What is a Japanese floor mattress and is it better than your current bed?

Because who needs a bed frame

Japanese floor mattress gray on floor with speaker behind
(Image credit: Amazon)

Ever heard of a Japanese floor mattress? Nope? I hadn't either. This mattress and bed frame alternative is proving to be better and more convenient for most than the traditional sleep set-up. Rentals are getting smaller, budgets are tighter, and moving more frequently is becoming pretty popular. So there's no surprise investing in a brand new bed is fairly uncommon. 

But if you're moving into an unfurnished place or simply can't sleep on the old mattress your mom bought you way back when, you're going to need a new bed and you luckily have a new option. Japanese floor mattresses are space-saving, cheaper, and just as comfy. But what are they? And do you need one? After doing my research, I can confirm there's more to it than being just a mattress on the floor

To help you understand, I've uncovered everything you need to know about Japanese floor mattresses below, and picked out the best ones to buy.

What is a Japanese floor mattress? 

Also called Japanese futons, these mattress alternatives are flat, thin pads designed so you can sleep directly on the floor. Often quilted and stuffed with cotton, polyfiber, or foam, they're basically a less-bulky version of your memory foam mattress. They're typically placed on top of a tatami mat for added comfort and support. Although lots of people in Japan do have box spring beds, futons are still super popular, especially in studios or small apartments as they can be folded and stored away when not in use. They're also a much more affordable alternative, usually costing less than $300.

Beyond being a space- and money-saving solution, they also have some great sleep benefits. Known for being particularly good for back sleepers, Japanese floor mattresses can help with spinal alignment and sore joints. 

My fave Japanese floor mattresses 

Think this sleep switch might just be for you? Me too. These are my fave Japanese floor mattresses worth getting.

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat.