Extreme minimalism Monday: traditional Japanese bedding

Do you really need one of those pesky “beds” taking up space in your home?

If not, consider sleeping on a Japanese futon laid out over a beautiful tatami mat floor. The futon will fold up in thirds for easy storage in a closet and you’ll be left with more functional space during waking hours.

The extreme minimalist knows that comfort should be left to the materialists.

21 Comments for “Extreme minimalism Monday: traditional Japanese bedding”

  1. posted by Ryan on

    While my need-for-space would rejoice, my back would flip me the middle finger.

  2. posted by Martin on

    A futon (or Korean yo) on a traditional heated floor is a wonderful way to sleep.

  3. posted by Michael on

    I’ve slept on some futons and tatami that were actually much more comfortable than many of the traditional beds I’ve used.

    I suppose extreme minimalism would be to just sleep on the actual floor. πŸ™‚

  4. posted by adora on

    I have experience sleeping on Japanese futon. It’s very uncomfortable. There are better futons, but they also take up more space. Since I was in Japan for only few months, I endured the back pain.

    A reminder that if you choose to use futon, you should consider leaving shoes by the door and keep the floor extremely clean.

    If you use futons on hard surface floors, you can hear foot steps from another room. You can hear conversation from downstairs if you live in an apartment.

  5. posted by Barron on

    I’ve slept on futon many times (in Japan), and they were always comfortable. Granted it was over tatami. I wouldn’t think putting down a futon on a hard floor would be so comfortable, though.

  6. posted by katie on

    This can be a great solution in a studio or efficiency apartment. However, if you’re like me, you’ll find that putting it away in the morning and taking it out at night get to be annoying extra steps in the daily routine. Most days, I end up just leaving it in the middle of the floor and having to step over it, which is obnoxious.

  7. posted by Chris on

    I slept on a very expensive innerspring futon for years and it wasn’t until I moved back to a standard mattress that I realized how horribly I slept and how bad my back felt all day. Enjoy your futon and your extra space. As for me, I’ll enjoy my king size, space consuming, plush fortress.

  8. posted by roothorick on

    @Chris: I have exactly one of those very expensive innerspring futons, and the frame is really falling apart, which I think makes a difference. If I put the mattress on the floor, I speculate I’d sleep better, but I can’t afford to lose the storage space underneath the bed.

  9. posted by PJ Doland on

    You folks might want to note that traditional Japanese futons differ from the western-style ones you’re probably used to.


  10. posted by Michael on

    Don’t try this with a western style futon, I have no idea why they exist…
    A Japanese style futon on tatami is amazingly confortable. Plus the tatami smells great.

  11. posted by Sarah on

    I’m going through some transitions and moving around quite a bit, so I’ve had to reduce my furniture. Now I sleep on a full-size air mattress with a built-in pump and a memory foam mattress topper. It’s comfortable, relatively cheap, and easy to move.

  12. posted by SpiKe on

    You lose lots of useful space under a normal bed for storage though?
    Organize IT

  13. posted by Eric on

    Putting stuff under your bed sounds like a great way to increase clutter — how often do you really go under there for something? It’s an invitation to dust-mites and keeps the roomba from doing it’s thing. πŸ™‚

  14. posted by Lisa S. on

    I go under my bed all the time — we have the IKEA underbed storage boxes on castors and use them to store our shoes, our office supplies, and our sporting equipment. So I’m pulling out an underbed box at least twice daily — once to take the shoes out, once to put them away again. I’d say my underbed storage is the opposite of clutter, but a small-footprint way to store things tidily in my 832-square-foot house.

  15. posted by Anonymous on


    Well, if you actually get in there, and have a system for it, then good on ya. I just remembered when I used to have junk stored under there that never saw daylight and was happy the day I moved to nothing but vacuumed carpet under my bed.

  16. posted by Solo500 on

    This is good unless you have rats in your building, in which case a futon couch will give you added peace of mind.

    (I am not joking, aesthetically I would prefer the tatami style!)

  17. posted by Hari on

    I miss having a bed because I never, ever worried about getting mould in my bed, whereas I worry constantly (especially during the rainy season) that my futon will become mouldy. You have to hang it over the balcony rail and hope it dries out. And, facing west, this is when the pollution is at its best and your bed ends up smelling kind of bad. Oh, and if your neighbours above drop anything nasty on it while it’s hanging… you gotta sleep on it that night.

    Although, when I go back home eventually, I probably will opt for a futon just because.

  18. posted by Carly on

    The ultimate in extreme minimalist beds is the hammock. Again, don’t think of the uncomfortable ones that deep criss-crossed marks on your back – think the Mayan handmade hammocks that people still use to sleep in in Southern Mexico. Heaven to sleep in, but hard to get up!

  19. posted by Ailene on

    That actually looks very comfortable! πŸ™‚ Not a bad idea!

  20. posted by Melina on

    Alright, I need help. I have been looking for a Japanese futon, but all I can find is the bulky western versions. Does anyone know where I can find one?!

  21. posted by Wanda Lopez on

    Our company – J-Life International, Inc. offers an authentic Japanese style futon.

    You can see it here: http://www.jlifeinternational......ton_e.html

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