Why Choose a Tatami Bed?*To skip right to the ranking of tatami beds you can buy, click here
So, you're thinking about buying a tatami bed to sleep on at night? That's excellent! When people say "tatami bed," they are usually referring to a futon placed on top of a traditional tatami mat. Futons are fairly easy to find, so this article will focus instead on tatami mattresses that can be spread over the floor in a typical western-style bedroom.
There are quite a few good reasons why many Japanese people still choose to sleep on tatami at night instead of a western-style bed. Here are a few:
It Creates More Open Space in the Room
One of the biggest advantages that sleeping on a tatami bed has over a traditional bed is the fact that your bed can be folded up and moved out of the way during the day. This clears up open space in the bedroom that otherwise would have been taken up by a bulky bed frame. With this comes the ability to do activities such as yoga in the middle of the bedroom that you might not otherwise have been able to do. Cleaning is also much easier, as there is no need to duck under the bed to vacuum all the dust and fuzz that always seems to collect there.
It Can Actually be Better for Back and Other Body Pain
Soft Mattresses may seem like the way to go for people with back pain, but the truth is that a firmer sleeping surface is actually much better and more natural for the body. Fluffy, squishy mattresses cause the hips to sink down too far, creating poor posture that can aggravate the lower back. Indeed, modern mattresses are a relatively new item in the span of human history, and most people who lived before us slept on something much less cushy. The transition can take a little getting used to at first, but once you do, you'll likely find yourself waking up feeling refreshed and spry.
Tatami is Antibacterial, Relaxing, and Moisture-Absorbing!
Tatami is made from "igusa" (soft rush), a natural type of grass native to Japan. Igusa has a variety of properties that make it particularly excellent as a material for a mattress. First, it is naturally antibacterial and odor-killing, having the effect of freshening the air with its fresh, natural aroma. Second, that same aroma also has a naturally relaxing effect that is similar to being in nature. Japanese even has the word "shinrinyoku" (forest bathing) to describe this phenomenon, which comes with many health benefits. Finally, igusa can help to regulate the humidity in a room by absorbing or releasing moisture in balance with the air. This means hot summer nights can feel less humid, making it easier to sleep comfortably.
These awesome natural properties of tatami make it a great choice for a material to sleep on top of!
It Can Be Part of a Minimalist Lifestyle
Minimalism is gaining popularity as a way of living one's life. While some minimalists go to the extreme of having no mattress of any kind at all, others choose a simpler option such as a tatami bed. If you are interested in minimizing and simplifying your life, getting rid of a bulky bed frame, mattress, and box springs could be a great place to start. Moving will become a much simpler task, and the open space in your bedroom might give you a certain sense of calm.
Be Careful! Don't Be Fooled By Non-Japanese Brands Pretending to Be From Japan
When shopping for a tatami bed online, be careful: there are quite a few brands who would like you to believe that their products are from Japan when in reality they are from somewhere else. The reality is that tatami is a uniquely Japanese craft, and knock-off products from other countries just won't have the same quality. Authentic Japanese tatami products are made by reputable companies who employ skilled "shokunin," craftsmen who specialize in the crafting of tatami. Although the cheap price tag of the knockoff products might make them tempting, be assured that the quality of authentic Japanese tatami will be far superior. For this reason, we are only introducing high-quality tatami brands that are made in Japan in this article.
4 Best Japanese Tatami Beds You Can Buy Online
1. Ikehiko Igusa Mattress - Tri-Fold Tatami Bed
Even among authentic Japanese tatami, not all products are of the same quality. This is why the number one spot goes to this tatami bed from Ikehiko, a company from Fukuoka, Japan that has been in the tatami business since 1886. What makes their tatami so special is that they actually grow all of the "igusa" (soft rush) plants used to make the tatami right in a field outside their factory. Add to this the fact that they use roughly 3 times as much rush in their tatami compared to standard tatami, and you get a truly outstanding product.
This tri-fold tatami mattress has excellent weave and stitchwork and perfectly recreates the feeling of a real tatami floor. It comes in small (100 cm wide), medium (120 cm wide), or large (140 cm wide) and is reasonably priced for its high quality.
2. Ikehiko Igusa Mattress - Five-Fold Tatami Bed
Also from Ikehiko, this tatami mattress is different from the above mattress only in that it folds in five sections instead of three. This means that its price is slightly discounted, but otherwise, the quality is exactly the same. Folding in five means that there are more seams under the body, but the precision and uniformity with which the beds are crafted means that the gaps are very small and almost unnoticeable.
As with the tri-fold variety, it comes in small (100 cm wide), medium (120 cm wide), or large (140 cm wide).
3. BJDesign Igusa Tatami Mattress - Tri-Fold Twin XL Tatami Bed
Available on Amazon, this tri-fold tatami bed by BJDesign is another good option that is made in Japan. This tatami mattress is slightly thinner and lighter than the Ikehiko tatami beds introduced above. However, the price is slightly higher, and steep import duties are also required.
The twin-size tatami bed is 100 cm in width and the full-size tatami bed is 130 cm in width.
4. MIINA Igusa Tatami Mattress - Four-Fold Full Tatami Bed
This large tatami bed from MIINA is also available on Amazon and features a four-fold design. The mattresses use high-quality igusa and are finished beautifully. They can be used on their own as a bed, or pushed together to form a nice space for the family to relax on, almost like a carpet. At 200 cm, the length is slightly shorter than the tatami beds introduced above, but the 140 cm width is generously wide.
Choose a Tatami Bed For a Great Night's Sleep!
A tatami bed paired with a futon is the traditional Japanese secret to a great night's sleep! Make the switch and enjoy the added benefits of more free space in your bedroom and a wonderful, relaxing aroma to enjoy as you fall asleep. Just make sure that the product that you choose is an authentic work of craftsmanship from Japan!
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer's website for more information
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.