleepers with blood circulation issues). After all, lying so close to the ground can result in drafts and cooler sleep, which isn’t suited for everyone.

Shoppers should also think about their storage options. Futons are usually big and require a lot of space when rolled up. Some people simply might not have a spot in their home to keep a bulky futon.


Where Can I Buy a Japanese Futon?

You can buy a Japanese futon at local furniture stores, big-chain stores, or online. Buying online can be more convenient as there is typically more of a selection available, and you have the ability to buy from authentic Japanese futon manufacturers. You can also compare reviews online from other customers so you know if a product will suit your needs or not.

Wrapping Up

Japanese futons are popular for a reason. They’re affordable, versatile and can support your spine during sleep no worse than a regular bed. All the models I’ve presented above can make a great pick if you consider purchasing this bedding item.

But if I had to recommend only one, I would choose the FULI Japanese futon. It made me sleep like a baby, offering a generous amount of cushioning while keeping my back supported. This futon is well-made and promises durability, which many users will appreciate. Additionally, it looks sleek and luxurious, and would fit into any interior.

What about you? What things are you looking for in a perfect futon mattress? Share your feedback below, I’d love to hear from you!



  1. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Futon. Retrieved from 
  2. Chris Telden (2019, May 16). Shikibuton Buyer's Guide: The Traditional Japanese Futon Mattress. Retrieved from
  3. Sue McCarty (n.d.). Futon Facts. Retrieved from

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