Apr 13, 2019

Shikibuton – Traditional style plus comfort


Traditional Japanese homes use shikibutons (shikifutons) as mattresses. They are places on top of tatami mats during sleep. if you are planning to design your home Washitsu style, like most Japanese homes, then the shikibuton is a must have. It does not matter whether you have a modern approach, it will still fit in.

In the real sense, shikibutons are the real traditional Japanese futons. It is a cotton filled cushion but thinner than the normal western futons. You can roll and tuck away your futon when it is not in use. If you live in a minimalist home and trying to create space, the shikibuton is perfect for that.

The futon is made by a combination of the shikibuton and Kakebuton. The Kakebuton cover is used on our bodies while the shikibuton goes under. Kekebuton comes in wool, cotton polyester and feather, all of which seem quite comfortable.

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Shikibuton arrangement; Shikibuton frame vas tatami mat

Traditionally, the Japanese futon was laid out on a straw tatami mat instead of a tatami frame. When you are purchasing a shikibuton, it is imperative that you check the dimensions before you make the final purchase. Ensure it covers the dimensions of your tatami frames.

Platform bets with slats may not work well with the shikibuton. Unless you layer several shikibuton together, the beds will not be as comfortable. Shikibuton are generally like futons. You can use them separately or pair them together and use them as a set. When paired, they work more like the western futon. Local authentic Japanese shikibuton are made of wool or cotton and generally more healthy and comfortable on tatami mats.

How to care for your shikibuton

When taken care of, shikibutons will last your or several years. Shikibutons are made of high quality organic wool or cotton. The cotton fibres have a tendency of sucking up moisture from the environment or our bodies while we are sleeping. They need some extreme care to keep them aerated and dry.

Protecting your shikibuton from moisture and subsequent mold or mildew, there are a couple of steps you should take. First, ensure you lay it in a breathable surface (a tatami mat or platform bed) while you are sleeping. Do not let it sit in one place. Flip it every week to make sure it is even from the pressure of your body. Dips tend to form on the shikibuton if you lie in the same place every time.

For storage, you simply have to fold it up and keep it away. Ensure you sundry it two to three times a year to keep it fresh and prevent any form of mites or mildew dust. Finally, use a protective cover on the shikibuton to keep it nice and clean. Clean the cover regularly to prevent any stain build up.

Benefits of using the shikibuton in a futon arrangement

It is light, compact and easy to store

All you need is some muscle power to store the shikibuton when it is not in use. Once it is wrapped. You can tie it up with a cotton string and store it away in your closet. It takes up no space and is easy to carry which makes it very convenient during travel.

Portable guest bed

This is a traditional Japanese custom that is relevant in almost all Japanese homes. An empty room or space can be converted into a guest bedroom in no time. They will not need to sleep on a sofa bed which can be extremely uncomfortable. You can just buy a spare shikibuton and store it in your closet for emergency. When you have guests, you will just have to pull it out, unroll it and slap it on fitted covers.

It is affordable, Easy to care for and clean

The shikibuton is quite cheap when compared to the common western bed arrangement. You will not need to replace is as regular and the cleaning process is quite easy. You only need to make sure you flip it every two weeks to make the weight impact on the shikibuton even. Air drying regularly will also preserve your shikibuton.

Gives you extra space

Typically, Japanese tend to have loads of space in their home which they can use for different purposes. The good thing about this arrangement is that it lets you convert the empty room into anything. You can have it as a yoga centre, play room, or study area by day and a bedroom by night.

It is safer and much healthier

Do you have constant fears or nightmares about falling off your bed? Well, everyone does. With the shikibuton, you will not have to worry about rolling of the bed. it is very safe for your babies and younger children. You won’t have to spend more money on railings t prevent the children from falling off the bed.

Authentic Shikibuton is made from 100% cotton. Cotton is healthy for the skin and very easy to take care of. The Japanese shikibuton is also quite comfortable and better for our body than any western style bed. While you may think that soft and comfortable beds are good for your back, it is the complete opposite. Sleeping on the floor keeps you muscles, neck, shoulder, back and hips aligned.

Final word

Buy the shikibuton mattress for your tatami mat for a safer and healthier sleep. Your body will be more aligned and you won’t have to worry about spending your money on a new mattress every now and then.