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Today we’re going to have a chat about Shikibutons (sheeki-boot-ons) and Tatami’s (tu-tommys).  Yes, we know…it takes a few tries before it rolls off the tongue, but we have confidence in you. Give it a go. 

 OK, now you’re ready - let’s dive right into the ancient world of Japanese sleep. 

A Look Back

Have you ever seen an image of a traditional home in Japan?  If you have, chances are that you’ve seen a Shikibuton mattress or a woven Tatami mat. This simple pairing has been a staple in traditional Japanese homes for hundreds and hundreds of years.  

In Japan, Shikibuton mattresses were and are generally used in Japanese Tatami Rooms.  The Tatami Room, is a room with minimal furnishings and a wide open atmosphere, that is covered with a foundation of woven Tatami mats used for sitting or sleeping.  Dating as far back as the 8th century, Tatami mats were a symbol of social status. Only the wealthy could afford them, while commoners were forced to sit on the bare floor.  Times have changed.


Fast Forward

What about modern Shikibutons and Tatami Mats?

It’s important to note that what we in the Western world call a “futon” is actually a sofa futon and is inspired by the traditional Shikibuton; but is its much *thicker cousin.  
(*No emails about "fat shaming" please.)

Today’s Shikibutons - or Japanese futons - are still thin, versatile mattresses and continue to be designed for placement on Tatamis, which allow for proper aeration of the mattress. They are typically filled with natural materials and enclosed with a cotton cover, which lends to their growing popularity.  Tatami mats, which are also made from natural materials, provide a firm, breathable base and come in a variety of sizes and configurations.

Why is Japanese Sleep becoming so popular? 

There are a several reasons why this Far East custom is trending in our neck of the woods.  Here are just a few...

  • Minimal - the minimalist design is appealing
  • Economical - reasonably priced
  • Portable - roll up mattress is great for travel 
  • Compact - space saving
  • Aesthetic - Far East vibe
  • Firm Support - back and spine aligning comfort & sleep experience
  • Storage - convenient, easy storage
  • Natural - made from natural woven rice straw
  • Lightweight - easy to move
  • Flexible - transitional and multipurpose
  • Versatile - wide variety of Tatami floor plan configurations - think puzzle pieces

How to Plan for Your Japanese Sleep System

So, if Japanese sleep is exactly what you’ve been looking for, it’s important to think about how you plan to use your space before you take the leap. Take some time. Dream a bit. This will help you create a room that really works for you.

Then, instead of the familiar real estate saying, (location, location, location), we suggest “measure, measure, measure’.  You can’t go wrong with this…actually you can, that’s why we suggest doing it 3 times.

Next, keep in mind there are different configurations for both our regular sized Tatami mats and also the Bed Sized Tatami’s.  Sooooo many great choices!

Finally, if needed, consider where will you store your mattress and mat(s) when not in use?

All of the above tools will help get you started and of course,
we are only a phone call away!