Seventy-five percent of Americans report that they have sleep problems and there are many studies showing that futons are better for your back than normal matresses. Given these statistics one would wonder why Japanese futons were not more popular in the west. There are many reasons for this but with modernisation and gentrification the class structure typically gravates towards products that at first glance appear to be better and there are studies (air mattress vs futon) to prove it. Comparing organic tomatoes vs monsanto tomatoes, we all immediately know which we would prefer, but of course one is cheaper and with propaganda (clever marketing) they are made to appear to be better.
Traditional Japanese homes don’t have a lot of furniture and their people don’t sleep on a typical bed like we do. It’s part of their age old traditions.
The use of futons has been around in Japanese culture ever since. The Japanese futon is packed with soft materials such as cotton, or wool and artificial batting which make them comfy for sleeping even if they are normally spread out just on the floor. Sleeping on them is as soft and cozy as sleeping on a mattress placed atop regular bed frames. Most Japanese specialty store sell futons in packages that come with its padded futon mattress and quilted blanket.
Aside from being soft and comfy, using Japanese futon is practical because it saves space and provides for the room to be used not just as bedroom but for other purposes as well. The futon can be folded and stored in the closet when not being used and to protect it from accumulating dirt and dust.
If you are looking to create a different ambience for your room, you might find the idea of a Japanese futon appealing. It can be a distinctively valuable piece of furniture you can add to your bedroom. Or you can simply choose to have one just in case a close friend or family suddenly shows up at your doorstep and spends the night with you. Having a futon around would certainly be handy
Western futons although patterned after the original Japanese futon, have added several unique features. Nowadays, western people place the futon on wooden or metal frames. The frames can be positioned either for sitting or reclining, thus serving as a bed at night and a cozy couch at daytime.
Japanese roll up / fold up mattress
How to roll or fold up a Japanse futon?
The western version is also bigger and thicker compared to the Japanese futon because it is manufactured with additional layers of foam and with more batting (be careful of non fire retardant materials used by rogue manufacturers.) With lovely covers, they ensure that the mattress is clean. The covers come in various designs and colors to blend with the rest of the room. Additionally, futon covers would help the mattress to last for many years.
The Japanese futon which was once upon a time confined in Japan is slowly becoming the best type of bed for people across the world. It is very practical especially for families living under a small house or in residences where there isn’t enough space to accommodate some furniture and beds at the same time. It will not be a surprise if in the future people will be going to their ‘futons’ instead of their ‘beds’.
Just like anything that has evolved as the years go by, the same can be said of Japanese futon. It has evolved in their home country and several changes are being incorporated into its equivalent version in other countries.
But there is no doubt when it comes to its efficiency as a piece of furniture. After all it has remained in the Japanese culture for many centuries; otherwise, it would have been replaced or totally discarded.
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